Cantonite hurt in hunting accident
Tuesday, November 1, 2005
By JEFF LAMPE
of the Journal Star
After a promising start, the first day of duck season nearly ended
in tragedy for Cory Schoonover.
Hunting at Anderson Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area on Saturday,
Schoonover was shot by his hunting partners while retrieving a downed
Fortunately, no pellets hit vital organs, and the 26-year-old
Canton resident was released Sunday from OSF Saint Francis Medical
Center in Peoria. Initial concerns about a pellet lodged near his
carotid artery proved unfounded.
"It could have been a lot worse, really. I'm fortunate to have six
pellets in my neck and up and not be dead. Or blind. Or anything,"
Hours after being released by St. Francis, Schoonover went deer
hunting. Monday he returned to work for RAPPS Engineering. Today he
plans to revisit the site of his shooting, Blind 16 at Anderson Lake -
traditionally one of the best hunting locations at this Illinois River
"I figure the quicker I get out there again the quicker I can get
past this," Schoonover said. "If you sit there and dwell on it, it's
kind of a scary situation."
Schoonover had left the blind early Saturday to retrieve a downed
duck that fell in front of the structure. The bird was the third his
party shot in 30 minutes. While he was searching for the duck in
flooded standing corn, another group of ducks flew past the blind
occupied by Schoonover's hunting partners, Robert and Justin Adams of
Lewistown and Brian Strode of Canton.
"They waited until they thought the ducks were past him and then
six shots were fired," said Dan Sandman, a conservation police
One shot hit Schoonover, who was 40 to 50 yards away from the
blind. He was struck by more than 20 pellets that lodged in his nose,
cheek, jaw, ear, neck, chest, shoulders and hand.
"I saw the whole thing. When he was hit he rocked back and dropped
his gun," Strode said. "It was just a terrible accident."
Schoonover said he may have raised his arm to protect his eyes.
"It all happened so fast I'm not sure," he said. "It didn't feel
good, I know that."
After the accident Strode drove a bloodied Schoonover to Graham
Hospital in Canton. Schoonover said doctors were at first worried
about a pellet that lodged near his carotid artery. As a result, he
was flown by helicopter to St. Francis. X-rays showed the pellet was
not a cause for concern.
In fact, no pellets were removed.
"They said some will work their way out and some won't," Schoonover
said. "The steel shot is the same as what they use in false knee
Schoonover's is the fourth hunting accident reported to the
Department of Natural Resources this fall, none of which have been
fatal. Squirrel hunters were involved in two accidents and the other
involved a hunter whose tree stand collapsed.
Last year the DNR had 33 hunting accidents. Of those, 15 involved
the discharge of a firearm and there were no fatalities.