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Man charged in killing of Vermont BowHunter

Old 11-08-2002, 06:07 PM
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Default Man charged in killing of Vermont BowHunter



Hunter charged in arrow death

November 7, 2002

(from the Front Page section Rutland Herald)

By BRENT CURTIS Herald Staff

Two years after an arrow killed a Rutland man, police arrested the hunter who shot him.

State Police arrested Joseph A. Teer Jr., 31, of Middletown Springs on Thursday on a charge of involuntary manslaughter for the killing of Thomas Fiske.

Teer was arrested at work in Rutland, but he was released soon after with a citation to appear in Rutland District Court on Tuesday to be arraigned.

Fiske, 36, died on the morning of Oct. 12, 2000, while hunting deer in the woods off Stevens Road in Pittsford.

Teer, who was also hunting the woods, told police he shot an arrow at a deer but it ricocheted and struck Fiske, who was in a tree stand 20 feet off the ground. The two men didn't know each other, police said, and each were unaware of the other's presence in the woods.

But Vermont State Police and Rutland County State's Attorney James Mongeon decided that Teer knew more than he was telling.

In an affidavit filed Thursday in Rutland Superior Court, Sgt. Ronald Crossman wrote that Teer couldn't have killed Fiske from the spot he claims to have shot from whether the arrow ricocheted or not.

Using surveyor's reports, forensics data from the company that manufactured the arrow Teer used, conclusions of a bow hunting expert and other data collected by police and state game wardens during an exhaustive two-year investigation, Crossman concluded that Teer was shooting into the tree Fiske was sitting in.

"The evidence does not support the claims by Mr. Teer. The evidence does support that the arrow was shot in a direct line to an intended but unidentified target," Crossman wrote.

The investigation has been the most thorough and in many ways troublesome investigation of a hunting incident that State Police have conducted to date, according to Detective Lt. Myles Heffernan.

"It took longer than expected," Heffernan said Thursday. "It was more of a progression. It was difficult to locate sources and there was very little facts or data to look at. We didn't have the kind of data that we would generally have if this were a situation involving a gun."

A physics professor, for example, was asked for help at the beginning of the investigation, but wasn't able to offer conclusive evidence, Heffernan said.

"There wasn't a lot of cases to compare this to," he said. "There were only a few bow hunting incidents we could find and we couldn't find any with charges filed from them."

Heffernan said the felony count leveled against Teer was more severe than most charges brought against hunters who unintentionally kill another hunter. If convicted of involuntary manslaughter, Teer would face a minimum one-year jail term and a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a $3,000 fine.

"The degree of negligence in this case was greater than in other accidental shootings," the detective said. Heffernan said he could only recall one other occasion when a hunter was charged with involuntary manslaughter. In that case, the detective said a hunter lied to police, telling them that he discovered the body of a hunter who had been shot when, in fact, he shot the man.

Mongeon would say little about the felony charge, other than to say it fit the crime.

"If it was purely an accident, that would be different. A criminal charge implies culpability," he said.

Fiske's family was informed about Teer's arrest by police, said Brenda Wilk, Fiske's sister.

"We're happy that something is happening and we're waiting to see what happens from here," she said in a phone interview Thursday.

She said her brother's death had been hard on the family. Fiske ran a bow hunting shop with his brother and was a constant presence in his parents' home, she said.

"It was an awful thing," she said. "It's been hard, but the police have been good at communicating with us. It's taken a long time, but no one has been killed quite this way before."

Wilk said family members would be at Teer's arraignment on Tuesday.
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Old 11-08-2002, 06:34 PM
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...Hmmm, lets see a guy shoots at a deer and the arrow goes more than twenty feet up in the air...sounds reasonable.<img src=icon_smile_wink.gif border=0 align=middle>

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Old 11-08-2002, 07:17 PM
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Default RE: Man charged in killing of Vermont BowHunter

Manslaughter sounds a little light, but that's probably easier to convict than murder.

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Old 11-08-2002, 07:41 PM
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Default RE: Man charged in killing of Vermont BowHunter

Antler Eater, I've seen that happen at 3D shoots. Heck I even saw that happen during a bowhunter ed class.

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Old 11-08-2002, 08:26 PM
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Default RE: Man charged in killing of Vermont BowHunter

The first buck I ever shot at, 32 years ago, had the arrow richochet off a branch and it went about 20 ft up and stuck in a tree trunk. It stuck in hard enough that when I shimmied up the tree I was unable to pull it out. I've seen the same type thing several times while shooting 3D.

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Old 11-08-2002, 08:42 PM
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Default RE: Man charged in killing of Vermont BowHunter

<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote<font size=1 face='Verdana, Arial, Helvetica' id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>&quot;The evidence does support that the arrow was shot in a direct line to an intended but unidentifed target&quot;<hr height=1 noshade id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote></font id=quote><font face='Verdana, Arial, Helvetica' size=2 id=quote>



Bear season was going on at this time, and allot of people, including myself, have thought from day one that he mistook him for a bear.

Very poor excuse.


I agree that the charges are very light.
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Old 11-08-2002, 09:45 PM
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Default RE: Man charged in killing of Vermont BowHunter

Guys don't get me wrong, I have ricocheted arrows to places only heaven knows where so I do realize an arrow can ricochet up. It is just from the articles description,
<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote<font size=1 face='Verdana, Arial, Helvetica' id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>...during an exhaustive two-year investigation, Crossman concluded that Teer was shooting into the tree Fiske was sitting in. <hr height=1 noshade id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote></font id=quote><font face='Verdana, Arial, Helvetica' size=2 id=quote> <BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face='Verdana, Arial, Helvetica' id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote> The evidence does support that the arrow was shot in a direct line to an intended but unidentified target,&quot; Crossman wrote. <hr height=1 noshade id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote></font id=quote><font face='Verdana, Arial, Helvetica' size=2 id=quote>
the arrow would not even take the same attitude that a ricochet arrow would have.



Edited by - Antler Eater on 11/08/2002 21:47:10
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Old 06-18-2013, 11:11 AM
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I am from vt. and heard Mr. fiske was sleeping with Joe's wife and joe and his relatives knew it and accompanied him to the hunt spot coming from middletown springs

Last edited by [email protected]; 06-18-2013 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 06-18-2013, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
I am from vt. and heard Mr. fiske was sleeping with Joe's wife and joe and his relatives knew it and accompanied him to the hunt spot coming from middletown springs
This post is a little suspect.....
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:19 AM
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I read this story becuase it was at the top of the que. Then realized the story was from 11 years ago. Is this still current events?
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