Hunters make the great outdoors war zones

By Nicole Rivard

UPDATE 12/1/17: Hunter Thomas Jadlowski has been charged with second-degree manslaughter and hunting after hours. 

Tis the season for putting your life at risk if you want to go outdoors to walk a dog, ride a bike or hike on public or private land.

That’s because trigger happy hunters are out trying to kill any wildlife in their crosshairs, and no amount of orange clothing is going to make human animals safe.

We are sickened and saddened by the news that Rosemary Billquist, 43, who was just walking her dogs near her western New York home, was fatally shot last week by her hunter neighbor Thomas B. Jadlowski, who told police he mistook her for a deer. He was hunting after sunset, which is prohibited by law in New York, however Jadlowski faces a measly fine not to exceed $250 and 15 days or less in jail, according to an environmental conservation police officer from the NYDEC. Outrageous! (A criminal investigation is also ongoing, so hopefully that will yield some more justice, however it won’t bring Billquist back.)  

And this wasn’t the only hunting accident that involved a non-hunter in the news last week. Police in New Hampshire reported that a woman was shot by a hunter near Elm Brook Park in Hopkinton. Authorities say the woman was riding a mountain bike along a trail when she was shot. The area is used for a variety of outdoor activities including hunting, hiking and biking. Luckily, she is in good condition.

Both incidences highlight how important it is for outdoor enthusiasts and wildlife watchers to call for changes. State wildlife agencies receive funding from hunter license fees and taxes on guns and ammo, a clear conflict of interest that explains why wildlife is not respected and forests and parks are being turned into killing grounds.

We need to vote for politicians who are willing to stand up to the hunting agencies and conservation officers who want to continually expand hunting. We need to tell our local elected officials we do not support hunting in our state forests or parks or in nature preserves where other outdoor activities take place.

Let’s face it, hunting safety is an oxymoron. However, agencies don’t care as they just want more clients. This year New York, where now only 5 percent of the population still hunts, has decided to allow junior hunters (14-15 years old) to take bear as well as deer during the youth firearms hunt and one of the requirements is that both the junior hunter and mentor must wear hunter orange visible from all directions: shirt, jacket or vest with at least 250 square inches of solid or patterned orange (the pattern must be at least 50% orange) OR a hat with at least 50% orange.

How ridiculous! Bullets are color blind.

We hope this latest hunting tragedy will lead to even more people to call on public officials to create hunting free zones in our state parks in forests. In Connecticut, for example, it is possible to reverse a decision and eliminate hunting from an area. In Colorado, a proposal was being considered to eliminate shooting on lands that are less than a half-mile from homes or in areas of highly concentrated recreational use.

Human and non-human animals should not have to senselessly lose their lives to recreational violence called hunting.

Nicole Rivard is editor of Friends of Animal’s quarterly magazine Action Line. She brings 18 years of journalism experience to the front lines, protesting and documenting atrocities against animals.


Hunter in fatal Chautauqua County hunting accident indicted on manslaughter charge

Hunter in fatal Chautauqua County hunting accident indicted on manslaughter charge


MAYVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) – A Chautauqua County hunter who shot and killed his neighbor the day before Thanksgiving, mistaking her for a deer, has been indicted on a manslaughter charge.

Thomas B. Jadlowski, 34, surrendered himself to the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office in connection with the Nov. 22 incident.

According to the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office, Jadlowski shot and killed Rosemary Billquist, 43, who had been out walking her dogs behind her Sherman home after believing she was a seer.

Rosemary Billquist (right) with her husband, Jamie.


Jadlowski was arraigned Thursday in Chautauqua County Court on a two-count indictment, second degree manslaughter and hunting after hours.

DEC’s Environmental Conservation Police officers and Chautauqua County Sheriff’s deputies say the incident occurred just after 5:22 p.m., well beyond the legal close of the daily hunting period at sunset.

Billquist was struck in the hip by the bullet.

“After firing the shot, hearing a scream and finding Ms. Billquist, Mr. Jadlowski immediately called 911,” a press release from the sheriff’s office stated.

Billquist was found by first responders unresponsive about 150 yards behind her home.  She was immediately transported to UPMC Hamot in Erie, Pennsylvania, but despite the efforts of the Sherman Fire EMT’s and Hospital Surgeons, later succumbed to her injuries.

“Today, Mr. Jadlowski is being held accountable for his dangerous and reckless conduct when he shot his neighbor in the dark,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said.

Jadlowski entered a not guilty plea in Chautauqua County Court.

Bail was set at $50,000 cash or $100,000 property. He is due back in court Jan. 29.m

The charges carry a potential prison sentence of five to 15 years if he is found guilty.

MSP: Woman, 18, critically injured in hunting accident, Man shot in both arms in Oxford hunting accident and more…

Hunting Accident:

MSP: Woman, 18, critically injured in hunting accident

An 18-year-old woman from Berrien County is in critical condition after a hunting accident at her home.

Michigan State Police say Delaney Nicole Flagel was unloading her vehicle after hunting when a rifle accidentally fell and fired a round, hitting her in the chest area.


Victim of Hunting Accident in Stable Condition

The wife of Adam Catrett, Charity, says her husband is stable at USA Medical center.  Catrett was flown there following a hunting accident Saturday morning.  Authorities say Adam Catrett and his father were hunting in the Upper Delta Wildlife Management Area.  They say his father slipped while crossing a creek and his gun accidentally went off.  A bullet caused a significant injury to Adam Catrett’s leg.


Man shot in both arms in Oxford hunting accident

The Maine Warden Service says a group of four people were hunting over the weekend, about a quarter mile into the woods, when one of them shot another. (WGME)


OXFORD (WGME) – A man was shot in both arms in a weekend hunting incident that happened about a mile behind the Oxford Plains Speedway.

The Maine Warden Service says a group of four people were hunting over the weekend, about a quarter mile into the woods, when one of them shot another.

Investigators say it happened around two in the afternoon on Saturday, on land open to hunting.

Corporal John MacDonald says the four people were in the woods hunting deer when one of the hunters fired his rifle.

“The shooter is 21 years old. He is from Oxford,” MacDonald said. “This wasn’t a case where a weapon was, or a firearm was dropped and discharged. It was, we’re thinking this was a hunting related shooting incident where the shooter actually pulled the trigger.”

MacDonald says the victim is 32-year-old James Footman from Paris.

“He sustained some injury, fairly serious injury, to his arms,” MacDonald said.

He says Footman was taken by life-flight to Central Maine Medical Center after a bullet struck both his arms. The hospital says Footman is now in serious condition.

Investigators say all four hunters are cooperating. They say the shooter’s identity will not be released unless charges are filed against him.

CBS 13 spoke to a cousin of James Footman, and she told us the family is not commenting right now about what happened.


Woman fatally shot by hunter who mistook her for deer


A hunter in western New York fatally shot a 43-year-old woman after he mistook her for a deer, authorities said.

Rosemary Billquist was taking her dogs for a walk in her hometown of Sherman near the Pennsylvania border on Wednesday when she was shot once by Thomas Jadlowski.

Jadlowski heard her scream and called 911. He stayed with Billquist until emergency personnel arrived.

Billquist was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital in Pennsylvania.

“They tried saving her,” husband Jamie Billquist told the Buffalo News on Friday. “It was just too bad…. It’s horrific. It will be with me the rest of my life.”

“This is a horrific incident,” Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace told the newspaper. “….This destroyed two lives.”

The shooting occurred at around 5:30 p.m., about 40 minutes after sunset, when officials say it’s illegal to hunt.

 Jamie Billquist was told about the shooting after he heard his dogs barking and saw an ambulance, according to the newspaper. He went with his wife to the hospital.

“She was always out to help somebody,” he told the Buffalo News. “She never wanted credit and was always quiet about it. She’s just an angel. An angel for sure.”

Jadlowski has not been charged, but the investigation is ongoing.

“Hunters have to understand there are other people using trails, using parks in areas where we as sportsmen hunt,” Dale Dunkelberger of the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s hunter education program told the Buffalo News.

“In this case, it appears from what I gathered this was after sunset, and he shouldn’t have been out there hunting after sunset. You’re done. That’s the law.”


Search suspended for missing Washington elk hunter

The missing hunter’s pick-up truck (Courtesy Skamania Co. Sheriff’s Office)


STEVENSON, Wash. (AP) — Authorities have suspended the search for a 37-year-old elk hunter reported overdue for a week in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

Skamania County Sheriff Dave Brown said Saturday night that four days of search efforts haven’t turned up clues to help them locate Joel Presler, of Vancouver. He last had contact with his family on Nov. 11.

Authorities found his pickup truck Wednesday on a Forest Service road in the Forlorn Lakes area.

Nearly three feet of snow has piled up near the truck.

Presler was reported to have been in good health when he went missing and to have hunted in the area for years. Authorities don’t believe he would have hiked in and camped away from his truck.

The sheriff urged caution for family and friends who planned to search for him Sunday.

Alabama teen dies after rifle accidentally fires during hunt

Alyssa Scott, 15,  died after being fatally shot in a hunting accident on Monday, authorities said.

Alyssa Scott, 15, died after being fatally shot in a hunting accident on Monday, authorities said.


A 15-year-old Alabama girl was fatally shot in a hunting accident Monday, authorities said.

Alyssa Scott, an Oak Grove High School sophomore, was with an adult family friend on a youth hunt when the shooting occurred in Jefferson County, WIAT-TV reported.

The teen was climbing down a tree as the two of them prepared to leave. The friend passed Alyssa a rifle which accidentally discharged, striking and wounding the teen, according to the station.

Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies received a call of about the shooting after 5 p.m. and found Alyssa with a gunshot wound at the scene. She was taken to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.

5 dead in shooting at California elementary school, other sites

Oak Grove High School Principal Pam Dennis described Alyssa as a “great young lady.”

“She was a big member of the band,” Dennis told “Positive, fun-loving supportive student,”

“She lived life to the fullest. She always put others before herself,” the principal continued. “She was happy all of the time. She loved to make people laugh.”

An investigation indicated the shooting was an accident.

Moose attacks hunter after getting shot

By Ray Downs  |  Oct. 10, 2017 at 2:01 AM

This week, a Canadian hunter was attacked by a moose and had to be airlifted to a hospital. Photo by UPI/Shutterstock/Tom Reichner

Oct. 10 (UPI) — A Canadian hunter was attacked by the moose he shot and had to be airlifted out of the woods for medical treatment.

“I’ve got hoof prints in my forehead,” hunter Rodney Buffett told the St. John‘s Morning Show after leaving the hospital Monday.

Buffett was with his fiancee on Newfoundland’s south coast when he saw the moose and fired a shot, reported the CBC. The shot hit and the moose went down.

Buffett, who’s an avid hunter and has several photos of his hunting endeavors on his Facebook page, went up to the animal to begin carving it. But the moose got up.

“I thought he was dead,” Buffett said.

The moose lunged at Buffett, knocking him down and proceeded to stomp on him.

“I held onto his antlers and tried to steer him away, but it seemed like forever,” he said.

Buffett was able to kick the moose a few times and the animal took off — but he was so injured, he couldn’t move and a medical helicopter was called in to take him to the hospital, where he was treated and released.

Hunter survives long fall from tree stand


Posted: Nov 10, 2017 3:37 PM PSTUpdated: Nov 10, 2017 3:39 PM PST


An Iowa man is recovering after falling at least 20 ft. from a tree stand while hunting.

Jeff Pavek of Palo broke his neck, back, fractured his skull and sternum and suffered from a collapsed lung from the fall.

He says it’s amazing he is not paralyzed or dead.

“That strap let go around the tree, it was a cable, and I must have went backwards I don’t remember any of that though,” Pavek told us from his hospital room at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinic.

Pavek’s girlfriend Lori Vandooren-Long started to worry when he didn’t come home so she called his best friend Ron.

The two went out to the hunting site where they made the terrifying discovery.

“He probably laid there for like an hour and 45 minutes and we found him face down,” says Vandooren-Long.

“I told him to turn me over, thank God he didn’t I would have been parialyzed,” says Pavek.

He tells us several of his vertebrates were crushed.

I really realize how close death was and it’s very sad because you just never know,” says Pavek.

“We needed him around for awhile longer,” Vandooren-Long says.

Pavek hopes sharing his story will help other hunters be safe.

“I really strongly recommended when you’re in a tree please wear a vest, a vest for safety. It could have prevented a lot of this,” he tells us.

Pavek believes he is lucky to be alive.

“Real close to being paralyzed or death, so I had both of them and I’m gonna beat them both,” he says.

A Go Fund Me account has been created to help with medical expenses.

Pavek is the third person in Iowa to fall from a tree stand in the last two weeks. . 

A man from Dubuque fell on November 4th while hunting near Garber. 

The next day a man from Adair was found lying at the base of his tree stand. 

Early accidents good reminder for safety, DNR official says

MARSHALL — Of the thousands of Minnesota deer hunters who took to the great outdoors for the opening firearms season this past weekend, very few were injured. However, two of those who suffered injuries occurred in southwest Minnesota.

This past Saturday, the North Memorial Ambulance in Marshall responded to a call from the Minneota area regarding a male individual who had fallen out of a tree stand, while the Tracy Ambulance Service responded to a call about a hunter accidentally being shot in Redwood County.

“We had a hunting party shooting and then we also had an accident where somebody fell out of a tree stand,” area conservation officer Matt Loftness said. “That’s two accidents within a couple of hours on opening Saturday morning. It’s a really important reminder for people to be safe.”

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reports that tree-stand accidents are the leading cause of injury to hunters, with as many as 1 in 3 people who hunt from an elevated stand suffering a serious injury as a result of a fall at some point in their lifetime.

“Safety is so important,” said Eric Buffington, who works as a sales representative for Borch’s Sporting Goods in Marshall. “People should wear a harness when they’re in a tree stand. There’s times when you doze off and catch yourself, so anytime I step foot into a tree stand, I wear a harness.”

Two weeks ago, avid Minnesota hunter Philip Martinson broke his back after falling out of his deer stand while getting ready for the season opener. According to media reports, Martinson fractured the L1 vertebra in his lower back when he fell, though he still somehow managed to crawl 20 feet to his truck and drive himself home despite the agonizing pain.

Martinson wasn’t paralyzed, but another hunter — 32-year-old Timothy Bowers — wasn’t as fortunate. Paralyzed after falling from his tree stand in November 2013, Bowers, a newlywed and father-to-be from Indiana, chose to take himself off of life support rather than spend the rest of his life connected to a breathing machine, unable to hunt or even walk ever again, according to several media reports. Bowers died later the same evening.

“All the tree stands sold now come with a harness,” Buffington said. “I think it’s the law — or it should be — for hunters to wear a harness when they’re in a tree stand. I wear a harness every time I’m in the tree stand. I also let someone know when I plan to be back.”

For decades, the Treestand Manufacturers Association (TMA) — a nonprofit trade association — has worked to promote better hunter safety through improved tree stand designs and by including a full-body harness with every TMA-certified tree stand they sell. As a result, more than 18.5 million hunter have been provided with a fall restraint system along with their tree stand purchase. The organization also prides itself on educating hunters about the dangers and how to properly use the harness.

The state DNR website offers information regarding safety guidelines, recovery from a fall, the 3 point rule and different types of tree stands in addition to instructions about safety harnesses. There are also links to a hunter safety course and more about TMA stands.

Experts do recommend wearing a harness every single time a person climbs a tree because a lot of things can go wrong from 12-20 feet up — even for the most experienced hunters.

The Minneota man who fell from a tree stand on the opening day of deer season on Saturday received significant injuries.

Manager Dan DeSmet said North Memorial Ambulance was dispatched to the Minneota location early Saturday morning. The individual was transported to Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center, but DeSmet was unable to comment further because of privacy laws.

The accidental shooting took place partway between Milroy and Tracy. Investigators say a hunter shooting at a deer hit another hunter beyond the deer. The wounded individual was struck in the leg and was taken to the Sanford Tracy Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.

Loftness shared that safety needs to be the No. 1 priority when it comes to hunting.

“That’s one of the biggest things we teach in our safety classes,” he said. “You have to know what your target is and beyond. When you’re shooting, you have to make sure you’re clear, whether it’s another deer or a human.”

The injured deer hunter is said to be recovering. Authorities say everyone in the party wore the appropriate blaze orange clothing as required by law. No one was arrested and no charges are pending, they said.

“The accidental shooting this weekend was just into Redwood County,” Loftness said. “Tracy responded to that. Sometimes people don’t realize how crucial the first responders, ambulance crews and law enforcement are. But whether it’s a shot in the side or in the leg, it could be close to arteries so you’re talking about a dangerous situation.”

Loftness, who said he was dealing with phone calls at the time of the shooting, added that Tracy Ambulance was well prepared for the possibility of a hunting accident, though everyone hopes it never really happens.

“They actually trained on that,” he said. “They did training for a mock hunter injury.”

With firearm season continuing into the weekend and beyond, area officials are hoping for safe and successful hunts.

“Hopefully we don’t have any more accidents this weekend,” Loftness said.

Family angry accused man didn’t try to help victim after hunter-related shooting

By John Holyoke, BDN Staff •

Family photo courtesy of CBS 13 | BDN
Karen Wrentzel

SOUTH PARIS, Maine — A week ago, a composed but somber Beverly Spofford shared intimate details about her granddaughter, celebrating the life authorities say was cut short by a deer hunter.

On Wednesday, as that hunter, Robert R. Trundy, 38, of Hebron, made his first court appearance and was charged with manslaughter in the death of Karen Wrentzel, 34, of Hebron, Spofford’s demeanor had changed.

“I am just very, very angry,” Spofford said.

Wrentzel, who underwent surgery to treat cervical cancer in September, had moved into her grandmother’s Hebron mobile home a day before her own death on Oct. 28 in order to heal and help Spofford through the winter.

Spofford said reading an account of the affidavit filed on Tuesday afternoon changed everything. In that document, Maine Game Warden Anthony Gray alleged that Trundy told him he heard someone scream after he fired the shot, and that he hadn’t rendered aid after shooting Wrentzel.

“Robert stated, after he fired his rifle, what he shot at screamed, and he thought to himself deer don’t do that,” Gray states in the affidavit. “Instead of rendering aid to Karen, Robert called his father by phone and told him he, Robert, thought he just shot someone.”

Spofford said reading the affidavit was devastating.

“He heard her scream. He heard her scream,” Spofford said. “And he knew he’d hurt somebody, but he couldn’t go down and call 911 or go down and say, ‘I’m sorry’? Or whatever? I just don’t know.”

When asked by a reporter what went through her head when she saw Trundy enter the courtroom, she struggled to find an answer.

“He took away my granddaughter,” Spofford said before bursting into tears.

The Risk of Nuclear War with North Korea

By The New Yorker

[ ‘She didn’t come back’: Grandmother remembers woman killed by hunter]

Trundy entered no plea and gave single-word answers when questioned by Superior Court Justice Lance Walker at Oxford County Courthouse.

His defense attorney, Scott Lynch, cautioned that affidavits tell only one side in a court case.

“I will provide more information about that as the case goes on, but I’ve been involved with this case for all of 12 hours, so it will take me a bit of time to get up to speed with that,” he said.

A woman who answered the phone at a number listed for Trundy’s place of business said he would not comment about the case.

The shooting took place on the residents-only opening day of deer hunting season. Wrentzel was not wearing hunter orange clothing — there is no requirement for nonhunters to do so — and was digging for gemstones on a 15-acre parcel that her grandmother had given her.

Wrentzel’s mother, Debbie Morin of Lewiston, said reading about the warden’s allegations in the affidavit was difficult because she and other family members learned details they hadn’t known. Among those allegations: That Trundy never called for help, and no help was summoned until his father, Ralph Trundy, arrived on the scene minutes later.

“There certainly was [surprising information in the affidavit],” Morin said. “That he didn’t call 911. That he did nothing to help her at the end.”

Morin urged media outlets to stop referring to Wrentzel’s death as a “hunting accident.”

“This is not an accidental shooting. He deliberately pulled the trigger,” Morin said.

[ ‘For my death’: Victim of Hebron hunting-related incident left these instructions]

Jon Spofford, Wrentzel’s uncle, was visibly upset as he walked down the courthouse steps.

“[Reading the affidavit] changed things considerably. In my opinion that was a total disregard for human life,” he said. “If you’re coming onto my property to kill something, and if you mess up, do the right thing. That’s all. Do the right thing, and make an attempt.”

Wrentzel’s brother, Jeremy Wrentzel of Auburn, said he was growing frustrated with some who have begun criticizing his sister for her clothing choices.

“Just because it’s fall and it’s hunting season, the woods do not belong to the hunters. It’s not a person’s responsibility to wear orange or not go into the woods,” he said. “ It’s the hunter’s responsibility not to fire at something unless they know what they’re firing at.”

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