Hunting Accident File > Safe Hunting?: > 2005


On Monday, May 16, authorities in Garfield County Colorado released the autopsy results for Jeffrey Garrett, a 37 year old executive at Denver-based Qwest communications.  Saying that his gunshot wound did not appear to be self-inflicted, the local authorities are investigating the case as a "suspicious death."

Garrett had been turkey hunting the previous Saturday with two friends, and split up with plans to rendezvous later that morning. When he failed to return, a search and rescue team was summoned; his body was found that afternoon.

Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario was quoted by The Denver Channel as saying:

"[...] someone could've shot Garrett unintentionally while hunting, or a bullet fired toward the sky came down and hit Garrett. He said it could be that Garrett was calling turkeys and someone unintentionally shot in his direction."

"His friends are not considered suspects in the case, because the bullet that killed Garrett apparently came from a different kind of gun than the ones his friends carried."

In cases like this one, it would be of assistance to the investigators to know who was in the area in question and what weapons were being used -- C.A.S.H. would like to see the practice of hunters signing in their hunting location and type of weapon and ammunition (or arrows) ahead of time, much like airline pilots file flight plans before taking off.

This information could be of much broader use than just the occasional, though numerous, hunting accidents -- it could also be used to warn other citizens who live or recreate in those areas, so they could steer clear of the line of fire. It might even improve hunter safety as well, by indicating to hunters how many other hunters are shooting in the vicinity. Such a system could go a long way towards reducing the number of largely-unsolved cases of stray bullets hitting bystanders, houses, and property.

C.A.S.H. regrets all the suffering and loss of life due to sport hunting, both human and animal. We aim to help minimize the needless loss of life across this country.


This story was written based on reporting by TheDenverChannel, with contributions from the Associated Press.

The cited article from which the above quotes were taken is marked "Copyright 2005 by TheDenverChannel.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed."  This notice has been added at the request of Wayne Harrison, TheDenverChannel.com's Senior News Editor.

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