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home : columns : rahn larson June 28, 2016

10/24/2012 9:31:00 AM
Be careful out there
If you've ever watched an episode of the old Hill Street Blues TV show, you probably remember the tough old police sergeant who finished every morning roll call with this advice for police officers:
"Hey, let's be careful out there."
That solid piece of advice came to mind Monday afternoon, when I received the following report from the Jackson County Sheriff's Department:
"On Oct. 15 the Jackson County Sheriff's Office was notified by the Cottonwood County Sheriff's Office that there was an individual at the Windom Area Hospital emergency room who had been involved in a hunting accident.
"The accident actually occurred on Saturday, Oct. 13.
"Injured was 19-year-old Kyle Miller of Windom."
Upon seeing Kyle's name, my heart jumped into my throat. I happen to know Kyle. I coached him in baseball and got to know his family fairly well through baseball, football and wrestling.
I read quickly, hoping and praying the injuries were not severe. By the sounds of it, he's doing OK. Here is the rest of the report:
"Miller told deputies he was hunting pheasants with others south of Windom in Jackson County. He was walking up on a small hill with other members of his hunting group down below. Pheasants flew into the air and the group below fired. Pellets from the gunfire struck Miller.
"He went to the hospital's emergency room two days after the incident to see if the pellets could be removed.
"The Jackson County Sheriff's Office and Minnesota State Conservation Office urge hunters to know your target and what's beyond your target when hunting."
As a pheasant hunter, I can say that these situations occur often. Pheasants don't always flush at the most opportune time. As hunters, we need to not only watch out for other hunters, but dogs as well. I've heard a few horror stories about dogs leaping for birds at the last second and getting shot.
As deer season approaches, I'll go back to Sgt. Phil Esterhaus for a comment that bears repeating: "Hey, let's be careful out there."

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