By Brad Bauer,
A hunter failing to identify his target before shooting is being
blamed for a Washington County man being shot in the face early
Wednesday morning as he walked into a patch of woods to hunt turkey
with his 12-year-old daughter.
Ohio Division of Wildlife officials said Matthew Law, 40, of 55
Lake Lane, Vincent, was shot by Joseph Haley, 58, of Alexandria, from
a distance of about 40 yards.
Law was transported from Camden-Clark Memorial Hospital in
Parkersburg via medical helicopter to Ohio State University Medical
Center in Columbus. His condition was not released by hospital
officials Wednesday evening. Investigators said lead shot pellets
fired from Haley’s 12-gauge shotgun hit the man in the face and chest.
“It is my understanding he may lose sight in one of his eyes,” said
Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks.
The Ohio Division of Wildlife is handling the investigation with
the sheriff’s office assisting.
The incident took place on a piece of property near Ohio 555 and
Washington County 3.
Jim Marshall, local district manager of the Ohio Division of
Wildlife, said Haley was hunting on land adjacent to property owned by
Law when the daybreak shooting occurred.
“It appears (Haley) shot across onto the victim’s property,”
Marshall said. “At this point in the investigation, we believe the
suspect shot at sounds and movement.”
Marshall said Law was unarmed and walking next to his daughter, who
was carrying a shotgun.
Ohio’s statewide wild turkey season opened Monday and runs through
May 21. Wednesday’s shooting was the only accident reported to date in
the hunting season.
Wildlife officials expect more than 90,000 people to participate in
the four-week turkey hunting season. Legal hunting hours are one-half
hour before sunrise until noon daily.
Susan Matthews, spokeswoman for the division of wildlife, said
hunters are encouraged, but not required, to wear blaze orange when
“It is not required, but is always suggested. Especially on the way
in or out (of the woods),” Matthews said. “Also, hunters should not
wear colors that might be seen on a gobbler. Those colors would be
white, red or black.”
Matthews said the most important thing for any hunter or target
shooter is to always identify a target and what is behind it before
ever squeezing the trigger.
“As far as this incident goes, that seems to be the main problem,”
The investigation into the shooting remains under investigation and
charges have yet to be filed.