MS: Mother, Child (and horse) SHOT In deer hunting accident
November 23, 2009
Mother, Child SHOT In deer hunting accident
A deer hunter was ticketed for hunting from a public road in a shooting that
wounded a woman and seriously injured her child in north Harrison County.
Evan Joseph Kane, 24, of Perkinston, was deer hunting with dogs in DeSoto
National Forest when the accident was reported around 1:30 p.m. Sunday, said
Jim Walker, spokesman for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries
A 10-year-old girl suffered a punctured lung and was placed under
intensive care at a hospital, family friends said Monday. Her mother was
treated and released. A horse in their traveling party also was wounded.
The mother and child were among several horseback riders who were on Big
Foot horse trail, a 21-mile stretch through piney woods. The trail is
designated for horse riding and hiking. Much of the trail is near public
roads, where shooting is prohibited. The shooting occurred along Forestry
Road 434, accessible from Airey Tower Road north of Mississippi 67 and
The accident was the day after the season opened for hunting white-tailed
deer with dogs and guns. It also was the second hunting accident reported
Sunday, when a 32-year-old Maben man was fatally shot in the chest in
Oktibbeha County. [NOTE: in this second incident, it was a hunter who was
killed, not an innocent victim. Read the story at:
Wildlife and Fisheries has not released the victims’ names, but said more
details from its investigation should be available in about a week. Walker
said more charges could be filed. Investigators on Monday were
reconstructing the accident scene and interviewing the alleged shooter and
The wildlife agency requires toxicology tests to determine whether drugs
or alcohol were involved in hunting accidents, Walker said.
State law requires Wildlife and Fisheries to investigate all hunting
accidents. However, the area where the accident occurred is on land under
jurisdiction of the U.S. Forest Service.
DeSoto National Forest, which sprawls across five counties, was under
jurisdiction of the state wildlife agency until 2007. Forest land except
that designated as a wildlife management area is now overseen by the federal
Walker said Wildlife and Fisheries had banned hunting around trails on
Sundays as a safety precaution. He wasn’t sure of the Forest Service’s
policies. Walker said the most important safety precaution for hunters is to
identify their target before pulling the trigger.
A district forest ranger for the federal agency referred comments to its
office in Jackson. A phone call to the Jackson office was not returned.
Horseback rider Terry Hayes of Vancleave said area horseback riders are
asked to ride along Big Foot today starting at 9 a.m. as a sign of support
to prohibit hunters from using the area.
“There’s so much land available for hunting but not much else available
for horseback riding,” Hayes said. “Except for Big Foot, we have to ride two
or three hours to find a designated trail.”
Hayes said his wife was with a riding party on the “yellow trail,” which
is where the accident happened. The yellow trail is a 5.2-mile route that
makes a loop around designated camping areas.
“It’s close to the road and a more visible area,” said Hayes, whose wife
helped take the injured horse to receive medical treatment.
Hayes said hunters typically line the roadside near the trail during
The injured child was probably sitting maybe 6 feet above ground while on
a horse, Hayes said.
“The way I see it, a hunter has no business shooting at a deer that high
regardless of where they’re hunting,” said Hayes.
Hayes said the girl’s mother was treated for buckshot that went through a
leg. The girl also has a pellet lodged in a muscle in her back, Hayes said.
The family could not be reached for comment.
Fran Stanovich, who has ridden Big Foot for 24 years, had never heard of
a rider being shot. Stanovich was in a riding party on the trail Sunday
along with a nurse who gave emergency assistance.
“Why they have to hunt so near the horse trails endangering (others) is
way beyond my comprehension,” Stanovich said. “I understand the legal
hunters’ sport of hunting, but I am afraid the mistakes of a few have really
put them, it you will excuse me, ‘under the gun.’ Hopefully no more riders
will be put at risk.
“I understand that this was an accident,” Stanovich said, “but it
probably would not have happened had the hunter not been shooting on the
road, closer than 150 feet from the riding trails.
Authorities didn’t say whether the riders were wearing orange. State law
requires hunters to wear orange but it’s not a requirement for horseback
Return to Hunting Accident Index
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