An Illinois hunter has died after being shot in the face by someone in his hunting party, an official with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources said Saturday.

The department said in a written statement that its law enforcement arm is investigating the shooting death of Seth Egelhoff, 26, of Chesterfield, Illinois.

Someone called 911 around 1 p.m. Saturday to report that Egelhoff had been shot while hunting waterfowl in the Bays Branch Wildlife Area, just north of Panora, according to the statement. Emergency medics rushed Egelhoff to a spot to be picked up by a medical helicopter, but he died en route, the department said.

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Conservation Officer Jeremy King said the shooting appeared to be accidental. The Guthrie County Sheriff's Office and the Iowa State Patrol are helping in the investigation.

The wildlife area is about 40 miles (64 kilometers) northwest of Des Moines.

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