Hunters “Become the Hunted,” Squeal

Wis. Hunters Apparently Shot at by ‘Animal Lover’

Updated at: 10/23/2013  By: Beth McDonough, KSTP

Hunters looking for ducks, find trouble. The harrowing hunting story happened in Barron County in Western Wisconsin.

Two men were shot at, numerous times, while hunting legally in Cameron. The man who opened fire, is only facing minor charges.

Both sides are telling their stories to Eyewitness News.

It’s the heart of duck hunting season. On Sunday, a marsh looked like it does, perfect, for outdoorsman, “we knew it was going to be a great day, it started out good.”

Yet within minutes of shooting two mallards, the hunters became the hunted.

A stranger lurking in the nearby woods, got mouthy, “he went off on a rant about how we shouldn’t be here, we should be in Afghanistan if we were gonna shooting something,” says Levi Johnston.

Then, that stranger, Van Hawkinson, got a gun, “for a moment there, I got angry and was hurt, I jumped in the vehicle took a .410 with me, what’s that gonna do? I shot out at the corn field up in the air, I had my weapon like so.”

We asked duck hunter David Reichenberger if he felt targeted, “oh absolutely, if he had a .22 or any other lethal weapon he could’ve killed us.”

Reichenberger and Johnston were in a canoe. No way to escape. The shots were close enough to scare them. And that’s the point, “I’m an animal lover and bird lover. I don’t like to see things die, especially for the sport of killing,” says Hawkinson.

Although the hunters were on private land, they had permission from the owner to be there. Authorities arrested and charged the 64-year-old with dangerous use of a weapon and disorderly conduct, which are misdemeanors and considered minor crimes by the law.

We asked Hawkinson if he was sorry, “yes, why? Because I went to jail for it.” He was there for one night, then he was free on $1,000 bond.

“That’s it?” That’s what David Reichenberger and Levi Johnston want to know, “he got nothing for basically trying to kill us, how is it you can shoot somebody and the next day get out of jail?”

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16 thoughts on “Hunters “Become the Hunted,” Squeal

  1. why SHOULD he get more then that as punishment? he had no intention to kill them he just wanted them to stop murdering animals for sick amusement. and got mad, shot up in the air. Boo hoo those poor murderous motherfuckers must have been so upset. nevermind the animals they just killed for fun, thats okay. blood-lust is fine. fucked up bullshit.

  2. EVERY TIME a hunters shoots an innocent human bystander, it’s called an “accident” and they walk away scot-free, even if the victim dies. So why not the other way around?

  3. I know situations happen fast but that aside, try to pick your fights so that the public, who generally love animals, will get past years of hunter’s brainwashing and see your point and you as a kind of an animal’s rights folk hero. Track down the worst of the worst offenders. The ones who are the sexual sadist animal torture psychopaths who transfer their hate for rules and government and Native Americans all into the brutal slaughter of harmless creatures that are not considered food like coyotes and wolves or wolfdogs. Domestic pets, too. Many cases you never hear about where some jerk with a restraining order for DV goes back when his ex is working and does every evil thing to her dog he wants to do to her. Vets get these poor animals all the time. Some have even been raped! I did one rescue out of a situation like that when I was younger. Now I serve the dying elderly veterans and old mushers, letting them die in peace knowing their dog has a good forever home. My change of motive came with going through the hospice process when my mom died. I saw that there was no one serving that need. So I do. But I can still mess up the hunters and poachers hunt with an air horn right off my back deck. 🙂

  4. Its quite how ironic how these hunters are horrified that they were a target oblivious to the fact no human or animal wish to be hunted down and shot but that they are quite happy to turn the gun on some innocent creature not harming anyone, some humans can be unbelievably arrogant and selfish.

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