View Full Version : Accidental Shooting

November 23, 2001, 07:09 PM
Guys, tell me if I am "over-reacting".
My brother in law had invited me on a phesant hunt in South Dakota this month but, due to finances, I could not make it. At Thanksgiving dinner, he casualy tells me that one of the hunters accidentially shot another at about 150 ft. They took the guy to the hospital and the surgeon removed 6 pellets. No serious injury.
It was a new, young hunter and gee, everybody is really close in one of these bird hunts. No big deal. The guy who was shot "took it in stride and laughed it off" said my bro. in law. My reaction was a little stunned and upset to say the least. I cautioned him to not invite me to a hunt with that guy on board who did the shooting. My father in law quickly chimmed in "you are over reacting a little aren't you?" I told him that I tend to get a little excited after taking six pellets to the body. Even my wife does not see the problem. I told her that the hunter violated gun safety rule number three..."know your target and what is beyond it".
Well, am I over- reacting?

November 23, 2001, 07:25 PM
I don't think you are over reacting. I grew up in SD and have hunted pheasants there plenty over the past 20 years. Never has someone I've been with gotten shot. Most likely, one guy was blocking the end and the other was walking. I'd be concerned for the young hunter and make sure he reviewed the hunter safety course before I let him out again.


November 23, 2001, 07:32 PM
Nope, you're not over reacting. Every hunter in a group has to understand and agree to abide by safe "zones of fire," one of the ways to implement the "Know your target . . ." rule when walking with shotgunners. Practically speaking, I don't hunt with people I've not previously gone to the range with. If I'm not comfortable with their general gun handling, ain't no way I'm going afield with them.

Fred Hansen
November 23, 2001, 08:04 PM
No you aren't over reacting, I became a Hunter Ed. Inst. because of brain-damaged incidents like this. Each one is a nail in huntings coffin. Since when is a goofy bird like a pheasant worth someones eyesight, or life????

I would never hunt with people that took such a casual attitude about someone being shot. I am not suggesting that mistakes never occur. I am just saying that for me, attitude around guns, is everything. :eek: :( :mad: :mad:

November 23, 2001, 09:43 PM
I agree, no overreaction on your part! There's no such thing as an accidental shooting. Only reckless handling.

November 23, 2001, 09:53 PM
You're not over-reacting a bit.

Double Naught Spy
November 23, 2001, 11:56 PM
Of course you are over reacting! How dare you suggest something that might be offensive to the unsafe hunter. Besides, they were only shotgun pellets, right?

I stood in line behind a kid a couple of years ago. He had a mangled upper arm that looked nasty, by long healed. Come to find out, he had been deer hunting with his father and uncle. Each had their own tree stand and were widely spaced and out of sight from one another. The plans were to leave around 930 or 10:00 if no one had scored. No luck in hunting and around 10:00 am, the father packed up and proceeded to his son's stand. He got packed up and they headed towards the uncle's stand. Both were wearing blaze orange vests. Well the uncle was getting uptight, realizing it was getting late and he still had not bagged a deer. Then he spotted movement in the brush and fired. He had no identified target, just moving foliage. The round struck the kid in the upper arm, shattering the bone, tearing up muscle, and leaving the arm slightly shorter than before it was hit.

Guns are some serious stuff. Stupid mistakes can have horrendous consequences.

Art Eatman
November 24, 2001, 12:19 AM
There's another problem with all this: somebody who's not paying attention to what other folks are doing, when they're on birds and getting ready to shoot.

My own bloomin' father! He was off to my right rear, when I spotted some blue quail. He was maybe ten feet behind; ten feet to my right. I moved forward around 20 or 30 feet. A quail flushed. I tracked and shot at maybe 75 degrees right of center.

Now, you'd expect that somebody who's been in the field for 50 or 60 years would be paying attention, right? Wrong. Danged if I know why or when, but he had moved right and a little to my front, about 40 yards or so out from me!

Fortunately only one pellet actually lodged under the skin of his arm. This instance was definitely one of "It takes two to tango." The third guy along with us had drifted left, but stayed at least 90 degrees to me and hadn't gotten forward.

If you're walking with folks, make sure that you don't get out ahead of that imaginary 90-degree line. Sure, the shooter is supposed to look, but you gotta make sure he knows where you are. It's a two-way street.

I imagine any experienced bird-hunter has a sort of compass in his head about the angles of a cone of fire, a safe zone. If the bird gets past that imaginary line, you hold off taking the shot. But it sure never even crossed my mind that my father could have been within 20 yards of where he was...

Never forget that an adrenalin rush causes vision to close down to that old tunnel, and peripheral vision just goes away. It's particularly bad if you're on the shooter's right side, since he also has the added handicap of his arm up as he positions his gun.


November 24, 2001, 04:27 AM
At the range we cut down huge long safety rule posters to one liners -

Death is final - unsafe handling wil not be tolerated.

Bird shot this time - what if it had been buck - or a rifle. The principal is the same. Only an idiot banks upon a 'finite leathality' to his given weapon and load on a given day.

The incident indicates an inadequate state of mind. That leaves open the potential for further incidents. I do not stay around people like that - whether they are using a gun, chainsaw, vehicle, frozen turkey etc etc.

I still shudder at pictures of the 'elite' entry units who place their muzzle against the body armour of the guy in front.

November 24, 2001, 11:24 AM
Not overreacting. Sounds to me as if you had gone with them, you would have been the only one in the group with any sense.


Art Eatman
November 24, 2001, 12:30 PM
Shifting to the issue of rifles, I gave up hunting with one friend. He never paid attention to where anybody else was, when walking across country.

It's more than a bit un-nerving to put the crosshairs on a buck in front of you, and Oops!, there's a person walking into your line of fire. He was only 100 yards to my side of where he was supposed to be, and 75 to 100 yards in front!

So, "Hey, why don't you check out that country west of here; I'm gonna look over east along that canyon..."


November 25, 2001, 12:00 AM
You are certainly NOT over reacting. I would have probably taken this one step further than you did. If no one else in this particular group thought there was a problem with this situation. Then I doubt that I would hunt with them as well. Gun safety in my book is not to be taken lightly.

I will give my life for my country, or in defense of my family and myself. I refuse to give up my life because someone is just to stupid to know how dangerous guns can be in the wrong hands.

November 25, 2001, 12:11 AM
After reading Art's response it reminding me of a similar situation. Back in the late 70's I was hunting with a buddy from school. We were hunting rabbits and walking through some brush when his gun went off. He yelled and fell down, out of sight. After making sure he was all right. I found out what really happened. He was walking with the safety off and his finger on the trigger. All this and walking through heavy brush as well. He was carrying the gun with the butt resting on his hip and the barrel pointing up (thank God). So the recoil double him over.

I unloaded my shotgun and walked back to my truck and left. He never asked to go hunting again but I think he got the general idea I wouldn't be interested. Even while I'm writing this I'm sitting here shaking my head.

There are truely some people that shouldn't be allowed to hunt or use guns.

November 28, 2001, 10:26 PM
I can recall a similar situation where some guys were grouse hunting in North Carolina. One guy shot another one in the back with a shotgun. There must have been more than 80 pellet wounds to the guys back. Luckly he made a full recovery but will have the scars for life.
Here are some bad experiences I have had over the years. I once was a victim of some shotgun pellets on a dove hunt. The pellets hit my left arm and shoulder but did little damage due to the fact that the hunter that fired the shot was a good distance away.
If I can help it I no longer hunt with careless people. I almost got my head blown off with a 12 gauge shotgun one time. The person did not have the safety on and moments later decided he would test the trigger or safety. The blast went about 3 feet over my head.A mad rage flew all over me after I realized that the careless person had almost taken my life. The person was in total shock after he realized what had taken place. Needless to say I never get around that person anymore with guns for the fear of him being careless again.
An accident while using firearms is no laughing matter and should be taken serious. It just takes one mistake for someone to loose their life.

November 29, 2001, 06:19 PM
My old boss, and hunting buddy, was dove hunting one day with his two sons. He was kneeling down dressing a bird when his son shot at a dove. His son was at another end of the field, over 100 yards away. One of the pellets from his gun angled in and hit his father on his eyebrow. The pellet bounced off the eyebrow, down into his glasses, and back into his eye. He lost that eye. What a freak accident. But then again, they never should have been set up like they were. What a shame.

December 1, 2001, 04:45 AM
Do they REALLY think it's okay to go hunting with others who SHOOT YOU?

Tell your wife you'll be dropping your life insurance before you go.

That's not moronic; it's criminal (at least in this state).

December 1, 2001, 10:37 PM
the other weekend 2 guys from my shchool or pheasant hunting-they were standing a good length apart and were staying in a good line-but they werent perfect-the one kid swung too far and he shot up at it-and the pellet came down-4-5-6 shot-whichever and skimmed his eye, he was very lucky and should be fortunate, personaly i would never go hunting with this kid because he is very irresponsible, i dont think ur overacting, its sorta like, do u care abuot wondering if u'll come home after a trip?, sorta like taking a chance not worth it, ex-going 150 down the highway and cutting people off.

December 1, 2001, 11:16 PM
I don't think you're overreacting. You only get one life.

December 3, 2001, 06:16 PM
Well, you're not overreacting except for the "never" attitude. If the kid learned his lesson he learned his lesson. I once had a guy inadvertantly point his .44 mag at my face on the range while he was looking down range. Scared the crud out of me and I called him on it. He felt stupid enough as it was, so there was no point in beating him over the head with it. Since then he is the most careful shooter I've ever seen.

I always give people a second chance.

December 4, 2001, 08:59 AM
...I've found that most times when the wife agrees with her side of the clan on something I don't, it's best to keep my arguements to myself. Especially when they're carving the big bird. Could tend to make for some cold bed sheets for a few nights. :D

During my highschool years...My hunting buddy was once shot with #6s from about 45 yards by a new kid we had brought along. First and last time that happened. The "new kid" rode in the back of the pickup 25 miles to his home braving 10-15 degree temps, and arrived there with a real fresh mouse under one eye.

December 4, 2001, 02:48 PM
I am a Hunter Ed. instructor, and I too feel the only part that is "over" in your reaction is the "never" part. Each situation is unique, so I won't generalize here (too much), but we ALL make mistakes every now an again. If every time we made a mistake some friend or acquaintence decided to "never" be around us again we'd all be pretty lonely folks in probably less time than we think.

My personal bottom line on this one is I'm ALWAYS watching out for the other guy, 'cause if I can make a mistake so can he/she.

My $0.02.
(You get what you pay for.)