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Woman fatally shot by boy hunting bear, Part II

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by FourTeeFive, Aug 7, 2008.

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  1. FourTeeFive

    FourTeeFive Member

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    Continuing on from the http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=382597 thread:

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2008097220_hunt07m0.html

     
  2. FourTeeFive

    FourTeeFive Member

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    And more:

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2008094528_hunting06m.html

     
  3. LemmyCaution

    LemmyCaution Member

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    A point I've seen no one make in this lengthy discussion is that, had it been deer season, and the season were for antlered deer only, and the kid had shot a doe, he would be guilty of poaching. Crime committed, his fault, end of story. Instead, he shot a person. That person bears no more responsibility for her own death than does the doe, shot mistakenly as a 12 pointer. Anyone who insists that anything other than their intended target wear HSO should be forced to capture every living creature of the forest and flag it with HSO as a precondition to being granted a hunting license. Then they are free to blast away at anything that moves and is not appropriately flagged.

    Until then, get it straight- with great power comes great responsibility. 2820ft-lb is a lot of power. Think before you release it down range. Period.
     
  4. yesit'sloaded

    yesit'sloaded Member

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    Rules 2,3, and 4 broken.
     
  5. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Best I can tell, darn near there is always some sort of hunting season going on. And then, it is not a considered a capital crime to be hiking in the woods. People should always be sure of what they are shooting.

    In my State, I remember hearing of a young man who was killed, chasing a turkey during turkey season. An adjacent party heard him crashing through the underbrush, and did some “sound” shooting. They were unaware there was anyone else in the woods.

    These hunting accidents are tragic, and they just give the anti gunners/anti hunters a bloody shirt to wave.

    http://www.all-creatures.org/cash/accident-center.html
     
  6. 86thecat

    86thecat Member

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    IMHO the kid should get 20 years for murder. Shooting without identifying your target is not hunting and is not an accident. Put a few people away for a long time and this type of behavior will become much less common. That said, I do wear hunter orange if hiking during a big game season.
     
  7. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    On the previous thread there was a lot of lip service paid to this being the shooter's fault, but a lot of "She was stupid" commentary as well. As I have considered it further, I am even more strongly opposed to that idea. Yes, it would not have been a bad idea for the victim to have been wearing orange, but as I hiker, I have to admit that I have never worn orange while hiking, even on public land in hunting season. I feel utterly no obligation to look even less like a game animal than I already do, because I do not look anything like a game animal.

    Moreover, I have looked over an awful lot of game animals through a scope and have never pulled the trigger on anything that was not exactly what I thought it was, down to tine count, tooth measurement, body size, or whatever. The idea that fog, or nerves, or distance, or anything but a black bear suit can make a woman look like a black bear is utterly stupid. This was entirely the fault of the shooter -- and hunters in his state are now going to pay for it.

    Beyond that, I find it incredibly rare to see a legal game animal anywhere near a common trail head. My general rule of thumb while hunting public land is to walk for a solid hour before even unslinging the rifle. I find that you need to be a long way from civilization before the hunting becomes productive -- and that also, not coincidentally, happens to be a distance that weeds out just about 100% of my fellow human beings.

    So I find this entire story to be inexcusable. The fellow was too young to be on his own, he was too close to a popular trailhead to be hunting, and he pulled the trigger on a target he obviously failed to identify. Anything else on the subject is BS, as far as I am concerned.
     
  8. yesit'sloaded

    yesit'sloaded Member

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    I have to use my mil dots to make sure it has a legal spread. I just don't understand how people can be so downright criminally negligent.
     
  9. rickomatic

    rickomatic Member

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    We can all agree that it was a series of mistakes and circumstances that led to this tragedy. Bottom line is, yes, it is ultimately the shooter's fault. Monday morning quarterbacking won't make a single bit of difference in a life lost.
    However, I'm afraid that some of the comments on this thread have already sharply veered off the High Road.
    20 years in prison for an already life altering mistake? Give me a break. I thank God that I have never made such a tragic mistake. Get off your high horse and have a little compassion. The victim's family did.
    As for those saying they won't wear Hunter Orange because it should be the responsibility of the shooter to make sure you're not an animal. Guess what? I wear Hunter Orange when I'm hunting not to keep from shooting myself or someone else. I wear it to keep someone from shooting ME! Hikers should have the same common sense of self preservation. Not some high minded sense of self righteousness to put the responsibility of their life in someone else's hands.
    Hey, SH** happens out there. You are a fool to not protect yourself.
    Rant off. Sorry if it wasn't High Road enough.
     
  10. Jst1mr

    Jst1mr Member

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    The shooter assumes 100% liability, no question. That being said, a trailhead notice or public education program to wear orange when in the woods makes sense for another reason - the orange is more likely to catch a hunter's eye and let him know there is someone in the area...information that may help avoid injury and insure that a hunter does not even shoot in the general direction of another in the woods. Here in WI, we wear blaze walking down our rural driveway to get the mail during deer season, when the area sounds like a war zone!
     
  11. George S.

    George S. Member

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    I quit hunting years ago as I got shot at twice over the course of one season. It was simply idiots who did not bother to identify a target. My orange vest and hat apparently wasn't good enough.

    What really angered me was the fact that on the second occasion, there were multiple rounds fired. I had enough orange on me to look like a road construction project. I was just about to show my cousin how to lay down some supressing return fire when I heard "Awww Damn. Sorry dude." Never saw whoever it was as they left quickly.

    What I read about this tragedy and hearing it on the news was that first off, the 14 year old obviously made a mistake in not clearly identifying his target before shooting and that second, the 16 year old that was with him was not watching and helping to identify the target. The conditions were not ideal (foggy) and IMHO, even with the kid having taken the required class to get a license, a typical 14-year old does not always use or have sufficient klnowledge or common sense in most situations whether it's hunting or something else. A 16-year old may not be any better at that age.

    I wonder if the grandfather who dropped them off was a hunter and did he know what area they would hunt and what was out there besides game. What would have happened if the kids got lost?

    The hiker who died had to go past a large signboard at the trailhead. Maybe there should have been a large notice posted that said the area was a hunting area and listed the type of game in season, the dates of the season, and the fact that hunters would be in the area.

    Guess I believe that while the hunting laws here in WA are overall very reasonable and the required Hunter Safety Education Class is a good thing for everyone to take, I believe that the state DFW will make changes because of this tragedy. Maybe kids under a certain age or having less than a certain amount of experience should be required to have a responsible person accompany them.

    Maybe hiking trails in hunting areas should be clearly identified to hikers as hunting areas and that they enter at their own risk. Maybe hiker should be required to wear soe sort of visible gear like a vest or hat during hunting seasons. It would be a simple thing to do and may save lives in the future.

    The end result is that the rules will change (I have alread read that the Legislature is going to be looking at this) so that tragedies like this can be avoided in the future. But the bottom line is that the person holding the rifle and taking the shot has the final responsibility to identify the target before pulling the trigger. That didn't happen and somebody died.
     
  12. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    Sure. Hunter orange. That'll do it. Because looking nothing like a game animal obviously isn't enough to keep from being shot while out for a walk, and anyone who doesn't wear it and gets shot is a fool who had it coming.

    Again, I sure hope I never end up in the same woods with the hunters who can't tell a difference between people and animals.
     
  13. SprayAndPray

    SprayAndPray Member

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    It doesn´t matter how many classes you take if you have no intention of learning anything. Safety first, ALWAYS! Can´t do it safe - can´t have/use weapons.. Easy as that.

    I don´t think kids should be able to hunt without adult supervision at all, at least if I´m in the woods at the same time, no thanks. The target obviously was not identified and no shot should have been fired, adults know this (I hope). What were they thinking?

    And btw fired upon several times, ***!!??
     
  14. wheelgunslinger

    wheelgunslinger Member

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    I've been shot at and heard high-powered rifle bullets whiz by me while hunting and backpacking. I even have a shotgun pellet lodged in the bone of my chin where I was shot by a bird hunter when he mistook me for a deer and tried to whack me with #4 shot. The fact that I'm still here owes to the poor marksmanship of at least one results oriented (gotta kill a big' un!), impulsive, probably drunk "hunter".
    I have a very good friend who was intentionally fired upon by some strangers while he was fishing. He had to hide behind a bank until they ran out of ammo.
    I had a former coworker and friend take a 270 bullet through/in his side (love handle) when a 16 year old maliciously shot at him as he was crossing a field (wearing hso) from his stand to his truck to eat lunch. He belly crawled back to his truck, drove himself to the ER, and sold all his hunting gear.
    There are plenty of stories where orange didn't save anyone from being shot or killed.
    I support any legislation change that will facilitate the charge of murder 2 where involved is a shooting during hunting seasons on a hunting area.
    The only sure way to make people check their target is to make sure they know that when the unfortunate target's life is over (or changed dramatically) as a result of their negligent practice, then so is theirs.
    Age restrictions should not apply. If lil' bubba wants to go hunting and is man enough to shoulder a rifle, then he or she can end someone's life. If you're going to carry around the power of life and death, be ready to accept the consequences- as an adult.

    The onus is on you, if you carry a firearm into the woods. No excuses.
     
  15. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    It's a step in the right direction, with the key being this:

    I think the length/breadth/depth of the curriculum in the required H.S. Ed. Course should be increased there, with the requirement of passing a test at the end of the day.

    And I can't say even that I disagree with the idea that 14 and 15 year olds should be supervised by having an adult with 200 yards with them in the woods at all times when they have a centerfire. At 16, they can then be turned loose on their own, perhaps. But more intensive/rigorous hunter safety education for all kids before they are ever allowed to step into the woods, with commensurate law enforcement penalties if they don't.

    These kinds of tragedies CAN be avoided (or made extraordinarily rare), with proper application of rules and enforcement. Hunting's not a right, and can and should be regulated. This coming from a big big hunter here.

    My goodness, man, that's pure insanity!! :eek: They *definitely* need more rules and enforcement in your state, too. I myself do steer well clear of all public land during deer gun season. I'll go in during archery though, but I wear a bit of orange on me (not required, but I do if on public land, even during archery season). But what you describe as seemingly commonplace there is quite rare here, in my understanding and belief.

    I disagree strongly, to this extent:

    The onus is upon US - ME and YOU - as ADULTS, to lobby state legislatures and our wildlife departments, to ensure that proper hunter safety education, laws, rules, and law enforcement are in place to prevent youngsters who are YOUNG and DUMB, as we ALL were at age 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, and beyond, from causing a tragedy. We must bear the burden of making sure they are taught before they step in the woods so that they (a) don't end the life of another, and (b) don't ruin their own life from excruciating guilt when they make a stupid mistake and end the life of another, through a tragic accident that would not happen at age 18 and beyond from the same person, through the natural development of judgment as one ages. This can be accomplished primarily through the hunter safety education course requirements.

    Now, I totally agree with you as to adults 18 and up. And I totally agree that if it's intentional, like the 16 year old who shot at your friend, then they should bear the full brunt of the criminal law as an adult. But as for accidents, we have to protect ourselves from the young, dumb, poor-judgment kids, AND protect said kids from themselves and the lifelong guilt they will feel in the event of an accident. Hunter safety education needs to be strengthened in a lot of states. If you look up the statistics of hunting accidents historically, before and after states began adopting H.S. Ed. requirements in the 50s, 60s, and early 70s, the stats bear out that the idea is an overwhelming success. Hunting accident rates, per capita, are at a small fraction of what they once were. H.S. Ed. works, and works well, if properly applied and enforced.

    And so, not to harp on the point too much, but one more thing needs to be said:

    No, see, it's not the ONLY way. It's ONE way, and what you describe IS sorely needed. But you need both. You need the "carrot" AND the "stick", for lack of a better phrase - they are not mutually exclusive. Yes, you need penalties and responsibility, strongly enforced. But you ALSO need the preventative measures (the carrot, so to speak), which includes the hunter safety education course - not that taking a required course is "fun" or a reward (carrot), necessarily, but it's not the "stick" of a criminal law enforcement penalty.
     
  16. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    What we're stuck with is that every individual person is different as to competency. Pick a subject, any subject.

    Me, I grew up with a lot of .22 time outdoors, from the time I was around seven years old. Private land, sparse, farm/ranch. From early on I learned what looked like what, whether deer, person, possum or cow. Not everybody is that fortunate, particularly nowadays.

    Just speculating and guessing about this kid and the deal: Odds are that he's not had a lot of hunting time. Odds are that he didn't see the woman until she bent over--which made her a horizontal critter and not an upright, vertical-silhouette person. She was wearing dark clothing, which added to the illusion of her being a bear. So, he's all full of adrenalin to begin with, excited about seeing any bear, anywhere, et voila! He wanted to see a bear, he thought it was a bear, and Bang! Tragedy.

    I'm in favor of hunter's ed, and I'm in favor of their using stories like this as examples. But you can pass laws and regulations and hold hunter's ed classes until Hell freezes over--but you won't control adrenalin or inculcate good judgement into that certain percentage that will always be with us.

    Separately: I operate on the basis that out in the BLM or National Forest boonies, a guy with a rifle isn't likely to be wanting to shoot at people. Okay, I'm happy to help him figure that I'm people and not a target-critter. I'm gonna wear light-colored, bright upper clothing. Light, shiny blue or yellow or white. I regard that as insurance, the same as I regard my CHL...
     
  17. TCB in TN

    TCB in TN Member

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    Wise words, just like when I used to jog and bike I wore reflective materials! It may not be my fault, but if its my life that may get ruined (or ended), if the other guys doesn't see me.
     
  18. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Maybe the General population, which out numbers hunters, would prefer to ban hunting, then enter a free fire zone when hiking.

    One idiot hunter takes out a bunch of Cub Scouts or Girl Scouts, and we are going to see a bigger back lash than the Stockton massacre. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockton_massacre

    Or have you forgotten the Brady Bill ? Next time, it will be worse, and permanent.
     
  19. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    I don't know why y'all are thinking in such a narrow-minded manner about wearing an orange. Orange has helped, but is far from inclusive.

    You hikers need to be wearing full blown strobe systems in addition to the orange. Also, the orange needs to be more than just simple blaze orange, but needs to be highly reflective. You should not be wearing the minimal hunting requirements, but have it all over your body. I also suggest you include that annoying truck/forklift/equipment backup noise that sounds off every few seconds.
     
  20. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    There'd still be someone to blame them for their own deaths.
     
  21. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Double Naguht Spy, the issue is "druthers". I'druther wear light blue than blaze orange. I just don't really LIKE blaze orange; to me, it's sorta tacky.

    A small blaze-orange day-pack would be acceptable, however.

    :D, Art
     
  22. 86thecat

    86thecat Member

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    QUOTE-
    "20 years in prison for an already life altering mistake? Give me a break. I thank God that I have never made such a tragic mistake. Get off your high horse and have a little compassion. The victim's family did." -END QUOTE

    Shooting without identifying your target and causing death or injury is not a "mistake", it is a criminal act. Severe penalties will make other knuckleheads think twice before pulling the trigger. I really can't understand it when some unsupervised, uncaring, unthinking idiot murders an innocent and people feel his grief is enough punishment. Society requiring no personal responsibility is a large part of why this country is going into the toilet.

    QUOTE-
    "Hikers should have the same common sense of self preservation. Not some high minded sense of self righteousness to put the responsibility of their life in someone else's hands.
    Hey, SH** happens out there. You are a fool to not protect yourself." -END QUOTE

    Whenever any one of us has control of a firearm, we have the ultimate responsibility for every round that leaves the chamber. If hunters won't accept that responsibility there are groups out there that will make sure hunting ends. Let me say that again, they will make sure hunting ends. It was not the hikers fault for legally using a mixed use area. Sole responsibility for this illegal and immoral act lies with the person who pulled the trigger. SH** happens would be a ricochet, over penetration of a legal target or an AD, and hunter orange won't protect you from that type of accident. Maybe hikers should wear vests with plates.
    __________________
     
  23. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    "Well, it was her fault she got shoot through the abdomen. Her vest didn't cover a large enough area!"
     
  24. yesit'sloaded

    yesit'sloaded Member

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    Stupid should hurt. Kid needs to do some long hard time. Murder is murder. I've been hunting since I was 8 and I've never had one accident or know anyone that has had anything like that happen. In our state you have to take a test to pass hunter ed. Guns are not toys and must be respected for the powerful tools that they are.
     
  25. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    In general, as codified in law a 14-year-old is not expected to bear the same responsibility for consequences as an adult. Further, there is the issue of intent, insofar as the penalty for a criminal act.

    In this and in the other thread, some of the calls for punishment are phrased to come across as high-volume harumphing without any recognition of the laws as they exist...
     
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