By Gina Cherelus

(Reuters) - An Atlanta man shot and killed his brother while on a hunting trip in South Carolina after mistaking him for an animal, media reported.

Brian Pickle, 30, and his brother Scott Pickle, also from Atlanta, were with their father in a heavily wooded area, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution said. Scott's age was not given.

Union County Sheriff David Taylor told the newspaper the incident happened shortly before dusk on Saturday and that Scott Pickle had been eager to hunt before nightfall.

Mistaking his brother for a small deer or coyote, Scott took aim and fired, striking Brian in the head, the newspaper quoted the sheriff as saying.

"We see these types of accidents all too frequently," Taylor said.

The Union County Sheriff's Office and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources are investigating the incident, media reports said. Neither immediately responded to Reuters' request for comment.

It was not immediately clear if Pickle will face criminal charges.

(Reporting by Gina Cherelus in New York; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Bill Trott)