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Kim Hiss, an associate editor at Field & Stream, has hunted ducks, antelope, turkeys, and deer throughout the country, enjoying a number of women's hunts along the way. She lives in Dobbs Ferry, New York. Click here to email Kim.

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December 19, 2007

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"Drive by Shooting" in Kansas

     Not to bring everyone down, but reader Lou Alexander sent me this story out of Kansas, and I agreed with her that it was very worth discussing. You may have already heard of it, it seems to be making the news rounds.
     As reported in this Emporia Gazette article, 18-year-old Beau Arndt of Americus, Kansas was killed Saturday morning Dec. 15 by poachers, while hunting geese with his friends. According to the story, which relies heavily on an interview with Arndt's mother, the Emporia State University student was a careful, responsible hunter, who had been passionate about the field since early childhood. His goal was to become a guide in Canada.
     Days before his 19th birthday, Arndt had come home from his first semester at school, so excited to go hunting that he hit the field before even unpacking. He headed out with two friends, set up their decoys, and got ready to start calling. That's when a pickup truck reportedly drove by, slowed down, and a shot was fired into the decoys, hitting Arndt. Of course, the article points out that it's illegal to shoot game from a vehicle; to shoot into land without the owner's permission; and to shoot game birds with a rifle.
     I thought Lou (who's from Kansas herself) put it well when she sent me the story. After she'd seen the words "Hunting Accident" in the print version of the newspaper, she emailed, "I have a real problem with this because it is more like a drive by shooting than a hunting accident. In my book poachers are the scum of the earth and shouldn't be classified as hunters. The lack of local outrage is also disappointing. Road hunters risk harm to others and to property when they choose to shoot where they aren't welcome." 
     What do you make of the incident?
     (Don't worry, tomorrow, I promise to have a cheerier post). -K.H.

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Comments

tracy

I read the full text of the article in the Gazette, and am pleased to see that the investigation looks to be successful. I am impressed by Beau's father's reaction and his apparent lack of rage over this "accident," including his comment that he hopes this tragedy does not also ruin another young life. Even being a handful of states removed, I am thoroughly disgusted by the actions of those reckless idiots, and am not able to process the whole situation with the gracefulness and understanding of his own family.

I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit how naive I must be for being so completely stunned by this "drive by" shooting activity. Thanks for posting this . . . while it's a complete downer, it's a good eye opener. I am reminded to expect the unexpected; and quit whining about all the day to day trivialities that seem like "tragedies" to me. My prayers are with this fine young man's family, and I am certain I'll never forget this story.

Kristine Shreve

Something similar to this happened to Jocelyn "Josh" Leger. It is stupid and a terrible tragedy, but I would agree with those who would say that the person who took the shot certainly had nothing to do with hunters or hunting.

marlana80

I'm unfortunately waiting for this to happen on my family's own property. It abuts Hwy 95 and a few busy roads, so people have come in during the day while everyone is at work, driven past the Posted signs & either parked or driven(!) their SUV's out into the woods & swamp. I've come across them on occasion & told them they are trespassing, but who wants to anger someone who is already knowingly breaking 1 law & is armed? The local police don't see the urgency in responding, even tho there are houses that are screened by trees, but very close to some prime deer feeding spots.

Paula

How sad, and definitely not a hunting accident. I agree this should be considered a drive by shooting as the shooter certainly was not hunting in any ethical sense of the word and certainly wouldn't want him classified as a hunter. Criminal is what it was, is and always will be.

ANewMe2B

We recently had a poacher from an adjoining leased parcel shoot 3 times at a 10 point buck running across one of our green fields. One of our hunters was in a stand directly across the field. Witnessing the whole incident, he called the game warden on his cell phone and they actually caught up with the poacher and two of his hunting buddies 275 feet on our land "looking" for a blood trail. What idiots. The bad thing about this whole incident is our hunters are the ones that are afraid to leave stands or vehicles in the vicinity of that parcel because we feel that they will retaliate. It was an error knowingly made on their part. I have NO TOLERANCE for poachers or unethical hunters. I haven't read the Kansas news article yet but I do hope that the shooter is held to the full extent of the law.

Lou Alexander

One of the things I've found dishearting in the whole poacher/road hunter thing here in Kansas, it the lack of punishment for the crime. I don't feel that the punishments are harsh enough to deter these folks from making the bad choice to begin with. A hand slap won't stop it.

lynn woodley

It is a trrible shame what happened to this young man..and to call it a hunting accident, I just hope too god that the two friends that were with him got some info about the vehicle, this way the game-warden can step in, We all know that the game warden are the big-boys,,,,And once the game-warden is on ur tail, they wo'nt get off,,,,so god willing they have a clue to just who this dumba$$ is,,,I know any action taken will not bring the young man back, but maybe the family can receive some justice for this senseless, unjustified killing,,And calling this a hunting accident is a slap in the face to us hunters.Call it what it is, A no sense making drive by shooting...i really hope the law catches this scum and prosecutes to the fullest extent of the law...My hope is with this family, hope that they can find some kind of peace with the worthless piece of trash who killed there son...May god be with you each and every-day....And HUNTERS, when in the woods keep your eyes open for people who drive and shoot, the only way this problem will be solved is by turning in the ones you see do it,,,,,,,,,,