For the second time in less than a week, New York state police were called to the woods to respond to a hunting mishap. This time, a brown truck was mistakenly fired upon by a local hunter who mistook it for a deer.
Robert Merritt called 911 at approximately 11:10am local time to report that the truck he and his fellow passenger were travelling in was shot at and disabled as they were heading towards the Wiltsie Road State Lands.
Marvin C. Miller was hunting on the state lands when he mistook the passing brown pickup truck for a deer and fired one round from his 7mm scoped rifle. The round struck the driver's side front fender but thankfully missed both occupants by several feet. Miller did, however, manage to damage the engine compartment enough to bring the truck to a stop. Miller rushed to check that the occupants were ok before authorities arrived on scene.
“Firing this weapon at first blush with no target, it’s absolutely irresponsible,” Chautauqua County Sheriff Joseph A. Gerace told The Post-Journal late Friday. “It’s very concerning. We should be able to get through a hunting season without tragedy. This kind of thing just shouldn’t happen. We should be learning from past tragedies. No game is worth injuries or taking a life.”
It is the second such hunting mishap to take place this week. On Wednesday, Rosemary Billquist was shot and killed while walking her dogs after a hunter also mistook her for a deer.
Miller was charged with discharging a firearm across a public roadway and Reckless endangerment in the second degree and was released after posting bail. According to a Chautauqua County Sheriff's office report on the incident, the New York State Environmental Conservation Police Agency returned to the scene of the crime to continue its investigation and additional charges are now pending.