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EDITORIAL: The Cheney hunting accident: a Texan's view of the so-called "Texas hunting protocol"

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February 14, 2006

EDITORIAL: The Cheney hunting accident: a Texan's view of the so-called "Texas hunting protocol"

By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

Doug Pike is a Field & Stream contributing editor who covers the outdoors for the Houston Cheney_hunt_lg1Chronicle. Here's what he has to say about reports suggesting that bird hunters in Texas follow different gun safety rules than bird hunters anywhere else.

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Upland bird hunters everywhere knew exactly what had happened when word spread this past weekend that Vice President Dick Cheney shot a quail-hunting companion in South Texas, but some media reports made it sound as if the victim were to blame.

A quail flushed. Vice President Cheney swung his 28-gauge shotgun on the bird and tugged the trigger. His 78-year-old buddy, Austin attorney Harry Whittington, took a piece of the shot string in the upper body and face. Luckily, they were about 30 yards apart, far enough that pinhead-sized quail shot did minimal damage.

Reports from the owner of the ranch where the VP was hunting that Whittington violated some sort of ``Texas protocol'' requiring hunters to make formal announcement of their comings and goings in the field were a bit misleading. Everywhere that upland birds are hunted, the drill is pretty much the same. It makes sense to let other hunters know when you're moving to the left or right, or that you're back after visiting a nearby tree, but there's no requirement to do so. The onus is on everyone who carries a gun not to shoot at anyone else.

Cheney shot another hunter. Sooner better than later, he should own up to his mistake.

-Doug Pike

Think the VP's mistake will do significant damage to the public's perception of hunters? Let us know by taking the latest F&S poll on the home page (it's near the bottom left of the page).

And we'd like to hear more from you about what you think of this incident, so write in your comments below. We may publish them in our May 2006 issue of the magazine.

Comments (68)

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from hygthyhujd wrote 5 years 44 weeks ago

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from Visitor wrote 6 years 43 weeks ago
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from roger peterson wrote 8 years 1 week ago

I believe if it was anyone else, they would be facing severe penalties. He had consumed alchohol that day, he shot his friend, and then didn't report it to the president until the following day. How much bad publicity can hunting take? Hunting has already experienced a large amount of criticism from the anti hunters and this is just another instance where a hunter (the vice president) makes a huge mistake which gives them more to feast from to further try to bring down the wonderful sport that I enjoy year round. I feel Dick Cheney got away with something that wouldn't have been downplayed so much had it been a regular citizen hunting and committing the same act.

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from Kurt in Colorado wrote 8 years 5 weeks ago

Excuse me, but when does F&S consider a persons near death an non issue, as quoted here from your own story. Including the fact that alcohol was involved even highlights the issue. I myself being an ex-police officer would like to know if anybody was breathalyzed due to an admission of alcohol consumption, I am sure none was done. It's an absolute joke for anybody to consider a partial, or complete loss of life as a non-issue issue at all. Wake up."It's a nonissue, much as this whole incident should be soon."

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from Micheal May wrote 8 years 6 weeks ago

What happened is a terrible thing and we all wish a speedy recovery for Mr. Whittington. Cheney made a bad mistake, maybe more than one. Anytime we pick up gun and go into the field we take on a responsibility to be safe, but we do the same thing when we get into a car. No one plans on an accident and it's never good, but would there be this much continuing media attention about dangers of driving cars if he would have been in an auto accident? No, there would not! I do believe there will backlash from this incident for the outdoor community, you can tell just from the postings. It's a political world! With such a high profile case, you are definitley going to hear the opposition to hunting use this for a long time.

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from John in Alabama wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

Twenty eight gauge shotgun suggests Mr Cheney is a skeet shooter. In my opinion, sheet shooters are golfers with guns. Holding a loaded rifle or shotgun at any other position than port arms in the field while stalking is a very bad practice. A long gun held to the shoulder obscures the field of vision, blocking much of the shooters ability to identify human beings or other improper targets on the ground in the direction of the aimed shot. Mr. Cheney said he has only been hunting, or shooting 14 years. Thus, he is relatively new to the shooting sports, for a man of his age. He probably did not know the skeet shooting practice of holding the stock to the shoulder before identifying the target in the field was dangerous. Having observed sheet shooters playing their game, I am almost willing to bet the accident was caused by holding the 28 gauge shotgun to the shoulder while flushing the pointed bird.I sometimes shoot skeet to improve my shooting in the field. I always practice calling the clay targets with my shotgun at port arms. This certainly does not help the score with clay targets, but it prepares me for the field.It would show some class if Mr. Cheney would order some firearms training for himself from instructors who are hunters or military shooters and not skeet shooters. There are plenty of qualified military marksmenship instructors in Mr. Cheney's chain of command who could improve his knowledge of gun safety.

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from Don Sypek wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Hey You Rascals! I'm another victim who wrote a comment and you printed that Larry Cross wrote it on Feb.22nd.I am the one, Don Sypek, who wrote on Feb. 23 @ 04:34AM the piece beginning with: Many have commented "the .28 guage.....

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from Don Sypek wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Many have commented "the.28 guage is a little, puny shotgun", suggesting it is far less deadly than its bigger brother bores.Only partly true -- solely because standard .28 guage shells contains fewer shot pellets than the .12, .16, and .20 guage standard shells (but more than the .410 guage shell).However, it appears that many may have forgotten a most important fact: Independent of the guage of the shotgun, every standard shotgun load for any given pellet size shot will always produce approximately the same muzzle velocity.Hence the downrange kinetic energy will also be approximately the same, and likewise independent of the shotgun guage.The Good News in VP Cheney's unfortunate accident is that the downrange kinetic energy (i.e. the killing power)of the 7 1/2 size pellets were greatly diminished because of their small size (i.e. mass).Admittedly, the Surprising News is that even at 35 yards one of these small pellets was nevertheless able to penetrate so deeply, right into the surface of Mr. Whittington's heart!It's safe to assume that many scattergunners will now run to the range to blow the smithereens out of stacked newspapers, or telephone books, with their 7 1/2 size loads for a good look-see comparison of the reality to the theoretical.

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from Larry Cross wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

You evedently put my name with the wrong comments please correct Imediedtly

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from David Massuch wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

I belive Cheney was a far cry then just at falt. Information that i had read that they had drinks at lunch time. They say only one drink. Ask any cop when he pulls over a person if he has been drinking. That person 99 times out of a 100 will say that they have only had one drink. So what realy is the truth? I don:t think we ever know.because Cheny will never fess up to the whole truth or will he?

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from Visitor wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Hunting is a sport with guns. Sooner or later an accident is going to happen. Unfortunatley, this time it was Cheney who made a mistake- he took full responsibility for the incident. YOu have to give him that.

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from Visitor wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Cheney made a mistake. Bottom line. I think this incident is part of the risk you take when you step into the field. This should not be a negative to the great sport of hunting.

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from Steve Siegel wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

No Orange required? They appear to hunt differently in Texas than we do here in Ohio. Our hunting group wears orange vests and orange hats to complement our appearance. Our hunting party hunts in a line (side by side) not single file. When a member of our hunting party harvestes a game animal, the other memebers waite while the game is retreived and then resumes hunting. We also make sure that our hunting party members have the proper licensure irregardless of hunting public or private land. It truely is a tragety that VP Cheney was so careless that he injured his long time friend and gave the hunting sports a black eye. Sorry, VP Cheney gets no invites from our hunting party.

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from jdl wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

How many times have each of us been shot while hunting? Did we ever hunt with the AH that shot us again? The guy with the gun is responsible for what it does! I guess all the reporters aren't hunters! If I hunt with someone who drinks, is not aware of his fellow hunters or act irresponsibly in other ways, it is the last time I hunt with them. As`a 8 year old, I wonder how many times the victim had ben shot before?

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from Ross Hudson wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

After reading all the comments and the stories involved, I think of the words, Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda. Haven’t all of us had WSC’s in our lives! It’s easy to find fault, and our society is a fault finding one. If there is anyone without WSC’s then they have a right to find fault. Let this thing die. At least it wasn’t a Chappaquiddick!

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from Robert Robles wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

Once again the Vice president has demonstated that the laws and rules are for everyone else and that he is above them. What if it had been John Q. Public?All the hunters I know and hunt with, abide by the rules and laws of the state and or county that we have the privilege to be hunting in. I have been showered with bird shot that came from a member of my same party but it didn't penetrate and as soon as the shot/s were fired they would shout out"coming your way". Reports on Cheney's target indicate that he was peppered, obviously he was to close. Anyone that has ever fired a shot gun knows what the maximum effective range is of their shot load. Political preferences aside, As for hunting with Cheney versus riding with Kennedy. My drill instructor always stated that "you don't hear the one shot that gets you" but I can still swim.

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from jerry kelly wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

"it is the responsibility of person that pulls the trigger, to know where that shot is going"Don't for get that he also should have been shooting at Iran but he hit Iraq! I see a pattern.

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from Frank wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

Just a few comments. I shot my first quail when I was 10. I've hunted just about every year for the past 45 years. Where I hunted, you wore some orange on your body so the deer hunters wouldn't mistake you for a white tail. It was understood, you knew where your hunting buddies and the dogs were. I hate to say it, but there probably isn't an upland bird hunter or a dove hunter who hasn't been peppered at one time or another. You hope it never happens, but it does. Regardless, it is the responsibility of person that pulls the trigger, to know where that shot is going.But to quote a bumper sticker I just saw, "I'd rather hunt with Dick Cheney, than go riding with Ted Kennedy".

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from Andrew Wade wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

I am a left-winger who doesn't "get" sport hunting. However I do understand that accidents do happen, and that Dick Cheney is but one man. And frankly, the "sport" that Cheney was engaged in doesn't sound much like hunting anyway.What has hurt my perception of hunters is comments that suggest that accidents of this severity are common and no big deal. Yes, accidents happen, but accidents of this severity should be quite rare.

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from Russell wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

In his confessional interview, Vice President Cheney attempted to excuse his failure to immediately go to the media by stating that the story was complicated and not something the press corps is accustomed to reporting. Wrong. Hunting is straightforward. We take to the fields and forests with guns and try to kill things. The sport has been romanticized and ritualized, but at bottom it's a simple pursuit. The rules are simple, too. "Don't fire until you're aware of what may be hit" is not ambiguous. So long as we hunters claim that hunting is beyond the understanding of all who were not raised in the tradition, we will continue to be perceived as outsiders.

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from Don Slick wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

hey dick, take hillary with you the next trip!

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from Don Slick wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

at least it was a politician and a lawyer hunting together. maybe some of our political contributions should be spent encouraging the two to hunt together more often!!

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from kgb wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

Thefact that some of you are too ignorant to correctly spell or even to complete a sentence & knowing that you are hunters is even scarier. Am I to believe that a man sighting manslaughterspeaking of spelling errors, dumbass, it's "citing" not "sighting". Even a spell check doesn't erase all stupidity.

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from Visitor wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

It seems quite clear that this was an accident. Even so, any time a hunter's firearm goes off it is 100% his responsibility for what happens after the shot. Peroid.

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from Jeff Birdwell wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

I have read what seems like hundreds of article involing the VP's accidental shooting of a friend during a quail hunt. I am an experienced hunter and I have yet to understand why no one has asked the questions "Where Where the Dogs". I do not know to many people that go quail hunting without their dog or have a guide that furnishes the dogs. If there had been bird dogs on this hunt we may not be talking about this, or maybe there where dogs!

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from ronjazz wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

The concern about how this affects hunters and hunting is a bit misplaced. Very few comments have taken hunters or hunting to task. The biggest problem here is the ongoing hubris of the Republican administration officials, and their absolute refusal to respect and follow the law. All of you who are eager to "move on" and "forget about it, accidents happen" are missing the point, which is that Cheney has broken several laws here, by any reckoning, and, as usual, it's the coverup that's getting the media attention.It does make hunting look pretty shoddy to be killing dozens or hundreds of domesticated, farm-raised birds. I can only surmise that there weren't enough lawyers to fully stock the hunt because they're all so busy in Washington defending Republican crooks and liars. Otherwise Dead-Eye Dick would have bagged several.

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from Mooser wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

I have always been pro-hunting, until I read this comments thread. One thing that shines through is the low regard hunters have for all life. I will from now on consider all "hunters" potential murderors, ready to blast away a friend rather than miss a shot at a cage raised bird. Or eager to take a "friend" into the woods to have a little "accident".The reaction of "sportsmen" to this incident has convinced me hunting should be outlawed, in almost all areas.

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from Jerry Kelly wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

I hate Texans (they come to South East Arizona waving around their money at landowners so blue collar guys have no place to hunt)but lets face facts the bush cult never admits a mistake and we will never be able to prove if he was drunk. The fact that he didn't go to the hospital to see his badly wounded friend makes me think he was plowed.

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from George S. Leon III wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

I grew in Williams, AZ & I have been hunting in Az since I was 9, & in Nm, & Tx since I was 12. For the last 8 years or so I have been hunting in all three as a non-resident. There are new stamps & sub-permits required each year. The upland game stamp is new & unless you are a complete jackass most G&F wardens will give a warning the first few months after instituting a new procedure/policy. So is it with the upland bird stamp. Ihappen to know this first hand, as I was unaware of said stamp last month when I was cited with a warning just outside of Pleasanton, Tx. I am a nobody of nobody's, an average Joe America & a warning was what I recieved. In my view the VP was treated just as anyone else would have been.

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from Ed Coates wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

What I am concerned about is that the Texas Dept. of Con. did not immediately report this to paper, if they called an ambulance then is surely went out on a scanner. I also know that they did not have all the proper tags, and in Missouri they would have had a trouble with that more than they got there. I also want to know if either one actually had a Hunter Safety card because with there age neither one had to have one. And I am probably guessing that neither one has actually been practicing with there shotguns,or hunting guail very much. I am sure that both knew they were breaking the law with not all proper tags. I am not suprised that they shot each other but suprised that they broke the law on tags. and tell Hannity that it is more serious that he want to tell on the TV or radio. I am a strong NRA and republican, and support them, but this is not a political issue it is a private issue and should have been treated that way from the minute it started until they were charged with improper tags, and hunting illegally.

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from J Randall wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

It was an 'accident'. Accidents happen quite frequently in the hunting arena. And Mr Cheney did what any 'normal' human being would do in this situation. Sure, he is held to a higher standard than you or I, but he is still just a man, a human being. What would you have done had you been in his shoes? Would you really have handled it any differently? In my opinion, if it had been my husband who got shot, I would rather have Mr Cheney there to handle the situation. He has more poise and control, better equiped, to handle the situation than you or I would have been!

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from Harold wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

CommentsAll sports have a degree of risk associated with them. Notice the injuries in the Olympics. When someone makes a bad judgement call it usually turns out bad. There were reporters killed in Iraq. Does that mean they shouldn't go there?Posted by: Dale Netherton | February 15, 2006 at 12:34 PMWe all knew this was coming,but what ticks me off more than anything, and I'm as conservative and as big a supporter of the President as anybody, is we just gave the scumbag left more amuunition to spew their garbage.Posted by: Larry Neevel | February 15, 2006 at 12:56 PMDear Mike:I have been a subscriber to Outdoor Life for 36 continuous years and an avid hunter for 33 years. I defend my sport at every opportunity and I believe very strongly in personal responsibility and accountability for one’s actions. I found the VP Cheney hunting accident and the post-shooting events to be very disturbing.First, let me tell you why I find fault with both “sides” of the reporting of these events. I agree with your assessment that certain questions presented to WH spokesman Scott McClellan in the WH press room were inappropriate and resentful. It is clear that many members of the press dislike Mr. Cheney, and that Mr. Cheney dislikes many members of the press. This will never change, but both sides need to be honest, respectful, and forthcoming.On the other side, Mary Matalin, former Cheney counselor, said that Cheney did absolutely nothing wrong, and was without fault in this incident. That is not the opinion of the NRA and most hunters who have responded publicly to this. Bill O’Reilly said that no one besides Mr. Cheney and Mr. Whittington were affected by this, and therefore it is not worthy of much media attention. That is like saying that the Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky affair was not worthy of much media attention.Clearly, this incident and the handling of it by all parties will not be quickly forgotten. Mr. Cheney needs to speak directly to the public about this as soon as possible.Posted by: Dennis Kolson | February 15, 2006 at 01:08 PMThe coverage of this is just like most things regarding Bush/Chaney. It is very clear that the White House press corps care little for truth but are looking to crucify the admonistration at every turn. This is jist the lastest example of the liberal press playing up negative happenings with this administration and ignoring the facts. According to the Texas DEP this was an unfortunate accident that occurred while the VP was hunting. Everyone would agree that while any shooting is serious and lessons need to be learned from this incident, it is important that this be kept in perspective and that the VP should be held to the same scrutnity as anyone else but certainly not the level he is now.Posted by: Richard Colebank | February 15, 2006 at 01:26 PMSorry, but I can't follow you, Mike. I've been an extremely active upland hunter for 40-years. VP Cheney screwed up badly. Any accidental shooting is pretty bad judgment and reflects bad shooting discipline...period. Just as bad in my mind if he had hurt someone with a motor vehicle DWI or DUI. These events are newsworthy for any news media. How you can rationalize this away is beyond me. When I hunt, it's not a political exercise. If you see hunting as such, maybe you should reassess your motives.MarkPosted by: Mark | February 15, 2006 at 02:13 PMthere was another VP who was also "shooting" over the weekend...his mouth, that is...comfortable outside of the United States over the weekend, Al Gore essentially committed sedition against the USA with no accountability from the mainstream media...Posted by: Keith | February 15, 2006 at 02:58 PMDick Cheney didn't even have a license to hunt birds. He sent the $7.00 in after the hunting accident. Here in Pennsylvania, if you mistakenly shoot somebody and not have a license for the game you're hunting, you're going to pay a big fine and maybe even lose your hunting priveleges.Posted by: Bob Slatt | February 15, 2006 at 03:11 PMI have to agree with several others here. The facts are that Cheney accidentally shot someone, and did not have a license to hunt. Politics aside that's against the law. You get caught hunting without a license and see what happens, 9.7 out of 10 there's somekind of penalty.Posted by: Dan Kroes | February 15, 2006 at 03:47 PMI honestly think that it is the hunting community that is dropping the ball on this issue.As I was traveling today, I periodically tuned into several of the conservative talk-radio programs to see what they had to say about the topic. The thing I managed to learn was that apparently everytime anyone goes hunting someone gets shot. Every other caller seemed to indicate that hunting accidents are common place and nothing to be concerned about. We all know that this is pure balderdash.Do accidents in the field occur? We all know that they do. Are they common? Not where I am from. I think many in the hunting community are allowing loyalty to this administration to cloud their good judgement.I for one think that this administration has done little to improve the image of, or protect are sport. I suppose, however, that is a topic for another day.Posted by: Garrick | February 15, 2006 at 04:42 PMThis incident should be treated as if the parties involved were normal citizens. In other words, normal citizens wouldn't receive all of this attention. LET IT GO!!!! It was an "accident", not an intentional act nor a crime. I'm surely not perfect and have no right to expect perfection from another - accidents happen to imperfect people - it does not lessen their true worth.Posted by: Gary Cheris | February 15, 2006 at 05:34 PMLet's all take a step back and take a deep breath. Yes the V.P. made a hunting mistake, a big one, but where was the public's right to know in all this? How many hunting accidents have we heard about over the last year? I can't think of more than 2 during the Michigan deer season. Guns are dangerous and if you don't treat them as such, accidents can happen, even to the best of us. (like my model 700 going off when I opened the bolt to unload. It was later recalled). If I hadn't been aware of where my gun was pointing, my son could have been dead. Should I have called the press and told them that I almost shot my son and all guns should be banned? The V.P. should have come out immediately and discussed the incident, said he was responsible and directed the attention to gun safety and more hunter education. That's the biggest mistake he made.Posted by: Dave Sherbert | February 15, 2006 at 05:36 PMI am still an amateur hunter. I just started deer hunting two years ago, but i have learned the safety issues by heart ( or at least as close as possible). I understand all the risks involved with hunting, as many others do. But that doesnt mean that there isnt going to be a mistake or an accident. That's why accidents are called just that. once again, someone in politics makes a mistake such as this and the press is all over it. This aggravates me quite a bit. I'm not one to stand up for politicians much, butI do know that they are people, just like you and me, and they can be hunters, like you and me, and they are not perfect. of course, they have to be according to the press. An accident is an accident, and as unfortunate as this one is, I wonder if it would have been that big of a deal if that were me. I doubt it. I'm just an everyday person. A taxpaying citizen.Posted by: Lindsey Fender | February 15, 2006 at 07:35 PMLet's call this what it really is- a stupid hunting accident. And it should be treated like any other hunting accident Cheney should be fined like any other hunter. He should not be tried in the media. He should answer any and all intelligent questions from the press- any reporters who ask stupid or uninformed questions should be escorted to the door.Posted by: Eric Vanaman | February 15, 2006 at 08:07 PMI think that you are right on in your observations concerning this accident and the media's coverage of it.Anyone who has hunted for more than a day can eaisly point out the mistakes made by this group of hunters. Although it is true that that the V.P. pulled the trigger, and therefore is responsible for the results, this certainly was not the only mistake made when you look at all of the circumstances surrounding this incident.This was a hunting accident, period. It happened on a Saturday and the media had it on Sunday. Whats the problem? Well, the problem is, that the liberal media types have been unsuccessful in getting anything on the V.P.up to this point. However, it certainly has not been due to a lack of trying. Now they think that they have "the goods" on him, and are not going to allow the truth to stand in the way of a good story! Further, I'm certain that they are humilated that they got scooped by a small town newspaper.An unfortunate accident happened. It was reported and investigated. A news release was made the next A.M. The V.P. admits fault and assumes 100% of the responsibility for the accident. What else is there to discuss and/or debate? If this were about anybody else, this story would already be considered old news.I sincerely doubt that there is anything that anyone else can do or say that will make the V.P. feel any worse than he already does. Unfortunately, this incident will no doubt give all of the "anti's" a new rallying point and renewed vigor. However, it certainly will not be the first time that they have taken a easy and "cheap shot"!Lets see through all of the political, liberal media B.S., and recognize this for what it is, nothing more - nothing less.The subject has been covered, and then covered some more. The media should get back to reporting the "news" and we should get back to safley participating in our sport. We should use this as an opportunity to renew our commitment to safty, and to project a positive public image. The sport will recover from this, unfortunately a person was seriously injured and will live with the results long after this becomes a vague memory for everyone else.Anyone who thinks that this issue is about hunting safty and timely news releases, instead of politics and vendettas, probably also is wondering why the Easter Bunny dosen't visist anymore!Posted by: Sid Lark | February 15, 2006 at 11:44 PMAccidents don't happen, they are caused! Lack of communications caused this one.I have hunted EVERY year since 1957 and never had an 'accident'. Yes, hunting is one of the safest sports ever. I don't mind being in Pennsylvanias woods with 1.25 MILLION other 'armed' individuals! I feel safer there than I do in ANY large city!Posted by: Bill | February 16, 2006 at 09:43 AMI agree that both V.P. Cheney and Wittington are at fault. I take a gun shooting accident very seriously. As an avid hunter of upland birds, ducks, deer and turkey, plus a certified shotgun instructor, (1) don't shoot if you don't know where all of the other shooters are, (2) shoot only when you see the birds against the sky, (3) don't walk ahead of the safe zones to pick up your birds. Let the dogs pick up the birds. I am also a heart patient and have been for the past 30 years. In fact I have an ICD implanted just like Cheney. It really saddens me that the the "comedians" on late night TV have joke after joke about this whole affair. No one has mentioned the fact that Whittington will have to live the rest of his life with a damaged heart, and that as a result, may have less years to enjoy his family and life. This is not fodder for comedians. This is sad.

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from Terry Schraner wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

One can tell from some of the comments that those are folks not of a particular political party and most haven't hunted much. I have hunted quail for over 30 years in some of the thickest cover you can immagine, mostly alone. But I have come close to being shot and could have shot someone if they happened into the area unannounced at the wrong moment. Quail shooting requires quick,split- second reactions in many respects. I do agree that if you are unsure of were someone is, you should not shoot unless the background is clear- who really knows what the circumstances were.

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from Marcia wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

I see where Cheney has sent Texas $7.00 for his delinquent bird stamp purchase. My question is: Do all hunters only receive a "Warning" when they are in the field hunting birds and have NOT yet purchased the "bird" stamp? or did he get preferential treatment? Our state is MUCH stricter and warnings are more like FINES and possible loss of hunting rights. It would have been nice to see Cheney at least have to attend a Hunter Safety Class as part of his punishment.I guess rank DOES have its perks!!!As far as an accident, when we taught our kids to hunt, they knew that it was the HUNTER'S responsibility to shoot only when HE/SHE KNEW what was in the ammo's path. If there was ANY doubt as to the where abouts of one of the the hunting party or what was being shot at...they were taught NOT to take the shot!I guess when you get to be V.P. or have an important job...you don't have to follow the rules and laws that most of us "normal" folks have to follow.Wouldn't our founding fathers be proud of some of the things that their hard work has evolved into???

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from David King wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

There is excitement when you are in the field, but out of each hunters eye is the shot and the kill, but there is also the responsibility to know where your fellow hunters are, and the rule of have a clean shot before the twitch commands your trigger finger. Dick wanted the Bird more than a quick glance as to where his friend was. We all know (bragging rights) asuming that in all considerations Dick did not want by any means to shoot anyone espacily a friend and have to live with this. It is an accident that could have been prevented, but wasn't,he has to live with it. And lifegoes on WE hope, and all is well. Hunt long enjoy BE SAFE.

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from Ev wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

Yeah, some Americans are better than other Americans. They don't need stamps or to report to the authorities until they're sober. I wonder what makes them so special and better than the rest of us?Anybody?

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from birdhunter315 wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

So Dick makes tons and tons of money and doesn't buy a 7 frickin' dollar stamp.."that they say is a law in texas" now if that ain't a load then what is...claiming he had a 125 non resident license to shoot upland birds and sent a 7 dollar check in the mail to cover the cost...well he gets that part covered now what is he gonna do about shootin the guy! So what if hes an ol fart and his senses are bad...he should still know where and where not to shoot, its pretty much common sense.

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from Robert Wrinkle wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

I think the incident should be investigated further, since the statements initially made are now proven to be bullshit.Cheney is now implicated by Scooter Libby as the approving superior on the Valerie Plame leak case. (a crime) The emails that were proof of this have been deleted from the White House server. (a crime) Proof from a former high ranking CIA official that the Bush administration decided toinvade Iraq first, and then cherry picked and embellished the intelligence evidence to justify their forgone conclusions. The invasion of Iraq is a war crime, in my opinion. Abramoff is nowspilling his guts about rampant corruption pervasive in the Republican Congress and in the White House.(crimes a plenty) MichaelBrown and Chertoff are showing us what a mess the FEMA/ Homeland Security set upis. Their response to Katrina is reprehensible. They approve torture of prisoners. They spy on Americans without warrants. They just passed a bill that will let the Major Oil companies to harvest oil from public lands without paying a dime in royalties to the US government.(should be a crime) Tom Delay. Enron, Halliburton,Diebold rigging the election in Ohio,..Tax cuts to the richest 1 percent of the American population, while spending our children and grandchildren into huge debt to countries like China. They categorize any dissent as unpatriotic and unAmerican.Now This.Jesus Christ....when will there be enough evidence for people to change their minds about the Bush Administration and the friggin' Republican Party.Hell, I used to be a Republican too, but I cannot in good conscience support these imperialist robber barons. Wake up Americans!

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from Chris Gallagher wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

I grew up shooting dove and quail in South Texas, in the same area as this incident. My dad taught me the proper and safe way to hunt. There is no excuse for an accident of this kind. The story is so screwed up now it is hard to put a finger on what exactly happened but again there is no excuse for this "accident".Hunting wild game is an awesome responsibility. Handling a firearm around others requires your full faculties. My dad and other hunting partners enjoyed a cold beer after the hunt, not before or during.Dick Cheney is a coward and his "owning up" on the Faux news channel reeks of cowardice. Why not face a group with legitimate questions?A fellow man was shot by some careless action of another man.Let's hear the whole truth.

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from Larry Biggs wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

Thirty yards? I shoot a 28ga. and with quail shot-mostly 8's &9's-I don't remember the shot going clean through a bird which is what it would take to penetrate into a mans heart. So the 30 yards just seems too far-fetched (close-fetched) for me. You are correct about the White House press; their up-set is that some small time paper got the information before they did. Only they know what we should be told!

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from Larry Cross wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

Well first of all everyone forgets there human until its there turn upto bat, then the commants fly.Secondly I am not excusing the incedent but we are forgeting a few things.These gentle men are older, there ablity is not what it once was but ,there passion in life still is. The open spaces the thrill of the hunt etc.No there reflexise,eyesight, and yes possibly there judgement is not what it once was.Now we can get all radical and say well then he should not be doing this or that because he is the V. P. of U.S.Or we can realize Dick Cheney is a human,that he is getting older and possibly cannot do what he once could, as well as he once did. Whether he does or not we are all headed there people whether we like it or not ! the ones of us that are lucky.And let me close with this. I own a Game Farm where we sell quail to shooting farms, and I have hunted quail both wild and on shooting farms.It is a dangerous sport fast and furious. Many of my customers wont use them its so dangerious! So what I am saying is when and if you get to be 70 or 80 try it then critisize

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from Ashton E wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

Cheney was wrong. Don't care about how. He shot at a bird that was apparently just off the ground, he shot in the direction a hunter was coming from. I don't care he'd caught up and was only 30 yards away, or if Cheney thought he was 60 yards away. All of you hunters KNOW that you don't shoot in the direction someone even MAY be in. And if you don't know this, I'd never be comfortable hunting with you.

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from Tim McClure wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

It just goes to show you that accidents happen to everyone. We are all human. Even if your the Vice-President of the Unted States.

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from Bob jr. wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

What a stupid jack! VP Cheney is gonna get off free of charge for shooting someone! If anyone else did this they would get their guns taken away and get fined up the butt! Thats why Dick you know what your target is and whats behind and around it! Or you just wait til he gets back from gettin his bird and then move on. Its because of people like this why they want anti hunting and all that crap.

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from John Hunter wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

Why did this editorial change over the past 24 hours. Last night it was questioning why Cheney didn't come clean to begin with.

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from Doug Schneider wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

I am not so concerned about the accident itself doing harm to the sport of hunting. It is the Main Stream Media and Left Wing Anti-gun Liberals that will (and have) blown this out of proportion and use it to fuel any and all anti-gun/anti-hunting agendas.

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from Eric Swanson wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

As a upland bird hunter myself I learned early on that I am responsible to know my surroundings. We take precautions by wearing blaze orange. If you see that color and yes that color stands out like none other, you don't shoot period. That said I think that the AP has spun this in a way it has no chance in being a learning experience for the hunting and non-hunting communities. I only hope that we as a hunting community make it out of this with a little less shot in us then our Texas Lawyer friend.

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from George S. Leon III wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

A lot of you would make great Monday morning QB's & not much more! The fact that some of you are too ignorant to correctly spell or even to complete a sentence & knowing that you are hunters is even scarier. Especially with the spelling & grammar checks integral to all modern word processing programs. Am I to believe that a man sighting manslaughter as a possible charge related to an incident without mortality would really follow all the "Rules of safe hunting"? The fact of the matter is that unless charges are filled & evidence is shown to a seated jury & unless you are a member of that jury all you are doing is gossiping like that woman in the hair salon, you know, the one you always tell your buddies you go hunting & fishing to get away from! So, a suggestion, if gossip is what you are looking to do... Then maybe you should head on over to the Modern Woman Website or leave the story telling to the parties that were actually present.

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from GEORGE MARTIN wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

AS A HUNTER SAFETY INSTRUCTOR WE TEACH TOO KNOW WHERE YOUR HUNTING PARTNERS ARE AT ALL TIMES. ALSO KNOWING YOUR FIELD OR ZONE OF FIRE. THIS MISHAP COULD HAVE HAPPEN ON A DEER DRIVE. REMEMBER SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY. PASADENA. MARYLAND

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from Gary Cheris wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

This incident should be treated as if the parties involved were normal citizens. In other words, normal citizens wouldn't receive all of this attention. LET IT GO!!!! It was an "accident", not an intentional act nor a crime. I'm surely not perfect and have no right to expect perfection from another - accidents happen to imperfect people - it does not lessen their true worth.

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from Matt Licking wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

Rule #2- Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. Sorry Mr. Cheney there are NO excuses for "accidentally" shooting someone.

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from Bob Johnston wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

I heard Cheney was drunk as hell, which is why he waited 14 hours to talk to the cops. I heard they waited 22 hours to go public because they wanted to see if Whittington was going to live and if he would take one for the team and not talk about what really happened. Clearly, by the spread pattern and penetration, he was shot at close range. Furthermore, I heard this wasn't hunting. They were shooting hand-raised quail with clipped wings, released from pens, and that associated humans with feeding time, not predators. They could basically get out of their cars, walk up and blast the birds like they could a family pet.

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from Ric Chambers wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

Contrary to the comments that it was the responsibility who was approaching from behind to 'announce' his presence, the responsibility lies firmly on Mr. Cheney's shoulders. No matter the type of hunting, it is the shooters' responsibility to know where he is aiming and what lies beyond his intended target before he pulls the trigger, releases an arrow etc. No shot at a bird, deer or other game is worth the risk if the shot cannot be made safely without putting others at risk.

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from Russell Jessee wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

(a) To the commenter who suggests that Mr. Cheney be charged w/"involuntary manslaughter," please understand that he would have had to have killed someone before being charged with any type of manslaughter.(b) To the commenter who equates shooting someone with hitting them with a golfball, you do our sport no favors by making inapt comparisons. We have to accept that hunting demands more of its participants in terms of attentiveness and judgment precisely because the consequences of carelessness could be much more dire than in other sports.

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from Bret Wiseman wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

This entire accident is another reminder of how out of touch mainstream media people are. Watching newsmen talk about hunting as if it were a mysterious cult activity is truely amazing. This story is getting so much attention because of the nature of the accident. If VP Cheney had hit someone in the head with a golf ball, this story would be over and done with.

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from andrew wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

Cheney should be charged with involuntary manslaughter- one must know what he is aiming at when he pulls the trigger- Cheney is just as guilty as a motorist who causes an accident that results in personal injury

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from tito reyes wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

I have been a Hunter Safety Instructor in Michgan for 5 years and upland game hunter for 50 years. Cheney violated a very simple hunter saftety rule: Know what your target is and WHAT IS BEYOND. It was clearly his responsibility to determine if there was any reason not to shoot.O yes then there is the problem with not having the quail stamp. It's called "poaching" here in Michiigan not matter who you are and ignorance for the law is no excuse.And to add injury to insult does Texas require a Hunter Safety Certificate for out of state residents?VP may have more problems that thought

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from thegools wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

When I learned to shoot I was forced to learn 10 golden rules of riflery. The one that sticks out above all else, "Know your backstop." I.E. know where that shot is going.We all make mistakes, but God help any of us from shooting a friend (or anyone else) accidentally!!Unsafe practices can catch up with anyone, even the VP. Lets hope his buddy survives, and that he (and all of us) learns from this mistake.Whether he likes it or not he is a roll model for sportsmen around the country. He is a vocal supporter of outdoor sports. So his misteps will reflect some on the whole community..... Including us democratic voting sportsmen.

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from Luigi Long wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

I do not wish to suggest that I am judging the VP, however, when I was in the Army, we were always taught not to point weapons (loaded or otherwise) at anything or anyone; also, when shooting live ammunition, rule 1: never pull the trigger until you have identified the target as the enemy. Clearly, if the day was foggy and visibility was low, more reason not to fire. Just my 2 cents - I guess we have different guidelines in England.

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from curtis french wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

I don't believe this should put a darkened light on hunting and the conduct of hunters. My family and I have hunted together for many years. We always know where everyone is. In bird hunting we are never quiet. We always cut up and play and make fun of people when they miss. This is to have fun and know where others are. Bird hunting shouldn't be quiet because it is a time for groups to hunt and hang out.I believe the VP should be held responsible just like I would have to be held responsibls. But at the same time it was a mistake, an unfortunate mistake, but still a mistake. People may use this in the future to put harsh laws on hunting or may try to use it to get ride of hunting because it is an important person. I don't like that idea because you are using someones misfortune for your own good. That sounds a little selfish to me.

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from Nora wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

I can't imagine anyone associating general hunting with this incident. No accidental shooting during a hunt that I ever heard of was hushed up for a full day, with sheriff's questions deflected by Secret Service agents.Perhaps no one will want to go hunting with the vice president, and maybe the community will endorse pulling his hunting license, but I foresee the aversion stopping there.

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from Jack Martin wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

We have here a lot of mistakes. Whittington probably should have told the others where he was. Cheney should have probably seen what was beyong his target. But a quail flying fast and you swing fast, its hard to always see everything. I've gotten shot in quail hunting, not by a mistake but pellets somehow richocehting off a tree infront and to the side of me. No, I don't think this will hurt hunting, but remember muzzle placement and always look beyong your target and be sure of your surroundings. I hope Whittington gets better, and the best whishes for Cheney, as its hard knowing you shot someone and one mistake can lead to all that press.

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from Jack Martin wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

We have here a lot of mistakes. Whittington probably should have told the others where he was. Cheney should have probably seen what was beyong his target. But a quail flying fast and you swing fast, its hard to always see everything. I've gotten shot in quail hunting, not by a mistake but pellets somehow richocehting off a tree infront and to the side of me. No, I don't think this will hurt hunting, but remember muzzle placement and always look beyong your target and be sure of your surroundings. I hope Whittington gets better, and the best whishes for Cheney, as its hard knowing you shot someone and one mistake can lead to all that press.

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from Robert Wrinkle wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

Now that you know that Mr. Whittington has had a heart attack due to lead shot lodged in his heart, and that he was hit by over a hundred of the little projectiles in the chest and face, do you think the Vice President was really 30 yards away? I haven't hunted in quite a while, but that seems like a pretty tight pattern for 30 yards. This in no way meets my understanding of someone being peppered. My understanding of being peppered, is when shot hits someone on its fall to earth. It feels more like sleet at the mildest, stinging but not breaking the skin at the most severe. Penetrating the heart, is not "peppered". I would love to read the update to your article taking into considerations the latest revelations. Thanks.

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from Rebecca Reagan wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

I have to agree with Doug Pike. My husband's hunted safely in groups for over 25 years. The responsibility of shooting rests with the man or woman who holds the gun.Sure, there are hunting accidents. But there is a bit more involved here.The Vice President of the United States was involved. The man who could be president.His office delayed notifing the President of the United States for several hours. His office delayed notifying the Sherrif's department. Apparently the Sheriff's office found out only when the ambulance was called.The investigating officers were not allowed to conduct interviews with the those involved until the NEXT morning. Well over 18 hours after the event. In fact, the deputy who arrived at the ranch to do an interview was turned away at the gate by the Secret Service This is not what Texas law requires.Instead of the Vice President's office making a public statement or even a public apology to the wounded man, the owner of the ranch made a phone call to a local newspaper.Now, really. Is this how a typical hunting accident unfolds?It is not.

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from Vincent Cutino wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

This is an ordinary hunting accident. Sure it was irresponsible for the VP to shoot in the direction of another hunter,but that should not increase the importance of the situation. This sort of stuff happens for whatever reasons may be present whether it be poor judgement, lack of observation, or pure accident.

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from Vincent Cutino wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

This is an ordinary hunting accident. Sure it was irresponsible for the VP to shoot in the direction of another hunter,but that should not increase the importance of the situation. This sort of stuff happens for whatever reasons may be present whether it be poor judgement, lack of judgement, or pure accident.

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from Mike Quinn wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

"Luckily, they were about 30 yards apart, far enough that pinhead-sized quail shot did minimal damage."Not exactly... The victum was a bloody mess acording to witnesses... I'm sure that you've heard by now that he's had a heart attack... Mike

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from Tim wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

Cheney screwed up and should be treated as anyone else in the same situation. When in the field, myself, my son and anyone else we are hunting with are fully aware as to where everyone else is in the area, including people that are not in our party. We do get a little loud at times, not only spotting and calling out to others the positions of birds or an occasional " Nice Shot" but it also helps to keep everyone aware. This has annoyed some other hunters while out hunting but where safety is concernered isn't it "Better safe than sorry, (or dead). As far as this incident is concerened, I hope the gentlemen is O.K. and Cheney take responsibility, not only for himself but for the betterment of the way sportsmen are viewed by everyone.

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from Tom wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

I am amazed at how everybody can be judge and jury when they weren't even there. Yes, there are the rule of thumb safety protocols that all hunters should follow, but were you there? How do you know exactly what happened?

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from Jim wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

They sure do things different in Texas. Announcing your presence??That's a new one for me,I wonder how the dogs announce their's? Maybe they're trained to bark constantly when they're around Cheney, I saw Alan Simpson on "HardBall" last night, and he tried to defend Cheney by telling Matthews what a "GREAT SHOT" Cheney was! Great Shot? Maybe, SAFE hunter? HELL NO!

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from Kenton wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

I sure hope Mr. Whittington gets better. Let's hope he's out and about soon.I'm not a hunter but I think it's an important activity for several reasons, mostly related to conservation.Having said that, I think this should be treated as any other shooting incident. The local police should do a "by the book" investigation and if any evidence meets or passes the test, charges should be laid. Otherwise the "appearance of justice" could be seen to be two teered.I personally cannot think of a more serious threat to any democracy.Especially one based on equality and justice for all.Here in Canada when a police officer discharges a firearm during the course of their duty there is an investigation. If a death results from that "discharge of a wepon" that officer is suspended and charged with homicide. I think it's the only way or the best way to maintain the public trust and the authorities credibility.Doug Pike is correct Cheney should admit his mistake. And he should ask for an impartial investigation and cooperate fully in public.Thanks for your time.Good luck to y'all,ky

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from Bob wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

Thank you so much for the editorial. While making sure that fellow upland hunters know where you are is certainly a good idea, it is ultimately the responsibility of the person discharging thier firearm to KNOW THIER TARGET AND WHAT'S BEYOND. This is a basic tenet of hunter safety (at least it was in the classes I took). Hunting is an inherently dangerous activity and we should never fire if there is any question over the safety of the shot.

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from Visitor wrote 6 years 43 weeks ago
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from roger peterson wrote 8 years 1 week ago

I believe if it was anyone else, they would be facing severe penalties. He had consumed alchohol that day, he shot his friend, and then didn't report it to the president until the following day. How much bad publicity can hunting take? Hunting has already experienced a large amount of criticism from the anti hunters and this is just another instance where a hunter (the vice president) makes a huge mistake which gives them more to feast from to further try to bring down the wonderful sport that I enjoy year round. I feel Dick Cheney got away with something that wouldn't have been downplayed so much had it been a regular citizen hunting and committing the same act.

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from Kurt in Colorado wrote 8 years 5 weeks ago

Excuse me, but when does F&S consider a persons near death an non issue, as quoted here from your own story. Including the fact that alcohol was involved even highlights the issue. I myself being an ex-police officer would like to know if anybody was breathalyzed due to an admission of alcohol consumption, I am sure none was done. It's an absolute joke for anybody to consider a partial, or complete loss of life as a non-issue issue at all. Wake up."It's a nonissue, much as this whole incident should be soon."

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from Micheal May wrote 8 years 6 weeks ago

What happened is a terrible thing and we all wish a speedy recovery for Mr. Whittington. Cheney made a bad mistake, maybe more than one. Anytime we pick up gun and go into the field we take on a responsibility to be safe, but we do the same thing when we get into a car. No one plans on an accident and it's never good, but would there be this much continuing media attention about dangers of driving cars if he would have been in an auto accident? No, there would not! I do believe there will backlash from this incident for the outdoor community, you can tell just from the postings. It's a political world! With such a high profile case, you are definitley going to hear the opposition to hunting use this for a long time.

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from John in Alabama wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

Twenty eight gauge shotgun suggests Mr Cheney is a skeet shooter. In my opinion, sheet shooters are golfers with guns. Holding a loaded rifle or shotgun at any other position than port arms in the field while stalking is a very bad practice. A long gun held to the shoulder obscures the field of vision, blocking much of the shooters ability to identify human beings or other improper targets on the ground in the direction of the aimed shot. Mr. Cheney said he has only been hunting, or shooting 14 years. Thus, he is relatively new to the shooting sports, for a man of his age. He probably did not know the skeet shooting practice of holding the stock to the shoulder before identifying the target in the field was dangerous. Having observed sheet shooters playing their game, I am almost willing to bet the accident was caused by holding the 28 gauge shotgun to the shoulder while flushing the pointed bird.I sometimes shoot skeet to improve my shooting in the field. I always practice calling the clay targets with my shotgun at port arms. This certainly does not help the score with clay targets, but it prepares me for the field.It would show some class if Mr. Cheney would order some firearms training for himself from instructors who are hunters or military shooters and not skeet shooters. There are plenty of qualified military marksmenship instructors in Mr. Cheney's chain of command who could improve his knowledge of gun safety.

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from Don Sypek wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Hey You Rascals! I'm another victim who wrote a comment and you printed that Larry Cross wrote it on Feb.22nd.I am the one, Don Sypek, who wrote on Feb. 23 @ 04:34AM the piece beginning with: Many have commented "the .28 guage.....

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from Don Sypek wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Many have commented "the.28 guage is a little, puny shotgun", suggesting it is far less deadly than its bigger brother bores.Only partly true -- solely because standard .28 guage shells contains fewer shot pellets than the .12, .16, and .20 guage standard shells (but more than the .410 guage shell).However, it appears that many may have forgotten a most important fact: Independent of the guage of the shotgun, every standard shotgun load for any given pellet size shot will always produce approximately the same muzzle velocity.Hence the downrange kinetic energy will also be approximately the same, and likewise independent of the shotgun guage.The Good News in VP Cheney's unfortunate accident is that the downrange kinetic energy (i.e. the killing power)of the 7 1/2 size pellets were greatly diminished because of their small size (i.e. mass).Admittedly, the Surprising News is that even at 35 yards one of these small pellets was nevertheless able to penetrate so deeply, right into the surface of Mr. Whittington's heart!It's safe to assume that many scattergunners will now run to the range to blow the smithereens out of stacked newspapers, or telephone books, with their 7 1/2 size loads for a good look-see comparison of the reality to the theoretical.

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from Larry Cross wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

You evedently put my name with the wrong comments please correct Imediedtly

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from David Massuch wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

I belive Cheney was a far cry then just at falt. Information that i had read that they had drinks at lunch time. They say only one drink. Ask any cop when he pulls over a person if he has been drinking. That person 99 times out of a 100 will say that they have only had one drink. So what realy is the truth? I don:t think we ever know.because Cheny will never fess up to the whole truth or will he?

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from Visitor wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Hunting is a sport with guns. Sooner or later an accident is going to happen. Unfortunatley, this time it was Cheney who made a mistake- he took full responsibility for the incident. YOu have to give him that.

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from Visitor wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Cheney made a mistake. Bottom line. I think this incident is part of the risk you take when you step into the field. This should not be a negative to the great sport of hunting.

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from Steve Siegel wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

No Orange required? They appear to hunt differently in Texas than we do here in Ohio. Our hunting group wears orange vests and orange hats to complement our appearance. Our hunting party hunts in a line (side by side) not single file. When a member of our hunting party harvestes a game animal, the other memebers waite while the game is retreived and then resumes hunting. We also make sure that our hunting party members have the proper licensure irregardless of hunting public or private land. It truely is a tragety that VP Cheney was so careless that he injured his long time friend and gave the hunting sports a black eye. Sorry, VP Cheney gets no invites from our hunting party.

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from jdl wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

How many times have each of us been shot while hunting? Did we ever hunt with the AH that shot us again? The guy with the gun is responsible for what it does! I guess all the reporters aren't hunters! If I hunt with someone who drinks, is not aware of his fellow hunters or act irresponsibly in other ways, it is the last time I hunt with them. As`a 8 year old, I wonder how many times the victim had ben shot before?

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from Ross Hudson wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

After reading all the comments and the stories involved, I think of the words, Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda. Haven’t all of us had WSC’s in our lives! It’s easy to find fault, and our society is a fault finding one. If there is anyone without WSC’s then they have a right to find fault. Let this thing die. At least it wasn’t a Chappaquiddick!

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from Robert Robles wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

Once again the Vice president has demonstated that the laws and rules are for everyone else and that he is above them. What if it had been John Q. Public?All the hunters I know and hunt with, abide by the rules and laws of the state and or county that we have the privilege to be hunting in. I have been showered with bird shot that came from a member of my same party but it didn't penetrate and as soon as the shot/s were fired they would shout out"coming your way". Reports on Cheney's target indicate that he was peppered, obviously he was to close. Anyone that has ever fired a shot gun knows what the maximum effective range is of their shot load. Political preferences aside, As for hunting with Cheney versus riding with Kennedy. My drill instructor always stated that "you don't hear the one shot that gets you" but I can still swim.

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from jerry kelly wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

"it is the responsibility of person that pulls the trigger, to know where that shot is going"Don't for get that he also should have been shooting at Iran but he hit Iraq! I see a pattern.

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from Frank wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

Just a few comments. I shot my first quail when I was 10. I've hunted just about every year for the past 45 years. Where I hunted, you wore some orange on your body so the deer hunters wouldn't mistake you for a white tail. It was understood, you knew where your hunting buddies and the dogs were. I hate to say it, but there probably isn't an upland bird hunter or a dove hunter who hasn't been peppered at one time or another. You hope it never happens, but it does. Regardless, it is the responsibility of person that pulls the trigger, to know where that shot is going.But to quote a bumper sticker I just saw, "I'd rather hunt with Dick Cheney, than go riding with Ted Kennedy".

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from Andrew Wade wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

I am a left-winger who doesn't "get" sport hunting. However I do understand that accidents do happen, and that Dick Cheney is but one man. And frankly, the "sport" that Cheney was engaged in doesn't sound much like hunting anyway.What has hurt my perception of hunters is comments that suggest that accidents of this severity are common and no big deal. Yes, accidents happen, but accidents of this severity should be quite rare.

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from Russell wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

In his confessional interview, Vice President Cheney attempted to excuse his failure to immediately go to the media by stating that the story was complicated and not something the press corps is accustomed to reporting. Wrong. Hunting is straightforward. We take to the fields and forests with guns and try to kill things. The sport has been romanticized and ritualized, but at bottom it's a simple pursuit. The rules are simple, too. "Don't fire until you're aware of what may be hit" is not ambiguous. So long as we hunters claim that hunting is beyond the understanding of all who were not raised in the tradition, we will continue to be perceived as outsiders.

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from Don Slick wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

hey dick, take hillary with you the next trip!

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from Don Slick wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

at least it was a politician and a lawyer hunting together. maybe some of our political contributions should be spent encouraging the two to hunt together more often!!

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from kgb wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

Thefact that some of you are too ignorant to correctly spell or even to complete a sentence & knowing that you are hunters is even scarier. Am I to believe that a man sighting manslaughterspeaking of spelling errors, dumbass, it's "citing" not "sighting". Even a spell check doesn't erase all stupidity.

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from Visitor wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

It seems quite clear that this was an accident. Even so, any time a hunter's firearm goes off it is 100% his responsibility for what happens after the shot. Peroid.

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from Jeff Birdwell wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

I have read what seems like hundreds of article involing the VP's accidental shooting of a friend during a quail hunt. I am an experienced hunter and I have yet to understand why no one has asked the questions "Where Where the Dogs". I do not know to many people that go quail hunting without their dog or have a guide that furnishes the dogs. If there had been bird dogs on this hunt we may not be talking about this, or maybe there where dogs!

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from ronjazz wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

The concern about how this affects hunters and hunting is a bit misplaced. Very few comments have taken hunters or hunting to task. The biggest problem here is the ongoing hubris of the Republican administration officials, and their absolute refusal to respect and follow the law. All of you who are eager to "move on" and "forget about it, accidents happen" are missing the point, which is that Cheney has broken several laws here, by any reckoning, and, as usual, it's the coverup that's getting the media attention.It does make hunting look pretty shoddy to be killing dozens or hundreds of domesticated, farm-raised birds. I can only surmise that there weren't enough lawyers to fully stock the hunt because they're all so busy in Washington defending Republican crooks and liars. Otherwise Dead-Eye Dick would have bagged several.

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from Mooser wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

I have always been pro-hunting, until I read this comments thread. One thing that shines through is the low regard hunters have for all life. I will from now on consider all "hunters" potential murderors, ready to blast away a friend rather than miss a shot at a cage raised bird. Or eager to take a "friend" into the woods to have a little "accident".The reaction of "sportsmen" to this incident has convinced me hunting should be outlawed, in almost all areas.

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from Jerry Kelly wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

I hate Texans (they come to South East Arizona waving around their money at landowners so blue collar guys have no place to hunt)but lets face facts the bush cult never admits a mistake and we will never be able to prove if he was drunk. The fact that he didn't go to the hospital to see his badly wounded friend makes me think he was plowed.

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from George S. Leon III wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

I grew in Williams, AZ & I have been hunting in Az since I was 9, & in Nm, & Tx since I was 12. For the last 8 years or so I have been hunting in all three as a non-resident. There are new stamps & sub-permits required each year. The upland game stamp is new & unless you are a complete jackass most G&F wardens will give a warning the first few months after instituting a new procedure/policy. So is it with the upland bird stamp. Ihappen to know this first hand, as I was unaware of said stamp last month when I was cited with a warning just outside of Pleasanton, Tx. I am a nobody of nobody's, an average Joe America & a warning was what I recieved. In my view the VP was treated just as anyone else would have been.

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from Ed Coates wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

What I am concerned about is that the Texas Dept. of Con. did not immediately report this to paper, if they called an ambulance then is surely went out on a scanner. I also know that they did not have all the proper tags, and in Missouri they would have had a trouble with that more than they got there. I also want to know if either one actually had a Hunter Safety card because with there age neither one had to have one. And I am probably guessing that neither one has actually been practicing with there shotguns,or hunting guail very much. I am sure that both knew they were breaking the law with not all proper tags. I am not suprised that they shot each other but suprised that they broke the law on tags. and tell Hannity that it is more serious that he want to tell on the TV or radio. I am a strong NRA and republican, and support them, but this is not a political issue it is a private issue and should have been treated that way from the minute it started until they were charged with improper tags, and hunting illegally.

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from J Randall wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

It was an 'accident'. Accidents happen quite frequently in the hunting arena. And Mr Cheney did what any 'normal' human being would do in this situation. Sure, he is held to a higher standard than you or I, but he is still just a man, a human being. What would you have done had you been in his shoes? Would you really have handled it any differently? In my opinion, if it had been my husband who got shot, I would rather have Mr Cheney there to handle the situation. He has more poise and control, better equiped, to handle the situation than you or I would have been!

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from Harold wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

CommentsAll sports have a degree of risk associated with them. Notice the injuries in the Olympics. When someone makes a bad judgement call it usually turns out bad. There were reporters killed in Iraq. Does that mean they shouldn't go there?Posted by: Dale Netherton | February 15, 2006 at 12:34 PMWe all knew this was coming,but what ticks me off more than anything, and I'm as conservative and as big a supporter of the President as anybody, is we just gave the scumbag left more amuunition to spew their garbage.Posted by: Larry Neevel | February 15, 2006 at 12:56 PMDear Mike:I have been a subscriber to Outdoor Life for 36 continuous years and an avid hunter for 33 years. I defend my sport at every opportunity and I believe very strongly in personal responsibility and accountability for one’s actions. I found the VP Cheney hunting accident and the post-shooting events to be very disturbing.First, let me tell you why I find fault with both “sides” of the reporting of these events. I agree with your assessment that certain questions presented to WH spokesman Scott McClellan in the WH press room were inappropriate and resentful. It is clear that many members of the press dislike Mr. Cheney, and that Mr. Cheney dislikes many members of the press. This will never change, but both sides need to be honest, respectful, and forthcoming.On the other side, Mary Matalin, former Cheney counselor, said that Cheney did absolutely nothing wrong, and was without fault in this incident. That is not the opinion of the NRA and most hunters who have responded publicly to this. Bill O’Reilly said that no one besides Mr. Cheney and Mr. Whittington were affected by this, and therefore it is not worthy of much media attention. That is like saying that the Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky affair was not worthy of much media attention.Clearly, this incident and the handling of it by all parties will not be quickly forgotten. Mr. Cheney needs to speak directly to the public about this as soon as possible.Posted by: Dennis Kolson | February 15, 2006 at 01:08 PMThe coverage of this is just like most things regarding Bush/Chaney. It is very clear that the White House press corps care little for truth but are looking to crucify the admonistration at every turn. This is jist the lastest example of the liberal press playing up negative happenings with this administration and ignoring the facts. According to the Texas DEP this was an unfortunate accident that occurred while the VP was hunting. Everyone would agree that while any shooting is serious and lessons need to be learned from this incident, it is important that this be kept in perspective and that the VP should be held to the same scrutnity as anyone else but certainly not the level he is now.Posted by: Richard Colebank | February 15, 2006 at 01:26 PMSorry, but I can't follow you, Mike. I've been an extremely active upland hunter for 40-years. VP Cheney screwed up badly. Any accidental shooting is pretty bad judgment and reflects bad shooting discipline...period. Just as bad in my mind if he had hurt someone with a motor vehicle DWI or DUI. These events are newsworthy for any news media. How you can rationalize this away is beyond me. When I hunt, it's not a political exercise. If you see hunting as such, maybe you should reassess your motives.MarkPosted by: Mark | February 15, 2006 at 02:13 PMthere was another VP who was also "shooting" over the weekend...his mouth, that is...comfortable outside of the United States over the weekend, Al Gore essentially committed sedition against the USA with no accountability from the mainstream media...Posted by: Keith | February 15, 2006 at 02:58 PMDick Cheney didn't even have a license to hunt birds. He sent the $7.00 in after the hunting accident. Here in Pennsylvania, if you mistakenly shoot somebody and not have a license for the game you're hunting, you're going to pay a big fine and maybe even lose your hunting priveleges.Posted by: Bob Slatt | February 15, 2006 at 03:11 PMI have to agree with several others here. The facts are that Cheney accidentally shot someone, and did not have a license to hunt. Politics aside that's against the law. You get caught hunting without a license and see what happens, 9.7 out of 10 there's somekind of penalty.Posted by: Dan Kroes | February 15, 2006 at 03:47 PMI honestly think that it is the hunting community that is dropping the ball on this issue.As I was traveling today, I periodically tuned into several of the conservative talk-radio programs to see what they had to say about the topic. The thing I managed to learn was that apparently everytime anyone goes hunting someone gets shot. Every other caller seemed to indicate that hunting accidents are common place and nothing to be concerned about. We all know that this is pure balderdash.Do accidents in the field occur? We all know that they do. Are they common? Not where I am from. I think many in the hunting community are allowing loyalty to this administration to cloud their good judgement.I for one think that this administration has done little to improve the image of, or protect are sport. I suppose, however, that is a topic for another day.Posted by: Garrick | February 15, 2006 at 04:42 PMThis incident should be treated as if the parties involved were normal citizens. In other words, normal citizens wouldn't receive all of this attention. LET IT GO!!!! It was an "accident", not an intentional act nor a crime. I'm surely not perfect and have no right to expect perfection from another - accidents happen to imperfect people - it does not lessen their true worth.Posted by: Gary Cheris | February 15, 2006 at 05:34 PMLet's all take a step back and take a deep breath. Yes the V.P. made a hunting mistake, a big one, but where was the public's right to know in all this? How many hunting accidents have we heard about over the last year? I can't think of more than 2 during the Michigan deer season. Guns are dangerous and if you don't treat them as such, accidents can happen, even to the best of us. (like my model 700 going off when I opened the bolt to unload. It was later recalled). If I hadn't been aware of where my gun was pointing, my son could have been dead. Should I have called the press and told them that I almost shot my son and all guns should be banned? The V.P. should have come out immediately and discussed the incident, said he was responsible and directed the attention to gun safety and more hunter education. That's the biggest mistake he made.Posted by: Dave Sherbert | February 15, 2006 at 05:36 PMI am still an amateur hunter. I just started deer hunting two years ago, but i have learned the safety issues by heart ( or at least as close as possible). I understand all the risks involved with hunting, as many others do. But that doesnt mean that there isnt going to be a mistake or an accident. That's why accidents are called just that. once again, someone in politics makes a mistake such as this and the press is all over it. This aggravates me quite a bit. I'm not one to stand up for politicians much, butI do know that they are people, just like you and me, and they can be hunters, like you and me, and they are not perfect. of course, they have to be according to the press. An accident is an accident, and as unfortunate as this one is, I wonder if it would have been that big of a deal if that were me. I doubt it. I'm just an everyday person. A taxpaying citizen.Posted by: Lindsey Fender | February 15, 2006 at 07:35 PMLet's call this what it really is- a stupid hunting accident. And it should be treated like any other hunting accident Cheney should be fined like any other hunter. He should not be tried in the media. He should answer any and all intelligent questions from the press- any reporters who ask stupid or uninformed questions should be escorted to the door.Posted by: Eric Vanaman | February 15, 2006 at 08:07 PMI think that you are right on in your observations concerning this accident and the media's coverage of it.Anyone who has hunted for more than a day can eaisly point out the mistakes made by this group of hunters. Although it is true that that the V.P. pulled the trigger, and therefore is responsible for the results, this certainly was not the only mistake made when you look at all of the circumstances surrounding this incident.This was a hunting accident, period. It happened on a Saturday and the media had it on Sunday. Whats the problem? Well, the problem is, that the liberal media types have been unsuccessful in getting anything on the V.P.up to this point. However, it certainly has not been due to a lack of trying. Now they think that they have "the goods" on him, and are not going to allow the truth to stand in the way of a good story! Further, I'm certain that they are humilated that they got scooped by a small town newspaper.An unfortunate accident happened. It was reported and investigated. A news release was made the next A.M. The V.P. admits fault and assumes 100% of the responsibility for the accident. What else is there to discuss and/or debate? If this were about anybody else, this story would already be considered old news.I sincerely doubt that there is anything that anyone else can do or say that will make the V.P. feel any worse than he already does. Unfortunately, this incident will no doubt give all of the "anti's" a new rallying point and renewed vigor. However, it certainly will not be the first time that they have taken a easy and "cheap shot"!Lets see through all of the political, liberal media B.S., and recognize this for what it is, nothing more - nothing less.The subject has been covered, and then covered some more. The media should get back to reporting the "news" and we should get back to safley participating in our sport. We should use this as an opportunity to renew our commitment to safty, and to project a positive public image. The sport will recover from this, unfortunately a person was seriously injured and will live with the results long after this becomes a vague memory for everyone else.Anyone who thinks that this issue is about hunting safty and timely news releases, instead of politics and vendettas, probably also is wondering why the Easter Bunny dosen't visist anymore!Posted by: Sid Lark | February 15, 2006 at 11:44 PMAccidents don't happen, they are caused! Lack of communications caused this one.I have hunted EVERY year since 1957 and never had an 'accident'. Yes, hunting is one of the safest sports ever. I don't mind being in Pennsylvanias woods with 1.25 MILLION other 'armed' individuals! I feel safer there than I do in ANY large city!Posted by: Bill | February 16, 2006 at 09:43 AMI agree that both V.P. Cheney and Wittington are at fault. I take a gun shooting accident very seriously. As an avid hunter of upland birds, ducks, deer and turkey, plus a certified shotgun instructor, (1) don't shoot if you don't know where all of the other shooters are, (2) shoot only when you see the birds against the sky, (3) don't walk ahead of the safe zones to pick up your birds. Let the dogs pick up the birds. I am also a heart patient and have been for the past 30 years. In fact I have an ICD implanted just like Cheney. It really saddens me that the the "comedians" on late night TV have joke after joke about this whole affair. No one has mentioned the fact that Whittington will have to live the rest of his life with a damaged heart, and that as a result, may have less years to enjoy his family and life. This is not fodder for comedians. This is sad.

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from Terry Schraner wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

One can tell from some of the comments that those are folks not of a particular political party and most haven't hunted much. I have hunted quail for over 30 years in some of the thickest cover you can immagine, mostly alone. But I have come close to being shot and could have shot someone if they happened into the area unannounced at the wrong moment. Quail shooting requires quick,split- second reactions in many respects. I do agree that if you are unsure of were someone is, you should not shoot unless the background is clear- who really knows what the circumstances were.

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from Marcia wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

I see where Cheney has sent Texas $7.00 for his delinquent bird stamp purchase. My question is: Do all hunters only receive a "Warning" when they are in the field hunting birds and have NOT yet purchased the "bird" stamp? or did he get preferential treatment? Our state is MUCH stricter and warnings are more like FINES and possible loss of hunting rights. It would have been nice to see Cheney at least have to attend a Hunter Safety Class as part of his punishment.I guess rank DOES have its perks!!!As far as an accident, when we taught our kids to hunt, they knew that it was the HUNTER'S responsibility to shoot only when HE/SHE KNEW what was in the ammo's path. If there was ANY doubt as to the where abouts of one of the the hunting party or what was being shot at...they were taught NOT to take the shot!I guess when you get to be V.P. or have an important job...you don't have to follow the rules and laws that most of us "normal" folks have to follow.Wouldn't our founding fathers be proud of some of the things that their hard work has evolved into???

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from David King wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

There is excitement when you are in the field, but out of each hunters eye is the shot and the kill, but there is also the responsibility to know where your fellow hunters are, and the rule of have a clean shot before the twitch commands your trigger finger. Dick wanted the Bird more than a quick glance as to where his friend was. We all know (bragging rights) asuming that in all considerations Dick did not want by any means to shoot anyone espacily a friend and have to live with this. It is an accident that could have been prevented, but wasn't,he has to live with it. And lifegoes on WE hope, and all is well. Hunt long enjoy BE SAFE.

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from Ev wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

Yeah, some Americans are better than other Americans. They don't need stamps or to report to the authorities until they're sober. I wonder what makes them so special and better than the rest of us?Anybody?

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from birdhunter315 wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

So Dick makes tons and tons of money and doesn't buy a 7 frickin' dollar stamp.."that they say is a law in texas" now if that ain't a load then what is...claiming he had a 125 non resident license to shoot upland birds and sent a 7 dollar check in the mail to cover the cost...well he gets that part covered now what is he gonna do about shootin the guy! So what if hes an ol fart and his senses are bad...he should still know where and where not to shoot, its pretty much common sense.

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from Robert Wrinkle wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

I think the incident should be investigated further, since the statements initially made are now proven to be bullshit.Cheney is now implicated by Scooter Libby as the approving superior on the Valerie Plame leak case. (a crime) The emails that were proof of this have been deleted from the White House server. (a crime) Proof from a former high ranking CIA official that the Bush administration decided toinvade Iraq first, and then cherry picked and embellished the intelligence evidence to justify their forgone conclusions. The invasion of Iraq is a war crime, in my opinion. Abramoff is nowspilling his guts about rampant corruption pervasive in the Republican Congress and in the White House.(crimes a plenty) MichaelBrown and Chertoff are showing us what a mess the FEMA/ Homeland Security set upis. Their response to Katrina is reprehensible. They approve torture of prisoners. They spy on Americans without warrants. They just passed a bill that will let the Major Oil companies to harvest oil from public lands without paying a dime in royalties to the US government.(should be a crime) Tom Delay. Enron, Halliburton,Diebold rigging the election in Ohio,..Tax cuts to the richest 1 percent of the American population, while spending our children and grandchildren into huge debt to countries like China. They categorize any dissent as unpatriotic and unAmerican.Now This.Jesus Christ....when will there be enough evidence for people to change their minds about the Bush Administration and the friggin' Republican Party.Hell, I used to be a Republican too, but I cannot in good conscience support these imperialist robber barons. Wake up Americans!

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from Chris Gallagher wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

I grew up shooting dove and quail in South Texas, in the same area as this incident. My dad taught me the proper and safe way to hunt. There is no excuse for an accident of this kind. The story is so screwed up now it is hard to put a finger on what exactly happened but again there is no excuse for this "accident".Hunting wild game is an awesome responsibility. Handling a firearm around others requires your full faculties. My dad and other hunting partners enjoyed a cold beer after the hunt, not before or during.Dick Cheney is a coward and his "owning up" on the Faux news channel reeks of cowardice. Why not face a group with legitimate questions?A fellow man was shot by some careless action of another man.Let's hear the whole truth.

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from Larry Biggs wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

Thirty yards? I shoot a 28ga. and with quail shot-mostly 8's &9's-I don't remember the shot going clean through a bird which is what it would take to penetrate into a mans heart. So the 30 yards just seems too far-fetched (close-fetched) for me. You are correct about the White House press; their up-set is that some small time paper got the information before they did. Only they know what we should be told!

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from Larry Cross wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

Well first of all everyone forgets there human until its there turn upto bat, then the commants fly.Secondly I am not excusing the incedent but we are forgeting a few things.These gentle men are older, there ablity is not what it once was but ,there passion in life still is. The open spaces the thrill of the hunt etc.No there reflexise,eyesight, and yes possibly there judgement is not what it once was.Now we can get all radical and say well then he should not be doing this or that because he is the V. P. of U.S.Or we can realize Dick Cheney is a human,that he is getting older and possibly cannot do what he once could, as well as he once did. Whether he does or not we are all headed there people whether we like it or not ! the ones of us that are lucky.And let me close with this. I own a Game Farm where we sell quail to shooting farms, and I have hunted quail both wild and on shooting farms.It is a dangerous sport fast and furious. Many of my customers wont use them its so dangerious! So what I am saying is when and if you get to be 70 or 80 try it then critisize

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from Ashton E wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

Cheney was wrong. Don't care about how. He shot at a bird that was apparently just off the ground, he shot in the direction a hunter was coming from. I don't care he'd caught up and was only 30 yards away, or if Cheney thought he was 60 yards away. All of you hunters KNOW that you don't shoot in the direction someone even MAY be in. And if you don't know this, I'd never be comfortable hunting with you.

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from Tim McClure wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

It just goes to show you that accidents happen to everyone. We are all human. Even if your the Vice-President of the Unted States.

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from Bob jr. wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

What a stupid jack! VP Cheney is gonna get off free of charge for shooting someone! If anyone else did this they would get their guns taken away and get fined up the butt! Thats why Dick you know what your target is and whats behind and around it! Or you just wait til he gets back from gettin his bird and then move on. Its because of people like this why they want anti hunting and all that crap.

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from John Hunter wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

Why did this editorial change over the past 24 hours. Last night it was questioning why Cheney didn't come clean to begin with.

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from Doug Schneider wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

I am not so concerned about the accident itself doing harm to the sport of hunting. It is the Main Stream Media and Left Wing Anti-gun Liberals that will (and have) blown this out of proportion and use it to fuel any and all anti-gun/anti-hunting agendas.

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from Eric Swanson wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

As a upland bird hunter myself I learned early on that I am responsible to know my surroundings. We take precautions by wearing blaze orange. If you see that color and yes that color stands out like none other, you don't shoot period. That said I think that the AP has spun this in a way it has no chance in being a learning experience for the hunting and non-hunting communities. I only hope that we as a hunting community make it out of this with a little less shot in us then our Texas Lawyer friend.

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from George S. Leon III wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

A lot of you would make great Monday morning QB's & not much more! The fact that some of you are too ignorant to correctly spell or even to complete a sentence & knowing that you are hunters is even scarier. Especially with the spelling & grammar checks integral to all modern word processing programs. Am I to believe that a man sighting manslaughter as a possible charge related to an incident without mortality would really follow all the "Rules of safe hunting"? The fact of the matter is that unless charges are filled & evidence is shown to a seated jury & unless you are a member of that jury all you are doing is gossiping like that woman in the hair salon, you know, the one you always tell your buddies you go hunting & fishing to get away from! So, a suggestion, if gossip is what you are looking to do... Then maybe you should head on over to the Modern Woman Website or leave the story telling to the parties that were actually present.

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from GEORGE MARTIN wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

AS A HUNTER SAFETY INSTRUCTOR WE TEACH TOO KNOW WHERE YOUR HUNTING PARTNERS ARE AT ALL TIMES. ALSO KNOWING YOUR FIELD OR ZONE OF FIRE. THIS MISHAP COULD HAVE HAPPEN ON A DEER DRIVE. REMEMBER SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY. PASADENA. MARYLAND

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from Gary Cheris wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

This incident should be treated as if the parties involved were normal citizens. In other words, normal citizens wouldn't receive all of this attention. LET IT GO!!!! It was an "accident", not an intentional act nor a crime. I'm surely not perfect and have no right to expect perfection from another - accidents happen to imperfect people - it does not lessen their true worth.

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from Matt Licking wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

Rule #2- Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. Sorry Mr. Cheney there are NO excuses for "accidentally" shooting someone.

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from Bob Johnston wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

I heard Cheney was drunk as hell, which is why he waited 14 hours to talk to the cops. I heard they waited 22 hours to go public because they wanted to see if Whittington was going to live and if he would take one for the team and not talk about what really happened. Clearly, by the spread pattern and penetration, he was shot at close range. Furthermore, I heard this wasn't hunting. They were shooting hand-raised quail with clipped wings, released from pens, and that associated humans with feeding time, not predators. They could basically get out of their cars, walk up and blast the birds like they could a family pet.

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from Ric Chambers wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

Contrary to the comments that it was the responsibility who was approaching from behind to 'announce' his presence, the responsibility lies firmly on Mr. Cheney's shoulders. No matter the type of hunting, it is the shooters' responsibility to know where he is aiming and what lies beyond his intended target before he pulls the trigger, releases an arrow etc. No shot at a bird, deer or other game is worth the risk if the shot cannot be made safely without putting others at risk.

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from Russell Jessee wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

(a) To the commenter who suggests that Mr. Cheney be charged w/"involuntary manslaughter," please understand that he would have had to have killed someone before being charged with any type of manslaughter.(b) To the commenter who equates shooting someone with hitting them with a golfball, you do our sport no favors by making inapt comparisons. We have to accept that hunting demands more of its participants in terms of attentiveness and judgment precisely because the consequences of carelessness could be much more dire than in other sports.

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from Bret Wiseman wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

This entire accident is another reminder of how out of touch mainstream media people are. Watching newsmen talk about hunting as if it were a mysterious cult activity is truely amazing. This story is getting so much attention because of the nature of the accident. If VP Cheney had hit someone in the head with a golf ball, this story would be over and done with.

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from andrew wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

Cheney should be charged with involuntary manslaughter- one must know what he is aiming at when he pulls the trigger- Cheney is just as guilty as a motorist who causes an accident that results in personal injury

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from tito reyes wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

I have been a Hunter Safety Instructor in Michgan for 5 years and upland game hunter for 50 years. Cheney violated a very simple hunter saftety rule: Know what your target is and WHAT IS BEYOND. It was clearly his responsibility to determine if there was any reason not to shoot.O yes then there is the problem with not having the quail stamp. It's called "poaching" here in Michiigan not matter who you are and ignorance for the law is no excuse.And to add injury to insult does Texas require a Hunter Safety Certificate for out of state residents?VP may have more problems that thought

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from thegools wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

When I learned to shoot I was forced to learn 10 golden rules of riflery. The one that sticks out above all else, "Know your backstop." I.E. know where that shot is going.We all make mistakes, but God help any of us from shooting a friend (or anyone else) accidentally!!Unsafe practices can catch up with anyone, even the VP. Lets hope his buddy survives, and that he (and all of us) learns from this mistake.Whether he likes it or not he is a roll model for sportsmen around the country. He is a vocal supporter of outdoor sports. So his misteps will reflect some on the whole community..... Including us democratic voting sportsmen.

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from Luigi Long wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

I do not wish to suggest that I am judging the VP, however, when I was in the Army, we were always taught not to point weapons (loaded or otherwise) at anything or anyone; also, when shooting live ammunition, rule 1: never pull the trigger until you have identified the target as the enemy. Clearly, if the day was foggy and visibility was low, more reason not to fire. Just my 2 cents - I guess we have different guidelines in England.

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from curtis french wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

I don't believe this should put a darkened light on hunting and the conduct of hunters. My family and I have hunted together for many years. We always know where everyone is. In bird hunting we are never quiet. We always cut up and play and make fun of people when they miss. This is to have fun and know where others are. Bird hunting shouldn't be quiet because it is a time for groups to hunt and hang out.I believe the VP should be held responsible just like I would have to be held responsibls. But at the same time it was a mistake, an unfortunate mistake, but still a mistake. People may use this in the future to put harsh laws on hunting or may try to use it to get ride of hunting because it is an important person. I don't like that idea because you are using someones misfortune for your own good. That sounds a little selfish to me.

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from Nora wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

I can't imagine anyone associating general hunting with this incident. No accidental shooting during a hunt that I ever heard of was hushed up for a full day, with sheriff's questions deflected by Secret Service agents.Perhaps no one will want to go hunting with the vice president, and maybe the community will endorse pulling his hunting license, but I foresee the aversion stopping there.

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from Jack Martin wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

We have here a lot of mistakes. Whittington probably should have told the others where he was. Cheney should have probably seen what was beyong his target. But a quail flying fast and you swing fast, its hard to always see everything. I've gotten shot in quail hunting, not by a mistake but pellets somehow richocehting off a tree infront and to the side of me. No, I don't think this will hurt hunting, but remember muzzle placement and always look beyong your target and be sure of your surroundings. I hope Whittington gets better, and the best whishes for Cheney, as its hard knowing you shot someone and one mistake can lead to all that press.

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from Jack Martin wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

We have here a lot of mistakes. Whittington probably should have told the others where he was. Cheney should have probably seen what was beyong his target. But a quail flying fast and you swing fast, its hard to always see everything. I've gotten shot in quail hunting, not by a mistake but pellets somehow richocehting off a tree infront and to the side of me. No, I don't think this will hurt hunting, but remember muzzle placement and always look beyong your target and be sure of your surroundings. I hope Whittington gets better, and the best whishes for Cheney, as its hard knowing you shot someone and one mistake can lead to all that press.

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from Robert Wrinkle wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

Now that you know that Mr. Whittington has had a heart attack due to lead shot lodged in his heart, and that he was hit by over a hundred of the little projectiles in the chest and face, do you think the Vice President was really 30 yards away? I haven't hunted in quite a while, but that seems like a pretty tight pattern for 30 yards. This in no way meets my understanding of someone being peppered. My understanding of being peppered, is when shot hits someone on its fall to earth. It feels more like sleet at the mildest, stinging but not breaking the skin at the most severe. Penetrating the heart, is not "peppered". I would love to read the update to your article taking into considerations the latest revelations. Thanks.

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from Rebecca Reagan wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

I have to agree with Doug Pike. My husband's hunted safely in groups for over 25 years. The responsibility of shooting rests with the man or woman who holds the gun.Sure, there are hunting accidents. But there is a bit more involved here.The Vice President of the United States was involved. The man who could be president.His office delayed notifing the President of the United States for several hours. His office delayed notifying the Sherrif's department. Apparently the Sheriff's office found out only when the ambulance was called.The investigating officers were not allowed to conduct interviews with the those involved until the NEXT morning. Well over 18 hours after the event. In fact, the deputy who arrived at the ranch to do an interview was turned away at the gate by the Secret Service This is not what Texas law requires.Instead of the Vice President's office making a public statement or even a public apology to the wounded man, the owner of the ranch made a phone call to a local newspaper.Now, really. Is this how a typical hunting accident unfolds?It is not.

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from Vincent Cutino wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

This is an ordinary hunting accident. Sure it was irresponsible for the VP to shoot in the direction of another hunter,but that should not increase the importance of the situation. This sort of stuff happens for whatever reasons may be present whether it be poor judgement, lack of observation, or pure accident.

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from Vincent Cutino wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

This is an ordinary hunting accident. Sure it was irresponsible for the VP to shoot in the direction of another hunter,but that should not increase the importance of the situation. This sort of stuff happens for whatever reasons may be present whether it be poor judgement, lack of judgement, or pure accident.

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from Mike Quinn wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

"Luckily, they were about 30 yards apart, far enough that pinhead-sized quail shot did minimal damage."Not exactly... The victum was a bloody mess acording to witnesses... I'm sure that you've heard by now that he's had a heart attack... Mike

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from Tim wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

Cheney screwed up and should be treated as anyone else in the same situation. When in the field, myself, my son and anyone else we are hunting with are fully aware as to where everyone else is in the area, including people that are not in our party. We do get a little loud at times, not only spotting and calling out to others the positions of birds or an occasional " Nice Shot" but it also helps to keep everyone aware. This has annoyed some other hunters while out hunting but where safety is concernered isn't it "Better safe than sorry, (or dead). As far as this incident is concerened, I hope the gentlemen is O.K. and Cheney take responsibility, not only for himself but for the betterment of the way sportsmen are viewed by everyone.

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from Tom wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

I am amazed at how everybody can be judge and jury when they weren't even there. Yes, there are the rule of thumb safety protocols that all hunters should follow, but were you there? How do you know exactly what happened?

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from Jim wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

They sure do things different in Texas. Announcing your presence??That's a new one for me,I wonder how the dogs announce their's? Maybe they're trained to bark constantly when they're around Cheney, I saw Alan Simpson on "HardBall" last night, and he tried to defend Cheney by telling Matthews what a "GREAT SHOT" Cheney was! Great Shot? Maybe, SAFE hunter? HELL NO!

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from Kenton wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

I sure hope Mr. Whittington gets better. Let's hope he's out and about soon.I'm not a hunter but I think it's an important activity for several reasons, mostly related to conservation.Having said that, I think this should be treated as any other shooting incident. The local police should do a "by the book" investigation and if any evidence meets or passes the test, charges should be laid. Otherwise the "appearance of justice" could be seen to be two teered.I personally cannot think of a more serious threat to any democracy.Especially one based on equality and justice for all.Here in Canada when a police officer discharges a firearm during the course of their duty there is an investigation. If a death results from that "discharge of a wepon" that officer is suspended and charged with homicide. I think it's the only way or the best way to maintain the public trust and the authorities credibility.Doug Pike is correct Cheney should admit his mistake. And he should ask for an impartial investigation and cooperate fully in public.Thanks for your time.Good luck to y'all,ky

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from Bob wrote 8 years 9 weeks ago

Thank you so much for the editorial. While making sure that fellow upland hunters know where you are is certainly a good idea, it is ultimately the responsibility of the person discharging thier firearm to KNOW THIER TARGET AND WHAT'S BEYOND. This is a basic tenet of hunter safety (at least it was in the classes I took). Hunting is an inherently dangerous activity and we should never fire if there is any question over the safety of the shot.

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