Bad: TWO SELF-INFLICTED HUNTING-RELATED SHOOTING INCIDENTS IN N.H., ONE FATAL

Bad: TWO SELF-INFLICTED HUNTING-RELATED SHOOTING INCIDENTS IN N.H., ONE FATAL

This is a discussion on Bad: TWO SELF-INFLICTED HUNTING-RELATED SHOOTING INCIDENTS IN N.H., ONE FATAL within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; As I have mentioned in the past I am a volunteer hunter education instructor. I specialize in firearms & firearms handling and laws & regulations. ...

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  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Bad: TWO SELF-INFLICTED HUNTING-RELATED SHOOTING INCIDENTS IN N.H., ONE FATAL

    As I have mentioned in the past I am a volunteer hunter education instructor.

    I specialize in firearms & firearms handling and laws & regulations.

    I'm certified as an instructor in 'Basic Hunter Education', 'Trapper Education' and 'Map, Compass & Survival' (Basic orienteering & 72 hr. woods survival technique).

    I am certified as an employee instructor by the NH Dept. of Fish & Game and MA Dept. of Fisheries & Wildlife. Further I am instructor certified by the Intl. Hunter Education Association (IHEA), the US Fish & Wildlife Service and Smith & Wesson Company.

    I was recruited by and am member of two instructor teams; Smith & Wesson Company and the USFWS.

    I volunteer my time away from my family to instruct at least a course a month, every month, except December. This past October I instructed two courses back to back across a 2 week spread; Trapper Education and Waterfowl Identification (Duck hunting).

    Anyone who has _EVER_ taken any firearm involved course with me will know that I am extremely anal and RIGID about following gun safety rules. I am not just this way in class but IRL be I alone or with others.
    I am absolutely required to come home and do so in one piece exactly as I'd left, with no exceptions.

    The following arrived in my mailbox this morning as forwarded to me by the S&W Co. instructor team leader.
    It was sent to him by the NH state instructor coordinator with whom we all work with and for.

    Whether you hunt or just pop tin cans in your backyard with Airsoft guns, please read the following and MEMORIZE the multiple lessons as detailed below.

    These are lessons taught and drilled as in the courses I instruct.
    Unfortunately neither of these persons took one of my classes or that of any instructor among either of my teams.

    From: Davison, Peter
    Sent: Monday, November 02, 2009 2:56 PM
    Subject: Hunting Accidents

    Hi Instructors,

    As you might already have heard, the opening of muzzleloader season in NH brought with it two accidents, one fatal. Just so you all have the facts straight, I've copied a press release for your information.

    News from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department

    Phone: (603) 271-3211

    Email: info@wildlife.nh.gov

    For information and online licenses, visit
    N.H. Fish and Game Department - Welcome

    * * * * * * *

    CONTACT:

    Lt. Robert Bryant: 603-271-3127

    Jane Vachon: 603-271-3211

    Pete Davison, Hunter Education

    November 2, 2009

    TWO SELF-INFLICTED HUNTING-RELATED SHOOTING INCIDENTS IN N.H., ONE FATAL

    CONCORD, N.H. -- Two hunting-related shooting incidents occurred in New Hampshire on Saturday, October 31, the opening day of the state’s muzzleloader season for deer. One was fatal.

    In Rindge, N.H., Timothy Letourneau of Rindge, age 21, was killed when his muzzleloader discharged shortly after he had gotten into his treestand. Letourneau had been hunting with his brother on land off Old Jaffrey Road, where the pair had landowner permission to hunt. The landowner called 911 just before 4 p.m. on Saturday (October 31) to report that a hunter had been shot. New Hampshire Fish and Game Conservation Officers, Rindge Police and Rindge Fire and Rescue responded. Letourneau was transported to Monadnock Community Hospital in Peterborough, where he was pronounced dead from an accidental gunshot wound, according to N.H. Fish and Game Lt. Craig Morrocco.

    Also on Saturday afternoon, a deer hunter was injured in Ossippee. Robert LaPointe of Somersworth, age 66, was pulling his muzzleloader up into his treestand about 1:45 p.m. when the gun got stuck on a branch, which pulled the trigger. The gun was fully loaded (with cap) and pointed upwards. It went off and shot LaPointe in the hand at close range, causing serious injury. LaPointe was transported to Huggins Hospital in Wolfeboro, then transferred to Maine Medical Center in Portland, according to N.H. Fish and Game Conservation Officer Mark Hensel.

    "When you bring a firearm up into a treestand, the gun must be unloaded – for muzzleloaders, uncapped – with the safety on. Also, control the direction of the muzzle of your firearm; know exactly where it’s pointing at all times," said Hensel.

    Overall, New Hampshire has a strong record for hunter safety, largely attributable to the state's effective hunter education programs. The average number of hunting-related incidents per year has gone down each decade since mandatory hunter education classes became required in the 1960s. The 1960s saw an average of 21.4 incidents per year in New Hampshire. Fewer incidents have occurred each decade since, with an average of 3.1 incidents per year since 2000. Serious incidents are even rarer – the recent death brings to four the total number of hunting-related fatalities that have occurred in the state in the last 15 years.

    Ten Commandments of Hunting Safety:

    1. Treat every firearm with the same respect due a loaded firearm.

    2. Control the direction of your firearm's muzzle.

    3. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

    4. Be sure the barrel and action are clear of obstructions.

    5. Unload firearms when not in use.

    6. Never point a firearm at anything you do not intend to shoot.

    7. Never climb a fence or tree, or jump a ditch or log, with a loaded firearm.

    8. Never shoot a bullet at a flat, hard surface or water.

    9. Store firearms and ammunition separately.

    10. Avoid alcoholic beverages or other mood-altering drugs before or while shooting.

    "If you’re going to use a treestand, be sure to follow all the manufacturer’s directions, including use of a safety harness to secure yourself to the tree while in the stand," said Lt. Morrocco. For more information on treestand safety, visit
    Treestand Manufacturers Association.


    Pete Davison
    Hunter Education Coordinator
    NH Fish and Game Dept.
    11 Hazen Drive, Concord NH 03301
    Here is a picture of a muzzleloaders projectile...



    Firearm - Bolt action inline muzzleloader with 24" barrel length

    Cartridge - Barnes Spit-Fire TMZ copper hollowpoint, 50 caliber sabot with 290gr 0.456" sub-projectile. Item # 45190. Propellant charge was 100gr of Hodgdon Triple Seven (2 pellets), with 209 primer.

    Source - 50 Caliber Barnes Spit-Fire TMZ
    Even as unexpanded a muzzleloader projectile is 50 caliber nominal. Never mind close contact wounding as from expanded gasses at the muzzle and out as far as 4 FEET!
    The gasses alone will DESTROY flesh. The projectile AND gasses will DESTROY a hand and quite possibly cause death as due to major blood loss alone, as at the hand!
    Do not be stupid. Think about this. Use your noodle.

    I use sharp language here for specific reason.
    Because if I do not now you may not later come home with both hands, or maybe even not at all...Just like these two gentlemen.
    One dead and the other suffering a so called "minor" wound.

    Follow the rules people.
    They just might save you from a minor wound.
    Because it's a no brainer, or rather no hander.

    Learn lessons from the mistakes and ignorance of others.
    That is one way to actively save your own life.

    - Janq

    P.S. - The instructor team lead and chief at the USFWS office where I instruct has asked if I'd be interested in co-instructing with him a muzzleloader course come next spring. I told him of course, and it's necessary.

    I am right now prepped and dressed getting ready to go, in 10 minutes, on a drive to spend my day in a tree stand to hunt bear with him on his private property. And you can darn bet we both will be pulling our rifles up into the air as with empty chambers AND unloaded! Why?
    If ever my name is featured in a newspaper article or memo such as the above then I promise you I will eat my gun and every one of the left over rounds, as soon as I'm released from the hospital.
    I swear it.

    I am serious about this. Because my wife and kids expect and require as much.
    As do my fellow instructors who like me are very serious about firearm safety of use, the states of MA & NH, the USFWS and S&W Co....as well as every student who sees my face in a course.
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing


  2. #2
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    Pulling a gun 'barrel' up into a treestand is just plain stupid, but then if you saw the stuff that so many hunters do during deer season...you'd never go hunting...I don't.
    The last Blood Moon Tetrad for this millennium starts in April 2014 and ends in September 2015...according to NASA.

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  3. #3
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Below are pics showing how to do things correctly and most safely...

    Proper and correct low risk method

    Source - New Hampshire Hunter Safety Course - Elevated Stand Location and Safety

    Proper and correct no risk method

    Source - Me.

    This is a picture I shot of myself today as setting up both my haul line AND my safety line.
    Review this pic very carefully and note the multiple safety actions I took toward saving my own life!
    * Firearm is empty with no ammo in the chamber nor the magazine!
    * Hammer down
    * Haul line attached around the wrist of the firearms stock. Further it is locking down the action lever so as to not catch on a limb and result in the gun jack knifing.
    * The firearm is oriented as a _STRAIGHT DROP_ muzzle pointed toward the ground!!!
    * Center of gravity as by haul line attachment method and location results in majority of firearm weight being pointed straight down toward no rocks soft earth.
    * Haul line physically tied off in a place so that the firearm does bang/rub against or get entangeld among the tree stands ladder.

    If either of these people had noted just one of my above items never mind them all, they would not be a featured news item. As I was not today.

    Oh and BTW I was out in the middle of nowhere FARRR from any emergency services on the literal side of a mountain that is not possible to engage by motorized vehicle, not even ATV, a difficult 3/4 mile hike straight up an elevation that increased from 650' to 1550' (!). It's all dense trees including crossing a waterway.
    With no GPS coverage due to tree line coverage and there is no cellular reception there either. Even as when I am 15' off the ground with visible clear sky to my eye as from the stand.
    So what happens if you **** up and get yourself shot or fall out of a tree? You die. Slowly, and alone...in agony while being very afraid, of dying alone in agony and cold.

    Aside from these type gun incidents resulting in hunters injuring or even killing themselves.
    Persons falling out of trees and tree stands is sadly quite high. I have a long time client whos father fell out of a tree stand two Decembers ago from a height of 20'. He broke his upper three vertebrae, fractured the base of his skull (!), fractured his hip and broke his arm.
    He was expected to be a paraplegic but modern medicine saved him from that horror though he now is with reduced full body mobility due to the bone breaks. He is none the less alive and not paralyzed. But was in physical rehab for a full year and his daughter the whole time was worried sick about him.

    Do not be these guys!

    If not for your own sake for that of your family & friends who will be left to assist in your rehab, or funeral.

    Seriously.

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  4. #4
    Distinguished Member Array nutz4utwo's Avatar
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    Thank you Janq for your post and for your tireless work on teaching firearms saftey.
    "a reminder that no law can replace personal responsibility" - Bill Clinton 2010.

  5. #5
    Distinguished Member Array nutz4utwo's Avatar
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    Just came across this photo of a Pierce County SWAT member in the search for the suspect in Lakewood, WA 4 officer shooting:

    Gunman kills 4 police officers in Wash. - Yahoo! News Photos



    One can never become complacent in their safe firearm handling skills
    Attached Images
    "a reminder that no law can replace personal responsibility" - Bill Clinton 2010.

  6. #6
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    Preach that.

    NRA director Mike Baker said, "Seemingly obsessive concern with safety is the mark of the firearms professional."

    Keep doing what you do.

    pax
    Kathy Jackson
    My website: Cornered Cat

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Nutz,

    Thank you for the update of this thread.

    A couple items of note...

    * Yesterday I was in the field for the MA shotgun deer winter opening season. Sat in a tree stand for over three hours in a downpour making like a human sponge. Not fun.
    I came down early for concern of safety upon thought I might go hypothermic (I began to shiver). The stand was made of metal and cold to the touch grounding heat from my body even as I sat on a rubber seat insulator and wore heavy rubber soled boots. Additionally there was a wind at to my estimation to be 25+ mph causing large limbs to move as on trees. I was exposed to this wind laterally.

    I was not bone cold, yet. But shivering is a first and early sign of going into a hypthermic state. Second is a sense of drowsiness.
    I recognized this AND I teach about same in BHE and outdoor survival courses offerings.

    Rather than continue and wind up losing manual coordination & dexterity and to drop my firearm or even fall asleep and/or fall out of the stand, I emptied the firearm...and got it down via haul line (FIRST!!!) and then lowered myself down second VERY slowly.

    I came down an hour earlier than I had planned/wanted but sometimes you have to take the responsibility and measure to save your own life, which is to use your _best_ judgment and to err on the side of caution. I could have bet that the rain would let up or the sun come back out ro that I might have been okay for another hour.
    Or I could use my noodle, take a rest break and go warm up & dry off, then return an hour or two later...Which is what I did toward another 4 hrs.of still hunting up and along the base of the mountain.

    S A F E T Y!

    Last night upon returning home very late I found the following e-mail as sent to me a again by the NH coordinator...

    From: Davison, Peter
    Sent: Monday, November 30, 2009 10:26 AM
    Subject: Hunter Ed Safety Message

    Hi all,

    Sadly, we've had another hunting incident involving tree stands and muzzleloaders (see below). I wanted to send a message out to all of you, to spread the word to those you know who hunt, to PLEASE BE CAREFUL AND SAFE for the remainder of the hunting season.


    ROCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — Authorities in New Hampshire say a hunter was seriously injured when he accidentally shot himself in the hand while hunting. Twenty-three-year-old Nicholas Del Santo, of Rochester, N.H., was pulling his muzzleloader into a tree stand early Friday when the rifle went off. The bullet struck Del Santo’s right hand. Fish and Game Sgt. Jim Juneau says this was the third such incident this year. Last month, a Rindge man died in a similar accident, and an Ossipee man was seriously injured. Officials are reminding hunters that all guns should be unloaded while being raised or lowered from tree stands.

    Thanks for passing along my safety message.

    Pete Davison
    Hunter Education Coordinator
    NH Fish and Game Dept.
    11 Hazen Drive, Concord NH 03301
    Clearly not enough of US as instructors and those of us who are mentors to others looking to learn are sharing the importance of hunter stand safety AND basic firearms safety.
    This cannot and_should not_ be written off as ehh that's common sense. It is not, clearly as based on common happening results.

    Also do not assume that because so n' so has been hunting or handling firearms for years/decades that they know what they are doing or are even safe in doing so.
    Doing so may allow you to save the life of a friend or relative, if not that of your own!

    - Janq

    Additional reference material on hypothermia which can and does occur without regard to ambient air temps, as even under direct sun and what otherwise would be considered to be summer temps.!

    Source - Outdoor Action Guide to Hypothermia & Cold Weather Injuries
    YouTube - Severe Hypothermia - Hunting Chris Ryan - BBC Endurance
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  8. #8
    Distinguished Member Array nutz4utwo's Avatar
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    sigh, another hunting accident. No one is responsible for your saftey while hunting except YOU.


    Moses Lake hunter shoots himself in face with shotgun | KREM 2 News | KREM.com | When it Matters Most | Local News

    MOSES Lake, Wash. (AP) -- Grant County Undersheriff John Turley says a 43-year-old Moses Lake pheasant hunter accidentally shot himself in the face with a shotgun.

    Mitchell King was reported in serious condition Thursday in intensive care at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane.

    Turley says King and two friends were hunting Dec. 4 when one friend heard a shot, then saw King falling backward with his semiautomatic 12-gauge shotgun between his legs.

    The Tri-City Herald says investigators think the gun likely fired when King put it between his legs as he was wringing the neck of a pheasant he just shot or was congratulating his hunting dog, which might have accidentally made contact with the trigger.

    The undersheriff says the blast hit King on the left side of his body, beginning at his hunting vest, and traveled along the left side of his face.

    The sheriff's office first released information on the case Thursday.
    "a reminder that no law can replace personal responsibility" - Bill Clinton 2010.

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