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76 yr old turkey hunter killed by game warden

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76 yr old turkey hunter killed by game warden

Old 04-13-2009, 04:24 PM
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Default 76 yr old turkey hunter killed by game warden

Sad opening day here in NC. Praying for both families involved.

WILKES COUNTY, N.C. -- A 12-year veteran wildlife officer was acting in self-defense when he shot and killed a hunter Saturday morning in Wilkes County, according to a statement from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

Officials said officer Mark Minton was patrolling an area off Cain Creek Road at about 7:30 a.m. when he came into contact with 76-year-old Clyde Coffey, of Lenoir.

Capt. Rusty Hunter with the North Carolina Wildlife Commission said an armed confrontation between the two prompted Minton to shot Coffey one time, killing him.

"There is no evidence to suggest the officer confused the hunter with an animal," Hunter said. "It appears, from all information gathered, the officer was protecting himself. And I don't know any further details than that."

Hunter said Minton was patrolling the area, checking for bait traps, bag limits and hunting licenses. Saturday was the first day of spring turkey season in North Carolina.

The shooting happened in a wooded area on the property, which is owned by Coffey's family. Authorities said Minton had called for backup. According to North Carolina law, wildlife officers are allowed on private property for wildlife-related investigations.

The NCWRD statement said its investigation of the incident had been turned over to the State Bureau of Investigation.

Coffey's family members said Sunday they doubt Minton's claim that he was provoked. "He was taken from us and he was shot on his own land minding his own business. Who shoots a 76-year-old on his own land?" Coffey's daughter told WXII12 news.

"He was a family man who loved his family," she added. "They were the center of his world. This was totally senseless. He was the best father, and grandfather and great-grandfather."

Family members said Coffey had gone out hunting with his son and grandsons, but it wasn't known if any of the family members had witnessed the incident.

Minton is on paid administrative leave pending the results of the investigation.

This is the first wildlife officer-involved shooting in almost 25 years
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Old 04-13-2009, 05:10 PM
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Default RE: 76 yr old turkey hunter killed by game warden

Thats unbelievable and very sad..
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Old 04-13-2009, 05:12 PM
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Default RE: 76 yr old turkey hunter killed by game warden

Unreal...that's terribly sad and it's hard to make any judgement because no one really knows what happened. Prayers for all involved!
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Old 04-13-2009, 06:50 PM
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Default RE: 76 yr old turkey hunter killed by game warden

Its sad that no one really knows what happened, but I hope that the man is killin a big ol gobbler upstairs right now. I also pray that the game warden was in the right to act in his self defense, but I really doubt it for some reason

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Old 04-13-2009, 06:53 PM
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Default RE: 76 yr old turkey hunter killed by game warden

Please keep us posted on the outcome. Its odd to mea man is shot on his own property by law enforcement.
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Old 04-13-2009, 07:19 PM
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Default RE: 76 yr old turkey hunter killed by game warden

I don't find it odd. It's the south and the man's family has probably owned the land for generations. Some down here tend to think they need to defend their land and rights on it from everyone, including law enforcement. More has come out now, that the officer was investigating a baited area. This would give a better explanation as to why he was on the property itself. One can't let emotions guide them to wonder if the officer was in the wrong for doing his job. Down here people, especially those with generations of beliefs, tend to take things a little personal. I can see the man pointing a gun at the officer if he thinks the officer is trying to tell him what he can and can't do on his own land, or if he's trying to arrest the man for baiting his property. He could have even be trying to take the man's son or grandson into custody and the older man pointed a gun at him. Like any other story, the investigation will tell the truth...or at least one side of it.
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Old 04-14-2009, 02:53 AM
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Default RE: 76 yr old turkey hunter killed by game warden

I agree with you all...especially Breezer
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Old 04-14-2009, 05:45 AM
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Default RE: 76 yr old turkey hunter killed by game warden

You know I think it is sad that we live someplace that the first thought is the Officer had to be doing something or we impute his/her judgment. If this guy was breaking the law at his place or someone elses...he was wrong. Can officers make fatal mistakes; yes they can, but to assume from the git go that that is where the fault lies....sad. They are out there by themselves making split second decisions keeping you and me safe. Our world is a much better place because these men/women are out there in the middle of the day or night willing to use force against people who would do us harm.
As a Lt on the fire department I have done somethings that I am sure would make people judge my actions....point- I broke a door into an apartment because there was smoke showing in the hallway- it was two small Totino's Pizza the guy placed it there and fell asleep- Was I wrong to have ordered the door broke in??? Someone (owner) questioned that and I asked the owner- The smoke detectors went off you didn't wake up, there were knocks on the door you didn't wake up, I kicked the door trying to break it in, you didn't wake up and Joe beat the door in with a sledgehammer and you didn't wake up till we grabbed you off the couch (right next to the door) and drug him down the hall. I asked him what could I have done differently? He said nothing....I am just embarrassed. The point being is this officer made a choice, I do want the fact before we assume he did something wrong and very well could have been forced to choose between his life and this guys.....Put me there and I'll choose my life every time. How many of you could walk to a dark woods by yourself knowing some poaching was going on and they were armed...A dark roads side traffic stop.....Cut the cop some slack until the full story goes out. Off my box thanks.
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Old 04-14-2009, 06:16 AM
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Default RE: 76 yr old turkey hunter killed by game warden

What about No tresspassing signs. Does that not apply to the Game Warden?

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Old 04-14-2009, 06:34 AM
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Default RE: 76 yr old turkey hunter killed by game warden

No it doesn't...wardens (in a lot of states and it sounds like NC is one of them) are allowed to do warrentless searches of private property to investigate crimes related to the environment, hunting, fishing, etc...I could certainly see someone pointing a weapon at a guy if they didn't realize it was a warden, or even if they did. I agree wardens don't get enough respect. EVERYONE they come across is armed, it's rare cops come across armed people. No matter who was right or wrong, or what happened, it is just unfortunate the whole thing happened.
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