Saturday, November 21, 2009

Student's death at hands of hunter is a cautionary, sad tale for deer season

Here's a sad, cautionary tale for deer season: Jason Cloutier, 31, of Ferrum, Va., is "charged with involuntary manslaughter, reckless use of a firearm and trespass, charges that together carry a maximum of 12 years in jail and $5,000 in fines," after shooting Ferrum College student Jessica Goode while deer hunting, Brigid Schulte of The Washington Post writes.

"In this tightknit community of 1,400 that consists, literally, of the college and a scatter of farms and solitary houses in the woods, the killing of a beloved student has unleashed a welter of questions: How could he have shot her? Couldn't he see she wasn't a deer? And from another perspective, some neighbors want to know what Goode was doing in the woods in hunting season wearing white? Didn't she know she might look like a deer's throat?" And Schulte reports, "many students disregard regular warnings from the college about wearing bright colors during hunting season." But the investigating officer told her that the responsibility lies with the hunter.

Student Brad Tribble, who hunts, canoes and hikes, was a friend of Goode's. "What makes him angry is that the incident reinforces negative stereotypes about hunting that people outside rural areas might have," Schulte writes.

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