A Welch boy Sunday became Craig County's first hunting fatality of 2012.

Craig County Sheriff Jimmie Sooter said about 3 p.m. Sunday James Ridge Foster, 11, and a 12-year-old friend were out hunting in a field west of a feed company on Highway 2 north of Welch.

Foster was in front with the older boy behind, Sooter said, when the older boy fell causing his gun to go off shooting Foster in the back and killing him. Foster was declared dead at the scene, the sheriff said.

Sooter said the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation was called in to investigate the shooting. “This is just normal procedure for us when there is a shooting involved,” he said.

Foster's body has been sent to the medical examiner to perform an autopsy, which will provide investigators more information about the shooting.

The OSBI agent in charge of the case with provide the Craig County District Attorney with a full report on the shooting, who will then determine how to proceed with the criminal case.

The 12-year-old was released into the custody of his parents until the investigation is complete.

“Initial investigation says it was a tragic hunting accident,” Sooter said. “This is why we encourage youngsters to participate in the hunting safety programs so they can hunt safely.”

He urges anyone going hunting to do so safely.