While Turkey Hunting, Father and Son Shot

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In the Town of Middlefield, New York a 47-year old man and his 22-year old son were out turkey hunting early Sunday morning. Another turkey hunter, Steven Houghtaling, 54, mistook the duo for turkeys and shot a 12-gauge shotgun round at them. The father was peppered with shot in the leg, chest, neck and facial area, the son in the elbow and shoulder region. Both were taken to M.I.B Hospital in Cooperstown for treatment, and the father was transferred to Albany Medical Center for surgery. Houghtaling was arrested and faces reckless endangerment and assault charges according to WBNG 12 Action News.


groovy mike's picture


This happens way too often and it should NEVER happen.  How dio you mistake not one but TWO men for turkeys.  This is unforgiveably stupid.  Thank God that no one was killed this time. 

Safety has GOT to be the number one priority every time that you hold a gun.  EVERY time. Grrrr! Makes me angry just thinking about that level of negligence giving all hunters a bad name.

hunter25's picture

This is really another case

This is really another case of not making sure of your target and someone firing at noise I think. It says he mistook the hunters for turkeys so he was probably just firing at the calling sounds he heard after seeing movement. We had a guy killed here a few years ago in a similar situation by someone that was not even a legal hunter that fired on the noise with a .22. It's hard to believe that after all the hunter safety classes that go over this that some people refuse to listen and carelessly fire with out being sure of whats there.

Never fire if you are not 100% sure of your target and also what may behind your target or where the bullet will finally end up. It will cost you a few shots but could very well save a life.

GooseHunter Jr's picture

Weird to think this is

Weird to think this is starting to happen more often than it should.  Fully camoed up and with decoys in front of you and you are calling to turkeys...you never know what you will call in.  Now I have seen some pretty realistic looking decoys but they are just thst decoys.  They are not moving I just find it hard to think that a decoy is that good looking for a human to mistake it for a real vbird.....lets be careful out thereboys and girls.

Topgun 30-06's picture

I didn't know that a turkey

I didn't know that a turkey stood 5 to 6 feet tall since it says they got shot all the way up around the head/shoulders area!!!  For a load to spread that high the distance must have been considerable compared to the shorter distances and tight chokes that are normally used for turkey hunting!  There is no excuse for something like this to happen and as far as I'm concerned the guy should not only be prosecuted, but also should not be hunting for a long time, maybe even life.  If the guy is that lax with a firearm, as far as I'm concerned he shouldn't be out there at all!!!