This is one of those stories you dread reading, yet seem to encounter almost every deer season. As Liberte reported over the weekend, “A hunter who shot and killed a woman he mistook for a deer as she went on an evening walk with her dogs has been indicted on manslaughter charges, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation.”
While you probably know the four rules of firearm safety, they can’t be repeated often enough.
- Every gun is always loaded.
- Never point a firearm at anything you aren’t willing to destroy.
- Keep your finger off the trigger util you’re ready to shoot.
And number four, the one hunter Thomas Jadlowski broke…
- Know your target and what’s beyond it.
And yet, the story of this tragedy gets worse…
…Jadlowski told police he fired a single round from his hunting pistol at what he thought was a deer the length of two football fields away. He heard (Rosemary) Billquist cry out, ran to her and called 911. Jadlowski was applying pressure to Billquist’s wound when first responders arrived in the field.
The shooting occurred well after sunset, when hunting is prohibited.
If the report is accurate and Jadlowski was actually 200 yards from Billquist when he pulled the trigger, he couldn’t possibly have adequately identified his target as the light disappeared after sunset.
Many of us enjoy hunting. No one who takes the time to venture out in search of that 12-point buck wants to come home empty-handed. And yet…
Jadlowski surrendered himself to police and was arraigned today in Chautauqua County Court on charges including manslaughter in the 2nd degree and hunting after legal hours.
Jadlowski entered a not-guilty plea. Bail was set at $50,000 cash or $100,000 property. He’s due back in court in late January.
It simply isn’t worth taking pot shots at targets you can’t be sure of, never mind doing it after legal hours. That’s something Jadlowski will no doubt be telling himself for the rest of his life.