Hunter Shooting at Deer Hits House
Penn Live, PA
Tuesday, December 23, 2003
BY T.W. BURGER
Of Our Dillsburg Bureau
DILLSBURG - Just before the bullet whizzed past his head,
George Stitzel had been having a typical Thursday afternoon, sitting in his
living room, reading his paper.
About 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 10, a bullet from a high-powered
rifle burst through Stitzel's living room window,
angled across the room and took out the dining room window as it left the
The bullet passed about three inches above the top of
Stitzel's head, apparently fired by a Carlisle-area man shooting at a
"I ran outside and yelled that he had shot through my
house," he said. "My grandson went out through the field and got the guy. He
was apologetic. But that wouldn't have brought me back to life if he'd hit
A game protector cited Edward Lee Paynter, 32, of
Carlisle, for shooting twice into the 150-yard "safety zone" that state
hunting regulations require near any inhabited structure. One of those shots
was the one that nearly hit Stitzel.
Stitzel said Paynter was cooperative and apologetic.
"He offered to pay for replacing the windows," Stitzel
Jerry Feaser, press secretary for the Pennsylvania Game
Commission, said that with a million or so hunters in the field every
season, such incidents happen, but are rare.
"There were 68 hunting-related shooting incidents last
year," he said. "In 65 of those, the victims were also hunting, and three
involved victims who were doing something other than hunting," he said.
One of those victims in the latter group was fatally
injured, he said.
"Obviously, though such incidents are rare, we view any
incident as one too many," he added. "Hunters need to always be cognizant of
where they are shooting."
Paynter said he was not aware that he had been firing into
a safety zone, but declined to comment further.
Paynter was fined $200, plus $10 in court costs at the
office of District Justice Richard T. Thomas in Dillsburg.