Cheney Accidentally Shoots Fellow Hunter

02/13/2006 at 08:00 AM EST

Cheney Accidentally Shoots Fellow Hunter
Former Vice-President Dick Cheney
Lawrence Jackson/AP
Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot and injured a fellow hunter, Harry Whittington, during a weekend quail hunt at a ranch in Texas.

Cheney, 65, reportedly sprayed birdshot into Whittington, a 78-year-old lawyer from Austin, while trying to hit a flock of quail on Saturday afternoon. Whittington was taken to Corpus Christi Memorial Hospital where he was treated for pellet wounds to the right side of his face, neck and chest.

Whittington was "bruised more than bloodied," according to Katharine Armstrong, whose family owns the 50,000-acre Armstrong Ranch, reports the Houston Chronicle.

"This all happened pretty quickly," Armstrong told the New York Times. Whittington, she said, "did not announce – which would be protocol – 'Hey, it's me, I'm coming up,' " she said. "So when a bird flushed and the vice president swung in to shoot it, Harry was where the bird was."

A spokesman for the hospital said Whittington was not seriously injured and described his condition as "stable," reports the Associated Press.

Cheney visited the patient in the hospital on Sunday, "and was pleased to see he is doing fine and in good spirits," said Cheney spokeswoman Lee Anne McBride.

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