Northern Ohio hunters stabbed during gun week

By Larry S. Moore

The Sandusky Register reported last week that two deer hunters were brutally attacked during the 2007 deer gun season in a Berlin Township field when a drifter stabbed them repeatedly with a knife.

First, all of us at Buckeye Firearms Association extend our heartfelt sympathies to the families of these hunters and wish for a speedy recovery. Certainly these hunters headed afield to enjoy the best of the deer hunting season and the Ohio outdoors. Unfortunately, things turned very ugly during the course of their day.

The potential for incidents like this, plus last year's Ohio State Highway Patrol alert asking hunters to be on the look out for an escaped fugitive, was much of the motivation behind Buckeye Firearms Assoc. and many volunteers asking the Ohio Division of Wildlife to honor our concealed handgun licenses (CHLs) by permitting concealed carry for hunters. The Division did change the hunting regulations to allow concealed carry while hunting this hunting season, provided the concealed firearm is not used to take game but is for self-defense purposes.

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Unfortunately, many hunters scoffed at the concept that a concealed self-defense firearm is needed. Many volunteers, including this author, heard comments from fellow hunters such as “Hey you already have gun for hunting how much do you need to carry?” Rather sad to hear it from gun owners rather than the anti-gun fanatics amongst us.

As this incident points out, a shotgun may be an inadequate tool for close quarter self-defense. Additionally, hunting firearms may only be loaded during legal shooting hours. This prevents the use of the hunting firearm while leaving or returning to a parked vehicle. Archery equipment would be even less useful in preventing a close in attack.

I am a hunter first. I was involved with hunting and as a volunteer Ohio Hunter Education Instructor before I also became involved in the concealed carry self-defense aspect of our Second Amendment rights.

I view the two components as equally important and virtually the same. I’ve written before that all shooters should be doing something for wildlife and conservation by purchasing an Ohio hunting license. I’m also on record stating that every Ohio hunter should have a concealed handgun license. My statements were driven from the view that everyone who uses a firearm should be supporting as many segments of our gun ownership rights and battles as possible.

This incident vividly drives home the point that self-defense is needed in the woods and on your property. We can debate whether we should have to carry for self-defense when hunting, enjoying any other recreational pursuit, mowing our yards or shoveling snow. However, the fact remains that random attacks occur across all walks of life, all types of families and throughout society. Being prepared is part of being alive.

The Division of Wildlife recognizes the Ohio Concealed Handgun License. Ohio hunters have the opportunity for self-defense. It is up to each hunter to make a personal choice and be prepared.

Ohio hunters need to get behind Sen. Steve Buehrer's SB184 (Castle Doctrine) by writing legislators stating support for the Castle Doctrine lawsuit protection. If the legal use of deadly force is required for self-defense while hunting, the protection from a civil lawsuit will become critically important.

Outdoor writer and hunter education instructor Larry S. Moore is a Region Leader for Buckeye Firearms Association and winner of the 2005 USSA Patriot Award.

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