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Safe Hunting?

Deer Hunter Shot in Head

11 December 2003

"Every December, Paul Belmont puts on a bright orange hat and vest over camouflage clothes, loads his shotgun and heads into the woods to hunt deer.

"Hunting is a safe sport. You always make sure that the safety is on, and you only unload toward the target. If you're responsible, there isn't a problem," Belmont said.

His comments come just days after a fellow hunter accidentally shot Michael J. Doherty, 41, of Westford in the head during the first day of deer hunting season.

<snip>

"Massachusetts Wildlife Department Director Dr. Robert Deblinger said he doesn't believe a black bear would ever approach a group of hunters.

"Fifty percent of black bears are already in hibernation, and the other 50 percent aren't aggressive because they are tired and full of food and looking for a den to hibernate in," Deblinger said. "Black bears run away from people. A bear has never charged a person in Massachusetts, and people should not be shooting at them this time of year because they will never hurt you."

On a side note, the article also contains the following passage, which explains how deer populations are managed not to "reduce the herd" but to increase the herd by killing the males and leacing the females.

"Hunters need to be licensed to shoot deer. Each $27.50 license allows a hunter to bag two male deer per season. Hunters need a special $5 permit to hunt female deer and a special $5 permit to hunt across state lines, Deblinger said."

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