© By Othmar Vohringer
It makes me cringe each time I learn of a hunting accident. Especially those that occur because of mistaken identity. Last week two “mistaken identity” accidents occurred on opening day of the spring turkey hunting season in Indiana.
In the first case 55-year old David Iron of Cicero mistook his brother, 35-year old Brian Iron of Noblesville, for a turkey. According to the investigating conservation officer, the shooter fired his shotgun at his brother. The pellets hit the victims face and chest. The accident occurred in Morgan Monroe State Forest north of Bloomington. Because of the remote area it took rescuers several hours to find the injured man and move him from the forest by hand and off-road vehicle to the waiting Life Line Helicopter that took him to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, where he been treated for life threatening injuries to his face.
Meanwhile, in Orange County, Jesse W. Boyle, age 26, was shot at by his father-in-law, 49-year-old Gerlad D.Walton. The men had been hunting near each other when the father-in-law was heading to meet his hunting partner. He saw movement from behind a tree and discharged his shotgun, injuring Boyle in the face, neck and on the shoulder. The victim has been transported to the University of Louisville Hospital where he is been treated.
These accidents could have been avoided if the hunters would have taken their due time to make absolutely sure that what they see is indeed a turkey and not a human. I understand that at times "buck fever" or in this case "tom fever" can rattle us, but there should never ever be any reason not knowing what you’re shooting at. If in doubt it is better to loose a gobbler then to loose a human life.
Be careful out there and before you bring your gun up make absolutely sure you identified the target correctly. As my father used to say, “You can reverse every decision you make in your life with one exception. When you decide to pull that trigger it cannot be reversed or changed. You just played God and will have to live, for good or worse, for the rest of your life with that decision.” Think about that when you’re out in the turkey woods.