Elmira Heights, N.Y. (WENY)-- Over the last week, there have been three hunting incidents in Western New York and the Northern Tier of Pennsylvania. The two incidents in New York were the result of a mistaken target.
On Wednesday, 43-year-old Rosemary Billquist was walking her dogs in the woods of Chautauqua County when she was shot from 200 yards away by hunter Thomas Jadlowski. Police say Jadlowski was hunting after sunset, which is illegal in the state of New York. Two days later, Marvin Miller shot a pickup truck while hunting, saying he had mistaken the truck for a deer. The incident was also in Chautauqua County.
Paul Perine, the sporting goods manager at Hesselson's in Elmira Heights and a longtime hunter, says being sure of your target is one of the most important rules while hunting. He says, "One of the very first rules of hunting is to be sure of your target and what is beyond it. Most hunting incidents occur when someone breaks one of the basic rules. In this case, being sure of your target and what's beyond it."
In the Pennsylvania incident, a hunter fell from his tree stand. According to the National Institutes of Health, falling from a tree stand is one of the most common risks while hunting, and can cause injuries ranging from broken bones, to paralysis, and death.
Perine says to make sure your equipment is secure, and always wear a body harness. He says, "The best way to use a tree stand is with a full body harness, ladder stands being the safer of the stands as opposed to a climber or a hang on stand. But make sure the stand is secured and make sure that all straps and so forth are inspected."
Perine also advises having a plan in place before you leave, letting someone know where you are going to be, where you are going to park your car, and what time you are expecting to be back.