The Georgia Department of Natural Resources recommended that State Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, his two sons and Witt Cunningham attend a Georgia Hunter Education Course after a Jan. 17 shooting incident in Walker County on property owned by Rome’s Delos Yancey III.

The DNR issued a final report on the shooting Monday.

Oxendine’s 13-year-old son shot Russell M. Robertson Jr. of Chickamauga by accident after a quail flew between Robertson and the party of hunters at the preserve in Cloudland, the DNR reported.

Robertson was taken to Redmond Regional Medical Center where doctors were reported to have said that “everything looked fine and that the wounds were superficial,” the report stated.

Bird shot was removed from his right leg and right hand, the report stated.

Investigators were able to determine the hunters took four shots at the quail that flew in between the party and Robertson from his left to right on the roadway next to a field where he was observing the party.

A witness to the event, Jimmy Asher, told investigators that while he was unsure of who shot Robertson, he did say the bird survived the four hunters’ attempts to kill it.

The final recommendation that Oxendine, his sons and Cunningham take a Hunter Education course is a requirement by state law. Title 27 of the Georgia code says that it is “unlawful for any person born on or after Jan. 1, 1961, to procure a hunting license or to hunt by any means of weapons in this state unless that person has been issued a certificate or other evidence the department deems acceptable which indicates satisfactory completion of a hunter education course as prescribed by the board.”

Robertson declined to comment for this story.

Oxendine issued the following statement:

“Today the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) released results of an investigation regarding a January 17 incident involving my hunting party. The investigation findings concluded that a close friend who was part of our hunting party was peppered in the leg by bird shot from my 13-years-old son’s gun. This was an unfortunate accident and we all are thankful that his injuries were minor. I would like to thank the investigators at DNR for their hard work to give us all a clear picture on what transpired on January 17. I also want to thank everyone who contacted me with their concerns and support for my son. Finally, I would like for everyone to know that my dear friend is recovering just fine and has told me that he is looking forward to us hunting again soon.”

RNT