GA: Five fishing and hunting deaths in four days
March 10, 2010
Five fishing and hunting deaths in four days. What happened?
This is supposed to be the quietest time of year for Georgia's
Deer season ended in January and gobbler season doesn't open until March
20. Spring fishing and warm weather are on the horizon, but not quite here.
Yet five accidental deaths occurred across the state last week- all
within four days:
March 5: Christopher Upton, 37, a U.S. Department of Agriculture
Forest Service officer, was shot and killed by a hunter who mistook him
for a coyote. The incident occurred in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National
Forest when Norman Clinton Hale, 40, fired high-powered rifle equipped
with night-vision equipment. Upton was killed instantly.
March 6: Two fishermen drowned in Middle Georgia's Lake Tobesofkee
after their boat overturned. The Bibb County Sheriff's Office said
52-year-old Willie Buckles was found Tuesday afternoon near where the
body of his uncle, 62-year-old Frank Roquemore, was found Sunday.
March 8: The body of 15-year-old Daniel Head was found face-down in
shallow water in the Altamaha Wildlife Management Area near Darien. The
teen had been hog hunting with his stepfather, Brian Gale, who told
investigators the pair became lost. Gale left him to go for help. The
cause of death was suspected to be hypothermia.
March 8: The body of Ira Braitsch, 64, was pulled from the
Chattahoochee River after an accident the previous day in which his boat
capsized. A fellow boater was rescued, but remains hospitalized.
Accidents typically are a product of numbers. The more people in the
field, the greater the likelihood of a mishap.
Hunting accidents, for example, are most common during Thanksgiving or
Christmas breaks, when more people are wandering the forests with rifles or
climbing deer stands. Boating and fishing accidents are often clustered
around warm, holiday weekends, such as July Fourth or Memorial Day.
But last week was a quiet time, with few boaters in the lakes and even
fewer hunters afield.
It was an oddity, perhaps coincidence, to have so much tragedy in such a
short time. It was also a reminder that accidents can happen under the most
Fishing and hunting are some of our safest pastimes, but if you followed
the headlines last week, you might be thinking otherwise.
It never hurts to give some extra thought to being careful, or to expect
Return to Hunting Accident Index
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