Jun 2, 2009 at 2:13 pm #1236745
An under age hunter who killed a local Washington hiker was just charged with second degree murder and sentenced to 3 months. The hunter said he thought the victim who was wearing a bright blue windjacket was a bear.
Is moral here is kill you enemy's and swear you thought they were a bear? if you shoot a bear out of season or without a tag you get a worse sentence than this and are fined.
What message is this sending. AliJun 2, 2009 at 2:16 pm #1505306
That if you own a gun it's ok to shoot people accidentally…cops get away with it all the time. Even when they shoot one of their own…well as long as the victim's black…Jun 2, 2009 at 3:07 pm #1505324
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Ali, you might check the news reports–here are two:
The guilty verdict was for 2nd degree manslaughter, not murder.
Sentencing will not take place until July 10, per the KOMO-TV article. The boy faces up to 15 months in juvenile detention. Per the Seattle Times article, there may be a hearing to determine if the boy should serve additional time because a firearm was involved.
I'd still like to know why the older brother (then 16) was not charged!Jun 2, 2009 at 3:23 pm #1505331
Please note: I'm not denying this is a terrible and important event for everyone, especially hikers and her friends and family.
"Almli was the first non-hunter to be killed by a hunter in Washington in more than 25 years."
A little perspective here, as far more innocent people are killed by other negligent acts.
Also, maybe the hiker community should be more proactive about wearing blaze orange in areas where it is legal to hunt.
Disclaimer: I don't even hunt in public areas, and have only used a bow when I have hunted on private tracts.Jun 2, 2009 at 3:34 pm #1505332
Nothing personal but she was wearing a bright blue jacket. If a hunter needs a blaze orange flag to tell the difference between a person and a bear we are all in trouble. AliJun 2, 2009 at 4:01 pm #1505342
hey, I won't dispute what you wrote, but think about it… what is more visible (especially in poor conditions like the article described: fog) blue (article:"light blue") or blaze orange?
what color are hunters taught to look for (if they listen in class or even went to a class…)
im not justifying anything and no I don't think in ANY circumstance that a hunter should shoot at a target without a 200% positive target ID, but lets think practical safety here.
i think many of us will agree that most shades of blue are a poor choice if you want to stand out to anyone from a distance
oh, and IMO if the government doesn't trust a kid to consume alcohol, they sure as hell shouldn't be trusted with a deadly weaponJun 2, 2009 at 5:22 pm #1505360
@iwillchopyouhotmail-comLocale: Lake Tahoe
This is a bit of a deviation from this article, but another thing that I find shocking about hunting is that it is legal to drink while hunting. The majority of the hunters that I've encountered while thru-hiking the PCT and CDT were all quite toasted. That's scary. I've heard a few hunters that I've met say "we shoot at whatever moves".
EDIT: Is it legal to drink while hunting?Jun 2, 2009 at 6:17 pm #1505378
"i think many of us will agree that most shades of blue are a poor choice if you want to stand out to anyone from a distance"
There's a nine page old thread on this topic which argues that blaze ornge is not always the best colour to wear:
"I think high visibility orange might be a protective factor in some instances, but in others cases it might even be a contributing factor," says Green. By that he means a highly visible flash of colour could actually attract a hunters attention and draw a hasty shot.
As part of his research into hunting related fatalities, Green has also carried out experiments with different shades of brightly coloured clothing in the bush. He concludes that in various levels of light, and different environments, bright orange might not always be the most suitable colour – from a distance it can appear to be a reddish hue. That just happens to be the same colour as the hide of a red deer. Scary given that almost all hunter protective clothing uses "blaze orange". Now there are a whole host of hunters tearing around in the forest thinking they’re safe, yet they could inadvertently be wearing a ‘bulls-eye’.
"We’re still encouraging hunters to wear bright colours, but we’re telling them to make sure that what they wear contrasts with the environment they’re hunting in."
Green believes that a shade of light blue, like that worn by United Nations troops, is likely to provide the most obvious distinction in the forest."
"In a bitter irony, Davies bullet even went straight through Leathwick’s "blaze orange" cap"Jun 2, 2009 at 6:43 pm #1505388
It is illegal, and stupid, to drink and hunt. Or handle a firearm at all. This is tragic. Probably not the only tragedy caused this year by a teenager allowed into a potentially dangerous situation.Jun 2, 2009 at 7:43 pm #1505415
maybe there is a physicist on the board who can chime in here but I was under the impression that the shorter wavelength colors (violet, blue) become less visible at distance due to atmospheric interference (loss of contrast), as well as under low light conditions, compared to longer wavelengths (orange, red)
of course, we cannot discount the environmental colors, or the color of the game
if you are interested, I found the article that your link is based on: http://police.govt.nz/service/firearms/safehunting.pdfJun 2, 2009 at 7:56 pm #1505420
Yes, that is a good hunting article overview, even if centred around the NZ specifics.
I think the key take-home message (aside from the obvious one of always identify your target), is that the colours you wear should contrast well against your environment. This is especially important for a lot of hunters who are out at sunset/sunrise, or sighting through a scope, but also is a good suggestion for hikers. You may think blaze orange is very bright until you see it at sunset with a nice orange sky…or in very low light of dusk. Try it sometime, you'll be surpised at how easily blaze orange can blend in when the light is low, or your target is against the bark of a red barked tree, or the red dirt of the California gold country.Jun 2, 2009 at 8:05 pm #1505423
@jcarter1Locale: Pacific Northwest
…and to think I get mocked for my 'garish' yellow-colored DriDucks…Jun 2, 2009 at 8:10 pm #1505425
".and to think I get mocked for my 'garish' yellow-colored DriDucks."
Eyyyew Yuck how gauche of you. What stops the hunters from shooting you if it's not raining???Jun 2, 2009 at 10:49 pm #1505444
@biointegraLocale: Puget Sound
>"The majority of the hunters that I've encountered while thru-hiking the PCT and CDT were all quite toasted."
Yeah, but the drunk ones can't aim to save their lives (or take yours).
I grew up backpacking & climbing in Red River Gorge, KY where it's the norm to see bullets fly. I used to just pretend I was in a war-zone and it was all part of the adventure. I once got 'held up' at point blank range after rounding a bluff and entering a natural arch, but by the grace of God, I somehow knew the password to continue on the trail. It was 'llama.'
Now it's when they get behind the wheel that it's real scary.Jun 3, 2009 at 7:03 am #1505492
Statistically hunting is an extremely safe sport for hunters and non-hunters alike.
As the quote says "Almli was the first non-hunter to be killed by a hunter in Washington in more than 25 years."
How many people have been killed by drunk drivers in Washington in the last 25 years. How many by sober drivers? Many thousands. Stupid drivers!
Personally, I ran into lots of hunters on the CDT last year and as far as I know none of them were drunk. They did give me rides to town and free food, however. Of course there are fools in any group and hunters are no exception. No hunter shoots at "anything that moves" although they might say it in a misguided attempt to be funny or scare the listener. Do hunters shoot up signs? I'm sure some do, just like I'm sure some baseball players smash mailboxes with baseball bats.
Check out this link for some perspective on how safe hunting really is. Note that it is stats from American Whitewater so they aren't spun to make hunters look good. http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Article_view_articleid_1614_display_full_
Note that bicycling is over twice as dangerous as hunting, and swimming is about four times as dangerous and recreational boating is nearly ten times as dangerous.
There is no doubt that orange is safer than blue, but the cause of this fatality was stupidity.Jun 3, 2009 at 4:27 pm #1505627
@iwillchopyouhotmail-comLocale: Lake Tahoe
"Note that bicycling is over twice as dangerous as hunting, and swimming is about four times as dangerous"
But when a bicyclist falls, or a swimmer drowns, they hurt themselves.
I'm wasn't trying to generalize all hunters–just the ones that I ran into. Granted, they were all smashed later in the day when they weren't necessarily hunting, but I'm sure their blood alcohol level was still a bit high in the morning when they were looking for game.
And they are a nice bunch–I used to be vegetarian and vegan, but get me on a long distance hike being fed by hunters and you should hear the things that come out of my mouth between bites of elk sausage burritos…"hunting isn't so bad…so many elk…over population…so hungry…so tasty…I love you guys!".Jun 3, 2009 at 4:46 pm #1505633
I dont think anyone is saying all hunters are bad. Its just that these two idiots represnt a large portion of hunters. What were they planning to do if they actually killed a bear. It would need to be dressed immediatly. Can you see a 13 and 16 year old and hauling out a serveral hundred pound bear? Or were they out indiscriminaty killing. I spent a large portion of my life hunting and I could tell hundreds of storys about idiot hunters. I have nothing against skilled hunting but this is a case were the judge should throw the book at them. This was no accident. :) AliJun 4, 2009 at 7:03 pm #1506007
@lilorphanbillyLocale: Montana, MT (Stealth Mode)
I live in MT and hunting is a religion for us. When I lived in the Ozarks I refused to hike during deer season. It really did sound like a war zone and with the hills and hollows, extremely poor for visibility. I am curious about two young teens bear hunting…….
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