Hunter, 32, shot dead by his own dog

Tributes have since poured in for budding musician Joe Smith.

A man has been shot dead by his own dog after it stepped on his gun as he set off on a hunting trip.

Joseph Austin Smith, 32, was killed at close range when his dog stepped on his hunting rifle on the back seat of a pick up truck in the US state of Kansas.

Police said he was shot in the back and died instantly at around 9.40am on January 22 in Gueda Springs.

"A canine belonging to the owner of the pickup stepped on the rifle causing the weapon to discharge," Sumner County Sheriff's Office said. "The fired round struck the passenger who died of his injuries on scene."

It is not known if the truck had been moving or if anyone else had been with him when he died. Police found a discharged rifle and hunting gear on the back seat.

Mr Smith was accidentally killed when his dog stood on his hunting rifle. Source: CEN/ Australscope
Mr Smith was accidentally killed when his dog stood on his hunting rifle. Source: CEN/ Australscope

Tributes pour in for 'amazing man'

Friends have since paid tribute to Mr Smith, who've described him as a well-loved family man.

Following the incident, plumber Smith's former boss Chris Brown started a GoFundMe campaign to help his family cover funeral costs.

"Joe is absolutely the most unique individual I have had the pleasure of meeting," he wrote.

"He was loved by all of us from all walks of life and loved the same. He made us laugh every morning whether it was at him or because of him he always made sure to be a positive light at my company."

A colleague and friend called Jessica added: "Joseph Smith was a truly amazing man. He was kind, funny, smart, and very loving.

"Every time he walked through the door, he would make someone smile. Joe is going to be dearly missed by so many."

The fundraiser was complemented by numerous photos of Smith, some of which portrayed him on a stage, either playing the guitar and singing.

More than $19,000 (A$26,000) has so far been raised.

Following his death, his sister Kayla Bing shared several images of Joseph on her Facebook page and said: "Maestro Joe. A virtuoso with a funk soul. It wasn't supposed to be you, brother."

Police have not disclosed what happened to the dog after it killed its owner over the weekend.

- CEN/ Australscope

Do you have a story tip? Email:

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter and download the Yahoo News app from the App Store or Google Play.