Top five hunting violations committed by Hoosiers

INDIANAPOLIS — With deer hunting season well underway in the state, Indiana Department of Natural Resources is reminding hunters to use their heads and follow the law when out in the woods.

To kick off firearms deer-hunting season Saturday, DNR re-shared a popular video recorded a few years ago that details some of the most common hunter violations and why they are important to follow.

Top 5 Hunting Violations According to DNR:

  1. Hunting/Tracking a deer from a vehicle
  2. Hunting on someone else’s private property
  3. Not wearing hunter orange
  4. Over-bagging and breaking the one buck rule
  5. Over-bagging any animal / killing more than the per-person limit

This laws are being carefully watched this year after an error in the law passed by the legislative session initially banned the use of rifles on state and federal property.

READ | Deer hunters CAN use rifles on state and federal property this year

The Department of Natural Resources issued an emergency state rule allowing hunters to use rifles during the 2017-18 season until they are able to update the law next year.

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A Tale of Two Geezers

 

You don’t hear all that much about 104-year-olds, perhaps since they’re usually squirreled away in some nursing home ‘for their own protection’ by then. Or perhaps because the average human life expectancy is 79.3 in the U.S. (for both sexes combined), while in Sierra Leone it’s still only 50.1 and the longest-lived people in the world these days, the Japanese, live an average of 83.7. But ironically I happened across articles about not one, but two century+4-year-olds while leafing through the news today.

By now we’ve probably all heard of Australian scientist David Goodall, who decided to spare himself any future suffering and make the long trip to Switzerland to humanely end his own life (just as you would a beloved old dog or cat who had outlived his or her ability to know joy in life). “Why Would Anyone Oppose This 104-Year-Old Man’s Decision to Die With Dignity?” asks, in an article from the Friendly Atheist, which goes on to say:

‘Goodall didn’t want to travel to Switzerland for the procedure, but it was the only option for him since his home nation of Australia forbids assisted suicide in all instances. He made sure everyone knew about his frustrations.

I greatly regret having reached that age; I would much prefer to be 20 or 30 years younger,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. during the [104th birthday] festivities in April. When asked whether he had a nice birthday, he replied: “No, I’m not happy. I want to die. … It’s not sad, particularly. What is sad is if one is prevented.”

My feeling is that an old person like myself should have full citizenship rights, including the right of assisted suicide,” the 104-year-old man added.’

Meanwhile, in what turned out to be the NRA’s American Hunter website, I spotted an article from December 27, 2017 entitled “America’s Oldest Hunter Bags Third Deer of the Season at 104 Years Old.”

Well, bully for him, the old codger got to go out and kill something—actually, three somethings—on what will surely be one of his last seasons of life!

From the NRA article:

‘Congratulations to Clyde Roberts on another successful season, and best wishes in the seasons to come. His recent 8-pointer marks the 11th deer he has taken since turning 100 years of age!’

Kaimai Range hunter shot dead during beginning of roar at Easter weekend

A paramedic was winched into the bush south of Te Aroha to try to help save the shot hunter. Photo / File
A paramedic was winched into the bush south of Te Aroha to try to help save the shot hunter. Photo / File

A hunter has died after being shot in the chest in the Kaimai Range.

Waikato Senior Sergeant Mike Henwood said police received a call about a hunter being shot about 10.15am. Henwood said the area was very remote and had no communication. The hunter was shot in forest near Wairakau Rd, about 15km south of Te Aroha.

It comes during the beginning of the roar, a favoured hunting period, for many parts of the country.

The roar is when stags are most vocal, calling to attract the attention of females and are less cautious than other times.

The roar lasts about four weeks, and stags are the most vocal in the middle two weeks.

Red deer roar from late March through April.

A fellow hunter called emergency services about 10.15am.

The Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter was sent to the remote spot and a paramedic winched down to work on the man, who was about a two-hour hike from the carpark.

Police would conduct inquiries on behalf of the coroner.

New Zealand Deerstalkers’ Association national president Bill O’Leary said the reality was a fatal hunting incident such as this happened once or twice a year.

Pensacola man shot twice by hunting buddy (and they’re planning another trip soon)

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On the opening day of turkey season earlier this month, longtime hunting buddies Hilton Hutto and Fred Wilson were staked out in blinds on Wilson’s property in Ponce de Leon.

The 80-acre lot is surrounded by a timber mill, with planted pines lining the property line. The area is isolated, making it a prime spot for hunting.

The two men were about 75 yards apart, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission report that would follow, when Hutto saw a turkey walk in front of his friend.

Wilson recalls seeing Hutto line up the shot with his barrel facing directly at the turkey —and in turn, at him. He thought his friend was just getting his target ready so he could get the bird when it took a few steps away from Wilson.

Archive: Everything you need to know for duck hunting in the Pensacola area

He was wrong. Hutto shot twice.

“I guess he got all excited and didn’t realize he was shooting at me, too,” said Wilson, 65.

More than 20 pellets from the two shotgun shells drove into Wilson’s face, torso, arms and hands.

“The turkey got in the way, I didn’t think it was between us and I guess it was, and I shot, then he came out of his blind and said, ‘Hey, you shot me,'” said Hutto, 86.

Wilson said he and Hutto immediately packed up and drove the roughly 80 minutes from Ponce de Leon to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, where both men live. Wilson said he could have gone to a hospital in Crestview but wanted to be treated at home.

There was blood running down Wilson’s face and pellets lodged in his hands, but Wilson said he gripped the wheel and sped down Interstate 10.

“The adrenaline was there, I knew I was shot and there was blood all down my face but the adrenaline was just going,” Wilson said, adding that he didn’t yet feel the pain of the shooting.

Hutto said he felt terrible about the accident, and sat in the passenger seat with Wilson as the two sped toward the hospital.

More: Deers, duck and doves all on menu as hunting season starts in Florida

“I felt real bad about it, I’d just shot a good friend of mine, someone I’d been hunting with for years. It’s a no good feeling,” he said.

The incident happened March 17, and as of Thursday, Wilson was still meeting with doctors and scheduling surgeries to remove the pellets. Some can never be removed, he said.

“A couple of them they found had gone in and right out, and I’ve got two in my face that are going to be removed, the one in my right hand and index finger,” Wilson said. He said the pellets that need to stay are around his lungs.

FWC is still actively investigating the shooting, according to spokeswoman Rebekah Nelson. She said no further information about the incident could be released, but, she said, there were no turkey hunting accidents reported last season.

Wilson said there’s no animosity between him and Hutto, but he is now dealing with flashbacks of seeing the shells explode toward him.

“The only bad thing is I have nightmares about it, and sometimes I’ll be sitting down and I’ll see it all over again,” Wilson said. “The first time he shot I was looking right at him.”

The pair has plans to hunt together again soon, although Wilson laughs, saying he won’t be setting up anywhere close to Hutto. He’s in good spirits, despite the multiple surgeries and time consulting doctors, chalking it up to a mistake between friends.

“He didn’t kill me and he didn’t blind me, the big guy was watching out for me,” Wilson said.

People Can Lose Right to Carry Gun, but Get Hunting License

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/pennsylvania/articles/2018-03-24/people-can-lose-right-to-carry-gun-but-get-hunting-license

In the 1990s, John Wolfe lost the right to carry a gun, but he bought hunting licenses for many years without running into a problem.

March 24, 2018, at 3:02 a.m.

People Can Lose Right to Carry Gun, but Get Hunting License

By MADDIE CROCENZI and ED MAHON, York Daily Record

YORK, Pa. (AP) — In the 1990s, John Wolfe lost the right to carry a gun.

But Wolfe bought hunting licenses for many years without running into a problem.

Wolfe used a shotgun that he bought when he was about 18 to shoot a nearly 11-inch turkey.

Then one December morning in 2014, Wolfe decided to go hunting before work. He got caught by game wardens. A judge found him guilty of illegal gun possession in 2016. He now faces two-and-a-half to five years in state prison.

Wolfe’s case points to a loophole in Pennsylvania‘s gun laws. Each year, hundreds of thousands of people buy hunting licenses. That allows them to hunt deer, turkey and other animals in the woods while carrying a gun.

But under state law, people don’t need to pass any type of background check to confirm it’s legal for them to possess a gun in order to get a hunting license. There’s also no background check for a Sportsman’s Firearm Permit, which allows people to carry a handgun for hunting purposes.

This can put game wardens in dangerous situations.

In 2010, Christopher Johnson was suspected of illegally shooting a deer on a rural road near Gettysburg. David Grove, a game warden, stopped him. Johnson was a convicted felon, so he wasn’t allowed to possess a gun. He had a valid hunting license, according to Pennsylvania Game Commission Assistant Counsel Jason Raup.

Johnson told a passenger in his car he wasn’t going back to jail, the passenger testified later.

Johnson opened fire and shot Grove. Grove died instantly. Johnson was convicted and sentenced to the death penalty, which was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015.

Few arrests

The York Daily Record/Sunday News reviewed nearly four years of cases in which someone who was banned from possessing a gun was charged with illegal firearm possession in the York County Court of Common Pleas.

Of those more than 400 cases, four were related to hunting. In two of those cases, a person was caught while hunting. In two others, men were arrested for DUI and told police they had been hunting earlier.

First-time hunters and trappers must pass a hunting education course before being able to purchase a Pennsylvania hunting license. Sean Heisey, York Daily Record

Under federal law, all felonies and some misdemeanor convictions make it illegal for people to possess a gun. But specific hunting license information in Pennsylvania, such as the names of those with licenses, is not public under the Game and Wildlife Code. So it’s not possible to check the records on all of the people granted hunting licenses to see if they have criminal convictions that make it illegal for them to possess guns.

In states where license information is public, reporters have found large numbers of convicted felons hunting illegally.

In 2006, an Associated Press investigation showed that at least 660 felons on parole or probation received tags that allowed them to hunt with rifles or shotguns in Montana. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette found about 4,800 felons bought hunting licenses during the 2007-08 hunting season. At least 859 hunted with a muzzleloader or a modern gun.

Few, if any, states verify that someone is allowed to possess a gun when they issue a hunting license.

But some states have stricter requirements than Pennsylvania for general gun and ammunition possession.

ConnecticutIllinoisMassachusetts and New Jersey require a firearms license to purchase or possess ammunition, according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Illinois and Massachusetts require a license to own a firearm.

Massachusetts doesn’t have a background check system for hunting licenses. But Jim Wallace, executive director of the Gun Owners Action League in Massachusetts, said he thinks the strict gun laws in the state have kept people with criminal convictions from hunting.

In fact, he thinks it’s kept too many people from hunting. Wallace said the ban winds up covering people who made foolish mistakes decades ago but aren’t dangerous.

Some states warn people they can’t hunt if they are banned from possessing a gun.

In Maine, there is no check to confirm people can possess a gun when they apply for a hunting license, but they have to disclose whether they are a convicted felon. If they lie, they could face charges of unsworn falsification and fraudulently obtaining a license.

In Rhode Island, the hunting license application says people convicted of certain crimes, including sexual assault and felony drug delivery, can’t buy or possess a hunting license. If they do, they could be punished with a $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.

Raup said this warning isn’t included on Pennsylvania hunting license applications. He wasn’t aware of any instructions — whether on the PGC’s website or included in printed materials — that says being ineligible to possess a firearm prevents you from hunting with one.

Details from a 2011 Pennsylvania Game Commission operation showed felons continued to hunt with firearms. Operation Talon, a nighttime operation to stop poaching, was first held during the weekends of Oct. 21, 28 and Nov. 5, according to the Pocono Record. During those three weekends, two felons were caught possessing firearms. In 2017, no felons possessing firearms were caught during Operation Talon.

Raup said it’s “a growing problem” that’s difficult for the agency to quantify.

“I don’t know that statistically we have a good handle on that because we only come across it when we come across it,” Raup said.

The law

The process of identifying and prosecuting a convicted felon hunting with a firearm is complicated.

“There is no one-size-fits-all response that we take,” Raup said.

Full-time game wardens have the legal authority to charge someone for any crime, including specific wildlife laws. Wardens can stop anyone and do a background check, even if they don’t see an immediate violation. However, Raup said most stops begin with some kind of violation.

Others self-identify as convicted felons who know they weren’t supposed to be hunting. And sometimes, officers just have a “gut hunch” that something is off, according to Raup.

In Wolfe’s case, he was caught hunting by a game warden who already knew he wasn’t allowed to possess a gun. Raup said this happens but is somewhat infrequent.

A game warden will put a felon under arrest for hunting with a firearm. However, that doesn’t mean the individual will lose his or her license. Because there’s no background check, the individual could apply and hunt again the following year if he or she hasn’t committed any game and wildlife violations.

The agency has no legal authority to do background checks at the beginning of a hunting license sale, according to Raup. As a result, criminal history doesn’t stop the sale of a hunting license. Only Game and Wildlife Code violations can result in license suspension or revocation.

“A lot of folks kind of look at that and see that as ‘Holy smokes, that’s kind of bizarre;’ you’re selling licenses to persons in large respect who can’t even possess a firearm,” Raup said.

People caught hunting when their license is revoked for violating a wildlife law face a $1,000-$1,500 fine and can also face up to 90 days in prison. Hunting with an illegally possessed firearm can lead to years in prison.

“If you get this wrong, it’s not just a citation, it’s a felony,” Raup said. “You’re arrested. You’re put in jail. I do think there is an important responsibility we have as a state to ensure we are fairly applying the law.”

Response

The work game wardens do can be dangerous. That’s why state Rep. Keith Gillespie, R-Hellam Township, proposed a bill in January 2017 to define game wardens as “enforcement officers” – and give them the same benefits as other officers.

Gillespie, chairman of the state House Game & Fisheries Committee, said game wardens are often by themselves in remote areas of the state. He compared felons hunting with firearms to those who continue to drive after getting a DUI – people who “don’t get the message.”

“I wish we could legislate good scruples, morals and ethics,” Gillespie said. “Unfortunately, we can’t.”

Gillespie said he liked the idea of background checks to get hunting licenses and wanted to explore it with the Game Commission.

But Raup sees potential problems with that idea. Convicted felons can’t hunt with a firearm, but they can legally hunt or trap with air guns, archery equipment and more. Raup said denying hunting licenses to these people would also deny them access to legal hunting activities.

“A background check at the time of application is kind of a spooky thing,” he said. “I don’t know if our society wants us doing that.”

Steve Mohr doesn’t want that either. He is a 67-year-old hunter, the vice president of Unified Sportsmen of Pennsylvania and a former state game commissioner.

“We already have so many ways of checking it now, and people fall through the cracks,” said Mohr, who lives in Lancaster County, near the Susquehanna River. “So why waste the time?”

Mohr thinks that a background check system would make things harder on people who don’t break the law. They would end up having to wait longer for hunting licenses and pay more for the licenses, he said.

Shira Goodman, who recently took a temporary leave of absence as executive director of CeaseFirePA, said there are bigger gaps in gun laws than the hunting one. In Pennsylvania, you can buy a rifle from a friend or neighbor without a background check. If you lose a gun or it’s stolen from you, you don’t have to report that to police.

But she said the gaps add up and make the problem worse.

Paul Orr, an attorney who represented Wolfe, is a hunter. He thinks doing background checks on everyone seeking a hunting license might not be a good idea. But he thinks that at the very least license applications should warn people that previous convictions could make it illegal for them to possess a gun.

“It would at least put the person on notice,” Orr said.

Raup thinks part of the problem is confusing state firearms laws, which create a dilemma for law enforcement officers. He thinks the court system could provide better information and education so people don’t inadvertently commit felonies.

“I think we could do better,” he said.

‘Just a country boy’

Wolfe and his attorneys have argued that he didn’t know he wasn’t allowed to possess a gun.

“He’s not an attorney. He’s not a judge. He’s just a country boy from York who likes to hunt,” Orr said at Wolfe’s trial.

Meanwhile, prosecutor Susan Emmons described Wolfe — someone with multiple felony and other convictions on his record — as the very type of person lawmakers want to keep guns away from.

His case gives a view of how these illegal gun possession cases play out.

Wolfe, 42, has been convicted of several crimes that make it illegal for him to possess a gun. In the 1990s, he was convicted of burglary and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse. In 2009, he was convicted on a charge of possession with intent to deliver marijuana.

But, over the years, he had access to guns, he testified during his trial.

In 2013, Wolfe met with a game warden after the officer got a report of Wolfe allegedly using a muzzle-loading firearm to shoot a large buck, even though it wasn’t buck season.

That game warden, Kyle Jury, and Wolfe have described the conversation that took place between them differently.

Jury testified that when he spoke to Wolfe, Wolfe didn’t have a muzzleloader with him. Wolfe wasn’t charged with a crime either. But Jury said he still warned him that he wasn’t allowed to possess a gun, even a muzzleloader.

Wolfe said the conversation was more vague.

For the 2014-15 hunting season, Wolfe bought at least one hunting license from Walmart, he testified.

In December 2014, Wolfe went hunting before work. It was a dreary morning, he said.

Jury was on patrol in Newberry Township a little after 7 a.m. It was early during rifle deer season. It’s a busy time of year, and Jury was used to doing what are known as field checks. He’d make sure hunters had their licenses. He’d see that they wore enough fluorescent orange.

Then Jury spotted someone hunting close to a property where an owner had previously expressed concerns about hunters being too close. When Jury and a fellow officer approached, Wolfe was in a tree stand, about 15 feet in the air and wearing orange.

Wolfe had a firearm with him — a shotgun with a rifle barrel for hunting deer, Jury testified.

When Wolfe took off his hat, Jury recognized him. Wolfe wasn’t carrying a hunting license with him, which is a violation.

The wardens confirmed Wolfe wasn’t allowed to possess a gun and arrested him.

Wolfe fought the illegal gun possession charge. At an April 2016 trial, he testified that he thought the ban on him possessing a gun ended when his probation did. The shotgun that game wardens found with Wolfe is one he bought when he was about 18, he testified. Whenever he was on probation and not allowed to possess a gun, he would give that shotgun and any other similar guns to his mother, he testified.

His attorney argued that probation office forms were confusing. The prosecutor and York County Court of Common Pleas Judge Michael Bortner didn’t buy that argument.

Bortner found Wolfe guilty of illegally possessing a gun. He later defended the decision, saying, “The evidence showed he had every reason to know he was not allowed to have guns.”

Emmons, the prosecutor, asked for five years to 10 years in state prison, saying the sentencing guidelines called for that. Bortner said that amount of time was excessive and instead sentenced him to two-and-a-half to five years in state prison.

Wolfe appealed, but the Pennsylvania Superior Court agreed with Bortner. Then, in October 2017, he appealed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

While his case was under appeal, Wolfe remained free on supervised bail.

One of the conditions of bail is that he can’t possess a gun. That might seem obvious.

But Bortner made that extra clear back in June 2016 at Wolfe’s sentencing hearing.

“As difficult as it may be for you and your lifestyle, you need to stay away from firearms,” Bortner told Wolfe.

The case was under appeal for more than a year. But on Feb. 21, 2018, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied Wolfe’s request for an appeal. The day of the decision, Wolfe’s attorney for the appeal, Eric Winter, said he and Wolfe would have to discuss options.

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Online:

http://bit.ly/2G1KHnt

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Information from: York Daily Record, http://www.ydr.com

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press.

Hunting accident season approaching

Police warning for deerstalkers. Photo: YouTube

Firearms safety warnings are being made by police as deerstalkers prepare to take to the bush for The Roar.

Late March and April, is the rutting season for the most common deer species in NZ. 

Their pre-occupation with mating leads the stags to become vocal and makes them vulnerable to hunters.  The extra activity in the outdoors, and the excitement this time of year brings for hunters, can make them vulnerable too.

The Roar is when most New Zealand hunting accidents happen.

There’s a significant increase in the number of hunting-related incidents and Search and Rescue operations at this time each year, with target misidentification being the biggest cause of fatalities, says Detective Senior Sergeant John Wilson.

“As a starting point I suggest that the mindset of the hunter when they see what they think is a deer should be, ‘is this another hunter?’ rather than, ‘it is probably a deer’.

“The consequences of failing to fully identify a target beyond all doubt are immediate, tragic and catastrophic.”

It is crucial that you positively identify it is a deer, and that you are looking at the whole animal, not just a part of it, says John.  If in any doubt don’t shoot.

“If you pull the trigger you will have to live with the consequences forever.”

There are also incidents every year during The Roar involving hunters who are injured, and sometimes lost. Most injuries come from a fall, a trip, or a stumble. Becoming lost or injured happens, but there are things to do which will mitigate this risk:

• Take care in the outdoors.

• A little preparation pre hunt will go a long way.

If you are fit then you are a lot more resilient if you do have a fall or suffer from an injury

Follow the Outdoor Safety Code. Police also recommend considering the use of technology to make things safer and more enjoyable. Beacons can be a lifesaving tool as it means emergency services will be aware that something has happened much faster if you do get injured or lost

DEC: 2017 tree stand-related accidents resulted in 6 hunter fatalities

Bird hunting trip goes wrong when one accidentally killed

Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/02/24/bird-hunting-trip-goes-wrong-when-one-accidentally-killed/#v7BDwr030HBbbJak.99

IPOH: A bird hunting trip had gone awry for four hunters in Gerik when one of them shot and killed 24-year-old Mohamad Haniff Mat Zabidi after mistaking him for a deer.

The incident happened at a spot in the forest near the Bintang Hijau rest area along Jalan Kupang, Gerik last Sunday (Feb 18), but Mohamad Haniff’s body was discovered on Thursday (Feb 22) afternoon.

Perak Criminal Investigation Department chief Senior Asst Comm Yahya Abd Rahman said the deceased had gone hunting with his three friends using homemade shotguns.

“During the hunt, the four decided to split up. One of them fired a shot thinking it was a deer and killed Mohamad Haniff on the spot,” he said.

SAC Yahya said a special team from the Criminal Investigation Department was set up to investigate the case.

He added that they picked up the three suspects – two in their 20s and a 65-year-old man – at 9.30am on Friday (Feb 23) and said that the 65-year-old man has a firearms licence.

Earlier, Gerik OCPD Supt Ismail Che Isa said the body was discovered lying on its back.

“His family members said they last saw him on Sunday when he told them he was going hunting,” he said, adding that the body had been sent to the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital here for a post-mortem.

The three hunters have been remanded for five days until Feb 27 to assist in investigations under Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder.

TAGS / KEYWORDS:Perak , Hunting , Accident , Killed , Deer

Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/02/24/bird-hunting-trip-goes-wrong-when-one-accidentally-killed/#v7BDwr030HBbbJak.99

Manslaughter Charge Dismissed Against Hunter In Shooting Accident

Thomas Jadlowski

Thomas Jadlowski

A manslaughter charge was dismissed this week against a Sherman man who shot and killed his neighbor in a hunting accident in November.

In a four-page ruling, Chautauqua County Court Judge David Foley said the District Attorney’s Office erred when it presented its case in front of a grand jury against Thomas Jadlowski in the death of Rosemary Billquist. Specifically, Foley said District Attorney Patrick Swanson failed to answer a question of a grand juror regarding a lesser charge against the Sherman man.

Jadlowski was indicted by the grand jury on charges of second-degree manslaughter and hunting after dark.

Swanson said he did not agree with Foley’s ruling

“It’s a decision I disagree with,” Swanson told The Post-Journal. “There were some legal hyper-technicalities that I don’t agree with. At this point we have to decide whether to appeal the decision or bring it back to the grand jury.”

However, Swanson said appealing the decision to an appellate court presents “logistical issues” as rulings could take several months. He said his office has 30 days to re-submit the case to another grand jury.

“We have to decide what’s best moving forward,” Swanson said. “The reality is the appeal would take a lot longer, and there are resources that have to be considered.”

According to Foley, the issue began after Swanson gave the grand jury instructions on second-degree manslaughter. A juror asked the district attorney, “What is the next step down? Manslaughter three, if there is such a thing?”

Swanson replied: “The next step down is criminally negligent homicide.”

The district attorney paused before continuing, “I’m going to ask for your consideration on manslaughter second. And I may be back in to ask you to consider on criminally negligent, but I’m asking you to consider manslaughter second first.”

In his ruling, obtained by The Post-Journal, Foley said Swanson should have instructed the grand jury regarding the lesser charge. The judge did note, however, that there was enough evidence to support the original indictment.

“It was clear from the above referenced exchange that the grand jury had an interest, or at least being instructed on, a lesser degree of homicide,” Foley wrote. “It is the opinion of the court that the district attorney, as the grand jury’s legal advisor, had an obligation to answer their questions accurately and to comply with their request, by instructing them on criminal negligent homicide.”

The decision comes not long after an August trial date had been set for Jadlowski, who is being represented by Dunkirk attorney Michael Cerrie. Jadlowski told police he thought he saw a deer Nov. 22 when he fired a single shot, striking Billquist.

Billquist was rushed to an Erie, Pa., hospital where she was later pronounced dead.

Swanson said he spoke to Billquist’s family Thursday evening after learning of Foley’s decision. He said he will thoroughly review his options before moving forward.

“Judge Foley found we had sufficient evidence for the indictment,” Swanson said. “This was a hyper-technicality that we should have discussed the lesser offense.”

“This is part of the system,” he continued. “We are still learning our new court.”

August Trial Date Set For Man Charged In Hunting Accident

http://www.post-journal.com/news/page-one/2018/02/august-trial-date-set-for-man-charged-in-hunting-accident/

Thomas Jadlowski

Thomas Jadlowski

MAYVILLE — An August trial date has been set for a Sherman man charged with manslaughter in the November shooting of a woman he reportedly mistook for a deer.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Aug. 7 in front of County Court Judge David Foley in Mayville. Thomas Jadlowski, 34, pleaded not guilty in November after he was indicted by a grand jury on charges of second-degree manslaughter and hunting after dark in the shooting death of 43-year-old Rosemary Billquist.

Jadlowski told police he mistook Billquist for a deer when he fired a single shot after dark Nov. 22 near Armenian Road in Sherman. The shot struck Billquist, who was rushed to an Erie, Pa., hospital and later pronounced dead.

Billquist was walking her two dogs when the incident occurred.

A meeting was held Friday in Foley’s chambers between the Chautauqua County District Attorney’s Office and Jadlowski’s defense to discuss the date for the upcoming trial. Jadlowski is being represented by Fredonia attorney Michael Cerrie, who did not return a call for comment.

Friday’s announcement comes more than a month after Patrick Swanson, Chautauqua County district attorney, announced charges against Jadlowski during a heavily reported press conference in Mayville. Swanson, who called the shooting a “tragedy,” said his office assisted the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office and state Department of Environmental Conservation with the investigation.

The grand jury indictment came about a week after the shooting amid national attention. Stories of Billquist’s death appeared, among elsewhere, in the New York Times, Washington Post and People magazine. Jamie Billquist at the time said his wife “loved life and was an angel.”

On Friday, Jamie Billquist said he remains committed to “keeping her memory alive” through foundations established in Rosemary Billquist’s name with the help of her former employer, UPMC Chautauqua WCA, and the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation. Two 5K runs — June 3 in Sherman and June 9 in Falconer — will aid the foundations with scholarships and programs.

Jamie Billquist called the announcement of the trial date “just another step in the process.” He said if the case goes to trial he plans to be there every day.

“I want to be the face of her,” he told The Post-Journal on Friday. “If I have to take off work that’s fine. I want people to see the other side of this tragedy