Hunter Shoots Hiker, Mistakes Him For Bear

In light of yesterday’s post about accidents involving guns, here’s another tragic example of why you should always, always positively identify what you’re shooting at before you squeeze the trigger.

From this story in the Salem, Oregon Statesman-Journal:
A 67-year-old Turner man who shot and killed a hiker Friday while hunting for bear was on family-owned property, Marion County Sheriff’s Office officials said Tuesday. Gene Collier and his 12-year-old grandson were hunting in the 6300 block of Silver Ridge Road SE, a rural area about one mile west of Silver Falls State Park at about 6:30 p.m. Oct. 21._

“The property he was shooting on belongs to Gene and other family members,” said sheriff’s office spokes-man Don Thomson. Collier told detectives that he thought he saw a bear moving in the brush and fired one shot from his .270-caliber hunting rifle. The shot struck Christopher A. Ochoa, 20, of French Camp, Calif., who was hiking with a friend through the field on their way to Silver Falls State Park. Ochoa, an active Marine Corps reservist, died at the scene.