More winners at stupid games — accidents 004

ND-shot-in-footChristmas week we’re cleaning out some older accidents, but also reporting new tragedies.

There’s the Iowa kid who ran out in front of the firing line on a range.

In September, we covered the case of a Massachusetts kid who shot his brother dead. The DA in the case determined in early December that it was an accident and the gun was legally owned, so no legal action. We imagine that was a pretty unhappy house this Christmas, anyway.

There will always be accidents on ranges and at home. But most of our stories this time out are about what happens when negligence puts its field boots on in hunting season.

Then there was the 71-year-old Florida guy who was hunting coyotes on Saturday. Apparently he didn’t get the word that it’s Wile E. who’s supposed to outsmart himself. Looks like he’s going to survive, anyway. We often say these stories are new people having the same old accidents, well, how many times have you heard this story: “He told wildlife officials he was climbing over a fence when his gun discharged and a bullet hit him in the abdomen.”

Sounds exactly like this sad tale of coyote hunting gone awry: “He propped his gun on a fence as he was closing the gate, lost his balance, and accidently grabbed the gun, which went off and struck him in the chest.” Same guy, different news writer? Nope. This one was a different chucklehead, in Paris, TX, on Friday. There’s really no limit to the number of new people  that can have the same old accidents!

We think we know why coyotes always look like they’re laughing at us. They are.

Split the distance between Paris and Gainesville and you wind up in deepest, darkest Mississippi, where they love to hunt and aren’t particular about what. In a strange story, deer and squirrel hunters joined forces that ended with neither stag nor rodent in the game bag, but hunter with a game leg:

[Hunter Brian] Grove ended up firing his weapon at a squirrel, startling the girl who was behind him and she accidentally discharged her firearm, [Mississippi Wildlife Department official Jim] Walker said. Grove suffered a wound to the back of his right leg.

Grove was taken to Ocean Springs Hospital, where he was treated and released.

You might be inclined to suspect youth and hormones as contributing factors, along with the evident lack of judgment: the guy was 20 and the girl 16. (The third hunter, an eyewitness, was not IDd by name or age in the story).

At least the various unlucky Nimrods survived to see Christmas. A St. Paul, NE, man who died in a hunting accident, may not have been a shooting, but the odds are…

And then there are times when the negligence shocks the conscience. This is one of them:

[Harry] Hale shot his neighbor, Richie Pope, while Pope was walking his dog on a residential street.

He apologized in court yesterday and claimed that he had mistaken Pope for a deer.

The Virginia courts agreed, and Mr Hale will spend the next year in the state house of corrections, and will have to pay restitution to Mr Pope’s widow (which boggles the mind. What restitution could be meet for such a towering lapse of judgment and character? How could Hale ever pay it, were he rich as the House of Saud?) Hale not only failed to ID his target, he fired in a residential area and from his vehicle. These things are all fundamental hunting safety and legal no-nos and only a moronic cretin or a narcissistic sociopath could have taken that shot.

One lousy year? Are they serious?