back to article Dogs blast hunter with shotgun

An Iowa man enjoyed a trip to hospital with 100 birdshot pellets in his calf after hunting dogs let him have it from less than a metre with some pheasant-busting ordnance, AFP reports. According to the Iowa Department of Natural Resource, James Harris, 37, was out with some chums in Poweshiek county when they "shot a bird …


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  1. Colin Millar
    Black Helicopters

    The NRA must be proud

    (That is Charley Heston's NRA - not the real one)

    This is plainly not an accident but part of a secret DARPA project for the next war against North Korea. US dog soldiers are cheap to feed and the dead ones can simply be eaten thus reducing the cost of body bags and return flights.

  2. One-armed Freddy

    Rise of the Animals™?

    Never mind the RotM, what with the flaming kamikaze squirrels and monkey attacks recently I'm more concerned about the animals rising up and taking over. I'm certain that the government scientist's recent declaration of war on badgers must be what's tipped the animals over the edge. We're doomed!

  3. Bob Boswell

    Nearly a Darwin ?

    They'll step on the trigger assembly and, if the gun for whatever reason wasn't on safety, it doesn't take a whole lot to trip a trigger." ®

    Hmm, non of this nonsense for the Yanks then:-

    A Fathers Advice

    If a sportsman true you’d be

    Listen carefully to me. . .

    Never, never let your gun

    Pointed be at anyone.

    That it may unloaded be

    Matters not the least to me.

    When a hedge or fence you cross

    Though of time it cause a loss

    From your gun the cartridge take

    For the greater safety’s sake.

    If twixt you and neighbouring gun

    Bird shall fly or beast may run

    Let this maxim ere be thine

    “Follow not across the line.”

    Stops and beaters oft unseen

    Lurk behind some leafy screen.

    Calm and steady always be

    “Never shoot where you can’t see.”

    You may kill or you may miss

    But at all times think this:

    “All the pheasants ever bred

    Won’t repay for one man dead.”

    Mark Beaufoy - 1902

    lifted from the BASC site

    If you put it down - unload it ---- how hard can it be ?????


  4. John Angelico

    Variation on...

    Man bites dog story?

    Hmm, hat and coat time, I fear.

  5. Joe Stalin
    Paris Hilton

    Gun Dog

    The whole point of a gun dog is the dog goes and retrieves the downed bird, hence the breed Labradour Retriever. Or is this the Paris Hilton angle, she has two dogs both the size of a hamster, and generaly nothing more that a fashion accessory just like this dog. OK it's probibally bigger than a her dogs but about as much use.

  6. Steve


    That's ruff....

  7. The Other Steve
    Dead Vulture


    What kind of utter fuckwit puts a weapon on the ground without safing it first ? And I mean breaking it and removing the cartridges, not just applying the safety. What a dick.

    @Bob Boswell :

    Nice poem, yeah. It neatly encompasses everything I was taught about shotgun handling many many moons ago. It's amazing how many people just don't get the "don't point it at people, even when unloaded" part, sigh.

  8. Robin Traylor


    Anyone who's stupid enough to lay a loaded and cocked shotgun on the floor deserves what they get.

  9. Ross
    IT Angle

    Ummm random story...

    Safety first people!

    I mean why on Gods green earth was the gun still loaded? Would you leave a loaded gun lying around? Especially with the muzzle pointing at your arse?

    Break it until you need it. Jesus, it's not rocket science...

    Used to go shooting with my pa and frankly I'd have been soundly beaten for that kind of incompetence. That's how ppl end up dead.

  10. A. Lewis


    I thought it was bears...

    I thought USians were supposed to arm bears!

    Where did I leave my hat?

  11. Rob Holmes
    Dead Vulture

    To paraphrase...

    ...Terry Pratchett -

    "What have I told you about Mr. Saftey Catch?"

    "When Mr. Saftey Catch is not on, Mr [in this case] Rifle is not my friend."

    Sage advice I feel.

  12. Lyndon Barry

    Oh so nearly

    a Darwin Award candidate..

    Close but no cigar.

    Fifty points to the dog though.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    NRA insurance

    Looks like it might be time to profit on the "Death and dismemberment insurance" given when you join the NRA!

  14. laird cummings

    @Bob Boswell, et al.

    Agreed, entirely.

    Rule 1) Never point the muzzle at anything you aren't willing to destroy.

    Rule 2) The weapon is always loaded, until you *prove* otherwise.

    Rule 3) Unload the weapon when you're not prepared to use it.

    Rule 4) If the weapon ever leaves your hand, see Rule 2 (above).

    Note: the shotgun might not have been a double-barrel. In the US, auto-loaders and slide action are extremely popular, so 'breaking' the weapon might not be in the cards. Never-the-less, you've got the correct idea - he should have opened the action in the appropriate manner, and unloaded.

  15. Bob Boswell

    laird cummings

    Agreed, apart from a quibble about rule 2

    My version: The weapon is always loaded.

    And you are correct about the autos / pumps, a reason for not liking them as you cannot tell from a distance if the gun is 'safe', unlike a gun 'broken' over the arm.


    There is NO rule 6

  16. laird cummings


    Eh. I understand your version (and use it myself), but it's a hard one to teach and expect people to follow all the time. If they can see the chamber, and see that it's empty, it's hard to convince people to treat the weapon as 'loaded.' My above posted version meets the necessity, and is easier to convince people on, especially after I've trapped/surpised an unwary student by palming a snapcap into the chamber whilst they're unattentive. OTOH, once I've booby-trapped one student, the others are very careful thereafter to check the chamber every time they pick up the weapon. ;-)

    I enforce Rule 1 *stringently* in class. Accidental discharges are pretty much a forgone conclusion, if you handle firearms long enough. Live by Rule 1, and when (if) it happens, you won't be faced with a lifetime of regret. My father was an absolute martinet on that subject, and so am I.

    For autoloaders and pump-guns, I recommend (and use) brightly-stained wood blocks. Insert the block into the action and close the action until the block is retained. The hunk of colorful wood sticking outside the action gives a fair idea that the weapon is disabled (albeit still loaded, etc, etc.) to the casual or distant observer.

    Around hereabouts, side-by-side and over-under shotguns tend to be prestige weapons (i.e. expensive, top-quality), or old family heirlooms. Pump-guns and autoloaders fill the lower end of the market almost exclusively.

  17. Dave


    Freddy's not wrong - they're coming for us.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Darwin, indeed

    Notwithstanding the sage and stern advice offered above, in this case his mobility could have remained unimpaired had he simply engaged the safety and then*not* walked in front of the muzzle.

    Missed his tackle by not very far, but he's probably already reproduced if he was ever going to, so wouldn't have qualified for a proper Darwin.

  19. Bob Boswell

    coloured blocks

    I like the coloured blocks idea.

    My other half has become interested in shooting recently, and wants to do more ( mainly clays) Unfortunately she is left handed, so none of mine are any use, we can get a decent 2nd-hand L/H auto for around £100, but I'm not a big fan, as you might have gathered, shiny blocks might help.

    I'm guessing from your spelling that you are in the USA ?

    As a side thought. If he was shot at a range of around 3 feet and it didn't just blow his calf/ leg away, what sort of choke did his gun have ? Early experimentation years ago with a cardboard box and 1/4 / improved made a hole like a fist.

    He's still a pillock !

  20. laird cummings

    color v. colour


    California boy, born and bred, albeit transplanted to the Mid-Atlantic region.

    Got the color blocks trick from the Boy Scouts (yet another outstanding gift to the world from the UK), back when they actually bothered with such things as teaching firearms handling and safety.

    As for the leg: Depends, I suppose, on whether he was hit square-on, or was nearly missed. Also remotely possible that intervening brush might have been *just* thick enough to scatter the group from a tissue-shredding lump to something slightly less devestating. Or maybe he was wearing tall leather boots. *shrug* All I know is that he is, indeed, a pillock.

  21. Bad Beaver

    That dude...

    ...totally legless.

  22. Toby

    That's what you get for using automatic weapons

    You can guarantee it was a semi-auto shotgun. They'll have been out with 7-shot guns that are (in the minds of those with limited intelligence) too much of a pain to unload when crossing a fence.

    There isn't a reputable shoot in the UK that will allow a semi-auto out (with occasional exceptions for old but trusted shots who can't handle the recoil of a regular gun). You can't see for certain whether someone else's gun is unloaded unless they've got a breech flag in it (which is a pain), and unloading can involve emptying the three cartridges from it. In the UK we quite rightly understand that pheasants are one of nature's less dangerous beasties, and therefore two shots should be more than enough.

    Sounds like his dogs are probably more trustworthy with guns than he is.

  23. Luther Blissett

    shoot corporal on no account shoot dog STOP

    Surely the cause was the assumption that the dogs would be smart enough to know it was loaded and to avoid discharging it?

  24. Brett

    Guns don't kill people....

    ... dogs kill people.

    Hat check

    Coat check


  25. laird cummings


    The vast majority of States over here require that hunting shotguns have a capacity of no more than three. Even if you've a shotgun of freakishly large capacity, it'd still be plugged to restrict capacity to two in the magazine and one in the chamber. Presumably he'd fired at least once, having bagged his bird, but even if he'd reloaded immediately, unloading three rounds from an auto-loader is no chore. If it *is* considered a chore, he has no business hunting. Oh, wait...

    Breech flags are no pain, if you prefer an auto-loader. They're simply the price you pay to use the weapon you choose. If they *are* a pain, then you've got no business handling an auto-loader.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    I too, was taught to do these things.

    I won't go out any more, people shooting at noises (poor dogs, cows, and other hunters).The dog was right, it's him or me, how can I make it look accidental.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Or as I used to put it...

    Never, never let your gun

    Pointed be at anyone.

    Someone gave the pheasants all the bread

    Because there was Some man dead

    But then I was 5 at the time. My Dad was happy enough that I got the Never, never let your gun pointed be at anyone bit.

  28. spezzer

    imagine the scene...

    if he had copped it !!!

    a dead bloke on a fence with shotgun wounds and a dog sat looking a bit depressed. how long would have cops been looking for the murderer?

    using forensic techniques for discharge direction they would have been looking for a anti-hunting midget! i guess they are quite rare so the first one they came on the database would have been the likely candidate!!


  29. Mr Larrington
    Thumb Up


    "It proves that you don't need opposable thumbs to climb the food chain" - Mr. Sunshine, yesterday

  30. Stratman

    @ spezzer

    I reckon Grissom would have found an ATM camera in a nearby town which would have seen the whole thing in the reflection off a hubcap. Then, after it had been "enhanced" by a labrat all would be clear.

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