Hunting Accident File > Safe Hunting

SD: Hunter killed in accident

Golf tournament puts focus on hunter safety

The sports of golf and hunting will collide at the First Annual Lanny O’Neal Open next week.


O’Neal, who shared a passion for both outdoor sports, died as the result of a Nov. 9, 2008 hunting accident.


(Ted) Miller, hunting in a party of three, including O’Neal, had just switched fields “to go after some white-tailed deer,” he remembers. “When we got to the field, Mark and Lanny were getting out to put the sneak on the deer. I already had my tag filled, so I stayed in the truck to watch the deer through the binoculars.”

It was then that a bullet – still loaded in the chamber of Mark’s gun – fired and struck O’Neal.
“Lanny looked at me and said, ‘I’ve been shot,’ ” Miller remembers. “That’s when everything changed.”


Ron Kolbeck, a certified HuntSAFE instructor, will be at the golf course that day to promote hunter safety. He’ll have literature available that offers some eye-opening facts related to hunting incidents.

“In the last 11 years, there have been 40 incidents in or around a vehicle,” Kolbeck informed. “The majority are self-inflicted, so that’s an easy one to eliminate by unloading firearms before getting into a vehicle.”

In 2008, Kolbeck said 4,114 hunting accidents were reported in South Dakota alone. “That’s 40 percent of all sixth graders in the state,” he informed.

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