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Hunter Shoots and Kills Two Dogs at Close Range on Public Lands

In a heartbreaking tragedy, two dogs belonging to a veterinarian were shot and killed at close range by a coyote hunter in Wisconsin. Deanna, the dogs’ owners, was walking her regular walk with her dogs in Badfish Creek Wildlife Area in Dane County, and all her dogs were wearing reflective vests. She was also wearing a headlamp, with the dogs ahead of her within eyesight when they were shot. Frannie, the first dog, died on site. Gary, her 75-pound Mastiff-Husky mix, ran up to her and became paralyzed. The woman was forced to scream for help and enlist the help of the dogs’ killer to carry him to the car, where he called 911. The dog died days later after complications from surgery.

According to news reports, the dogs’ owner walks that area next to her home four times a week. She said that she was unaware anyone would be out there, by a trail, hunting coyotes. No charges have been filed against the shooter because Badfish Creek Wildlife Area allows for coyote hunting year round, day or night. However, it should be noted that sometimes hunting accidents also hurt and kill people or small children.

Hunting Rights on Public Lands

What most people don’t know is that virtually public lands, ranging from state parks to forests, are open to hunting. While specific parks in different states may have their own restrictions, it is a general rule that individuals must visit public lands ‘at their own risk’ because hunters may hunt during the day or night.

It is advised you stay on the trail(s), wear bright and reflective clothing during hunting season, and make sure your pets do so as well. Unfortunately for Deanna, that made no difference.

In Tennessee, hunters need to obtain a federal permit and go through a safety course in order to hunt in wildlife refuges. Other state lands that aren’t wildlife refuges (ie. Big South Fork National River) are open with statewide seasons. Alcohol is not allowed on public lands.

Help for Gunshot Victims

Even if no criminal law or statute may have been violated, you may still be able to sue your perpetrator for negligence, gross negligence, or wrongful death, depending on the circumstances. If you or a loved one has suffered a gunshot injury, it is recommended you contact a lawyer to go through every detail of the case.

Nashville Personal Injury and Workplace Injury Lawyers

At the office of Calhoun Law, PLC, we will utilize accident reconstructionists, examine the permits, and make every claim possible to maximize your compensation. Contact our law office in Nashville today for a free and private consultation.

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