Hunting Accident File > Safe Hunting > 2008

FL: Hunter kills dog and shoots another hunter

Hunting Shooting Thanksgiving Evening
12/03/08 - 04:13 PM

Walton County, Fla: The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is currently investigating a shooting. Stan Kirkland with the FWC says the case is being treated as a hunting accident but remains under investigation.

According to Kirkland, the hunting accident occurred Nov. 27, Thanksgiving Day, between 4:45 - 5:00 p.m., which is late but still during legal game shooting hours. The incident took place on the shoreline of Berrianne Lake on the Choctawhatchee River Wildlife Management Area (WMA), which is an oxbow lake off the Choctawhatchee River in Walton County.

Kirkland says the 21-year-old victim, Jonathan Pettis, Ponce de Leon, his female yellow Labrador retriever and a 22-year-old friend had been hunting and were returning to their boat at sundown and walking along the swampy shoreline when the 23-year-old shooter, Brandon Newsom, of High Springs, FL (but formerly of Holmes County) and a 17-year-old friend returned to their boat from a different direction. The victim and shooter were separated by a narrow slough.

According to the investigation, Newsom saw what he thought was a wild hog or animal and fired several times with his shotgun, striking and injuring Pettis and killing his dog. Newsom and his friend transported the injured Pettis and his friend back to the boat landing and called 911. Pettis was admitted to Bay Medical Center in Bay County that evening and remained hospitalized through Dec. 2.

The FWC says all four individuals involved were hunting squirrels or ducks and were not wearing hunter orange.  

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