'Hunting' murder, accidents tragic
By Steve Tucker
A few of weeks ago, a multiple shooting involving hunters in Wisconsin
was on the front page of most newspapers across the USA. A man was
trespassing on private property on opening day of Deer Season. When he was
confronted about the trespassing, he opened fire on a party of eight --
killing six and wounding two others.
Make no mistake about it, this wasn't an accident, nor was it about
This was more of a sign of the times we are in (where a human life is
worth less than the opportunity to harvest a deer).
Some hunting accidents are truly accidents. And that's more what this
article is about.
One of my friend's brothers took his family, his dad, 9-year-old son and
12-year-old daughter into the mountains for a week of Big Game hunting and
some great relationship building. It didn't end up working out that way,
His 12-year-old daughter had shot a nice buck and as the whole family
gathered around to "high five" each other and tell her what a great shot she
had made, she started to remove a live round out of the chamber and the
rifle went off, striking her grandfather in the stomach. Everyone was in
shock as they watched with disbelief. Once they got over the initial shock,
they quickly got him to his feet and helped him back to the truck. They
called ahead via cell phone to have an ambulance waiting for them to take
him to the local hospital. After some extensive surgery, he was listed in
stable condition. He lost some of his small intestine and spleen, but,
thankfully, did fully recover.
Now the 12-year-old had passed a hunter's safety course to get her
license. She had just killed an Antelope the week before. It wasn't like she
was new to hunting. Things do just sometimes "happen."
This had to be a traumatic experience for not only the grandfather, but
also for the rest of the family. Any high-powered rifle leaves a lot bigger
hole where it comes out than where it goes in, but this didn't stop them
from getting him the help he needed. The rest of the family is now going
through some counseling, but it was really hard on the daughter and son.
Will this stop them from hunting? I hope not. It wasn't the sport that
caused this accident, it was just not thinking and the lack of paying
I remember one time while duck hunting with four guys early in the
morning. We were walking in pairs, two in front and two in back, down a
levee when all of a sudden a shotgun blast went off and dirt flew
everywhere. I had no idea what had happened.
As I turned around, I could see that my brother-in-law's face was as
white as a ghost -- yes, his gun had discharged, and it was only by God's
grace that shot didn't spray everyone.
He had been hunting for at least 20 years, as well as being seasoned on
the art of gun safety. It was an accident. I think sometimes we get so used
to handling guns, we just simply take it for granted that this could to
anyone, anytime and anywhere.
You can never be too careful.
Steve Tucker is The Sun-Star's outdoors columnist. You can reach him at
or leave a message at 384-2221.
Posted on 12/11/04 00:30:00