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Gulf Hammock hunter shoots self with crossbow

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A Gulf Hammock man was injured Sunday evening while he was hunting in a private hunt club in Levy County.

John C. Champion was hunting from his Polaris Ranger in the Fiber Factory Hunt Club, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) investigators.

Champion, who is a paraplegic, was hunting alone around 6 p.m. and was attempting to cock his crossbow. He accidently fired the bolt through his left foot, pinning his foot to the floor of the Ranger, investigators said. 

He attempted to free his foot, but was unsuccessful. He then tried to drive out but became stuck on some brush.

Other hunters and family members arrived a short time later and took Champion to Levy County paramedics.

Champion was transported to the Seven Rivers Hospital in Crystal River for treatment. He suffered a puncture wound and several broken bones in his left foot, said FWC investigators. 

FWC officials are investigating the incident.