Skip to comments.8 tragedies mar deer hunting in Wisconsin
Posted on 12/18/2001 9:07:24 AM PST by spunketsEdited on 09/03/2002 4:49:48 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]
STANLEY, Wis. -- The bullet, aimed at what looked like a white-tailed deer, struck its target with chilling precision. But as hunter Mike Berseth and his two buddies crossed a ravine and approached the lifeless figure, the thrill of the kill turned to shock and horror.
Lying on a gravel road was not a deer, but Berseth's 47-year-old neighbor, Debbie Prasnicki, who had been walking her two dogs near wooded Otter Lake on that chilly Saturday afternoon. She was wearing a white stocking cap when Berseth's bullet pierced her temple.
(Excerpt) Read more at chicagotribune.com ...
These criminally irresponsible acts should be sanctioned as manslaughter, or negligent murder, else there is no motivation for the irresponsible nitwit to stop shooting at phantoms. All of the cases in this story, except the guy dropping his gun and shooting his toes off, are cases of shooting w/o knowing the identity of the target. One father here got the death penalty, 'cause he failed to instill in his 14 y/o kid the idea of responsibility.
In a case in VT, a few years back, some guy shot a lady who was gardening in her own fenced yard. The yard was on the outskits of town. The nitwit told the cops he thought the bow of her apron was a deer's tail! The guy got off and was set free. This kind of wreckless action is being used by the grabbers to paint all gun owners and hunters as negligent nitwits. It shouldn't matter whether it's orange or not, if it's not a positive ID, then don't pull the trigger. Mr. Berseth is moving away. When he leaves he should at least leave the proceeds from the sale of his house and belongings to the kids, whose mother he shot.
When you fired a bullet, you own it. If someone gets hurt or killed by it, then you bear the responsibility.
Manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide should be the charges.
It should be that way, but for some reason the prosecutors don't press it. They treat it like it's expected and just an unfortunate occurance that goes along with hunting.
How many people died in traffic crashes in Wisconsin during the hunting season.
You sound like a gun control advocate to me. Ban guns and no one will die during hunting season. Great idea.
You do gooders make me sick when you concentrate on only one segment of social irresponsibility.
Crap happens and people die. What's your solution for every irresponsible manner in which people die at the hands of others? Get a life. You've got too much time on your hands.
My husband and I own a ranch in California's San Bernardino Mountains. We see game there all the time. More often though, we see trespassers, of the two legged variety. If we were to obtain a valid hunting license, and on our own property, shoot at something just because we saw movement, there would be a 90% probability that we would hit a human target, becase that is the ratio of humans to animals that we see.
Last year, my husband was at the Ranch, in the orchard, when we heard a loud gunfire. It was from so near that my husband actually felt the blast. Someone had blasted past our locked gate and no trespassing signs to hunt in our orchard. He was shooting at birds, and didn't even realize that my husband was only a few feet away (nor did my husband realize the hunter was only a few feet away).
Any time we take responsibility for a lethal weapon (a car, a gun, anything that can maim or kill) we should be held responsible for how we use it. Hunters like the one in the story, and like the one in our orchard give all of us second amendment rights people a bad name.
Charges should be made against the killer. Otherwise, the careless are allowed to kill with impunity.
If people drive like these people shoot, they should be charged with the same crimes. ie. manslaughter, or negligent homicide. These aren't accidents, they're displays of irresponsible behavior. If car your goes out of control, because you're driving irresponsibly, then you should be hit with criminal sanctions. Drinking has nothing to do with it. It's the driver!
He should have at least gotten a criminally negligent homicide charge.
There was one here in NYS a while back - Father accidentally shot his son, friend went for help, father killed himself after they departed. What a nightmare -
IDENTIFY IDENTIFY IDENTIFY and then give thought to the trajectory before you squeeze the trigger
Know your target and what is beyond. Be absolutely sure you have identified your target beyond any doubt. Equally important, be aware of the area beyond your target. This means observing your prospective area of fire before you shoot. Never fire in a direction in which there are people or any other potential for mishap. Think first. Shoot second.
One group showed up while no one was home at the neighbors and killed a deer standing 12ft from their house. The bullets(2) when right through their house and left blood splattered on the outside wall. The creeps cleaned the deer right where they shot it and left the guts right there in a pile.
While I can understand the occasional accident where a gun dog steps on a trigger, or the hunter falls or gets a branch inside the trigger guard, I cannot understand or sympathise with anyone who shoots another in a case of "mistaken identity". Identifying ones target and beyond is so fundamental that no exceptions should ever be made.
In other words, if Bubba doesn't know exactly what he's shooting at, he shouldn't be pulling the trigger. If he decides to shoot anyway and ends up killing someone, he should be convicted of negligent homicide every single time, automatically.
Unfortunately for your argument, the gun banners arent after banning cars, they're after your firearms.
Irresponsible and INEXCUSABLE actions such as these just give the Libs more ammo and energy in their anti-constitutional fervor.
UpstateNYRouser, I hope you get that Prozac refill soon :-)
Absolutely. The "accidents happen" crowd that comes out of the woodwork around here on posts like this is nearly as frightening as the gun-toting imbeciles wandering the woods bent on bagging a quick trophy, caution be damned.
Is there a rule somewhere that says the citizens can only express (and act on) concerns about the highest statistical causes of death? On that kind of reasoning we should just not worry at all about Mr. Anthrax. I say nail Mr. Anthrax, nail this reckless hunter nut, and nail the drunk and reckless drivers too. It's not an either/or proposition.
He obviously forgot one of the cardinal rules of gun safety ... Have a good clear view of your target, before pulling the trigger. Also you are NOT supposed to hunt near inhabited areas.
Pretty much says it all right there.
Sounds like all of you are making excuses for negligent hunting but are willing to excuse anything else negligent and claim it as "accident." You can bet your bippy that from things like "accidental shootings" will come a cry to ban hunting, guns, etc.
Of all highway deaths in a year, the overwhelming majority are negligence - somewhere between 90 and 95 percent. I know that probably about 100 percent of the hunting deaths are negligence, but there's no comparison in numbers and I just wonder why people raise such a fuss about guns and not cars. Where's the huge outcry to ban vehicles?
1. Vehicles crash on an average of every 1.7 seconds - nearly 20 million vehicles a year.
2. Vehicle passengers are injured in those crashes at an average rate of one every 6-10 seconds - more than 6 million people a year.
3. Vehicle passengers die in vehicle crashes at an average rate of one every 13-14 minutes - over 40,000 people EVERY year for the past 20 or 30 years.
Thing is - most everyone drives, so when one commits some kind of irresponsile act while driving, we cop out on the penalties because we may do the same kind of thing someday.
Not go into the woods because of the danger? Stick your heads in the sand and pretend danger doesn't happen in any other way, shape or manner. I don't question the concern about the deaths. If it were my sister, or my wife or my daughter?. Would I think that the person ought to be hung? I'd hope not, unless it could be proven that the person did it on purpose. That would include a hunting "accident" or a vehicle "accident." And after having been involved in highway safety education for over 38 years, I think I could be forgiving of the person even though I know that in 9 cases out of 10 negligence is the cause of the death.
Negligence in the guise of "accidents" is a human failing. Like or not. I don't make the rules. And so it goes.
John B********ff. Killed the biggest damn blacktail seen around here for quite some time. My brother, who shares the lease on their hunting land summed it up thusly: "That whisky-drunk assh*le shot the biggest f#%&ing deer I've ever seen."
I used the term I dislike anyone using.
Said "Sounds like 'ALL' of you...."
I don't like to be all inclusive when talking about any subject.
Better watch out. You never know when someone who's not paying attention to what they're doing might bump into you in the Mall, while you're shopping, and knock you to the floor or down the stairs breaking your "whatever."
Do you live in a vacuum?
Guarantee you one thing, Atticus. I drive, hunt and cut firewood and you're probably safer around me than I am around you in doing all those things. I know what I can and can't do and should and shouldn't do, but I don't know about you.
LOL! I have heard some wild/amazing drunken hunting stories. It ha always worried me to head out into the woods liqoured up with a high powered rifle but I have heard some hilarious stories about it.
Yes, it is important too keep in mind that these bozos never even considered shot placement. They were just blasting away at shapes and sounds.
Even if they had shot an actual deer, they deserve to have their guns shoved up their @sses.
The accidents killed people of all ages this year, but especially the young.
A 14-year-old boy in Trembeauleau County shot his 21-year-old brother during a deer drive. In Price County a 15-year-old boy died when he stood up in a blind to see a deer and was shot in the head by his father. And in Wood County a 13-year-old boy shot himself in the head when he rested his shotgun on the ground and it fired unexpectedly.
Then later: And while gunfire deaths draw the most attention, heart attacks and falls from tree stands are two of the biggest risks to a hunter's well-being.
Now I hate to be a sceptic, but when you read about firearms related issues in the popular press, you have to be sceptical. Note that only in two of the cited accidents was it specifically stated that the person hit actually died: the woman walking her dog and the 15-year-old in the blind. With the other gunshot victims it was not specifically stated that they were killed.
The article also states that hunters die of heart attacks and falls. How many of the eight tragedies are the result of this type of accident? The article never difinitively states that all eight deaths were gun-related. I checked the Wisconsin DNR website, and there were 60 gunshot incidents in 2000, the last year for which data was available on the website. Of those, there did not appear to be a single death. So two gunshot deaths would be a significant increase in gunshot deaths, while the other six could have been miscellaneous slips, trips and falls.
Like I say, I don't want to sound like a cynic, but there are so many anti-gun reporters out there, who feel that the end justifies the means, that I never take anything written in the popular press about guns or hunting at face value. And most often, the scepticism is justified.
That said, always know for sure what you are shooting at before you pull the trigger. Always make sure that downrange is clear in case you miss.
Also, long time rural residents know to be prudent and wear orange while out during hunting season. It's the newer move ins from the city who scamper around with white hats or mittens and wonder why bullets whiz past.
Has it been a fruitful season for you? I have bagged two already this year. I hope to get one more.
Hope you have happy hunting for the rest of the season!
Sadly, this year was deadly. In part, a lack of snow made it more difficult to pick out targets. But that is no excuse for the obvious gaps in judgement and common sense.
On the other hand, if you send 1 million people out for a week to engage in any outdoor sport (fishing, boating, skiing, snowmobiling, etc) a few will manage to get killed. You are probably as likely to drown while fishing in Wisconsin as you are to get shot while hunting.
This is the kind of thing that frightens the hell out of me and is the very reason I never set foot on public game lands. On my last hunting outing, I had set up on a hill overlooking a very popular whitetail hangout. I saw a white tail come busting through the woods but I could have never taken the shot with absolute certainty, then I heard what must of been an 18 point buck coming right behind her and the next thing I know, my friend emerges from the treeline right in front of me. The brush was so thick I didn't see his orange until I saw him step out. I was expecting him to come out 300 yards to my left. I never even shouldered my rifle the entire time. If you are not sure about everything, just let it go, there will be plenty of other chances. Saftey above everything else.
My blood kind of boils when seeing threads like this from do good reporters and reporterettes who have no other agenda than to ban guns, hunting and take away our second amendment rights.
I totally agree that media articles which report on gun related issues are geared toward one thing. I hate the circumstances which give these radicals their "justification" in proposing that we limit legal gun ownership and all the rights associated with that right.
I will always rail against their hypocrisy in "caring" for human life and try to expose them for what they really are.
They generally have the comeback that someone has to care. How hypocritic is it to care only one a year? I'd wonder if that reporterette writes daily about the people who die of other causes. Maybe I'm being too hard on her, huh?
And I'd wonder if the people who are so righteous about gun hunting have always been "accident" free in their pursuits of life.
In all of life we have gotten to the point where we think the word "accident" means unpreventable. "Accidents" are, in the vast majority of instances, preventable acts which are caused by negligences, ignorance, stupidity - whatever. But I will also maintain that as a human, I am going to do stupid things and should expect the same from others. I try to confine my "stupid" acts to things which will not harm others. I only wish it were possible to expect the same from others. But, alas.....
Regarding the deaths and gunshots. There were four deaths in 2000 that were from my area. Three were turkey hunting related. 2 of those were when a freind/relative and a father/son shot the other one's head off at < 10yds. Thought they was a turkey.(duh) The other one involved a dad showing his kids and the neighbor's kid a new rifle, in the house. Gun went off and killed the neighbor's kid.
These incidents are also going to end up in child health statistics. The real issues here are thoughtful action and responsibility. Maybe some has to do with stupidity, but most of these incidents would never happen, if thought replaced impulse.
I'd have no problem finding them guilty of negligent homicide.
How many people died in traffic crashes in Wisconsin during the hunting season.
I have no idea, but the number won't effect the fact that this idiot shot without identifying his target!
You sound like a gun control advocate to me.
Sorry chum, I'm a gun owner, hunter, and NRA member. Everytime I take a shot, I'm 100% sure of my target AND my backstop.
You do gooders make me sick when you concentrate on only one segment of social irresponsibility.
Man, you are so far off the mark, it's truly sad. I believe responsiblities come with our rights. I don't want cases such as this used to ban guns or hunting, only to punish irresponsible hunters.
What's your solution for every irresponsible manner in which people die at the hands of others?
If you kill someone because you weren't paying attention, you are responsible for that person's death. Kill one of my family members and a prison sentence will be the least of your worries.
Get a life. You've got too much time on your hands.
Maybe you should spend less time jumping to conclusions and spend more time thinking.
I would. I'm tired of hunters taking the rap because of the irresponsible actions of some inexperienced morons.
I recently passed up a beautiful shot at a grouse I'd just flushed because I saw a flash of white just beyond it. I lowered the shotgun and refocused my eyes to see what it was and spotted a house about 200 yards out. It would have been a safe shot but I don't regret passing on the shot to be on the safe side.
Good for you!
You do gooders make me sick when you concentrate on only one segment of social irresponsibility. Man, you are so far off the mark, it's truly sad. I believe responsiblities come with our rights. I don't want cases such as this used to ban guns or hunting, only to punish irresponsible hunters.
Go back and read the article and see if you truly believe that the aim of this reporterette was to spread the news only about irresponsible hunters/gun owners. Did you happen to catch all of the usual sob phrases? And before you flame me for that - of course I feel sorry for the people who were shot irresponsibly. The reporterettes agenda is much deeper than that and you'd better not slough off these kinds of articles so casually. If you use the same kind of casual thinking about articles from papers like the Tribune, what will you think about the articles they start writing about deaths caused by overeating? Are you aware of what articles about the dangers of smoking have created? Did you ever smoke in the presence of anyone else? Or drive after having had a cocktail while out to dinner on a Saturday night. Did you ever commit an irresponsible act?
What's your solution for every irresponsible manner in which people die at the hands of others? If you kill someone because you weren't paying attention, you are responsible for that person's death. Kill one of my family members and a prison sentence will be the least of your worries.
I think I felt a threat whiz by me! (sarcasm off.)
I wonder what you'd do to yourself if you ever committed an act of irresponsibility which caused the death of your wife, daughter, mother, or God forbid all of them at once. But of course, you wouldn't do that, would you? At least certainly not on purpose. And, that, dear Former Lib, is precisely my point.
Get it straight folks. I don't condone irresponsibility in any human activity and since "accidents" are by and large acts of irresponsibility, I am realistic enough to recognize that someday I might, God forbid, commit an irresponsible act. Like maybe getting involved in arguments which can't be won by the blind trying to lead the blind. (Can we all just take a look in the mirror and relate to that?)
Wow, I knew there were a lot of gun owners in the US, but was sorta staggered by your numbers.
No wonder the gun-grabbin' goobermint wants to disarm the citizenry. I don't know how many law enforcement officers and military personnel are in those two states, but it seems that just the active "hunters" [use that word advisedly based upon this story] outnumber all of them put together. Just imagine if push came to shove and just the number of active "hunters" took up their arms against the goobermint forces! Jeeeez... talk about outnumbering them! And that doesn't take into consideration all the non-hunter gun owners, many [if not most, I hope] feel pretty strongly about their 2nd amendment rights. Paints a real picture of why there are such vehement gun grabbing schemes around every corner!
I live out in the country, although in a "populated" area. There's probably 40 acres of woods and trees surrounding me. I hear gunshots pretty much every day. Hopefully, they are just the neighbors.
However, recently one of my young neighbors reported that he had seen a guy loading his hunting stuff into a pickup truck on the road about 20 feet from our mailboxes. It was only bow hunting equipment, but the idiot had to pass 3 No Hunting signs on the property to get to where he was "hunting". The property on both sides of the road is posted with No Hunting signs.
Were he brain dead enough to use a gun rather than a bow, he'd be blasting away with houses and people within 200 yards around him in all directions. Yet he would only see the trees and woods surrounding him. (We don't keep a lot of nice manicured lawns and sidewalks here in our neck of the "woods".) Who is it incumbent upon to use their brains- those of us in or around our homes doing our chores and minding our own business, or the idiot from the 'burbs who thinks he's a "great white hunter" and is "hunting" within a stone's throw (literally) of us?
Most of the people around here are pretty aware of using a gun in a populated area. If they aren't, they are reminded by the stop sign at the end of the road filled with bullet holes- and with at least 3 houses in perfectly plain sight right behind it.
This guy in this article apparently was in a similar rural "populated" area- apparently even his own neighborhood [since his victim was his "neighbor"]. That makes him all the more negligent for knowing it was a populated area and still taking a shot without positively, 100% identifying his target. Doesn't matter if he's "hunting" or is a "hunter". He was negligent. Didn't follow the rules. Killed someone. Hammer him!
'Course, I'm basing this on what was written in the snooze article, and we all know the famous saying, "Believe nothing of what you hear and only half of what you see".
"Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper."
--Thomas Jefferson to Nathaniel Macon, 1819
Trouble is, it seems that a significant percentage of them are as likely to hit another person who's taken up arms against the "goobermint forces" as they are to hit a member of the "goobermint forces". People who can't tell a deer a from a person aren't likely to be able to tell the anti-goobermint forces from the goobermint forces, and so won't be of much use in the fight against goobermint tyranny. Those of us who understand the real importance of the right to bear arms (which is NOT so that a bunch of guys can feel macho by running around in the woods killing stuff that moves) should be leading the charge to disarm these idiots by means of peer pressure and persuasion. If we don't, the goobermint will do it for us, only they'll do it by coercion and they won't stop with disarming just the idiots.
Gee, what was your FIRST clue, Sherlock??? I taught weapons for years, and still teach some firearms safety classes- and I could write a whole long book about stupid things I have personally seen done with guns. When I was a teenager, I used to hunt deer in Maine- those woods were full of morons- many of them drunk, all of them too stupid to live. Unfortunately, it was usually someone ELSE who got shot (like a 3-year old who was blasted off her tricycle by one of these mighty hunters). At least this chowderhead blew his own toes off...