Two men in their 70s were struck by a dove hunter this past September 3 just south of Hondo behind the Walmart area. Furthermore, after hearing the men screaming, the shooter took off and left.
“A shooter basically was just swinging too low on a bird that had dropped down, and he shot two individuals,” said Game Warden Cody Buckaloo.
Pellets were lodged in the breast plate in the middle of one man’s chest,” Buckaloo said. “The other victim had pellets lodged in his rib cage, left arm, and hand. The shooter was about 75-100 yards away from the people he shot. When they heard them yell, they just packed up and took off instead of rendering aide like they legally should have.”
“This accident could have been much worse, and I always urge victims to go to the hospital to get it checked out. Years ago, I had a case where a guy had pellets penetrate his side and he was in so much pain, he didn’t even realize it had gone into one of his lungs. Later he ended up with a collapsed lung.”
In another incident the day prior, Sept 2, a woman in her early 50’s nearly lost her thumb in a freak accident that remains a mystery.
“She was using an over and under 20 gauge shotgun, and she is left-handed so he had her right hand on the forearm of the gun. Somehow, the top barrel blew out the side and took off part of her thumb. It also fractured the thumb and left a pellet lodged inside,” Buckaloo said.
“She is a very experienced hunter, who has hunted for 30+ years. She was using the right ammunition, so we are not sure what caused it, maybe over pressurization of the ammunition or a malfunction of the firearm. Usually what causes accidents like these is when hunters use the wrong ammunition, but that wasn’t the case this time.”
“A big issue we are having is hunters shooting across property lines and shooting across county roads. If you do this, you will be cited. It’s a Class C so the fine can be up to $500 plus any damages. We will cite you right on the spot,” Buckaloo said. “If you see someone hunting illegally, please contact us. One of the best things you can do is pull out your phone and get a video for us.”
“Also, legally you must make every reasonable effort to recover a bird you have shot, but that still does not allow you to cross property lines.”
“The first two weekends are always the busiest with hundreds and hundreds of hunters coming into Medina County. For example, an outfitter near Hondo had 300 hunters in one field. Hunting has been kind of spotty, but we have seen the most success with hunters getting their bag limits in the sunflower fields in Devine and Hondo areas.”
“Remember, a 12 gauge or 20 gauge especially can travel a long ways–hundreds of yards. It may not have a lot of force at that distance, but it doesn’t take a lot of force to put someone’s eye out. If you are shooting toward a tree line or brushy area, make sure to do your due diligence in finding out what is behind that tree line–there may be a house.”