BONNERS FERRY — It’s deer season in North Idaho.
Carl Hunter was having a relaxing morning, around 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 30, when — while looking out of the bay window of his home — he was injured.
Hunter was the victim of a negligently fired bullet. Boundary County Sheriff’s Sgt. Robert Goad noted these kinds of incidents are happening more often.
Feeling lucky to be alive, Hunter said, “It easily could have caused an injury that would have killed me.”
Hunter sustained a laceration to the throat that caused him to receive six sutures and medical glue to close the wound.
“I drove myself to the hospital,” said Hunter.
“A deformed rifle bullet was found on the mantle of that bay window, in a state of deformation which indicated that it had either skipped up from the ground, or struck an object, most likely a tree, prior to striking the victim’s window on it’s unguided flight path,” wrote Goad. “Scary, no? Negligent? Possibly.”
Hunter, and his spouse, live in the Aspen Drive area near Three Mile.
The press release outlined that sometimes incidents like this, “... occur when people choose to hunt in areas of Boundary County that are, at this point in time, a lot more inhabited than they were just 10 years ago.”
While this incident may or may not have been a result of hunting, the Sheriff’s Office would like shooters to be aware.
“Understand that our county has a lot more homes in it now and people are living in areas within, or very near, some traditional hunting grounds for some,” wrote Goad.
“High powered rifle bullets can travel a very long way and carry enough energy to do serious damage, or kill, from more than a mile,” Goad wrote. “Some even further. As a hunter, or recreational shooter, it’s your responsibility to know what may be beyond that deer, elk, bear, ground squirrel, or tin can you are about to fire at.”
“I was fortunate that it only required some stitches since it did not cut me beyond the skin or hit my carotid artery,” said Hunter.
The Sheriff’s Office would like to stress the seriousness of negligent shooting.
“Doing so [shooting] with negligence that can be clearly shown is a serious criminal offense and will be prosecuted as such, not to mention your civil liabilities for damages,injuries or death to a victim of such negligence,” wrote Goad.
The Sheriff’s Office reminded hunters and recreational shooters to use basic principles of safety.
“Don’t make your hunting season one to remember because a bullet from your rifle hurt, or killed, someone in their own home, or walking their dog down a county road, nowhere near the place you fired it from,” wrote Goad.
“It won’t be their fault for, ‘building their house there’, it will be 100 percent yours,” wrote Goad. “No one wants to live with that on their conscience, or facetime incarcerated because of it.”
“Be safe. Remember and practice the basic principles of safety when it comes to hunting, shooting and handling firearms in general. Firearms are a huge part of the culture here in Boundary County, but sadly, it appears that the aspect of safety relating to owning and using them is declining, by some,” said Goad through the press release.
Hunter, a Second Amendment, shooting, and hunting advocate, said, “I just want reasonable precautions taken. Let’s be safe out there, people.”