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Old November 21, 2002, 10:21 AM   #1
Col. Mustard
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Those pesky geographical boundaries

From the (MN) Star-Tribune:

EAGLE RIVER, Wis. -- A deer hunter could face charges after killing his hunting partner on the wrong side of the Wisconsin-Michigan border, the Vilas County Sheriff's Department said.

James MacDonald Jr., 40, of West Bend, died after his 43-year-old hunting partner, of Mequon, accidentally shot his rifle Sunday while using its telescopic sight, the department said Tuesday.

State Department of Natural Resources hunter safety administrator Tim Lawhern said the men were in a cabin near the Michigan state line for that state's 16-day gun deer hunt, which opened Saturday. They had apparently returned to the cabin and saw a buck move across the property.

While they were looking for the deer, the shooter's rifle discharged, striking MacDonald from a distance of about 18 feet.

But it appears the men were not hunting, but poaching, because they were actually on Wisconsin soil, said Det. Sgt. Jon Kindlarski of the sheriff's department. Wisconsin's gun hunt does not start until Saturday.

Also, Lawhern said neither man was wearing blaze orange, a violation of gun hunting regulations in both states.

``It's a tragedy that shouldn't have happened,'' Lawhern said. ``There were violations of several firearm rules.''

The sheriff's department has referred the case to the district attorney's office.

http://www.startribune.com/stories/531/3442749.html

Okay, I'm puzzled.

"A deer hunter could face charges after killing his hunting partner on the wrong side of the Wisconsin-Michigan border, the Vilas County Sheriff's Department said."

Is he going to face charges for killing his partner, or for doing it on the wrong side of the state line? Is negligent homicide while poaching different than negligent homicide while hunting? Or is stupidity while hunting more legally excusable than stupidity while poaching?

Inquiring minds want to know...
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Old November 21, 2002, 08:57 PM   #2
KilgorII
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A deer poacher (39 year old male) in the middle of October here in Fayetteville, Arkansas shot and killed a 16 year old male with buckshot on public land because he heard a sound.

He's paying a $250 dollar fine for poaching only because he admitted it. There are no charges filed for the manslaughter or reckless endangerment.

 
Old November 24, 2002, 12:36 PM   #3
Cadwallader
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Two categories of charges are going on here - the WI DNR will cite the guy for illegal hunting - 1. no WI license, 2. hunting before the season started (in WI), and MI DNR will get him for not wearing blaze orange. He may get his WI/MI hunting priveliges revoked for a few years depending on what the county judges think of those citations.

Charges relating to the shooting are a different matter, and the state boundary/hunting season details don't matter - the Vilas County DA decides if charges will be filed based only on the facts of the shooting.
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Old November 24, 2002, 02:17 PM   #4
Kernel
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An unfortunately example of why you should never use the scope on your rifle to “look” for game. Get a pair of binoculars. That guy would be alive if his buddy had been using binoculars or a spotting scope. Never point a rifle (or the scope on that rifle) at something you don’t want to kill. Guys who use their rifle’s scope for spotting are idiots.... in this case a homicidal idiot. -- Kernel
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