IT'S ONE THING TO COME UP EMPTY, WHILE ELK HUNTING...BUT ANOTHER THING, TO GET SHOT IN THE KNEE, BY YOUR GIRLFRIEND, WHEN YOU'RE DONE.

THAT'S WHAT HAPPENED TO A MAN WEDNESDAY MORNING -- IN THE MOUNTAINS, EAST OF OAKLEY -- AS HIS COMPANION WAS UNLOADING THEIR RIFLE.

SUMMIT COUNTY SHERIFF'S CAPTAIN JUSTIN MARTINEZ SAYS, THE WOMAN CALLED 9-1-1 IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE ACCIDENT.

HER BOYFRIEND WAS IN FAIR AND STABLE CONDITION, AS HE WAS LOADED ONTO A HELICOPTER, BOUND FOR A SALT LAKE HOSPITAL.

BOTH THE VICTIM -- AND HIS GIRLFRIEND -- TOLD POLICE THE SHOOTING WAS ACCIDENTAL.

CRIMINAL CHARGES ARE NOT EXPECTED.

THE MAN AND WOMAN ARE EACH IN THEIR EARLY 20'S.