Another Unfortunate Accident

Discussion in 'Hunting Forum' started by Silvertip 44, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. Silvertip 44

    Silvertip 44 New Member


    Forest Service Officer Killed

    Ted Dunagan 11.MAR.10

    Law Enforcement Officer Christopher Arby Upton, 37, of the U.S. Forest Service, was fatally shot last Friday, March 5 at approximately 11 p.m. while on routine patrol of the Ocmulgee Bluff Equestrian Recreation Area in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest in Jasper County.

    The shooter was Norman Clinton Hale, 40, of McDonough, who was accompanied by an observer, Clifford Allen McGouirk, 41, of Jackson, who were hunting coyote with a high-powered rifle equipped with night vision and apparently mistook Officer Upton for game, according to information received from the Forest Service’s Regional Office and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

    After the shooting, the hunters dialed 911 and reported the incident. Jasper County Sheriff Charles Roper and several deputies responded, as did a DNR officer, and an ambulance.

    Coroner Billy Norris was called. He reported Saturday morning that it appeared the shooting was accidental.
    The two men were booked at the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO), questioned and released.

    According to Officer Homer Bryson of the DNR, “The standard procedure for a hunter is to identify your target and then shoot. The hunter failed to do this, and mistook the officer for game. He then shot and instantly killed the officer.”

    No charges have been levied, but a joint investigation by the DNR and the Forestry Service is on going.
    A memorial service for Officer Upton is scheduled for this Saturday, March 13 at 2 p.m. at the Classic Center, 300 N. Thomas St., Athens.

    In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to the Officer Chris Upton Memorial Fund at any branch of Wachovia Bank, or by mail to: Wachovia, 221 South Broad St. GA8792, Monroe, Ga., 30655.
    I heard about it and this is horrible. Those of us who have been in the military understand the meaning and importance of target detection and identification. That is why I can never understand how someone can kill another man and claim that he thought he was shooting at a deer. To kill, you must identify and locate the proper point for effective bullet placement ie: head, neck, shoulder etc, then hold the reticle in place and slowly squeeze. How in hell can you hold the reticle on a human standing 5 feet tell or more and mistake him for a coyote? Man does not look like a dog.
    Men, deer and coyotes do not resemble one another one bit even with night vision devices.
    It'll be interesting to discover if they were intoxicated, but probably not if they called 911 to report the incident.
  2. stalkingbear

    stalkingbear Well-Known Member

    I don't see how it could be an accident. If so then the shooter exhibited gross neg. That's NOT safe hunting any way you look at it and it gives us all a black eye. It just gives the antis more ammo!:mad:

  3. gorknoids

    gorknoids New Member

    How the F*ck can you call it "coyote hunting"? I'm more prone to believe that they were standing security on a meth lab. There's a hell of a lot more to this story than was printed.
  4. alsaqr

    alsaqr Well-Known Member Supporter


    Right on.
  5. Car54

    Car54 New Member

    The officer was probably on a night patrol for poachers. Maybe these two were the poachers and didn't want to be confronted. There are only three who know what happened,,, God and the two involved.

    If it truly was a case of negligence, the guy, if not charged, should at least be lifetime banned from hunting.
  6. willshoum

    willshoum New Member

    Nite Hunting Kyyotes

    Was this the first time Dumb and Dumb $$$ hunted at nite. Hell on a full moon at night I can tell the differance between a dog and a hog at 100 yrds. I'd check and see how many kyyotes the shot be for they pulled this stupid act. A slap on the hand just ain't gonna git it. My prayers to the family. wills in da swamp in La. One Shot One Kill....
  7. AverageJoe

    AverageJoe New Member

    I spose this is why the conservation officers i know are equipped with full auto m16s
  8. Glasshartt

    Glasshartt New Member

    Either that or a marajuana grow. I have never seen a Coyote whose eyes are above the 5' mark.
  9. spittinfire

    spittinfire Active Member Supporter

    My thoughts and prayers go out to that officer's family. The two responsible for the shooting need to be seriously investigated. I have a hard time believing they mistook a grown man for a small dog.
  10. Mack Bolan

    Mack Bolan New Member

    my sentiments exactly... hope they get to the bottom of it for the sake of his loved ones......that is so wrong.
  11. orangello

    orangello New Member

    I really hope it wasn't on a pot field; that would get me queasy. :(

    I saw this on another forum & wonder if the officer may have been prone or something. That doesn't excuse the shooter's mistake (if it was a mistake); the target hadn't been identified regardless of the officer's position or concealment. I would've thought that if their NV equipment was good enough to allow night hunting, it should be good enough to tell a person from a coyote.

    Personally, i don't hunt at night since mistaking a skunk 3' away for a rabbit. (i know, it was dumb & i was young) I have had the opportunity since, but i just doubt my eyesight/ability.
  12. Biohazurd

    Biohazurd New Member

    I pray for his family.
  13. jeepcreep927

    jeepcreep927 New Member

    As s****y as I probably sound, it wasn't an "accident", even if it was unintentional. There is really no such thing as an accident when someone is shot, it's either intentional or a result of gross negligence.

    I live in Vermont and EVERY unitentional shooting in the last 7-9 years has been prosecuted. Last year there was a guy who, while turkey hunting, shot and killed his own son "accidentally". He was prosecuted also. I probably couldn't live with the guilt and would take a "walk in the woods" myself, but the State didn't think killing his own kid was punishment enough.

    I say prosecute them if nothing else as an example. Simply saying "Yup, kilt me a guy the other night, by accident though" is BS.
  14. willshoum

    willshoum New Member

    Gross Negligence

    I recieved an e-mail from Don D. with wwl in New Orleans, I'd post what he sent But I can't figure out how just yet. From what I read he was suposedly hidden be hind a berm and using field glasses. From what the Killer said he thought that he was looking at the eyes of a coyote. He then shot I presume the Man in the head. I think they need to do a renactment to see what the Killer actually saw. There's no way in Hell I'd hunt in this state with these two guy's still running loose. This isn't the first warden that's been shot in this state. When I sign off One Shot One Kill This Is not what I Have in mind.Wills in da swamp in La.
  15. RubTJicon

    RubTJicon New Member


    Im with you. How in the hell, do you mistake a full grown man wearing a duty belt, for a coyote ?!
  16. laynejc

    laynejc New Member

    It is possible to mistake a button buck for a doe, or even a spike for a doe (at a distance with the naked eye), but a man for a coyote? NO WAY, NO WAY IN H377! Does 1+1=3?
  17. dnthmn2004

    dnthmn2004 New Member

    Gross negligence and both should be held accountable. You can't mistake a coyote for a 6' tall man.

    My prayers are with him and his family tonight.
  18. doctherock

    doctherock New Member

    Had a boy some years ago shoot a woman on a trail because he thought she was a bear, happened in Washington State and I do believe he is serving time now. No excuse for this kind of garbage. Hope the family heals quickly.
  19. buckhuntr

    buckhuntr Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

    Guys like those two are the reason I almost never hunted public land in Georgia (my home state). There were folks I went to HS with who I didn't want to be within miles of during hunting season, if they were carrying. My Dad taught me at an early age to NEVER pull the trigger until I positively identified my target as being the game i was after. No excuses, and you can't put the bullet back in the barrel after the shot is made. I honestly think there ought to be some demonstrated proficiency test to go along with hunter safety courses, just to prevent some of the boneheads from getting a license.
  20. brandy

    brandy New Member

    Hope the officer has relatives who are

    very willing to wait years and years to do their own hunting........