View Full Version : Another Thing Not to do While Hunting

November 1, 2009, 07:05 AM

NH hunter shot while using rope to hoist rifle

OSSIPEE, N.H. - A New Hampshire deer hunter has accidentally shot himself in the right hand while trying to lift his loaded rifle into a tree stand using a rope tied around the weapon.

A state conservation officer says a branch or stick apparently got stuck in the trigger of Robert Lapointe's .50-caliber muzzleloader, setting it off at around 1:45 p.m. Saturday.

Mark Hensel of the state Fish and Game Department says the 63-year-old from Somersworth was hunting in Ossipee (AH'-sih-pee) on the first day of muzzleloader deer season.

Hensel says Lapointe has been taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland. A nursing supervisor there says he's being evaluated.

Hensel says Lapointe is expected to survive, but "shouldn't have been doing what he did."

Sadly age does not equate wisdom in this case.

Double Naught Spy
November 1, 2009, 07:14 AM
You know, somethings just seem apparently obvious that you should not do them, and then you read about somebody who does them.

My guess is that this wasn't the first time he hoisted his loaded and cocked muzzle loader into his stand.

The article didn't say who was holding his beer while he was hoisting. :D

November 1, 2009, 07:18 AM
The article didn't say who was holding his beer and he was hoisting.

Camelbak works great for beer, that way you can still drink but have both hands free for shooting. :D

As you said though, I'm sure this isn't the first time he's done it...it just caught up to him.

November 1, 2009, 07:21 AM
it is a wonder he didn't kill himself.

Double Naught Spy
November 1, 2009, 07:31 AM
head shot
it is a wonder he didn't kill himself.

um, "hand" shot

November 1, 2009, 08:59 AM
I just heard of something like this from the hunter's ed class I just took.Especially when crossing a fence and pulling the muzzle tword yourself,and a stick getting in the trigger.There was also a story of a man falling out of a tree onto his arrows,and the guy thought he was a gonner,but did survive.

Double Naught Spy
November 1, 2009, 09:37 AM
And Mark Hensel wasn't the only guy to apparently shoot himself while doing wrongful things on the opening day of muzzleloader season in New Hampshire. Both incidents appear to involve climbing up into trees or stands.

One man was killed and another injured in separate hunting mishaps in Rindge and Ossipee yesterday.

Timothy Letourneau, 21, of Rindge, was hunting with his brother about 3:45 p.m. yesterday behind 33 Old Jaffrey Road in Rindge on the first day of muzzleloader deer season when the accident occurred, according to Fish and Game Lt. Craig Morrocco.

The call to 911 was made by the homeowner, who had given permission to the two men to hunt.

Letourneau was taken to Monadnock Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The incident is still under investigation, but it appears Letourneau was either climbing into a tree stand or in the stand when he accidentally shot himself, Morrocco said.

"This incident demonstrates how imperative tree stand safety is," Morrocco said.

Morrocco said Letourneau's brother, who was not identified by name, didn't witness the accident.

In Ossipee, a Somersworth man in a tree stand accidentally shot himself in the hand yesterday afternoon.

Robert Lapointe, 63, was in the woods off Fogg's Ridge Road, near the Effingham town line, just before 2 p.m., conservation officer Mark Hensel said.

"He had just gotten up into a tree stand and was pulling the gun up by a rope when it went off in his hand," Hensel said.

Although Lapointe was alone at the time, his hunting companions were not far away. They helped him out of the woods and drove him to Huggins Hospital in Wolfeboro. He was later transferred to Maine Medical Center.

Hensel described Lapointe as having "severe damage" to his hand, but said the injury is not life-threatening.

Opening day for New Hampshire's regular firearms deer season takes place on Nov. 11.

Old Grump
November 1, 2009, 12:54 PM
um, "hand" shot

It was a hand shot but a few inches and it could have been a head shot or a gut shot, a few inches the other way and it could have been a complete miss.

False economy, he didn't want to waste a cap so he left his rifle armed. I got over that kind of cheap economy in 1973, no I won't tell the details but I was lucky and it only caused a broken finger which never healed straight so I have my reminder always.

Double Naught Spy
November 1, 2009, 02:42 PM
If you know it was just a few inches, then you must have seen it happen. Why didn't you stop him?

November 1, 2009, 02:47 PM
DNS, It is only logical and semi educated guess that only a few inches either way would have meant head/torso shot or clean miss...

November 1, 2009, 03:41 PM
I agree Brent. If you've ever pulled up an anchor, a pail of paint, ect; it's easy to imagine that if the muzzle was a couple inches in a different direction the story could have been an obituary or a very close call that is never reported.

Double Naught Spy
November 1, 2009, 09:34 PM
I have pulled up an anchor. I have also hoisted items over the rail of a tree stand without looking right down at them. You reach out and grab them with your hand as they come up to the top edge...nowhere near your head.

DNS, It is only logical and semi educated guess that only a few inches either way would have meant head/torso shot...

Now it is a head or torso shot? That all depends on the position of those parts relative to the muzzle and the direction of the muzzle. I guess one way you could look at it is that a hand shot is likely no more than 30" from the head or torso, maybe more like 24. However, let's not limit ourselves to just the head or head and torso. For all we know, the rifle was still 10 feel below him and he was standing up in the stand and the rifle fired upwards. It might have missed his feet by mere millimeters before striking an outstretched hand. It is a miracle he didn't shoot himself in the butt!

Without knowing the position of the rifle, position of the victim, orientation of the stand, etc., any claims that it missed any other parts of the body are hugely speculative.

Getting back to the original comment, however, of "head shot it is a wonder he didn't kill himself" it wasn't a head shot but a hand shot and so it isn't any wonder that he didn't kill himself. Had it been a head shot and he survived, that would be another story.

November 2, 2009, 01:18 AM
I hate to say it, as i'm from New Hampshire, but there are alot of hunters in NH that shouldn't be carrying firearms in the woods. You usually see it during rifle season but there are more and more people taking up muzzleloaders. I don't know why anyone would pull a weapon up to their tree stand with the muzzle pointing towards them, regardless if it's loaded or not, it's just not a good habit to get into. Come firearms season in NH, whether it's muzzleloader or rifle, if you don't wear hunters orange in the woods your asking to be shot. So many hunters here crash through the woods and shoot at anything that moves or makes noise, as scary as that is it's the truth.

That being said my condolences go out to their famalies and I hope the one man has a speedy recovery.

November 2, 2009, 07:18 AM
What, so he was hoisting it up cocked? Am I reading that right?

I'm not big on BP guns so may just not know something here...

roy reali
November 2, 2009, 07:28 AM
Doesn't removing the "cap" from the gun's nipple render it pretty harmless? I know at one range I used to go to, a loaded yet uncapped muzzleloader was considered unloaded as far as letting people go down-range.

Old Grump
November 2, 2009, 01:15 PM
Doesn't removing the "cap" from the gun's nipple render it pretty harmless? I know at one range I used to go to, a loaded yet uncapped muzzleloader was considered unloaded as far as letting people go down-range.

You are correct and that is why I said not removing the cap was a false economy. Hauling the rifle up capped and locked was stupid, pure and simple.

Also for the nit pickers note I said it could have been a head shot, gut shot or a clean miss. We don't know how far up the tree he was or how wildly the gun was swinging or if it got caught on something which would have pulled the barrel closer in line with the hand that had the rope.

Also note to the wise guy about why I didn't stop it. I didn't stop it because I wasn't there and if this guy had been doing stupid things like this on a regular basis my chances of wanting to walk in the woods with him would have been slim to non-existent anyway so its a moot point. Have I done dumb things like that, you betcha but and this is a real big 'but', I was a lot younger, I survived and I learned.

In my profession we had a saying, "There are young 'bold' electricians and there are 'old' electricians." I am an 'old' electrician. If you want to know how anal I am concerning gun safety ask my nephew. He got a royal cussing and kicked off the range and then a long talking to later. He won't forget.

November 2, 2009, 02:32 PM

You sound old and grumpy. :D

Uncle Buck
November 6, 2009, 09:31 AM
It amazes me when I read these stories and I make sure to share them with hunting friends.
Another stupid hunter trick I am always amazed at is the guys who put loaded rifles in their cars/trucks etc... and then when they get out and grab their rifles or shotguns, they pull them towards themselves by the barrel.
Back around '92 or '93 when I first came to Missouri, we went to a deer check in station and there was an ambulance and other emergency vehicles there. Apparently some guy was moving his rifle so he could pull the deer out of his truck and took a blast to the stomach. I do not know much more about the incidence other than what I was told and saw there, but I could not believe it.

November 9, 2009, 10:06 PM
I have a friend who moved here to Wyo a few years ago from Michigan. He started going on fishing,etc trips w/ me 2 years ago. He was rather amazed that I drove around w/ a couple rifles whose magazines were loaded. He puzzled and commented on it a few times which I thought somewhat amusing. Last year we went elk hunting together for a few days, utilizing my truck from area to area. At one point, after getting back into the truck, he once again commented about how funny it was that we drove around out here with our rifles loaded. His comment struck me funny and so I asked what his impression of it was. I discovered that he thought I meant that I had bullets in the chamber of each of my rifles. When I pulled over and stopped he looked at me funny. Then I suggested he take the round out of his chamber on his 300 weatherby. He complied.

Point being, when hunting by yourself, and particularly w/ someone else,,DO NOT assume anything. It's like talking about safety at work..it's worth doing on every level.

Major Dave (retired)
November 10, 2009, 02:10 PM
"many hunters here crash through the woods and shoot at anything that moves or makes noise, as scary as that is it's the truth. "

Since most state hunting regs require identifying whether the deer is a buck or a doe (and even restrict the hunter to a certain minimum number of points on a buck's rack), how on earth can a hunter pull the trigger on "anything that moves or makes noise"???!!!

"Well, officer, my cousin certainly SOUNDED like a legal buck, so I shot him"!!!

It happens here in East Texas, too. That's why I avoid weekends and school breaks (such as Thanksgiving and Christmas) when I hunt on public land. Too many fools in the woods those days!

Brian Pfleuger
November 10, 2009, 03:12 PM
I'm amazed that people continue to do things this stupid....

I'm also amazed that TFL members can find a way to fight about it.

November 10, 2009, 03:39 PM
If you are going to be that careless, have at it. Just make sure I am not around.