Local News

Hunters reminded of basic safety concepts

Posted December 26, 2011
Updated December 27, 2011

— As deer season in North Carolina comes to a close, Dustin Etheridge, wildlife officer with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, used the accidental injury of a Rocky Mount hunter as a cautionary tale for others.

"It’s so easy to not get hurt out there hunting, but it’s the small things you have to think about," Etheridge said.

As Joseph B. Edmondson, 29, laid his gun in a vehicle early Monday morning, he jostled the safety of his brother's gun and ended up with buckshot in his thigh. Sgt. Carl Hatcher of the Wildlife Resources Commission said Edmondson and his brother, Kevin, of Roanoke Rapids, were among a party of about 30 people leaving from the Poor Boys Hunting Club Monday morning. 

Man injured in shotgun accident Man injured in shotgun accident

Etheridge said the excitement of the hunt and the presence of friends can be a distraction.

"Take a moment to see 'Is my gun unloaded? Is the safety on? Do I have it in its case?'" he suggested. "That’s all you need, but people overlook that."

Etheridge did not question the expertise of the Edmonsons and their friends. He said anyone can make a mistake, even those who have been hunting their whole lives. 

"Most of the hunting accidents I’ve had this year, the people have had 20-plus years hunting experience," Etheridge said.

Kevin Edmondson's 12-gauge shotgun was in the vehicle, loaded and pointed out, Etheridge said. "We always teach to have your gun unloaded always, at all times, especially when traveling to and from where you are going hunting," he said.

"What you have to remember is that it’s a mechanical device. And anything mechanical is apt to fail you."

Deer season ends Jan. 2. 



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  • awood2 Dec 28, 2011

    Hope he recovers soon. Accidents do happen. I remind my son and husband all the time to make sure they have checked their guns before they come in the house. DOUBLE CHECK if not TRIPLE CHECK!!

  • dukefan4ever2002 Dec 28, 2011

    Come on..really! A tragic accident has happened to someone who has served 2 tours in Iraq and the only thing we can do is criticize his gun handling skills. I'm sure he handled a gun just fine when he was serving for YOU in Iraq. Let's stop finding fault and start praying for this guy and his family. He deserves all the support we can give him because he gave all of his support for you!

  • nchunter52210 Dec 27, 2011

    The sad thing about this entire situation is we have lost sight of what is important. That a great man, a good husband, dedicated person is in the hospital. Regardless of how it happened we as humans have gone from caring about the person and care more about our political or social agendas. That is the problem with the world today. This should not be talked about as who is right and who is wrong. The situation is bad enough that someone got hurt, but the public has twisted what happened and how it happened. Unless you or any of us were there when it happened we should all shut our mouth and pray for him and his family and pray for a safe and speedy recovery!

  • tiffanyjo321 Dec 27, 2011

    Accidents happen and as a cousin of Joesph (Brian) and Kevin Edmondson, I understand that this was an accident because I know the real story, not the exaggerated story that was portrayed by the media. It was against Brian's wishes to have his story advertised and it would have been appreciated if the media would have accepted those wishes. As for those who are concerned about gun and firearm safety, those concerns and opinions are respected, so it would be greatly appreciated if you all would respect Brain and his family by with-holding rude comments about his story. Everyone has an opinion, and that's nothing unusual, but to say inappropriate things when someone is harmed is simply out of context. Prayers and concern are needed instead, and would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all.

  • edmondsonjoel Dec 27, 2011

    After all those years hunting and only the first accident. Hmmmmmm....wonder how good are the driving records of all the people that have passed judgement ? Not to funny is it ???? And now for those who want to bash hunting deer with dogs......lets see which deer has the better chance......the one that you have all those trail cam pictures of eating from your bait pile standing still,.....or the one that it takes the dog an hour to jump, and depending on how good the smelling is on whether the dog can even run it or not, and has the choice of going wherever it wants. And there may be a hunter in the direction it decided to go, but you better be a really seasoned hunter and shooter if youre going to hit a running deer ! So make your own decision on how you want to hunt, thats your right, but dont condemn me for the way I decide to hunt deer. Oh and about which one has the more sporting chance..ge Idont know about you , but i dont miss much taking target practice at the shooting range.

  • westernwake1 Dec 27, 2011

    "Sorry, it wasn't an accident at all. It was the result of stupidity! You need to take their guns away from them and be happy that you're not going to a funeral." - fayncmike

    fayncmike - Your words are a bit harsh. I know you are anti-gun and I respect (but kindly disagree) with your point of view.

    My understanding of this incident is that Mr. Edmondson failed this one time to unload his gun. Usually he followed gun safety procedures and did unload his shotgun. This is more of an "accident" situation than an example of people who regularly violated common sense in handling firearms. Unfortunately the end result was one of the brothers ending up with buckshot in his thigh... and clearly there is a lesson in it for everyone who handles firearms.

    At least you could say that we support the wife of Joseph Edmondson in wishing for his quick recovery from this incident.

  • edmondsonjoel Dec 27, 2011

    Most of these comments about drunken hunters and careless hunters are exactly whats wrong with this world today. Instead of having concern and compassion for the ACCIDENT victim and his family, you choose to use this as a way to bash hunting deer with dogs. Did you ever stop to think about how many accidents happen every day ? I dont care how much you try to prevent it ACCIDENTS STILL HAPPEN ! If you are peeling potatoes for supper with a knife and you drop it and it sticks in your foot, thats an accident. could you have prevented it, yes if next time you peel your potatoes with a spoon ! So now you MUST understand why we load our guns ! I am the uncle of both young men involved in the accident yesterday , and i can assure you that they have both been hunting for over 20 years, both have served our country in the Iraq war, and each of them are responsible hunters. So you judge all you want to, after a combined 80 years experience of hunting, 1st accident !

  • lindzeliz519 Dec 27, 2011

    FAYNCMIKE I suppose you have never had any sort of accident in your life? Never cut your finger while slicing a vegetable, never had a fender bender? I guess we should take away knives and cars of anyone who has an accident? I don't suppose you know there are numerous recalls on guns that have accidental discharges currently, and that not all are the fault of the hunters? Don't know if that is the case with this hunter, but it does happen. Stupidity is not what caused this accident I'm sure, stupidity is what causes stupid, uneducated, and insensitive comments like yours. You were not there, nor was I, we do not know what happened and it is stupid to assume that the media is telling you the truth. After all, they have been saying he is in critical condition and his wife just said he is not. Who is to say anything else they are reporting is accurate.

  • fayncmike Dec 27, 2011

    "fayncmike....exactly what kind of "Tighter gun controls" would either, prevent this accident OR keep a CRIMINAL from shooting you or anyone else?
    ObamaMustGo aka NCcarguy"

    Why worry about the criminals. Just look at the plethora of "honest" Yahoos walking around packing that shouldn't even be trusted with a BB gun.

  • thejamesbass Dec 27, 2011

    Hope your husband has a speedy recovery!!!! Thanks for your service in Iraq.