PA: Hunter blinded in accident
May 7, 2010
Hunter blinded by shotgun blast in rehab
Wife: 6-foot-1 husband wearing full camouflage
NEW BERLIN — The community is rallying around an assistant football coach
at Mifflinburg Area High School blinded by a shotgun blast from another
turkey hunter a week ago today.
Michael Hobbins, of New Berlin, was shot in the upper body Saturday while
hunting on state game lands in Limestone Township, Union County. The gunfire
sprayed onto his arms and into his eyes, his wife, Terry Hobbins, said
Friday. Hobbins was critically injured and flown by helicopter to Geisinger
Medical Center, Danville.
"I was terrified," she said Friday. "I can't even tell you..."
Terry Hobbins let out a sigh of relief Friday when she was finally able
to say that her husband "moved to rehab. It's wonderful. It's going to take
some time, but we know he'll be back."
The other man was not hunting with Hobbins.
"We're hopeful that he'll be able to see again. It'll just take some
time," Terry Hobbins said. "We're very proud of him. He's doing remarkable
According to his wife, Michael was walking back to meet his hunting
party, who was waiting for him at his truck, when he heard another hunter
perform a turkey call.
He was reaching for his bright orange hunting vest and trying to get out
of the other hunter's way when he was shot.
Pennsylvania state law does not require hunters to wear orange clothing
when looking for gobblers and a representative from the National Wild Turkey
Federation, a nonprofit conservation and hunting organization, believe not
doing so could be dangerous. The group suggests wearing full camouflage,
which Hobbins was wearing that day.
Terry Hobbins suggested that the shooter may have seen movement after
making the turkey call, so he fired his shotgun.
"He wasn't wearing anything that would make him be mistaken for a
turkey," Terry said of her husband, who stands 6-foot-1 .
Terry said she is thankful for prayers and support the family has gotten
from the community, and the New Berlin Fire Company, when the shooting
"Everything went so smoothly and perfectly and everyone was by his side,"
Terry Hobbins said.
"We knew he was in good hands."
A Facebook group formed the day of the shooting has nearly 550 community
members, relatives and friends.
"Mike's a super nice guy," said Mifflinburg Mayor David Cooney, who has
known the family for years and works with Hobbins through the Mifflinburg
Cooney is the public address announcer at games.
"He's a nice role model for our young student athletes," Cooney said.
"Everyone in Mifflinburg is praying for his speedy recovery. We just hope he
gets back in action as soon as possible."
According to the Game Commission's Web site, it is illegal to shoot a
turkey during spring gobbler season without identifying its beard.
Return to Hunting Accident Index
Fair Use Notice: This document may contain copyrighted material
whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owners. We believe
that this not-for-profit, educational use on the Web constitutes
a fair use of the copyrighted material (as provided for in section
107 of the US Copyright Law). If you wish to use this copyrighted
material for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must
obtain permission from the copyright owner.