Two Alabama hunters killed in separate incidents reminds us to also practice ultimate caution.
On Sunday, January 12, 2014, two Alabama hunters lost their lives in separate and unrelated hunting accidents in entirely different geographical areas of the state. The first victim lost his life in Tallapoosa County, while the second befell tragedy in Blount County. Both tragic accidents could have been avoided had greater safety precautions been taken. AL.com shared the stories.
The first fatal accident took place early in the morning, just after 6:30 a.m. near Tallapoosa's Lake Martin. The victim was a hunter named James Raymond Landers, a 50-year old man who was hunting a property - supposedly a public slab of land - with a bow.
Unbeknownst to Landers, a second hunter was already scanning the property from atop a tree stand, with a gun in hand. The second hunter must have mistaken Landers for a deer or some other type of game animal, because when he saw movement in the woods, he took aim and fired.
The premature shot proved fatal, leaving Landers dead and igniting a police investigation in the area. So far, the shooting has been ruled an accident and blame has not been laid upon the other hunter. Precisely what the second hunter believed he was shooting at has not yet been clarified in the news.
However, reports indicate that Landers wasn't wearing orange reflective gear and therefore could have reasonably been mistaken as a game animal. Still, the second hunter should not have fired until he knew what he was shooting at. Mistakes were made on both sides of the gun barrel, and both of them call for greater vigilance in hunting safety for all.
The police investigator in the Tallapoosa case stated that the investigation was ongoing, but that he couldn't recall more than maybe a single other hunting fatality occurring in his jurisdiction. However, while hunting fatalities may be rare, they sometimes coincide in bizarre fashion, and that's precisely what happened in the state of Alabama last weekend.
As Landers was being mourned in Tallapoosa County on Sunday evening, another hunter was felled in Blount County - roughly two and a half miles away by car. The Blount fatality struck Adam Scott Jordan, a 37-year old hunter who, unlike James Raymond Landers, had not been hunting alone on Sunday.
On the contrary, reports indicate that Jordan was hunting with two other friends when he was injured and killed. Reports say one of the other people he was hunting with accidentally discharged their weapon, and Jordan was on the receiving end of the blast. Much like with the Tallapoosa fatality, police reports stated that neither Jordan nor his hunting buddies had been wearing orange reflective clothing. Whether that piece of the story relates in any way to how Jordan was shot, however, is still a bit unclear.
In many places around the country, hunting accidents have actually been on the decline in recent years, but as these two twin Alabama shootings prove, there is still a great need for hunting safety classes and for other rules, regulations, and behaviors that can promote safe procedures among the hunting community. Wearing orange blaze is obviously a big safeguard that hunters can have to make sure they don't end up being mistaken for a game animal. However, trigger happy hunters also need to be more careful - and to be held more accountable - for stray shots that result in serious injuries and lost lives.