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More Problems For The Hunters

Old 03-09-2007, 05:55 PM
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Default More Problems For The Hunters

As if we didn't already haveenough problems, something like this will have a bearing on some hunters hunting lands availability.

www.tribune-democrat.com/outdoors.local_story_267001533.html
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Old 03-10-2007, 03:55 AM
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unable to view that page
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Old 03-10-2007, 09:53 PM
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As I think it warrants reading I'll copy the story. Story by Joe Gorden in Johnstown, Pa.

Public Access In Limbo
Not many people on this end of the state took notice of a Sept 8 court decision that found that a hunter and landowner responsible for injuries to a young woman who was hit by a stray bullet, but the implications of the ruling have already cost hunters access to private property in eastern counties.

The decision stems from a Nov. 20, 2004 incident in which Casey Kantner, 18 and pregnant, was struck in the head while sitting in a car in her Allentown driveway. The shot was traced to Craig Wetzel, who reportedly was hunting on a farm a half-mile away when he fired at a deer. Wetzel later pled guilty in the shootng and was ordered to pay $5,500- $3,175 in restitutions and the remainder in fines. His hunting license was suspended for five years.

Last year Kantner, now 20 and recovered, sued Wetzel and Daniel Haas, the owner of the land on which he was hunting. A lehigh County jury found Wetzel was 90% responsible for Kantner's injuriesand Haas 10% liable after Kantner's attorney had argued that Haas showed "complete disregard" for public safety by allowing hunting on his land.

Another jury will determine the dollar amount of compensation. But, it is expected that Wetzel will not be able to pay a substantial figure and, under current law, the burden would shift to Haas and his business. In that case, the landowner could be required to pay as much as 100% of the final figure.

It is that possibility that has caused some Lehigh County farmers to close their land to hunting this year, although ripples of the verdict don't seem to have reached this area.

Thomas Smithmyer, whose term as president of the Cambria County Farm Bureau ended Saturday night, said he was aware of the original hunting accident, but hadn't heard about the jury's verdict.

"It hasn't gotten to me yet," he said.

Smithmyer said the ruling hasn't affected the status of his potato farm.

"My ground is open for hunters," he said. "Its always has been."

Somerset County Farm Bureau President Nina Cogan did not return a telephone call seeking comment on the ruling.

Since 1966, Pennsylvania has had a law - the Recreational Use of Land and Water Act - that is suppose to protect landowners from liabilities connected with allowing the public to use their peoperties without charge.

But, the jury's decision in this case poses a lot of questions about the validity of that law, which was not cited during the case by Haas' lawyer.

"We're watching it vey closely," said game commission press secretary Jerry Feaser. "But, it's not just hunting that is at risk here. It is all forms of outdoor recreation. You have the potential for landowners overreacting anc closing land to all forms of outdoor recreation."

Indeed, one could imagine the ruling also impacts access for risky activities such as rock climbing and whitewater boating. And what about landowners whose properties are home to such potentially injurious animals such as poisonous snakes and bears?

Some lawyers - including game commission board president Thomas Boop - have expressed opinions that the Recreation Use of Land and Water Aact will eventually vindicate Haas during the appeal process, others are not so sure.

But for the coming hunting seasons, at least, the state's landowners will be rolling the dice if they give permission to hunt.

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Old 03-12-2007, 04:38 PM
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What has this world come to. I cant blieve that somone could win that case. Damn Democrats
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Old 03-14-2007, 09:11 PM
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ORIGINAL: Alabama Slama

What has this world come to. I cant blieve that somone could win that case. Damn Democrats
What are you thinking with that?

BOTTOM LINE! When YOU discharge a firearm -YOU are responsible for the bullet.

IT DON'T GET ANY MORE SIMPLE THAN THAT.
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Old 03-14-2007, 09:31 PM
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ORIGINAL: uncle matt



What are you thinking with that?

BOTTOM LINE! When YOU discharge a firearm -YOU are responsible for the bullet.

IT DON'T GET ANY MORE SIMPLE THAN THAT.
Did you even read the article?
Yes, I agree with you about if you fire the bullet, you are responsible for where it goes. But in this case, the LANDOWNER, who was NOT the one who fired the bullet, is being held responsible also.
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Old 03-14-2007, 11:35 PM
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she shoulda spilled hot coffee in her lap at some point. this is a proven BS tactic to win lots of money by frivolous lawsuits.
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Old 03-15-2007, 05:33 AM
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Default RE: More Problems For The Hunters

Since 1966, Pennsylvania has had a law - the Recreational Use of Land and Water Act - that is suppose to protect landowners from liabilities connected with allowing the public to use their peoperties without charge.
While her injuries were regrettable, this alone is why she shouldn't receive more than compensation for her medical bills. No matter how careful a shooter may be the chance of a round getting deflected always exists, and the hunter was engaged in a perfectly legal activity at the time. The landowner should never have been held liable in the first place. If this suit is allowed to proceed, and especially if she wins, it has the potential to effectively kill hunting in that state. Don't think that the ARFs aren't keenly watching it either, if it works they'll add it to their arsenal and use it in other states as a precedent to make their case to overturn similar laws in your state.
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Old 03-15-2007, 06:21 AM
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Unless it is overturned the landowner may be forced to pay around $700,000 to the woman. Landowners are going to be forced to buy hunters insurance on their land just to give anybody permission to hunt.
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Old 03-15-2007, 03:43 PM
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If you take a shot and don't know where it may end up shame on you. If you shoot up a hill and don't know what is on the other side then maybe you should pass. Sorry to be a hard A$$ but when folks like this do stupid things it make real hunters look bad.[:@]
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