Bear Hunter Shoots Hiker in Washington State
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Jolly Green Giant
(regultr) - MLife

Locale: www.jolly-green-giant.blogspot.com
Bear Hunter Shoots Hiker in Washington State on 08/03/2008 16:02:47 MDT Print View

Just saw this on one of the news sites and thought I'd pass it along just to remind people that there are things other than nature, gear and weather to be concerned about while hiking...

"A woman was shot and killed by a boy Saturday while she was hiking near Sauk Mountain in Skagit County.

The boy, from Concrete, was hunting bear with an adult, according to the Skagit County Sheriff's Office.

The woman, 54, of Oso, was hiking with a friend, sheriff's deputies said. She apparently stopped on a trail about 10:30 a.m. to put something into her backpack when the boy mistook her for a bear and fired one shot. The woman fell onto steep terrain, and rescue specialists were called to retrieve her body.

Saturday marked the start of bear hunting season, according to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Skagit County sheriff's deputies and a state Department of Fish and Wildlife officer are investigating the incident."

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Bear Hunter Shoots Hiker in Washington State on 08/03/2008 17:59:48 MDT Print View

Why in the world would people want to hunt bear in the first place. For a trophy??? Geez...sad. Thanks for sharing the story.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Bear Hunter Shoots Hiker in Washington State on 08/03/2008 18:08:59 MDT Print View

Not that anyone's asking me or anything -- but I am totally unimpressed when folks kill "big game" with weapons. If you got balls, then take 'em down with your bare hands. Otherwise, whatever 'rush' hunters might feel, methinks it's just a case of small member syndrome.

Edited by ben2world on 08/03/2008 18:10:51 MDT.

Andrew Richardson
(arichardson6) - F

Locale: North East
Re: Re: Bear Hunter Shoots Hiker in Washington State on 08/03/2008 19:42:19 MDT Print View

Your comment made me laugh Benjamin. I obviously meet two kinds of hunters though. The kind that would shoot a person thinking they were a bear and the kind that are extremely knowledgeable, respectful, and, though I do not agree with their choices as far as killing animals, I see where they are coming from and respect their right do so.

It is terrible that this happened though. It's a really sad thing when a hunter can mistake a person for a bear. Seriously, wouldn't someone want to LOOK at what they are shooting or is just hear a noise and pull the trigger...

I feel terrible for the family of the hiker and I hope that they are okay through everything they have to go through. I also feel terrible for the boy who made a mistake that he will never forget. I hope that he is okay through all of the emotions that he is about to feel because I can only imagine...

Art Sandt
(artsandt) - F
Re: Bear Hunter Shoots Hiker in Washington State on 08/03/2008 19:55:56 MDT Print View

How horribly offensive this must be to that poor woman's self esteem to be mistaken for a big fat bear. There's only one thing worse than that.... but fortunately not many whale hunters take their harpoons inland. So I think she's safe.

Seriously, though. That hunter is an idiot. A responsible hunter NEVER pulls the trigger in the woods without being 100% certain of his target.

Christopher Holden
(back2basics) - F - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: Bear Hunter Shoots Hiker in Washington State on 08/03/2008 20:12:36 MDT Print View

Art,
The woman was killed. She has bigger problems than her self esteem.
It's hard to say if the kid was an idiot or just ignorant. I'd like to think someone taught him/her properly, but if that was the case, this never would have happened.
Lessons hardest learned are the ones best remembered. I hope this kid remembers it for a lifetime and takes something positive from it to teach others so it doesn't happen again by anyone around him.

Devin Montgomery
(dsmontgomery) - MLife

Locale: one snowball away from big trouble
Re: Bear Hunter Shoots Hiker in Washington State on 08/03/2008 20:35:39 MDT Print View

That's absolutely terrible, and both the kid and adult should be held criminally liable for being so reckless with a lethal weapon. The earlier post was right-on by saying that no one ever gets shot by appropriately cautious hunter.

Even if the trip had gone "right," killing a non-menace bear, and surely wasting most of the animal, is a shame.

David Olsen
(oware)

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Re: Re: Bear Hunter Shoots Hiker in Washington State on 08/03/2008 21:03:44 MDT Print View

Why would you assume the bear would be wasted?

Timothy Foutz
(glad777) - MLife

Locale: Virginia
Hunting is not the problem on 08/03/2008 22:08:12 MDT Print View

Hate tell you people this but people eat bear meat. Bear meat makes a really great stew with carrots and potatoes in fact. I used to eat it all the time growing up. Even though I don't hunt very much anymore I understand the reasons for doing so. You all really don't want to live in a world where animals don't fear humans and hunting is a big part of keeping that fear alive. I realy like for bears to fear me above just about anything else. My favorite place to see a bear is heading away from me. Such fun to clean up after one raids the trash cans.
The kid who shot the woman was an idiot and ignorant. He should be punished to the maximum extent possible. He will most likely never touch a firearm again anyway once he has a felony conviction.

Art Sandt
(artsandt) - F
Re: Re: Bear Hunter Shoots Hiker in Washington State on 08/03/2008 23:46:38 MDT Print View

OOPS. I didn't know it was a fatal accident.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
hiker killed. on 08/04/2008 11:02:04 MDT Print View

not a great place for attempts at comedy when someone is dead. even if they were only shot and wounded, making jokes is in very poor taste.

Devin Montgomery
(dsmontgomery) - MLife

Locale: one snowball away from big trouble
Re: Re: Re: Bear Hunter Shoots Hiker in Washington State on 08/04/2008 11:39:10 MDT Print View

"Why would you assume the bear would be wasted?"

Your point is well taken, David. It was a bad assumption. I don't opposed the hunting of bears that are part of a healthy population, and that are fully utilized by those who kill them.

I just supposed that Mr. "shoot anything that moves" wasn't a big conservationist.

Linsey Budden
(lollygag)

Locale: pugetropolis
"Bear Hunter Shoots Hiker in Washington State" on 08/04/2008 11:56:50 MDT Print View

This tragedy makes a good argument for brightly colored as opposed to stealth colored gear and apparel. Currently my gear is all pretty grey and neutral--a day-glo bandanna at least would seem to be in order.

The tiny community of Oso must be reeling.

Edited by lollygag on 08/04/2008 11:58:27 MDT.

Max Hoagland
(maxhoagland) - F
Re: Hunting is not the problem on 08/04/2008 13:40:17 MDT Print View

Timothy, your post is very ignorant. First of all, if animals didn't fear humans, than they would have absolutely no incentive to attack and protect themselves against us. There is video from when men where building the oil pipeline across Alaska, the workers were shown holding squirrels, holding bear cubs, and, believe it or not, riding full grown bears.
Second of all, just because you fear something doesn't give you any right to take its life away!

Charles G.
(Rincon) - M

Locale: Desert Southwest
Bear Hunter Shoots Hiker in Washington State on 08/04/2008 15:21:12 MDT Print View

If I recall correctly, the State of Washington requires any hunter under the age of 18 (or possibly 16) to complete a hunter safety course before they are issued a license. The purpose of the course is to provide the young hunter with instruction in general firearms safety, safe use of firearms while hunting, game identification and general hunting safety. These classes are offered by many of the sportsmens clubs in the state, or were when I lived there.

It sounds to me as though there was not good communication between the instructor and student in this case. It further sounds as though more rigorous instruction might be necessary with the possibility of flunking the course being one possible outcome. Moreover, I see no reason that the same course should not be required for anyone applying for a hunting license regardless of age. Having enough money to buy a rifle, ammunition and a hunting license, while necessary, is not sufficient qualification to be a hunter.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Bear Hunter Shoots Hiker in Washington State on 08/04/2008 19:44:00 MDT Print View

"Why in the world would people want to hunt bear in the first place. For a trophy???"

In this country, most hunters see themselves as doing a civic duty by ridding the forests of introduced pests. We don't have bears, but if we did I'm sure they would be on that list of unwanted vermin. It's just a bonus if you care to eat some of your kill or make a possum-skin hat out of it...however we also have a pretty bad reputation for hunting accidents, and it's not always kids that get trigger happy.

http://www.investigatemagazine.com/jul03hunt.htm

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Bright colours on 08/04/2008 20:18:36 MDT Print View

From further down this link:
http://www.investigatemagazine.com/jul03hunt.htm

"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 – the most numerous and widely dispersed species in New Zealand. 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."

and

"In a bitter irony, Davies bullet even went straight through Leathwick’s "blaze orange" cap"

Mike w
(BMWhiker) - F
Timing on 08/04/2008 21:51:13 MDT Print View

I just started hiking in the northern part of western Washington state and I tell you it's scary to know the hunters are targeting humans for trophy racks; This was female with colors on that were not where near a bear's color or size or height. Let's see if the Whatcom county area lawa enforcement sweeps this under the rugs in the same matter as pot growing in that area

David Olsen
(oware)

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Re: Bright colours on 08/05/2008 14:08:00 MDT Print View

We don't don't have those color of deer (or bear for that
matter here). Blaze orange shows up real well at dusk and
dawn and is quickly recognizable by others as a hunter. No
other color is like it in nature. The bright lime/yellow
roadworkers wear is another good color.

Plus blaze orange appears as a grey
to most mammals.
Blue on the other hand is within the spectrum of light seen
by most mammals and so is a poor choice for hunting.

I think this fellow Green has enough knowledge to be
dangerous.

I have butchered a bear. Most of my macrobiotic and vegan
friends wanted to try it as a one time thing. Bear meat is
good, similar to pork and beef. Like pork, bears can have
Trichanosis, so you have to cook the meat well. My
mom always said that bear fat made the best pastries.

I like bears, and their intelligence dissuades me from hunting
them (they seem a lot like big dogs) but if I had to feed my family that way I wouldn't
hesitate.

The locals who put a high priority on keeping bears safe,
request that we harass any bears we see getting into
trouble (trash digging, too close to or unafraid of people,
etc.) They yell and shout at them, chase them with dogs,
shoot them with rubber shot.

Here is the web page if you need more info.

http://www.savebears.org/

Edited by oware on 08/05/2008 14:15:41 MDT.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Bright colours on 08/05/2008 20:05:19 MDT Print View

>We don't don't have those color of deer (or bear for that
matter here).

That may be so, but the Red Deer inhabits most of Europe, the Caucasus Mountains region, Asia Minor and parts of western and central Asia. It also inhabits the Atlas Mountains region between Algeria and Tunisia in northwestern Africa, being the only species of deer to inhabit Africa. Red Deer have been introduced to other areas (and run rampant) including New Zealand, Australia and Argentina. In many parts of the world the meat (venison) from Red Deer is widely used as a food source. So that article is possibly relevant to a lot of hikers and hunters outside of USA.

>Blaze orange shows up real well at dusk and
dawn and is quickly recognizable by others as a hunter. No
other color is like it in nature. The bright lime/yellow
roadworkers wear is another good color.

From his entire paper:
http://www.police.govt.nz/service/firearms/safehunting.pdf

"The colour recognition project demonstrates that that no one colour is satisfactory as a
protective factor for all conditions. ‘United Nations’ or ‘NATO’ blue is the most visible
colour in the greatest variety of conditions. While high vis orange was good in most
conditions, there are circumstances where this colour can be confused with deer,
especially in the open and in some light conditions. Red had a somewhat similar result.
SAR yellow was readily seen in most conditions, but the large amount of this colour in
the bush, especially when wet, makes this colour of limited value."

As for the blue, if you're a hiker, you only really care about being seen by the hunter to protect yourself, so what's the harm. As a hunter, Green also presents:
"so long as everything around remains still, the deer see almost nothing at all’. Allen suggests
that deer are almost colour blind, and ‘beyond 20 metres they are unable to distinguish
colours at all and their world dissolves into a featureless grey haze, faintly tinged with
sepia’. While the deer’s eye is capable of seeing a range of colour, Allen argues that the
visual lobes of the deer’s already tiny brain are incapable of analyzing and interpreting it.
For the deer, the senses of smell and hearing ‘take up a relatively large part of what little
brain it has’. Allen argues that one cannot deduce what an animal sees by looking at the
optics of its eye: ‘An animals eye can be optically identical to a human’s – and still see an
entirely different world because its brain is wired in a different way’. However the eye of
the deer is not at all useless. It is ‘packed full of movement detectors – to the virtual
exclusion of shape and colour detectors’.
So, arguably, the deer’s eye is not capable of seeing orange, and its brain is incapable of
seeing almost any colour at distance, relying instead on detecting movement. "

And Green has also done a thorough review of the Virginia data wher wearing high viz orange is mandatory for hunters:

" In 39.4% (339 out of 860 cases) of all hunting accidents in Virginia involving
firearms (but excluding falls), 1987-2001, the victim was wearing hunter orange
(to the legal requirement).
 In 57.1% (273 out of 478 cases) of deer hunting accidents only in Virginia
involving firearms (but excluding falls), the victim was wearing orange (to the
legal requirement).
 In 34% (117 out of 344 cases) of all hunting accidents in Virginia involving
firearms where shooter targeting was a factor (excludes suicide, includes ‘victim
moved into line of fire’, ‘victim covered by shooter’, ‘victim mistaken for game’)
the victim was wearing orange (to the legal requirement).
 In 63.9% (94 out of 147 cases) of deer hunting accidents only in Virginia
involving firearms where shooter targeting was a factor (excludes suicide,
includes ‘victim moved into line of fire’, ‘victim covered by shooter’, ‘victim
mistaken for game’) the victim was wearing orange (to the legal requirement).

So all he's saying (with 20 years of in the field experience and research) is that blaze orange will not always protect you, and that blue is the universally most visible colour in most conditions, and the deer can't see it if you are more than 20 metres away or don't move. Hardly dangerous information.