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AL: Another hunter killed in hunting accident

Outdoorsman Vince Rook killed in Baldwin County hunting accident

Friday, January 23, 2009
By MARK R. KENT 

BAY MINETTE A Baldwin County outdoorsman well known for organizing local bass tournaments was killed Thursday evening in a hunting accident in a wooded area near the Whitehouse Fork community, officials said.

Larry Vincent "Vince" Rook, 42, was shot once in the head with a high-powered hunting rifle and was pronounced dead at the scene, Baldwin County Sheriff Huey "Hoss" Mack said.

Mack said the accident happened about 5:30 p.m. in woodland off Johnson Cemetery Road. The area is about 10 miles southwest of Bay Minette.

Mack said Rook, his stepson, 24-year-old Clayton Crane, and a friend of Crane's were hunting in the woods when Rook became separated from the other two men.

Crane apparently mistook Rook for a deer, Mack said, and he fired one shot from a .270-caliber hunting rifle that had a scope, killing him instantly.

Mack said Crane and Rook were about 50 yards apart when the shot was fired.

The shooting occurred just after sunset. Mack said none of the three men was wearing hunter's orange. The sheriff added that Rook had a flashlight but did not know if it was turned on.

The third hunter, whom Mack described as a family friend, did not fire his rifle. Mack did not have his identity Thursday night.

Members of the Whitehouse Fork and Crossroads volunteer fire departments responded to the call and found Rook's body.

While Mack said the shooting appeared to be accidental, an investigation by the Baldwin County Sheriff's Office and the Alabama Department of Conservation will continue.

Rook was a familiar figure to fishermen in Baldwin County. A tournament bass fisherman himself, Rook was known for organizing Thursday night bass tournaments out of Cliff's Landing in Baldwin County that took all comers in two-person teams.

Rook also fished in tournaments that were more national in scope.

According to a Web site belonging to FLW Outdoors, Rook took part in five tournaments in 2008 with the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League in 2008, catching 21 bass with a total weight of 39 pounds, 1 ounce.

FLW Outdoors said Rook's best 2008 tournament catch was at Lay Lake in central Alabama, where he caught bass totaling 12 pounds, 3 ounces. He earned $400 on the 2008 tournament tour, the site said.

Rook was a resident of Whitehouse Fork.

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