ACROSS the nation, at this time of year, hunters everywhere are heading for the woods. Many of them will be carried back out on stretchers. As the 1956 bag mounts, so will the accident toll. The following report has been copied from the Hunting Accident Files of the Pennsylvania Game Commission:
Accident occurred: McKean County, Pennsylvania.
Describe injury: Flesh wound in right hip.
Victim required medical attention: Emporium, Pennsylvania.
Statement of offender: Bill...and I were hunting ground hogs. We had walked across the fields about ¾ mile when we saw the ground hog about 250 to 300 yards off. I fired four or five times and Bill shot once or twice, when one of us suggested (we don't recall who it was) that one of us would lay on his stomach and the other would rest the rifle across his hip. In this way he could hold the rifle steadier. We must have been in said position for five or ten minutes when the ground hog stood up. I told Bill I was going to shoot. He said O.K.
I looked several times during the time we were in that position to see if the rifle was clear across his rear end, and it was, at least 18 inches clear. But when I fired, it couldn't have been, and it grazed his right hip which required six stitches. I rushed him to the doctor and I will pay whatever is required to get him back in shape. He hasn't lost any work yet.
Weapon used by offender: .218 Bee. Offender's experience: 15 years.
What relationship, if any, exists between the victim and offender: Offender's statement: Friends.
Victim's statement: I was lying on my stomach and the offender was resting a .218 Bee rifle across my hind end and when the ground hog stood up he fired the rifle. It was accidentally back too far and shot a piece out of my tail which caused burns and six stitches.