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PA: 3 Dead the first day of Deer Hunting

December 2, 2009

At least 3 hunters die as deer-hunting season opens

A Bucks County hunter who failed to return from the first day of deer season was found shot to death early yesterday in the woods hear his home in Solebury Township.

W. Kenneth Hoagland, 49, of the 6100 block of Upper York Road, had a single wound in the chest from his own shotgun, Solebury Police Chief Dominick Bellizzie said. A ruling on the manner of death will not be made until after an autopsy is performed today, he said.

Hoagland had been hunting in the farmland and woods near his home on Monday, Bellizzie said, and returned to his house around midafternoon. While there, the chief said, Hoagland told his daughter that he thought he had wounded a buck and went back to look for the animal.

When Hoagland failed to return by nightfall, his daughter reported him missing at 8 p.m., Bellizzie said. Searchers found him dead in the woods nearby about 12:30 a.m.

According to the chief, Hoagland, who had worked locally as a cook, was unemployed, divorced, and lived with his father.

Elsewhere in the state Monday, the first day of the two-week firearm deer season, police termed the death of an unidentified hunter in Bedford County as not suspicious. And a third hunter, Dustin Manning, 30, of Pleasant Gap, died of head injuries when he fell from a tree stand, according to Armstrong County Coroner Robert Bower.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission reported five injuries, including a 10-year-old girl and her father who were injured when a gun fell and went off in Indiana County.

About 750,000 people are expected to hunt this season.

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