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Published: Tuesday, 12/10/2002

Hunter dies, 10 injured during Ohio deer season

PIONEER, Ohio - One person died and at least 10 were hurt in hunting accidents during last week's gun season for deer. One of those incidents was in northwest Ohio.

Shane Groves, 23, was shot while hunting about noon Sunday in Williams County just south of the village of Pioneer. Mr. Groves was in serious condition yesterday in Medical College of Ohio Hospitals, Toledo.

The accident occurred on the last day of the deer-hunting season.

Nine other nonfatal shootings last week were confirmed as hunting accidents.

A 10th shooting, which occurred Thursday in Jackson County, is still not a confirmed hunting accident, said Matt Ortman, a hunter education coordinator for the Ohio Division of Wildlife in Columbus.

One hunter, John Barton, 42, of Bellaire was killed in Belmont County on Friday. That case remains under investigation, Mr. Ortman said.

Seven hunting injuries were reported last year, and 11 injuries the previous year.

Gunshot wounds were self-inflicted in four of this year's hunting accidents, Mr. Ortman said.

Van Tea, a spokesman for the Ohio Division of Wildlife in Findlay, said state investigators are still questioning the other hunters who were with Mr. Groves in Williams County to determine who fired the gun that injured him.

“It appears that someone took a shot in an unsafe zone,” Mr. Tea said.

He said the accident occurred when the hunters were in a group in a wooded area and someone fired at a fleeing deer. Mr. Tea said investigators are unsure whether another group of hunters was in the area at the time.

All those who were hunting had permits and were wearing hunter's orange.

Mr. Tea said the person who fired the gun could be charged with reckless hunting, a first-degree misdemeanor that carries a possible six-month jail sentence and $1,000 fine. If convicted, the hunter could lose his or her hunting rights, typically for three years.

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