As hunting season approaches, here are your cautionary tales.
In November 1904, George Brown of Milladore was on his way to the hunting grounds when an accident occurred that nearly cost him his life.
It was early morning when Brown, who was carrying a shotgun loaded with buckshot, slipped and fell on the frozen ground. One barrel of the gun discharged as Brown fell, causing enough recoil to throw the gun from his hand and upon landing, the second barrel was discharged. The buckshot caught Brown in the side, arm and shoulder and his hand was also badly lacerated.
The Stevens Point Daily Journal reported Brown was able to get help at once and was taken to Stevens Point hospital and put under the care of Dr. Lathrop. Although the injuries were painful, full recovery was expected.
A year later, Will Shannon of McDill was thought to be fatally wounded when shot from a shotgun was discharged into the top of his head by a companion, Fay Hulce, while the two were duck hunting. Hulce had drawn a bead on a duck and just as he fired, the boat swung around causing the gun to discharge at the wrong time. Both men then fell overboard in the melee that followed. Shannon’s skull was fractured and he needed surgery and luckily survived. Another time, Shannon was stabbed several times, a story I covered a few years ago.
Our third man was not as lucky. In November 1891, William Zorn of Stevens Point went north to deer hunt in Rhinelander.
Zorn and friend George Gibson, former sheriff of Lincoln County, along with two other men went upriver about seven miles north of Rhinelander to an old logging camp where they headquartered and spent the night.
The following morning, the men went out. Believing a deer would take to one of the “runways” on either side of the ridge, the men separated, going in opposite directions, neither knowing where the other was. When a deer appeared, both saw him and both fired. Although nearly half-a-mile apart, with a ridge of ground between them. The bullet from Gibson’s gun must have dropped several feet to reach the spot where Zorn stood. It was a very unusual accident.
Zorn was shot through the right lung and out his back. He walked a short distance into open space and cried, “Oh, Gibson, I am shot.” Gibson told him then he must have been the one who shot him.
Gibson carried Zorn to the shanty and sent for help. It took an hour before two doctors arrived, and then one physician or the other stayed with Zorn until he died, more than a week later, after everything possible was done for him.
His father went to Rhinelander and brought the remains back to Point for burial. Zorn was 33.
Be safe out there!