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simonkenton
December 24, 2008, 01:55 PM
Asheville Citizen-Times
Asheville NC



In Transylvania hunting death, men reportedly looked through scope before shooting

Mike McWilliams • MMcWilliams@CITIZEN-TIMES.com • published December 24, 2008 12:15 am


BREVARD – Two men involved in a fatal hunting accident earlier this month in the Pisgah National Forest both looked through a rifle scope before pulling the trigger, an investigator said.
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N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission enforcement officer Capt. Greg Daniels said the men were about 50 yards from Luciano Martinez Martinez when he was fatally shot with a .300-caliber rifle. The shooting took place Dec. 13 in Pisgah National Forest near Turkey Pen Road.

“There (were) two people who actually looked through the scope and they couldn't tell what it was,” Daniels said. “The one who was the shooter, he thought it was a buck deer. Obviously, he was wrong.”

Martinez, 50, of Marshall, was picking galax in a laurel thicket on steep terrain when he was shot, Daniels said. Galax is an ornamental plant often used in Christmas decorations.

According to a Henderson County 911 recording and report, Michael Sprouse, of Etowah, was the one who called 911. Sprouse told the operator the person he was with shot Martinez and was staying with Martinez while Sprouse called for help.

911 records identify Kenneth Eric Keith's truck as a “call vehicle” along with Sprouse's truck. Call vehicles are any vehicle registrations that were called in during the incident, Henderson County emergency communications director Lisha Corn wrote in an e-mail.

A man who identified himself as a Kenneth Keith in Hendersonville said late Tuesday that he was not involved in the hunting accident and deferred further questions to his lawyer, Jack Stewart, of Asheville. Stewart could not be reached for comment after business hours Tuesday.

Transylvania County District Attorney Jeff Hunt has said if he pursues felony criminal charges against the shooter, it will likely be through a state grand jury that doesn't meet again until February.

simonkenton
December 24, 2008, 01:56 PM
Kenneth Keith: "I don't know nothing.
ps My lawyer don't know nothing, either."

Bitmap
December 24, 2008, 01:57 PM
Rule #4.

T-Ray
December 24, 2008, 02:09 PM
Rule #4.

+1

Absolutely stupid. This is exactly what the gun control people use against us. Stupid Stupid Stupid

Double Naught Spy
December 24, 2008, 02:45 PM
Holy crap! 50 yard distance, using a scope, and uncertainly (mis)identified a person for a buck and pulled the fricking trigger? Being that close and with a scope, even just a 2x scope, if the target in question wasn't plainly obvious, then he should not have pulled the trigger

I don't know what is worse, taking a "sound" shot or sighting through a scope and not being able to tell what your target is.

I suppose Martinez could have been picking Galax whilst wearing a deer costume, but that didn't happen.

dipper
December 24, 2008, 03:00 PM
Just terrible.
Sadly, this happens from time to time.

A blaze orange hat or vest ( or both) probably would have went a long way in preventing something like this----besides the obvious the hunters never should have pulled the trigger or even scoped a human.
I have always wore at least vest or hat when in the woods during hunting season as a precaution.
NO excuse for the hunters though, just a terrible lack of judgment and training.

Daryl
December 24, 2008, 03:54 PM
He'll most likely get charged with voluntary manslaughter, or something similar. The charge will depend on that state's laws.

How hard is if for people to understand? You don't shoot at something you THINK is a deer. You identify it first, and make double sure what you're shooting at, and what's behind it.

It just isn't that difficult.

Rant off...

Daryl

Deet
December 24, 2008, 04:10 PM
No excuses, just tragic.

simonkenton
December 24, 2008, 04:19 PM
The residence of the deceased is listed as Marshall, NC.
I live in Marshall.
Rest assured, a 50 year old guy named Luciano Martinez is a recent immigrant from south of the border. Good chance he spoke little or no English.
So, he probably didn't know anything about deer hunting.

Any local would know, if they went into the National Forest during deer season, to wear an orange hat or vest.
Or, better yet, don't go into the National Forest during deer season. Rifle season is only 3 weeks long up here, not too many deer around here.
The shooting happened Dec. 13. That is interesting, because that is the only doe day we get.
So these hunters were planning to shoot any deer they saw.

Of course it is still the fault of the hunters, and they deserve jail time.

Inspector3711
December 24, 2008, 04:19 PM
A 14 year old boy shot a woman back in August on Sauk Mountain north of Seattle while hunting bear. She stopped to get a poncho from her backpack as it started to drizzle. She put the poncho on and he fired a shot evidently thinking she was a bear. The range was 120 yards and it happened on a mountainside with knee high brush and no trees to obscure his view. She died immediately.

I've seen her picture and she was a nice looking 54 year old woman with no resemblance to any bear I've seen. The poncho was bright blue and she was on a popular hiking trail.

Visibility was low due to fog and the boy was with his 16 year old brother while their grandfather waited at the bottom of the mountain.

I didn't know this but there is no age limit for hunting in Washington state and since they both had passed hunter safety training they were legal.

Now that the holidays are here I can't help but think how bad it must be for her family. Her son had warned her about bear hunting season as she left on the trip. I take the wife hiking alot and we get a little spooked when we hear about these types of accidents.

When I was 14 dad had all the guns locked up and I couldn't go out without him. He was a hunter safety instructor for Oregon state then. My Daisy Powerline was the only gun I could take out on my own. I'm glad he taught me the way he did. I'd hate to live with that on my mind.

Brian Pfleuger
December 24, 2008, 04:21 PM
How does this happen? Do some people not aim at a specific spot on their target? WTH? What's the intent if this IS a deer? Poke a hole in it and hope for a blood trail? This is stupid and reckless regardless of the end result, tragic because of it.


Visibility was low due to fog and the boy was with his 16 year old brother...

Ya, I remember that story from a couple months ago. The article called them "experienced hunters.":mad::eek::barf:

steveno
December 24, 2008, 05:34 PM
I'm not sure what the "recent immigrant" has to do with being shot by a couple of morons. I think a DA can call for a grand jury any time he wants.

NWPilgrim
December 24, 2008, 06:01 PM
Hard to imagine how sighting through a scope at 50yds and hitting a human being is "accidental".

I tramped through a lot of brush while hunting in the rain forests and mountains of the Pacific Northwest and still cannot imagine how you could not tell your target is a human being at 50 yds. with a scope.

If I was on the jury the defense would have to work mighty hard to establish reasonable doubt on 2nd degree murder. Only mitigating circumstance I can see from the article is they at least called 911.

Stupid beyond belief.

akr
December 24, 2008, 06:09 PM
I'll bet they have cataracts.

MeekAndMild
December 24, 2008, 07:28 PM
What are two Aggies doing in North Carolina? :confused:



Seriously though, I agree with simonkenton that there may be more to it than what the report actually says. I am one who suspects Martinez was one of a huge busload of migrant workers dropped off in the NC woods to pick Galax (http://www.nwf.org/nationalwildlife/article.cfm?issueID=33&articleID=310) without a clue as to local culture, local hunting laws (or any laws for that matter), the English language and the common American knowledge that if you go into the woods in the fall you need to wear orange?

We can call the hunters idiots and indeed they may, but IMHO we don't need any further industrialization of the woods and we don't need to allow people to just wander around during hunting season. In fact we really don't need any more 'guest workers'.:mad:

Brian Pfleuger
December 24, 2008, 07:36 PM
but IMHO we don't need any further industrialization of the woods and we don't need to allow people to just wander around during hunting season.


I should be able to walk around in the woods in a deer costume without being shot. An ethical hunter identifies their target and shoots with a level of precision adequate to humanly kill that target, which is impossible without identifying that target beyond a shadow of a doubt. The idea of restricting access to the woods is unworkable and, IMHO, violates our freedom. Shall we ban firearms in the woods during non-hunting seasons? Why? If not, why ban other activities during hunting season. What we need is little personal responsibility not more rules. Yep, the guy should have been wearing orange. If he didn't know or didn't want to it's his problem. It's also irrelevant. Like I said, he SHOULD be safe in the woods in a deer costume.

banditt007
December 24, 2008, 08:27 PM
This story sounds like a cooked up excuse to get away with shooting an illegal mexican (wether he was or not is not the point, thats how he is percieved).

I mean seriously FIFTY YARDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you need to be dam near legally blind not to know its a person. WITH A SCOPE say even if it was a 2x scope...... that means TWO people looked through a scope, that was as if something was standing 75 FEET from them and they could not tell if it was a deer or a person?

I think they should be both put away for life. period.

These are the stories that scare the hell out of me. if you were that far away walking though the woods and saw another hunter, that close i wouldnt even think of yelling and making contact with that person. since it is just so obvious that its a dam person!!!!!!

bejay
December 24, 2008, 08:56 PM
I should be able to walk around in the woods in a deer costume without being shot. An ethical hunter identifies their target and shoots with a level of precision adequate to humanly kill that target, which is impossible without identifying that target beyond a shadow of a doubt. The idea of restricting access to the woods is unworkable and, IMHO, violates our freedom. Shall we ban firearms in the woods during non-hunting seasons? Why? If not, why ban other activities during hunting season. What we need is little personal responsibility not more rules. Yep, the guy should have been wearing orange. If he didn't know or didn't want to it's his problem. It's also irrelevant. Like I said, he SHOULD be safe in the woods in a deer costume.
think its certainly a stretch to say you should be able to walk around in a deer costume without getting shot during deer season im sure alot of ethical hunters would be trying to use precision to humanely kill you.
while they should of never of taken a shot if they wasnt sure it was a deer but there is a few out there that do shoot at anything that moves and while hunter orange would of probably prevented it from happening to begin with and should be worn by anyone in the woods during deer season, if you dont, you are increasing your chance of getting shot.

MeekAndMild
December 24, 2008, 09:11 PM
What we need is little personal responsibility not more rules. Sure and I also agree with the idea that people need to identify their targets before shooting.

I do believe a taxpayer should have the privilege to run around in whatever stage of dress or undress and whatever type horned costume meets their fancy as long as they assume their own risk of being locked up in a loony bin even if they're not shot by enthusiastic hunters. I also think that regardless of hunter responsibility issues this idea is pretty nutball so I'd sympathize with the sheriff who does the loony bin run. :rolleyes:

Back to reality, I think you really aren't considering the the seriousness of the culture war going on in our national forests and other public lands, well actually in the whole country. First its a busload of galax gatherers, then its another busload gathering ginseng, then its maybe some folks who're keen on staking out a few dozen acres for their little village and then pretty soon crazy Americans wearing antlers are no longer welcome.:(

Double Naught Spy
December 24, 2008, 10:59 PM
Okay guys, nobody has substantiated that there was a busload of workers in the woods or if the shootee was an immigrant or not. If there had been a busload of workers, I doubt there would have been a shooting as they would have been making too much noise.

The residence of the deceased is listed as Marshall, NC.
I live in Marshall.
Rest assured, a 50 year old guy named Luciano Martinez is a recent immigrant from south of the border.

Rest assured this statement is wrong. Martinez had lived in Marshall since 2000 and lived in Burnsville several years before that. I would not call 8 years of residence "recent" by any stretch.
http://www.citizen-times.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008812170339

Not only that, the guy had been picking for some time, apparently, and had a permit to pick. No, he probably was not wearing blaze orange.

So how about cutting all this stupid immigration discussion since it doesn't pertain to the issue at hand, a hunter who failed to properly identify his target and killed a human being. It does not matter if that human being was a resident, alien, or tourist.

simonkenton
December 24, 2008, 11:38 PM
"Okay guys, nobody has substantiated that there was a busload of workers in the woods or if the shootee was an immigrant or not. If there had been a busload of workers, I doubt there would have been a shooting as they would have been making too much noise.

Quote:
The residence of the deceased is listed as Marshall, NC.
I live in Marshall.
Rest assured, a 50 year old guy named Luciano Martinez is a recent immigrant from south of the border.
Rest assured this statement is wrong. Martinez had lived in Marshall since 2000 and lived in Burnsville several years before that. I would not call 8 years of residence "recent" by any stretch.
http://www.citizen-times.com/apps/pb...=2008812170339

Not only that, the guy had been picking for some time, apparently, and had a permit to pick. No, he probably was not wearing blaze orange.

So how about cutting all this stupid immigration discussion since it doesn't pertain to the issue at hand, a hunter who failed to properly identify his target and killed a human being. It does not matter if that human being was a resident, alien, or tourist."

"Nobody has substantiated as to whether he is an immigrant."
Listen, Mr Know It All, I live here in Marshall, and there are no fifty year old locals named Luciano Martinez. Just from the name I know he is a recent immigrant.
Your own link states that he has seven children living in Mexico.
Do you assert that he was born in Marshall, and his seven children moved to Mexico?
Yes, his having lived here just 8 of his 50 years makes him a recent immigrant.
Compared to a local who was born here 50 years ago, having lived here just 8 years is recent.

Anyway, you have utterly missed my point.
I never said there was a busload of Mexicans picking plants.
My point was, that, as a Latino immigrant, Mr. Martinez is most likely not familiar with local cultural traditions such as deer hunting.
Thus in his ignorance, he was in the National Forest, at a time in which most locals would not go into the National Forest.
A local Marshall citizen would know that it is dangerous, due to the risk of being shot by a deer hunter.
If a local did go into the National Forest during deer season, he would probably wear, at least, an orange baseball hat.
A $2 orange baseball hat would have saved this man's life.

If you would have read what I wrote, Mr. Self Righteous, you would see that I called for jail time for the shooter.

To explain my views further, the behavior of these hunters is inexcusable.
Whether this was a doe, a buck, or the Governor of North Carolina, these guys didn't know the difference. So, for wantonly taking human life the shooter deserves a lot of jail time.
I never said the shooter deserves to walk because the dead guy is probably an illegal Mexican, but you seem to have inferred such.
Please get down off your high horse, Double Naught Spy, it will make you dizzy up there.

zahnzieh
December 25, 2008, 01:40 AM
When you sit in the woods for a long time, not seeing anything, your mind can play tricks on you. We are so atune to seeing movement and judging perspective, sometimes wrongly. I have mistaken a distant truck going down a country road for a running deer - not that i shot at it! Throw in dusk/dawn and fog/rain/snow and clumps of bushes can come to life and look like deer. How many of us have heard hunters shooting well before/after legal time and asked how the heck they could see what they were shooting at! The hunter must always be vigilant of these mind games. I can only say the hunter with a scoped rifle was somehow impaired - really wanting to see a buck - or otherwise impaired (booze, medication). Very tragic but unfortunately the ultimate responsibility is with the guy who pulled the trigger.

Deet
December 25, 2008, 06:00 AM
As a long time hunter in Indiana that must wear blaze orange during deer season, let me tell ya in the dark blaze orange is about as bright as a gray sweatshirt. It is not Flourescent orange, it only works during daylight hours. I have never hunted deer without blaze orange AND a flashlight as I walk to and from my deer stand. A flashlight can be a real lifesaver in low light conditions. I still think this is a tragic situation, and those two hunters have given all of us hunters a bad name.

Double Naught Spy
December 25, 2008, 07:28 AM
Yes, his having lived here just 8 of his 50 years makes him a recent immigrant.
Compared to a local who was born here 50 years ago, having lived here just 8 years is recent.
Yes, anyone born in Marshall more than 8 years ago is less recent than Mr. Martinez. Got it.

Anyway, you have utterly missed my point.
I never said there was a busload of Mexicans picking plants.
I never claimed you did. I quoted you after that statement and that statement was made further up and discussed by more than one person.


A local Marshall citizen would know that it is dangerous, due to the risk of being shot by a deer hunter.
Because y'all shoot at each other a lot? Actually, IHEA data indicate that while helpful, blaze orange doesn't stop determined idiots.

If a local did go into the National Forest during deer season, he would probably wear, at least, an orange baseball hat.
Probably? So even knowing the local customs and dangers, would not absolutely wear orange?

A $2 orange baseball hat would have saved this man's life.
$2 of common sense on behalf of the shooter would have gone further.

If you would have read what I wrote, Mr. Self Righteous, you would see that I called for jail time for the shooter.
I never claimed you didn't.

RIF

jrothWA
December 25, 2008, 06:38 PM
to shoot a deer with a 4X scope @ 12 yds and seeing only trunks and not being able to discern the deer. So 50yds with brush maya be POOR visual situation.
Also regarding the Washington incident, the weather was extremely poor, they were @ 4500+ elevation and the area was subjected to low clouds/fog until 1PM before lifting. This occurred on the first day of bear season.
Other outdoor users do not recognize any "Opening day" of hunting seasons.
More use a "blaze orange" is best solution.

VaFisher
December 25, 2008, 08:37 PM
This is very sad but could have been prevented simply wearing orange. I think it's also sad there are so many folks wanting to judge before knowing all the facts, how many times have we read things the press printed to find out later it was totally different then what was printed. Then there are other things like seeing what we want to see even if it's not what we are looking at simply because we want to see so bad it becomes what we want it to be. I have heard of this being a factor in some accidents in the past and yes it sounds false or fake but true none the less.

HiBC
December 26, 2008, 02:12 AM
You aren't going to believe this,but it is true.I recall an incident in Colorado in the late 60's or early 70's when two boys who using a trail bike in the national forest were shot and killed off the motorcycle. They were on a hunting trip with their father.As I recall,they were wearing orange.The shooter got his hand slapped.

Art Eatman
December 26, 2008, 09:22 AM
Too much personal insult...