View Full Version : (MN) 89-year-old deer hunter charged in shooting of horse

November 20, 2002, 03:56 PM
The Associated Press State & Local Wire

November 20, 2002, Wednesday, BC cycle

7:41 AM Eastern Time

SECTION: State and Regional

LENGTH: 195 words

HEADLINE: 89-year-old deer hunter charged in shooting of horse


An 89-year-old deer hunter was charged with a misdemeanor after allegedly shooting a white horse that was being ridden by a 12-year-old girl in western Minnesota.

Clinton Hurlbut, of Browns Valley, was charged with reckless use of a firearm after he allegedly fired a shotgun slug from his property about 200 yards from where Lindsey Duffield was riding her horse, Princess. The horse was shot in the shoulder and the slug narrowly missed the girl's leg.

Hurlbut told authorities he thought he had seen a deer.

Traverse County Sheriff Don Montonye said Hurlbut feels terrible about the Nov. 9 shooting. "He's taking it real hard," Montonye said.

The girl was riding on her grandfather's farm on the outskirts of Browns Valley, a town of 800 near the South Dakota border. Her mother, Candy Duffield, said Hurlbut has apologized.

"He just sat and cried the whole time," Duffield said. "He gave her a hug and she hugged him at the end. It was an accident."

Princess is recovering from the gunshot wound, but even if the horse survives, it might not be able to be ridden again.

Hurlbut is scheduled to appear Thursday in Traverse County District Court.

LOAD-DATE: November 20, 2002

November 20, 2002, 06:49 PM

"Be sure of your target and what is beyond it."

Words to live by no matter how bad the buck fever gets.

November 20, 2002, 08:43 PM
also..make sure ur competent to use that weapon..a deer looks ALOT different than a horse at 200 yards with a young girl on top..no rack, the girl..size, porportions, shape, etc.

Did he have binoculars? Can he see that far to even get a good look at what it was..200 yards with a slug is a pretty good distance, and if eh thought a horse with a girl riding on it was a buck, he could have shot a doe alot easier

Art Eatman
November 20, 2002, 09:42 PM
I often wonder just what some folks think they're doing, when out hunting. There was the case up in (IIRC) Colorado, 20+ years back, where a guy shot separately at two young kids, brothers, on mini-bikes; he thought they were elk. I think one of the kids survived...

Or the hunter who shot a mule. Two kids riding on the mule, returning to the house from their father's plowing. When asked what he thought he was shooting, he replied, "Moose." When asked about horns, he pointed to the hames on the collar. No moose had been seen in that part of Penn or NY in 40-50 years. And protected animal, at that!


November 21, 2002, 12:28 AM
& 'bout 12 yrs back we here in CO had a guy shoot a guide's horse - with said guide riding along. 4 point antler restriction too boot.

"Shooter's" excuse? Too dark to know for sure ... :barf:

Double Naught Spy
November 21, 2002, 01:01 AM
The old coot had a 12 ga. slug gun that he would accurately shoot at 200 yards? I find it odd that he could line up the shot and shoot so accurately and yet not know it wasn't some giant albino white deer being ridden by some pixy fairy.
I would be really interested to know what shotgun he was using and what the drop rate is for a 12 ga slug round at that distance. I would guess that it would be fairly substantial.

Navy joe
November 21, 2002, 01:23 AM
Jeff Foxworthy: "Poor Earl, he was just sittin in the driveway. In his brown car with a white license plate....Never had a chance."

Around my original parts it is not unheard of for owner of brown horses and cows to paint "HORSE" or "COW" on them with blaze orange or hot pink paint. All our dogs wore blaze orange collars. Human clothing was selected to not be natural colors. And still the wrong things get shot.

Side note: Wore a light brown T-shirt to an IPSC match, felt vaguely uncomfy all day.

Art Eatman
November 21, 2002, 09:23 AM
It could be rural leend--as opposed to urban legend--that a farmer who painted "C-O-W" on the side of Ol' Bossie found her dead, a hole in the middle of the "O". :(

I won't wear a white tee shirt when hunting. The danger, usually, is when returning to camp in the evening. That white Vee at the neck has been known to be a target.

More than one hunter has been shot out of a tree for a bear or a turkey, as well.

For perspective on all these horror stories, though, ya gotta remember that of the millions of hunters, there are only a very, very few "war stories" per year. That's better odds than commuter traffic.


November 21, 2002, 01:31 PM
Half a century ago watched a flatlander hang his deer tag on one of my goats.:D


November 21, 2002, 02:13 PM
A guy in Oak Ridge smoked an elk a few weeks back. His excuse was it was too dark to know it wasn't a white tail. :eek:

November 21, 2002, 11:43 PM
And I quote : "AND WHAT'S BEYOND IT"

Hell, last week we had a State trooper shot through the neck with a shotgun slug. Someone loves him, as it somehow managed to miss the useful bits.
This man should go to Vegas.

November 23, 2002, 03:32 PM
I had a friend of mine that was deer hunting (archery) from a tree stand with a friend of his. He saw an old man walking through the woods with his grandson and a 12 gauge double. He saw the old man stop and look at him up in the tree. He waved at the old man, the old man raised the side by side and knocked him right out of the tree with a load of 7-1/2. Butch was hollering at him. The old man was truly astounded. He apologized and said he thought he was a squirrel! Butch asked him if he ever saw a f*****g 290 pound squirrel wearing an orange hat. :D

Hell he played pulling guard just 3 years before this happened for the University of Southwestern Louisiana Division 1A school ....... a squirrel? Woudda took a lot of onions to smother that one down.

Butch said the fall through all the branches and into that briar patch hurt a hellofa lot more than the shot did. Only 2 penetrated and they worked their way out on their own. He did have 2 bruised ribs and had to miss a 7 day hitch of work offshore.......... I told him oh well it was worth it then for a week off with pay! :)

November 23, 2002, 07:53 PM
An 89-year-old deer hunter cannot use a gun for a year after accidentally...
Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS - An 89-year-old deer hunter cannot use a gun for a year after accidentally shooting a horse that was being ridden by a 12-year-old girl in western Minnesota.

Clinton Hurlbut, of Browns Valley, pleaded guilty Thursday to misdemeanor reckless use of a gun.

He fired a shotgun slug from his property on Nov. 9, the opening day of deer-hunting season, at what he said he thought was a deer. The slug struck a white horse that Lindsey Duffield was riding about 200 yards away.

Hurlbut also was fined $700, ordered to pay restitution and placed on supervised probation for one year. A 90-day jail sentence was stayed for one year by Traverse County District Judge Jon Stafsholt.

Hurlbut's shot struck the horse named Princess in the shoulder and narrowly missed Lindsey's leg. Princess is recovering, but it's unlikely that it can be ridden again.

Lindsey's father, Dave Duffield, told the judge that Hurlbut had apologized and that the family didn't want him to do jail time.

"We were just hoping he wouldn't be able to buy a hunting license again," said Lindsey's mother, Candy Duffield. "This guy has gone through enough. He's really taken this hard. He said he would pay for all the horse expenses. He has been very generous."


November 23, 2002, 11:41 PM
I won't wear a white tee shirt when hunting. The danger, usually, is when returning to camp in the evening. That white Vee at the neck has been known to be a target.
I always keep a stash of blue and red handkerchiefs for wiping my face or nose. That flash of white right on my face made me too uncomfortable.