A duck excursion turned ugly as an anti-hunting Wisconsin man opened fire on two hunters on Sunday, October 20, 2013.
According to KSTP-TV in St. Paul, Minnesota, Levi Johnston and David Reichenberger felt afraid for their lives as a stranger fired at them several times in Barron County in Western Wisconsin.
The hunters were doing so legally, with permission from the private land owner, but 65-year old Van Hawkinson felt otherwise.
Shots rang out, and the hunters told KSTP they felt targeted. Hawkinson argued that he was “angry and hurt,” and that he “shot out at the corn field up in the air.”
The need to defend hunting and outdoor sports is perfectly legitimate until matters take a turn for the worse, much like this particular situation. While Wide Open Spaces doesn’t denounce activism and standing up for your beliefs, endangering lives is never a debatable issue.
Though laws were broken and Hawkinson spent a night in jail, his $1,000 bail the next morning does little to excuse his blatantly illegal behavior, which threatened the lives of these two hunters for no justifiable reason.
Official charges for Hawkinson included dangerous use of a weapon and disorderly conduct, both misdemeanors. Court documents stated that he fired into the air, in an attempt to scare ducks away from the hunters.
Anti-hunting encounters rarely reach this level of danger, but when they do the hunting community has no trouble rallying support for their peers. When an anti-hunter fires at hunters, there’s understandable concern over the safety and well-being of all involved.
Extended interviews with the parties involved can be viewed here.
What are your thoughts on the story? Have you ever experienced an encounter like this? Share your comments below.