(IN) Gunshot aimed at groundhog ends up in boy's bedroom


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Drizzt
July 22, 2005, 12:34 AM
July 19, 2005

Gunshot aimed at groundhog ends up in boy's bedroom
Resident was angered by critter nibbling on his vegetables

By STAN MADDUX
Tribune Correspondent

STILLWELL -- Fed up with his vegetable garden being nibbled on, a resident grabbed his rifle and fired shots at a hungry groundhog, according to police.

Police say the man's next-door neighbor also ended up under siege when one of the bullets sailed through his son's bedroom window.

The 72-year-old man could now go to jail.

About 2 p.m. Saturday, he spotted the groundhog eating in his vegetable garden in the 100 block of West Glendale, according to LaPorte County police.

He went inside his house, grabbed a rifle and fired the first shots from his back porch.

One of the rounds hit the groundhog and, while the animal was trying to escape, the man ran over to a tree to take aim a second time, police said.

As the groundhog kept running, he fired again.

His neighbor told police bullets were whizzing through the trees and one crashed through the window of his son's bedroom next door in the 100 block of Hupp Road.

He hollered for his neighbor to stop, police said.

The entire afternoon shift at the LaPorte County Sheriff's Office converged on the area, taking cover until it was safe to approach the shooter, police said.

How many shots were fired wasn't disclosed, but police found five empty shell casings on the premises.

The investigation revealed the shots aimed at the groundhog hit the ground and ricocheted into the air.

One of the rounds that flew through the boy's bedroom window hit a wood railing on a top bunk just beneath the mattress.

Police said the report will be presented to prosecutors for a decision on whether to pursue charges.

LaPorte County police Capt. George Ritter said discharging a firearm in unincorporated areas of the county is not against the law.

"Yeah, it's legal but you have to do it safely," Ritter said.

If arrested, the man likely will be charged with criminal recklessness, Ritter said.

http://www.southbendtribune.com/stories/2005/07/19/local.20050719-sbt-MARS-B3-Gunshot_aimed_at_gro.sto

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Technosavant
July 22, 2005, 01:37 AM
OK, that's just sad.

My grandfather's garden had groundhog problems, and where I live, it is legal to shoot them (the sheriff told him "just be careful what you are aiming at"). His neighbor shot several of them (.22LR), but his accuracy needed work- my grandfather's pickup camper collected a round (the bullet was still in the mattress when he sold it a few years later).

A couple years ago, he again had a groundhog sniffing around. I went over there, and it took only one shot. Again, .22LR bolt action, 4x scope, 40ish yards, braced against a tree. It figured out that something was amiss. It tried moving slowly back to its hole. It should have moved faster. Those Remington Golden Bullets (bulk pack, no less) sure do a number when you pop the groundhog right behind the ear. Dang good shot, if I must say so myself.

No more groundhogs, no collateral damage either. :D

torpid
July 22, 2005, 02:04 AM
Know your target and what lies be-
Hey, a groundhog!!! BLAM BLAM BLAM

:D

bigun15
July 22, 2005, 02:13 AM
Apparently this guy has never been through a Hunters Safety Training Course. In mine, they made it VERY clear to make sure you know what's behind your target and that it cant richochet (sp?) somewhere else.

PaladinVC
July 22, 2005, 02:07 PM
I'm no geometrician, but I can't figure out how a shot aimed at a groundhog can find its way through a window. Even a first-story window is four or five feet off the ground, and if the bullet hit the top bunk, that's five feet for sure. How big was this groundhog? Was he shooting uphill at it?

Henry Bowman
July 22, 2005, 02:44 PM
Repeat after me. Rule 4...


He hollered for his neighbor to stop, police said. I didn't realize that hoosiers "holler." I though that was just us Appalachian-Americans. :D

zahc
July 22, 2005, 02:47 PM
It probably ricochet'd off the ground at an upward angle.

Sounds like someone is an unsafe shooter. It was probably an unsafe shot anyway, but I bet if he was using .17hmr the rounds would have fragmented and not ricochet'd (sp).

grimjaw
July 22, 2005, 03:22 PM
I could almost do bank shots with .22LR.

torpid: most amusing :) and absolutely correct.

He'll be cursing throughout the court proceedings, while the groundhog recuperates by munching on his carrot patch.

Why does this remind me of Bill Murray's character in "Caddyshack"?

jmm

Archie
July 22, 2005, 03:37 PM
PaladinVC I'm no geometrician, but I can't figure out how a shot aimed at a groundhog can find its way through a window. Even a first-story window is four or five feet off the ground, and if the bullet hit the top bunk, that's five feet for sure. How big was this groundhog? Was he shooting uphill at it?
Normally, bullets hitting the ground bounce very little; they tend to skid or fly along about eight to ten inches above the ground. (Remember this if fired upon; getting flat on a hard surface is inviting a slider into one's body.)

I suppose it may have hit a rock at exactly the wrong angle. If so, this guy's luck is as good (bad) as mine.

I rather imagine the old man is pretty embarassed about the whole thing. (I sure would be...)

The gratuitously offensive comment in this report to me was,The entire afternoon shift at the LaPorte County Sheriff's Office converged on the area, taking cover until it was safe to approach the shooter, police said.Does it sound to anyone else like the SO is expecting a terrorist with a machine gun? Yeah, some caution is indicated, but the whole shift taking cover? Could not have someone yelled "Hey Pops, we gotta talk!"?

MechAg94
July 22, 2005, 04:55 PM
The place in the woods where I shoot has about 100 yards of open ground in front of a hill. When we shoot 25 yard or 50 yard targets, sometimes you can see lines in the grass where the bullets have been skimming the surface or flying through the top of the grass.

Standing Wolf
July 22, 2005, 10:23 PM
The entire afternoon shift at the LaPorte County Sheriff's Office converged on the area, taking cover until it was safe to approach the shooter, police said.

I'd guess one guy could take cover as well as a multitude.

carebear
July 22, 2005, 10:31 PM
I'd guess one guy could take cover as well as a multitude.

"Dammit boys we need more men hunker'd down or this thing will never end! Call the Staties!"

:evil:

ksnecktieman
July 22, 2005, 10:42 PM
ricochets do not have a predicted path. I once got my hands on a box of fifty .22 LR tracers, and I need a larger safe area now. some went straight up, or off to the sides at almost right angles, most common was a deflection of 30 degrees or more.

Shoot safe

Candiru
July 22, 2005, 11:32 PM
ksnecktieman, I've read that the glowing part of the tracer often separates from the bullet on impact and flies off in a random direction. That might be what you're seeing.

Hypnogator
July 22, 2005, 11:36 PM
The entire afternoon shift at the LaPorte County Sheriff's Office converged on the area, taking cover until it was safe to approach the shooter, police said.
Both of them! :eek: :neener: :neener: :neener:

Always be sure of your target and what's beyond! :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

Firethorn
July 23, 2005, 01:46 AM
Hypnogator, just what I was thinking!

I know of counties that have... One Police Officer.

Two for a shift? That's high manning, call out the reservists, etc. ;)

Ryder
July 23, 2005, 03:20 AM
Bill Murray lives in Indiana?

http://thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=26822

S_O_Laban
July 23, 2005, 03:51 AM
The old man is probably wishing for another chance at what he did.....IE.."GroundHog Day".... unfortunately in real life you can't replay what you've done.

Sounds like a cheap lesson.... this could be a thread about an unfortunate kid....

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