MI: Hunter surprised by DNR officer accidentally fires muzzleloader through deer blind wall


A promising day of hunting recently ended in citations for a Michigan man when his muzzleloader blew a hole in his deer blind.

According to an official DNR report, the incident occurred in Crawford County last month when John Huspen, a conservation officer in DNR District 5, checked on a private property baiting complaint.

CO Huspen located an elevated blind looking over a large pile of sugar beets where an antlerless deer was eating. After several minutes, the deer ran off and CO Huspen knocked on the ladder to inform the hunter to come down and speak with him.

“What did you say?” the hunter said.

“Conservation officer, I need you to come down,” Huspen repeated, according to the report.

The subject then yelled “Hold on” as a loud boom came from the blind. The hunter then yelled, “My gun just went off.”

After the officer made sure the hunter was OK, the hunter explained that his gun went off when he tried to move it. He was not harmed, the report said. Further investigation revealed the gun had no safety mechanism and that the hunter was sitting with the hammer cocked.

He was not wearing any hunter orange and upon request could not produce a deer hunting license.

CO Huspen and the subject walked to his residence nearby. According to the report, the subject acknowledged that he made mistakes while hunting and also ruined his deer blind in the same day.

The hunter was cited for hunting without a license and failure to wear hunter orange.

DNR District 5 is in Northern Michigan and includes Alcona, Arenac, Clare, Crawford, Gladwin, Iosco, Kalkaska, Missaukee, Ogemaw, Oscoda and Roscommon counties.


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