updated 10/30/2007 1:40:58 PM ET 2007-10-30T17:40:58

A hunter is recovering after he was shot in the leg at close range by his dog, who stepped on his shotgun and tripped the trigger, an official said Tuesday.

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James Harris, 37, of Tama, was hit in the calf Saturday, the opening day of pheasant season, said Alan Foster, a spokesman with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

“He had surgery and is doing pretty well,” he said. “He took between 100-120 pellets in about a 4-inch circle to his calf.”

Harris was listed in good condition Tuesday, officials at University Hospitals in Iowa City said.

Harris was hunting with a group about three miles north of Grinnell. The group shot a bird, and when Harris went to get it, he put his gun on the ground and crossed a fence. As he crossed the fence, his hunting dog stepped on the gun, Foster said.

The gun was about 3 feet away from his leg.

“The muzzle velocity is so great that the pellets don’t have a chance to spread out,” he said.

No one else was hurt, and the dog was not injured.

Foster said no citations have been issued.

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