A man is recovering in hospital after being shot in the stomach near Three Hills, Alta. (Google Maps)

Police say a central Alberta man was shot in the stomach when a loaded rifle in his truck went off.

RCMP in Three Hills says the 32-year-old was driving with the gun leaning against the passenger seat and pointing up.

But as the man turned onto a different highway, the gun fired when it slid off the seat and struck something in the truck.

The man from Wetaskiwin, Alta., required surgery and is in stable condition in hospital.

Police say the man will be charged with careless use of a firearm.