Hunting Accident File > Safe Hunting?: > 2005


November 23, 2005

CONTACT: Officer Chris Jones (904) 237-3785

The general gun hunting season started less than two weeks ago, and already investigators from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) North Central Region are investigating three hunting accidents.

The most recent accidents both happened Nov. 22, at around the same time of day, 4:30 p.m., but on different coasts -- one in Duval County, the other in Levy County. The first accident of the general gun deer hunting season was on Nov. 19 in Hamilton County. All three involved hunters pursuing deer with dogs. Luckily for the victims, all of the accidents were not life-threatening.

In Duval County, two boys, ages 10 and 14, were hunting with dogs in the West Fiftone Hunt Club near Baldwin. The 14-year-old shot at a deer with his shotgun and a stray pellet struck the 10-year-old boy who was standing along the same road about 100-150 yards away. The pellet hit the boy in the upper chest, penetrated his clothing and broke the skin. He was life-flighted to Shands Hospital in Jacksonville, but luckily his thick clothing prevented the pellet from penetrating his chest cavity.

Farther southwest in Levy County, on the same day, another hunter using dogs to hunt deer in the Gulf Hammock Wildlife Management Area suffered another pellet injury. The man was hunting with a group of dog-hunters from the Gulf Hammock Hunters Association when one of the hunters shot at a deer and a stray pellet struck the victim in the ankle. The man sought medical treatment, but his wound was minor.

Saturday, a hunter was struck by buckshot at the Hickory Island Hunt Club in Hamilton County. The accident happened around 2 p.m., while about a dozen hunters were pursuing a deer using dogs. The deer ran across a road between the shooter and another hunter who was standing by his truck. The victim and his truck were both hit by pellets. Both hunters were wearing bright orange hats as required by the club’s rules for safety and high visibility. The victim was transported by another hunter to Trinity Hospital in Jasper and later transported to Shands Hospital in Gainesville where he was treated and released. Both the victim and shooter were back hunting at the club the next day.

All three hunting accidents are under investigation by the FWC.

“This is a good time to remind hunters of two of the most important safe hunting rules,” FWC spokesperson Officer Chris Jones said. “Those are, number one, know your target and, number two, know what’s beyond your target before pulling the trigger. All three of these accidents could likely have been avoided if those involved had followed the basic rules.”

For information on taking an FWC hunter safety course, visit MyFWC.com/huntered/. 

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