Dad Accidentally Kills Son While Deer Hunting


A hunter was accidentally shot and killed Wednesday evening by his father near Meacham, according to the Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office.

The two men were hunting near the Summit Ranger Station when Louis Neil Branze, 76, fired a shot at a deer and, according to the sheriff’s office press release, “apparently accidentally struck” his son, David Branze, who died as a result of the gunshot wound.

The shooting took place off of Forest Service Road 3113. The sheriff’s office received an emergency 911 call around 6:24 p.m.

Members from the Umatilla and Union County Search and Rescue teams responded and found the deceased body of David Branze.

“The area of this incident is very rugged and steep so the recovery took several hours to complete,” said Umatilla County Sheriff Terry Rowan.

The State Medical Examiner’s office was contacted and an autopsy is scheduled later this week.

“At this point, the investigation is still under way and we will be working with the Medical Examiner’s office to gather as much information as we can,” said Rowan.

The elder Branze is from Seaside. David Branze was from Gresham.