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It is a given fact that we are human. Our minds can play tricks on our eyes. If you think that it can't happen to you, then you are an accident waiting to happen. Everyone can be fooled into thinking there is a turkey in front of them when there isn't. It's what you do next that is important. Do you look again? Do you make sure you see the entire turkey? Do you see the beard? Do you look again? Take your time fellow hunters. It's important.

Man Shot Twice By Friend The shooter has been hunting turkeys for 30 years.

Man Shot in Face By Friend

Identify your target. Do it!
 

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QUOTDeputies say that the victim, 53-year-old Brian Hansen, from Maple Grove, Minnesota, was about 45 yards out in front of his friend, 67-year-old Terrance Spaeth, when he was shot with #4 Turkey Load. Spaeth told authorities that he saw movement in the woods and thought he saw a blue turkey head walking along the wood line of the ravine so he fired immediately. Since they had split up, Spaeth did not know where Hansen was at the time.

"After the initial shot, he saw what he thought was a turkey laying on the ground flailing around so he decided to shoot it again in an attempt to put it out of its misery. That's when he realized that it was his friend because of the moaning," Undersheriff Wolf explained.
Identify your target. Do it!
Agree Bluedog!!

"Saw movement"- biggest mistake anyone can do is shoot at movement without making a 100% ID of your target. I see this so often it just amazes me. Let's not forget we lost one of our own on this site this year for the same reason-someone did not make a 100% ID of their target!:rant:
 

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It just amazes me the complete lack of patience some hunters have. Also, it's amazing how many of them don't know, understand, and or follow the most basic, important and taught rule in hunting/shooting. Know your target and what's behind it. I have been taught that a million times.

In that thirty years I wonder how many hens, crows, hawks, squirrels, blowing tree branches, domestic dogs, chupacabras, and game wardens he has shot accidentally.
 

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The Hunter that scares me is the one that thinks he's so perfect this can't happen to him...:D[/QU The hunter that waits to see the entire bird, and waits to positively identify that the bird is a gobbler will NEVER have this happen to them.
sam-r261 UP.Browser/6.2.3.8 (GUI) MMP/2.0
 

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The Hunter that scares me is the one that thinks he's so perfect this can't happen to him...:D
The hunter that waits to see the entire bird, and waits to positively identify that the bird is a gobbler will NEVER have this happen to them.
sam-r261 UP.Browser/6.2.3.8 (GUI) MMP/2.0
I'll agree with you coonskinner on SOME things... Driving. Overconfidence is a bad thing. Flying a plane, same thing. There are times and situations when experience makes you willing to take more chances and disregard safety because "I've been doing this for 30 years". I don't believe a majority of hunters are like that, and if I or anybody else seems cocky or perfect, it's not because we think we are... It's because we know that every animal we killed was identified as legal and what our intended target was before the trigger was pulled and will continue to be.

The one that scares me is the one that thinks this really was an accident and not preventable gross negligence.

Maybe in 30 years my opinion will change, but if anything, my patience has increased over the years, granted I am just getting into turkey hunting, but I have been hunting since I was little.

But, it never hurts to be reminded of our fundamentals to make sure we are internalizing them.

Prayers go out to the families.
 

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I googled turkey hunting accidents. At least two pages of news stories came up from the last few weeks. All of the articles read almost exactly the same. It almost always is two buddies hunting together. Seems like maybe they are being a little to lax on safety because they know who else is in the woods. Just like so many other things we do often, familiarity breeds contempt. Be safe.


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im sorry ,you guys can bash me if you want but i do not believe these guys should ever ever be able to hunt again
I agree, For a number of years back in the late 80's early 90's I instructed a beginning turkey hunting seminar for the DOW. We had extensive info on hunting incidents and practices to avoid. The average age of the shooters in turkey hunting incidents was 40, average age of the person being shot, 39. As has been mentioned above the main excuse was mistaken for game. With that being said here are a few points we always tried to make:
1. Stay away from red white and blue/black. Do not wear a white t shirt or socks. The first thing a lot of hunters see is a golf ball (gobblers head) coming through the woods and they immediately associate anything white with a gobbler. Same holds true for the other colors mentioned.
2. Always try to have a solid backstop behind you, either a big tree or log.
3. If you see another hunter close to you DO NOT move, speak loudly and clearly to him or her, make sure they see you and know your not a turkey.
4. If you use a blind, put some blaze orange ribbon on it.

As a hunter:
1. Never try to stalk or sneak up on a bird.
2. Identify the bird, in the spring you must see the beard.
3. Be careful of tunnel vision and jumping to conclusions, how many times have you been traveling down the road and you see a deer along the road, as you get closer the deer turns into a piece of cardboard or an old rug. Your mind has seen deer before and tries to jump to that conclusion. Same holds true in the turkey woods....fans, golf balls, red spots, all these things can lead to a gobbler, BUT they can also lead to other things as well
4. The bottom line is you are responsible when you pull the trigger. Someone may just be out for a walk and doesn't hunt and doesn't have any idea it's turkey season, could be a mushroom hunter with a white hankie sticking out of his pocket.....if you're behind him and he bends over that white will look like a gobblers head and his outline will resemble a turkey fan. It still does not relieve you of identifying your target.

There is nothing like that old Tom gobbling and struttin into range for the shot, The adrenalin rush and excitement is unbelievable......BUT you've got to be able to control it.
Lastly as the season wears on many of us get more desperate to kill a bird and will take chances we shouldn't. Always stop and ask yourself if it's really worth the risk.
 

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I had long beard wednesday strutting on a hill. All I could see was his head when he was in range. Some of my friends say I'm a idiot for not shooting when I had no idea what was over the hill beyond the bird. No turkey, deer or any other animal is worth taking that chance.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I had long beard wednesday strutting on a hill. All I could see was his head when he was in range. Some of my friends say I'm a idiot for not shooting when I had no idea what was over the hill beyond the bird. No turkey, deer or any other animal is worth taking that chance.
Perfect post for this thread. There are a lot of youngsters reading these forums. We need to lead by example. They need to know that it is OK to hold your shot and let the animal walk. And it's a pretty good reminder for some of us old farts too. :biggrin:
 

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Didn't mean to sound like a jerk earlier. I just think misidentifying a target or shooting before you know what it is is very negligent. I'll believe that hunting accidents can happen to anybody. It would be one thing had the guy actually shot at a turkey and some stray shot hit his buddy who had moved into an area behind the bird with his friend not knowing. That's a mistake or an accident (still preventable). Lots of things I will say are accidents and I will say that nobody is immune to accidents.

But this particular story was not an accident. It was straight up negligence and disregard for safety.
'
The guy that accidentaly backs into my car in the parking lot... Not a big deal, get his insurance information. Make some small talk and part ways. It was an accident.

The guy that is weaving in and out of traffic at 100mph with a beer between his legs and texting his girlfriend side swipes me.... If he stops his car I will drag him by his balls out the window and beat him sober. In my eyes, he intentionally endangered me and my family. That is not an accident.

just saying. Believe me I understand accidents happen and I don't mean to rub anybody the wrong way... I just look at stories like this and refuse to just call this an accident or accept that this can happen to anybody.

Good advice from everybody, and I think bluedogs comment really sums it up, "that it is OK to hold your shot and let the animal walk.". Patience is learned. I am very lucky to have responsible hunters teach me the fundamentals and it started with patience. I don't know how many hours I sat sitting in the woods fidgeting and counting down minutes to leave. Now, I love sitting in the woods... It's exciting when you have action but a day in the woods and not killing anything is better than a day in the office.
 

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Well said. I have to agree that as long as you positively identify that what you are about to pull the trigger on is without a doubt a turkey. Also know where your buddy is at all times. Another thing that is good idea is to stick an orange hat in your vest and wear it whenever you are on the move. Especially if you hunt public land. If I hunt with a buddy we text each other when ready to move to another setup. Just everyone be careful out there, and be sure of what we are shooting at.
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I believe that most accidents happen when hunters let the camp peer pressure interfere with proper and safe decisions in the woods. The "I've gotta git one or I'm lesser of a man" is a recipe for disaster. I've experienced it first hand when I first started turkey hunting many years ago when we had an "expert" camped near us. He bragged and bragged about all the birds he killed and how good he was. I sensed his frustration as the week went on when he didn't harvest a bird. The fourth day of the season he shot 3 times at a fan that turned out to be his fathers back. Heavy hunting coat saved him. I often remind myself when I get frustrated that the fun part of hunting is "BEING THERE" and to harvest an animal, is just a bonus. Enjoy the spring woods, its the closest thing to heaven IMO.
 
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