Hunter Mistakes Car For Wild Boar And Kills Driver

A short-sighted hunter who shot a car driver dead and wounded his passenger after bizarrely mistaking them for wild pigs is facing 5 years in jail.

Zbigniew Kowalski, 60, from the town of Leczyca in central Poland, had been out hunting in a nearby forest when he spotted the car containing victims Lukasz Nowakowski, 21, who survived, and Josef Kuchar, 23, who later died.

Mistaking the car for a wild boar he had let off a volley of shots, hitting Kuchar in the neck and Nowakowski in the chest.

Prosecutor Krzystof Kopania said: “The two men were wounded, but the driver Josef Kuchar, who later died, managed to drive them both to his home where his parents immediately called an ambulance.

“But by the time he got to hospital it was too late.

“We identified the hunter, he was immediately detained and he confirmed that he had mistakenly shot at the car. He realised his mistake when the ‘wild boar’ started its engine and drove off, but because whoever had driven off had clearly been alive he assumed he had missed the vehicle.”

Kowalsk later said he had not called police as a result and had carried on hunting. It was only when police cars turned up that and he was questioned by officers did he realise he had indeed hit somebody in the car.

Police confirmed that he will now be charged with manslaughter.


Hunter pleads not guilty to starting massive California wildfire


(Reuters) – A California hunter pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to charges that he started a massive wildfire on the edge of Yosemite National Park last summer after building an illegal campfire.

Keith Matthew Emerald, 32, entered his plea in U.S. District Court in Fresno almost exactly a year after prosecutors say he sparked the Rim Fire, which scorched 260,000 acres on public and private land in and near the park.

Emerald, who lives near the area burned by the fire, is charged with setting timber afire, leaving a fire unattended, violating campfire restrictions and giving a false statement to a government agency. He is expected to be released from custody after his $60,000 bail is posted.

Federal prosecutors say Emerald built a fire in the remote dry brush of Stanislaus National Forest, where temporary campfire restrictions were in effect because of drought, while on a bow-and-arrow hunting trip last August.

Embers from the campfire reached parched branches overhead and sparked the devastating wildfire named after the Rim of the World lookout spot nearby.

The flames scorched 402 square miles, destroyed nearly 100 structures and cost more than $127 million.

“The Rim Fire was one of the largest in California history and caused tremendous economic and environmental harm,” said Scott Harris, a U.S. Forest Service special agent in charge of the area where the Rim Fire took place. “While those harms cannot be undone, today we have brought criminal charges relating to the cause of that fire.”

Rescuers airlifted Emerald from the burning forest about an hour after the wildfire began, according to court documents. Emerald initially told investigators that he did not set fire to anything during his trip.

Federal prosecutors say that Emerald lit a campfire and then lied about it to investigators. If convicted of all four counts, he faces a maximum sentence of six years in prison and $510,000 in fines. He is scheduled to appear in court again on Oct. 14.

Emerald’s attorneys were not immediately available for comment.

(Reporting by Jennifer Chaussee from San Francisco; Editing by Sharon Bernstein and Eric Walsh)


Giant anteaters kill two hunters in Brazil

By Agence France-Presse
Saturday, July 26, 2014

Giant anteaters in Brazil have killed two hunters in separate incidents, raising concerns about the animals’ loss of habitat and the growing risk of dangerous encounters with people, researchers said.

The long-nosed, hairy mammals are not typically aggressive toward people and are considered a vulnerable species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), largely due to deforestation and human settlements that encroach on their territory.

However, they have poor vision and if frightened, they may defend themselves with front claws that are as long as pocketknives.

The case studies of two fatal attacks by giant anteaters were described in the journal Wilderness and Environmental Medicine, which released the paper online this month, ahead of its publication in the December print issue.

“Both were farmers, were hunting and were attacked by wounded or cornered animals,” lead author Vidal Haddad of the Botucatu School of Medicine at Sao Paulo State University told AFP.

In the first case, a 47-year-old man was hunting with his two sons and his dogs when they came upon a giant anteater in northern Brazil. The hunter did not shoot at the animal, but he approached it with his knife drawn.

The anteater stood on its hind legs and grabbed the man with its forelimbs, causing deep puncture wounds in his thighs and upper arms.

The hunter bled to death at the scene, said the report, which noted that the encounter happened on August 1, 2012 but had not been described in scientific literature until now.

The other case involved a 75-year-old man who died in 2010 when an anteater used its long front claws — which typically help it dig into anthills — to puncture his femoral arteries, located in the groin and thigh.

“These injuries are very serious and we have no way of knowing whether it is a defense behavior acquired by the animals,” said Haddad.

He stressed that such attacks are rare, but said they are important because they show the need for people to give wild animals plenty of space.

- Easily startled -

Giant anteaters (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) are believed to be extinct in Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala and Uruguay. Some 5,000 exist in the wild and can be found in parts of Central and South America.

Overall their numbers have declined about 30 percent in the past decade due to habitat loss, roadkills, hunting, wildfires and burning of sugar cane plantations, according to the IUCN.

They range in length from four to seven feet (1.2-2 meters), and may weigh as much as 100 pounds (45 kilograms).

Giant anteaters eat mainly insects but they also enjoy citrus andHNTSTK_1_2__66133_1314490481_1280_1280 avocados, according to zookeeper Rebecca Lohse who works with them in captivity at the Reid Park Zoo in Tucson, Arizona.

“They are animals that can startle quickly — planes going overheard, chainsaws, leaf blowers can startle them,” she said.

“The way they defend themselves is by standing up on their rear legs and swinging their front legs in from the side,” she explained.

“They have incredibly muscular forearms and those claws are several inches long.”

Zookeepers generally avoid being in the same space as the animals, coaxing them into separate fenced-off areas when they approach their living quarters for cleaning, she added.

Anteater expert Flavia Miranda, who works with the animals in Brazil, said she was concerned that the journal article could cause more woes for a creature that already faces plenty of threats to its livelihood.

“We have a lot of problems with this species because people believe that (they) bring bad luck and kill the animal on purpose,” she told AFP in an email.

“But I understand the importance of the article because recently I also had an accident with a giant anteater that almost cost me my life.”


Friends thought rifles were unloaded in deadly accident

By Published: Jun 25, 2014

MASON COUNTY, Wash. — The Skokomish tribe near Shelton is mourning the death of 14-year-old Ciqala Miller. Deputies believe he was accidentally shot to death by his 13-year-old friend as both boys pointed hunting rifles at each other believing they weren’t loaded.

In court documents, the boy said he and Ciqala had spent the day fishing and were playing around at Ciqala’s house on Skokomish tribal land north of Shelton Tuesday evening.

“They were even arguing over who caught the bigger fish and playing and they both grabbed rifles and were playing and one of the rifles went off,” said Mason county chief criminal deputy Ryan Spurling.

The 13-year-old immediately went looking for help.

“The young boy come running out and was asking us to call 911 and was really panicky,” said neighbor Annette Smith.

Smith said she was first at the house to find Ciqala on the floor of the hallway taking his last breaths with little chance of saving him.

“There was no way,” she said.

Ciqala is from a prominent Skokomish family. His uncle is the tribal chairman. His father, Rick, is a prominent hunter. No word yet on whether the prosecutor will pursue the fact that hunting rifles were so easily accessible.

“There are different firearms rules as far as has a child had a hunter-safety class, have they hunted, that type of thing. Handguns are different than long guns in some of those respects,” Spurling said.

Smith is also a member of the tribal council.

“There’s also accidents that do happen and this one here was a really bad accident,” she said. “I really feel bad for both families.”

Both families expressed concern the 13-year-old was in a fragile mental state and on suicide watch in juvenile detention. They asked for him to be allowed to go home under house arrest while the legal process moved ahead. The judge agreed.

Tuesday night tribal members say they gathered around Ciqala’s body as it was brought out and sang while holding candles to allow the spirit to leave. There will be a candle walk at the tribal center to continue the traditional sendoff on Wednesday night.

Home detention after fatal hunting accident


The Southland hunter who shot a fellow deerstalker after mistaking him for a deer earlier this year has been sentenced to seven months home detention, 400 hours of community service and ordered to pay $10,000 to his victim’s partner.

On April 13 Wayne Edgerton from Tuatapere mistook Adam Hill, 25, for a deer and shot him while hunting in the Longwood Forest in Western Southland.

Earlier Edgerton pleaded guilty of reckless use of a firearm causing death.

Several victim impact reports read to the Invercargill District Court yesterday talked about the impact of losing a young man and Edgerton’s stupidity, and they asked that he be imprisoned.

On hearing the sentence delivered by Judge Michael Turner, several people walked from the court muttering their dissatisfaction.

Judge Turner described the incident as Edgerton, a well known local gun safety advocate, as having a momentary lapse of care which had tragic consequences for both families.

Judge Turner ordered Edgerton to pay the victim’s partner, Christine Pink $10,000 for emotional harm and the forfeit of his firearm.

Oglesby man dead after hog hunting accident


Saturday, June 21, 2014

By OLIVIA MESSER Waco Tribune-Herald

A man died Thursday night after he was crushed by an ATV while hog hunting in Coryell County.

William King, 73, from Oglesby, was hunting with three other men on four-wheelers near county roads 315 and 344 at about 11:00 p.m. when the accident happened, said Coryell County Sheriff Johnny Burks.

When they approached the Leon River, King reportedly fell off the bank about 20 feet down, and the ATV fell on top of him, Burks said.

When King’s friends ran down to pull the four-wheeler off, he was initially responsive and said he was fine. They reportedly called 911, but in the time it took deputies and emergency medical personnel to arrive, King stopped breathing.

Justice of the Peace Coy Latham pronounced King dead on scene.

“It appears to be an accidental death,” Burks said.

“People have four-wheeler accidents all the time, and lots of people go out hog hunting at night. We have a lot of hogs in Coryell County, and it’s not unusual.”

Fox shoots man: Wounded creature pulls the trigger on rifle hunter was using to finish him off

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

A hunter became the hunted after a fox managed to shoot him with his own gun.

The stricken animal somehow pulled the trigger of the man’s shotgun with its paw, hitting him in the leg.

The bizarre incident happened as the unnamed 40-year-old hunter tried to kill the fox with the butt of his gun after shooting it from a distance.

The fox made its escape while friends took the injured man to hospital.

‘The animal fiercely resisted and in the struggle accidentally pulled the trigger with its paw,’ said a police officer called to the scene in the Grodno region of Belarus.

Fox hunting is popular in the picturesque farming region in the north-west of the country, close to the border with Poland.

The hunter, who asked for his name to be withheld to save his embarrassment, was still in hospital yesterday.

One official said: ‘I have never heard of anything like this before. ‘The hunter couldn’t believe it either. He was in shock.’

Foxes are not protected in Belarus because they transmit rabies.

The region is also a popular destination for hunters of elk, wild boar and even wolves. But from now on, they may not want to get too close to the animals they are stalking.

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Man shot while coyote hunting

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

by Sharyn Jackson

An 18-year-old man was shot Saturday night in Black Hawk County while coyote hunting with three others, according to a release from the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s office.

Four individuals who were hunting coyotes returned to a residence southeast of Hudson. According to the release, “one of the subjects had pointed his shotgun in the direction of another subject and the gun discharged.”

Alex Lee Bratten, 18, of Jesup, was shot in his right shoulder. Bratten was transported to Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo with a serious injury and then transported to University of Iowa Hospitals in Iowa City. The injury is not life-threatening, police said.

The case remains under investigation.

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18-year-old woman shot while turkey hunting

Updated: 2014-05-09T13:03:49Z

The Associated Press

— Authorities are investigating after an 18-year-old high school student said she was shot while turkey hunting at a northwest Missouri lake, and the shooter left without helping.

The woman told authorities told authorities she was hunting turkeys at the lake by herself when she was shot. KMBC-TV reports that she yelled for help but the shooter left. The girl was shot in the leg but was able to drive herself to the hospital, where she might need surgery.

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson,

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson,

Delta man dies in apparent hunting accident

by Amulya Raghuveer

Posted: 04.17.2014


DELTA, OHIO — Fulton County officials say a man who reportedly went out hunting for woodchucks Wednesday morning was found dead hours later.

According to the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, authorities were called to the scene of a possible hunting accident in Fulton Township, Delta around 1:45 p.m. Wednesday.

An investigation revealed the body of 51-year-old Chad Spiess. The man’s body was found on his own property on County Road H.

Spiess had reportedly gone out woodchuck hunting earlier that day. He was later found dead with a gunshot wound to his chest.

The case remains under investigation by Fulton County sheriff’s deputies.

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson