A Sanders County woman earlier this month accidentally shot and wounded her 10-year-old daughter in a grouse hunting accident, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. It was believed to be the first hunting-related shooting incident of the year.
Wayde Cooperider, FWP outdoor skills and safety supervisor, told Lee Newspapers on Tuesday the woman was unloading her .22 magnum on Oct. 11 when the firearm inadvertently discharged a round through the vehicle door, striking her daughter. The girl was transported to the hospital, Cooperider said.
The Sanders County Sheriff’s Office is conducting the investigation. Sanders County Sheriff Tom Rummel did not return a call from the Missoulian seeking further information on the girl’s condition and the investigation.
General rifle season begins in Montana on Oct. 26 for deer and elk. On Tuesday, Cooperider warned residents to be rigorous about their firearm safety measures.
“Be extra cautious,” he said. “Please unload your firearms away from your vehicle.”
Do not transport loaded firearms, and if hunting with another party, check each other’s firearms to make sure they are unloaded, Cooperider added.
The woman was with her children hunting forest grouse, he said. Her children were in the backseat while the vehicle was parked. When she got out to harvest a bird, she was unloading the firearm and it went off, Cooperider said. Another vehicle was approaching during the time of the accident, he said.
While Cooperider believes this is the first hunting-related shooting incident in 2019, he said its possible others have gone unreported.
“Montana is not a mandatory reporting state, which means I find out about this stuff either through our wardens or the news media,” he said.
Just last week, a Helena man was sentenced to nearly 3 1/2 years in state prison for an accidental fatal shooting after a hunting trip in 2018. Gregg Trude pleaded guilty to the charge in September, admitting he had placed a loaded firearm on the backseat of his truck before it discharged and killed Helena Dr. Eugene “Buzz” Walton.
Last hunting season, Montana experienced more hunting-related injuries and deaths than the past several combined, FWP said in an Oct. 18 release.
In the release, Cooperider reminded hunters of the four firearm rules taught at every Hunter Education course: “Always point your muzzle in a safe direction. Always treat every gun as if it were loaded. Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire. Always be sure of your target and beyond.”
“The merits or practice of walking around with a chambered round when big game hunting can be debated extensively,” Cooperider said in the release. “However, I believe it should always come down to ‘best safety practice.'”
I’m not making tjis up! This is an actual headline I just happened upon while google-searhing for honest to goodness hunting accidents for our website. Now, I’ve heard of deer hunting season and elk hunting season and bear hunting season, duck hunting and pheasant hunting season, but I can’t believe there are “sportsmen” and “sportswomen” out there who are actually thinking of holding a YOUTH hunting season!
Now I’ve heard everything. No sooner do these innocent little kids learn to walk, than they’re told to run… for thier lives. I bet some of these “sportsmen” won’t even give the youths (their targets, in this case) a ten-second head start before they start blasting at anything that walks swims or crawls… I mean, we’re talking about human beings here, not some “game” animals!! I know they’re just youths, but what about their rights?
Oops, uh, now that I actualy read past the headlines, I see that the article is really about youths having a special season to go out and blast non-humans, such as pheasants, quail and partridge. Well that’s different. Every young kid should have a chance to legally harvest their own lesser-beings for sport, hobby or just to spend time with their parents in the great outdoors. It’s not like the non-human targets have any rights at all. I mean, that would be crazy…
No, just go on out and have your fun. Here’s the real-world, mainstream AP article, if you’re just dying to know…………………………………….
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Youths 15 and younger are encouraged to participate in the statewide youth pheasant, quail and partridge season on Oct. 19-20.
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission says rooster pheasants will be released on 14 wildlife management areas before the 2019 youth season. Special youth hunts will be held only on the management areas.
The special youth hunts are open to the public and no registration or special permit is required.
The management areas are Powder Creek, (Dixon County), Oak Valley (Madison County), Wilkinson (Platte County), George Syas (Nance County), Sherman Reservoir (Sherman County), Pressey (Custer County), Cornhusker (Hall County), Kirkpatrick Basin North (York County), Branched Oak (Lancaster County), Yankee Hill (Lancaster County), Arrowhead (Gage County), Hickory Ridge (Johnson County), Twin Oaks (Johnson County), and Rakes Creek (Cass County).
Youths must be age 15 or younger; accompanying adults must be licensed hunters age 19 or older.
Go online at the commission website for more information
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A central Illinois owner of an outfitter service has pleaded guilty to federal charges that included deploying an electronic bird caller to lure geese into shooting range.
A statement from the U.S. attorney’s office in Springfield says 58-year-old Rick A. Hamm, of Chillicothe, pleaded guilty Thursday to illegal sale of wildlife.
Hamm and several assistant guides were charged after taking undercover agents posing as hunters on a 2015 hunt in Fulton County.
Prosecutors say Hamm knew electronic callers violated conservation laws. They incorporate recordings of waterfowl to signal contentment at feeding grounds and can lead to excessive kills because they are so effective.
Hamm’s sentencing is Jan. 9. An agreement calls for two years’ probation, a $50,000 fine and $2,500 in restitution. On probation, Hamm will be barred from hunting.
Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge near Chillicothe, Missouri, will be open for the second year for dove hunting during the Missouri season starting today.
Steve Whitson, refuge manager, said the Missouri dove hunting season will be held for the second year at the refuge starting Sept. 1. The recently approved Refuge Hunting Plan opened areas of the refuge to dove hunting.
He said the dove hunting area is located on the north end of the refuge near the Hunting Headquarters site.
“The spring flood took out mist of the crops on the unit so habitat conditions were impacted but we decided to keep the hunt open this year,” Whitson said.
Last year, there were 29 hunters that participated in the opening weekend and 71 doves were harvested.
Hunters must check in at the Hunting Headquarters prior to entering the dove hunting area and when leaving the hunt area. A Missouri Small Game Hunting Permit and a Migratory Bird Hunting Permit along with a check-in stub are required to hunt dove. Hunters may check in 2 hours prior to official sunrise.
He said hunting dogs used for dove hunting are allowed for retrieval only and must be under the control of the owner at all times.
There is no overnight camping allowed on the refuge. Nontoxic shot is required while dove hunting on Swan Lake NWR and lead shot is prohibited. All Missouri dove hunting regulations will apply.
Whitson said hunting is a priority for public use in the refuge system and is allowed when found compatible with that specific refuge’s mission and purpose.
The Carter Center announced on Monday afternoon that former President Jimmy Carter is recovering from surgery after breaking his hip before a turkey hunting trip.
According to the Center, Carter fell at his home in Plains, Georgia as he was leaving for his hunting expedition.
Although the surgery was “successful,” the ex-president apparently had one major worry: “President Carter said his main concern is that turkey season ends this week, and he has not reached his limit,” the statement reads. “He hopes the State of Georgia will allow him to rollover the unused limit to next year.”
A hunter in Maryland was struck by a Canada goose that had been shot down by a member of his group. (iStock)
A hunter in Easton, Md., was knocked unconscious by a goose that that had been shot out of the sky by a member of his hunting party, WBAL reports.
Robert Meilhammer, 51, was out with three other hunters shortly before 5 p.m. on Thursday when they noticed a flock of Canada geese overhead. The group fired at the flock from a blind, striking one of the geese and sending it plummeting directly into Meilhammer.
“One of the members of the hunting party shot and killed the goose,” Maryland Natural Resources Police spokeswoman Candy Thomson confirmed, according to The Baltimore Sun. “It is unclear which one it was.”
The fowl knocked Meilhammer unconscious, causing injuries to his face and head, and reportedly knocking out two of his teeth. Thompson also told WBAL that when he finally came to, he “didn’t know too much besides his name.”
Large-scale hunting is leading to a decline in the diversity of waterbirds in the state, say researchers.
Spotting a bar-headed goose, a Eurasian spoonbill or a painted stork in the wetlands of Tamil Nadu is becoming increasingly difficult because of the rampant illegal hunting of waterbirds. The hunting, at scales not mapped before, is triggered by demand from the market for wild meat and not subsistence hunting by a few, a new study by researchers at the Nature Conservation Foundation in Mysuru has found.
The researchers studied 27 wetlands in Tamil Nadu’s Kancheepuram district and interviewed 272 hunters over six months. Recording around 53 waterbird species across the wetlands during eight months of fieldwork in 2013 and 2014, they found that 47 species were being hunted, especially large and medium-sized birds. They also held that the hunting had contributed to a decline in the diversity of species found in the region, especially medium-sized insectivorous birds.
The study, based on a survey of hunters, concluded that the illegal hunting of waterbirds was market-driven and had grown in scale in the last 10 years. This contradicts previous findings by researchers that hunting is usually taken up by certain communities on a small scale purely for subsistence. Around 73.5% of the respondents reported monetary gain as the primary motive for hunting, sport and subsistence being the other reasons.
“The conclusions were in contrast to what we expected,” said Ramesh Ramachandran, an MSc student in wildlife biology and conservation at the National Centre for Biological Sciences in Bengaluru, who undertook this study as part of his dissertation. “We thought this was a traditional practice that had been there for hundreds of years. But it is a total commercialised mafia.”
The hunting of wild animals driven by a demand for wild meat, which is seen as exotic by some in the richer strata of society, is documented in some other parts of the country, particularly the tribal belts of Central India and the North East, but this research shows the same trend prevailing in Tamil Nadu as well.
Policeman to conservationist
Before taking up wildlife conservation studies, Ramachandran was a policeman in Karnataka and a member of a special cell tracking wildlife crime. “Because of his background, he brings an interesting viewpoint to conservation,” said KS Gopi Sundar, his mentor and scientist at the Cranes and Wetlands Programme of the Nature Conservation Foundation.
Ramachandran narrowed down his area of study to Kancheepuram, which has a large number of lakes and waterbodies, including two protected bird sanctuaries – Vedanthangal and Karikili.
His police training helped him track down communities that hunted wild birds and traded in their meat. He said he worked at winning their trust before presenting them with the questionnaire for the study. With a team of wildlife enthusiasts and informants, he visited them several times to get them to participate in the study.
At the end of their research, the team found that 92% of the hunting was done using locally crafted single-barrel muzzle-loading guns. A hunter on average went out four or five times a month and each trip yielded around 21 birds, which earned him an average monthly income of around Rs 13,000. The most commonly traded meat was that of the pond heron.
Around 71% of the respondents reported an increase in the demand for waterbird meat for consumption over the past decade. And the study found two distinct markets existing for the wild meat. It was sold at a fixed time slot, between 6 pm and 8 pm, to buyers who specifically sought it out. The remaining meat then made its way to restaurants and roadside food stalls near liquor shops where it was sold at much lower rates.
Around 75% of the hunters interviewed reported that they supplied birds to 426 eateries in the area. However, out of the 681 eateries surveyed, only eight acknowledged serving wild waterbird meat.
“It is significant that there is a market at work which sustains this trade and it stays under the radar,” said Ravinder Singh Bhalla of the Foundation for Ecological Research, Advocacy and Learning in Tamil Nadu. He added that hunting as a paid hobby was more prevalent than documentation suggested, since it was usually kept under wraps.
“What is remarkable is how this practice has stayed undocumented for what appears to be decades,” said Bhalla. “It would be too simplistic to attribute this to collusion by authorities alone. Social exclusion and lack of economic opportunities combined with cultural practices clearly have a role to play in this choice of livelihood by the hunters.”
Among the waterbirds that are being hunted are many migratory species, which India is bound to protect under the international Convention on Migratory Species. “Yet these are being sold on national highways,” said Ajith Kumar of the Wildlife Conservation Society. “A suitable method should be devised for controlling this, not just by forest officials harassing these communities and putting a few of them behind bars.”
Neglected field of study
The study has also brought to light the lack of research on wetland ecology, which Gopi Sundar claims is an extremely nascent science.
“Serious work that asks important questions has been largely missing,” the Nature Conservation Foundation scientist said. He pointed out that the majority of large waterbirds are found outside protected areas whereas much of ecological research is focused on protected forest areas.
So far, studies in the area of wetland ecology have dealt with ecological parameters such as the size of water bodies and vegetation, and their relationship with the populations and diversity of birds. This study is the first to have gathered information on hunting practices and factored these into trends of community structures and counts of bird species in each wetland, the researchers said. “This kind of analysis has never been done anywhere in the world,” said Gopi Sundar.
The French hunting season isn’t only dangerous for wild animals. Every year a series of tragic accidents sees hunters, their family members and other members of the public killed. But how can it be avoided?
So far during the 2017-2018 French hunting season which started in September there have been nine people killed.
Three of these were people were unconnected with the hunt and one of these victims was sitting in her own garden.
Les non-chasseurs représentent un tiers des victimes d’accidents de chasse mortels !!
71 % des Français se sentent en insécurité en se baladant dans la nature :@EmmanuelMacron écoutez les citoyens et répondez à notre demande pour faire réformer la chasse !
On average there are around 20 deaths each year. In recent years, The Local has reported how joggers, hikers, mushroom pickers, motorists, even gardeners have routinely been killed by stray bullets from rifles that were meant to kill wild boars, deer or pheasants.
But what can be done to solve the number of deadly accidents?
What the anti-hunting lobby says
Anti-hunting groups blame the hunting community’s lack of regard for the rules around hunting.
“They don’t respect the rules and they don’t want to be controlled,” said Marc Giraud, spokesperson for French anti-hunting group ASPAS.
“They are masters of their own world and the rules as they stand at the moment are insufficient,” he added.
ARCHIVE Photo: AFP Picture dated 29 August 1996 of 90-year-old Anna Chaillard, still an active boar hunter walking with her dog Titi in the surroundings of Huanne, central France.
ASPAS has been campaigning for hunting to be banned on Sundays for several years which Giraud said he believes would cut down on the number of deaths.
“There are around 20 deaths in hunting accidents each year and about 300 injuries, but France is the only country in Europe where hunting is not banned around the country on at least one day of the weekend,” he told The Local previously.
“We need to remember that hunters often suffer themselves. They or their family members are often the ones killed in these accidents.”
“But it’s worse when it’s people who aren’t involved in hunting because that spreads fear among people who are trying to live their normal lives.”
ASPAS would like to see more breathalyzer tests conducted on hunters before they are allowed to go out with their guns. For Giraud the same rules that apply to driving should apply to anyone who picks up a gun.
“One of the big problems is that breathalyzer tests are not obligatory and are only carried out in some departments,” he said.
“When you have a rifle in your hand, you are in charge of a lethal weapon, just like car drivers. Yet we have laws against drink-driving. It should be the same for hunters,” he told The Local.
One of the main barriers for change in the situation is the power of France’s hunting lobby which Giraud says is the “most powerful lobbying group in the National Assembly”.
The government, already conscious that rural France is suffering from a farming crisis, might not want to take on that lobby. But for ASPAS, there is only one way to prevent the accidents.
“The only way you’ll stop the accidents altogether is by stopping hunting,” he said.
What the residents say
Those living in rural France don’t expect any change soon, given the power of the hunting lobby in France. Most accept they will have to continue to take cover during hunts.
“As immigrants we do not feel that we should be critical of the way of life here but do feel it needs stronger regulations such as restricted to one day a week and kept further away from inhabited areas,” says Claire Younghusband, who lives on the border of Dordogne and the Lot.
“Sadly, we do not believe that anything will change any time soon as there are too many off duty police officers and municipal officials that enjoy the ‘sport’ and the general public does not seem to be inclined to get behind an anti-hunt lobby.”
American Kene Ovenshire from the Landes department has regularly confronted hunters near his farm.
“Their tradition is so deeply ingrained in them that my ‘complaints’ are always offensive to them,” he told The Local.
“I’ve resided to the fact that this is the way it is here – there’s nothing it seems that can be done.
“Other than tolerate them as best I can.”
What the hunters say
The National Hunters Federation in France has stressed that it is taking measures to improve the situation.
“It’s harder to get a licence now and the accidents that we see during the hunting season are usually people who are older, who got their permits a long time ago,” Julie Miquel, head of communications at the federation told The Local.
“The number of accidents is falling and will continue to do so now it’s more difficult to qualify for a licence,” she added.
Miquel also puts the “unusual” number of non-hunter deaths that have occurred so far this season down to the unseasonably warm weather.
“One accident is one too many,” said Miquel. “But usually it’s hunters that are killed during the hunting season rather than members of the general public.
“This year however the number has gone up because people have been making the most of the warmer weather and have been out walking in the countryside more than they normally would.”
Statistics released by France’s national hunting and wildlife office show that the number of accidents reported from June 1st 2016 May 31st 2017 stood at 143 in total, which showed a drop on the previous year’s figures.
However this isn’t the whole story. While the total number of accidents did fall, the number of deaths rose by 80 percent, from 10 to 18.
Miquel says the accidents are usually a result of “tired” hunters and are “definitely not down to alcohol intake”, which others have pointed to as a contributing factor in the past.
Although she added that hunters are not required to take a breathalyzer test before hunting.
“It’s more a question of judgement, like if someone left a restaurant after a few drinks and was deciding whether to drive home or not,” said Miquel.
And what about the rise in deaths this year among members of the public?
Miquel said: “We have been looking into the subject of cohabitation of natural spaces for many years. One of the problems is that some areas that were once clearly forest aren’t anymore, as the population rises and more and more houses are built in rural zones.”
“But it is a good question and we’re looking at how we can better communicate with hunters. We’d also like to introduce more regular training for hunters who got their permits a long time ago.”
One of the problems with this however is that different departments are responsible for making the ultimate decisions on subjects such as this and rules cannot be enforced by the head office, said Miquel.
A dog stepped on a 12-gauge shotgun causing bird shot pellets to hit a man hunting in southwestern Wright County Wednesday.
William Rancourt, 36, of Lebanon, New Hampshire, was nearly 22 yards away when a hunting dog stepped on the trigger guard of a shotgun lying on the ground causing it to discharge, according to a news release from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
Rancourt was hit in the back and sustained injuries considered non-life threatening, but still “fairly moderate,” said Ken Lonneman, a DNR conservation officer.
Rancourt was conscious, alert and able to walk when he was transported to Trinity Hospital in Fort Dodge. As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, X-rays were being performed to ensure all pellets had been removed from his back, Lonneman said.
“Shotguns are extremely dangerous at close range,” Lonneman said. “In this case, there was a good distance between the muzzle and the wound, but if the victim had been closer, his injuries would have been more severe.”
Rancourt and his party — which included two dogs, two Iowans and another man from New Hampshire — had been pheasant hunting in the Boone River Greenbelt Conservation Board Public Hunting Area at about 1:20 p.m. when one of the men placed his shotgun on the ground without unloading.
The incident acts a good reminder to all hunters to both unload and double check the safety before putting any guns down or leaving them unattended, Lonneman said.
With shotgun deer season starting Saturday, the DNR cautions hunters that grounds will be busy this weekend.
“I would like to remind all hunters that no matter what season it is, but especially during a busy season like the one we are going into, to please be sure to identify your target as well as what’s beyond your target before firing,” Lonneman said.
If someone is hurt while on a public hunting ground, Lonneman said hunters should call for medical assistance right away and notify the local sheriff’s office.
The hunt takes place at the Hole ‘N the Wall Lodge in Akron, Iowa and includes a campaign fundraiser for King, so having the president’s eldest son in attendance is undoubtedly a get.
“If Donald Trump Jr. defends 2nd Amendment as well as he shoots, we have nothing to worry about,” King tweeted Saturday, along with a photo of himself and Trump Jr. at the Hole ‘N the Wall Lodge.
According to the Des Moines Register, Trump Jr. didn’t bring his own gun because he flew to Iowa on a commercial flight, so he hunted with a loaned 12-gauge semi-automatic model.
The newspaper reported that Trump Jr. shot at least four pheasants and was joined by about 30 other hunters. “He is a very, very good shot,” King said. “It was a beautiful, clear day in Iowa, and the sky was so full of feathers that one could be convinced that the angels were having pillow fights.”
About a hundred guests turned up for the Saturday night pork chop and deep-fried pheasant dinner at the lodge.
“Tonight we’re going to have Iowa chops — these are special Iowa chops that are injected with the mysterious formula that comes out of the Remsen locker — they’re the best chops in the world and I’m already starting to drool,” King told KCAU. “And we’ll have a big batch of Iowa sweet corn, every kernel cut off with love in the kitchen by Marilyn or me.”