A Cedar City man was in critical condition Friday in LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City, after undergoing surgery for bullet wounds suffered in a hunting accident Thursday on Boulder Mountain.

Steven O. Gower, 40, was shot through both legs when a 7mm magnum rifle, held by his teenage son, accidentally discharged. Bullet fragments also injured the elder Gower's hand.The two, on an elk-hunting trip, were in their pickup truck when the son accidentally fired the rifle while loading it, according to a family member.

A Garfield County sheriff's dispatcher said she received a report at 7:04 a.m. Thursday of the accident, which apparently occurred near Spruce Springs at the east end of Boulder Mountain on U-12. The dispatcher said the victim was transported part of the way from the scene by private vehicle and met by the Wayne County ambulance, which took him to the Sevier Valley Hospital in Richfield. Gower was later flown to LDS Hospital.

Because of the location of the accident, an initial report was taken by Richfield police officer Virgil Sickles, at the request of the Garfield County sheriff's office. Sickles was unavailable for details Friday.