Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Dog Shoots Man

Man’s best friend in the field can be the source of his worst nightmare.

A wire service reported a “freak” hunting accident recently claimed the life of a Baytown teacher, but safety experts warn that the circumstances surrounding the death can become dangerously common.

The Associated Press reported that Perry Alvin Price III, 46, was fatally wounded Jan. 5 while goose hunting near Stowell in Chambers County, about 60 miles east of Houston.

Sheriff’s investigators said paw prints from Price’s chocolate Labrador retriever were found on a shotgun in the bed of his pickup. The shot struck Price in the leg, according to the AP. The high school math teacher was given first aid by a hunting partner who also drove him to get more help.

But, the AP reported, Price died “at a hospital from severe blood loss from his femoral artery shortly after the freak accident.”

The potential for a dog stepping on a loaded gun, however, is all too possible to be considered a freak accident, safety experts say.

In fact, this fall an Iowa pheasant hunter, Janes Harris, set his gun on the ground before crossing a fence to retrieve a downed bird. While climbing the fence, he was shot in the calf after his dog stepped on the gun, causing it to discharge.
“It’s not something new,” said Tami Moore, a hunter safety instructor in Spicewood. “It’s something actually that is used in our safety video.

“Think about it: A dog’s body weight can easily push the safety on a gun to ‘off.’ And dogs have toenails and that toenail can easily hang in a trigger guard.”

Moore, a volunteer, teams up with her husband, Frank, to teach safety curriculum approved by Texas Parks and Wildlife. Her regular job is administrative assistant for the TPW boater education department.

She said the dog scenario depicted in the training video shows hunters loading cased guns into a sports utility vehicle.

“Then they let a dog in back and the first thing it does is walk all over these cases,” Moore said. “But dogs don’t know if a gun is loaded.”

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