Hunter Kills College Student and Wounds Another in Hunting Accident

Over the years, we have followed hunting accidents (here and here and here) — the subject of an earlier column on “buck fever.” We have a new and tragic such case in Virginia. Ferrum College senior Jessica Goode, 23, went out hiking with friends last week when Jason D. Cloutier, 31, mistook her for a deer. He shot and killed her in the chest with his .35-caliber, high-powered rifle. The bullet went through her chest and into the hand of her friend Regis Boudinot, 20.

Goode was studying the environmental science and loved the woods. She was wearing white at the time of the shooting. Cloutier’s rifle was equipped with a telescopic sight.

Cloutier is now charged with involuntary manslaughter, reckless use of a firearm and trespass. The charges could bring a maximum of 12 years in jail and $5,000 in fines — if convicted. Rural juries are often very sympathetic to hunters in such cases.

Hunting season just began a few days earlier and each year in Franklin County 6,000 deer are killed.

These cases can produce troubling results such as the jury decision in favor of a hunter who shot a woman in her garden in Bangor, Maine. She was viewed as reckless for going out during deer season wearing white mittens and a dark coat, here.

Goode seems like a wonderful person who enjoyed the outdoors and had a promising life ahead of her. It is an unfathomable tragedy for this family and college.

For the full story, click here

58 thoughts on “Hunter Kills College Student and Wounds Another in Hunting Accident”

  1. You want the real truth about guns? America as a country is encourage to buy guns. But want do I want? I want a gun to defend to myself. I’ve been held at gunpoint. I’ve had friends held at gunpoint, and it’s no laughing matter. I frequent those trails, but there’s number one, no hunting on campus. Number two, I wear bright colors. Neon orange, yellow, and green. Number three, I don’t go alone. I talk loud. I’ll scare all the wildlife away within a 50 ft. radius.

  2. This guy shot what he was actually aiming at – a human being. Its not like he was aiming at a deer and missed his target. 1. a hunter is required to confirm his target, 2. a hunter is required to have a backStop for his bullet. This is Vol. Mansloughter. 2-5 years

  3. @ Byron

    A question of “degree” then eh? Why does gun control not then fit into that arc of degree that should be examined, you know, to ensure a civil society?

  4. Pete Moran:

    freedom and liberty tend to make for a civil society. Obviously one must have laws but they should be the minimum necessary to protect the individual.

  5. @ Byron

    Yes, I’m an admirer of Locke, especially his thoughts on Social Contract and Civil Society.

    I would recommend “Political Theory of Possessive Individualism” by Macpherson.

  6. Elaine:

    if I pack heat I would not drink. I dont get behind the wheel of a car with one drink either. so if you see me in public and I am packing you know at least I am sober.

  7. Elaine:

    “Maybe a good set of earmuffs–as well as a fourth estate and other mainstream media with courage and a backbone that did research and kept the public informed about important issues and a strong Congress that valued the Constitution and cared about the citizens of our country more than partisan politics, keeping lobbyists happy, and campaign donations flowing in.”

    I’ll drink to that!

  8. Byron–

    Folks like Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, and their ilk scare the bejeezus of me. Still, I don’t think I need a gun to protect myself from them. Maybe a good set of earmuffs–as well as a fourth estate and other mainstream media with courage and a backbone that did research and kept the public informed about important issues and a strong Congress that valued the Constitution and cared about the citizens of our country more than partisan politics, keeping lobbyists happy, and campaign donations flowing in.

  9. Elaine:

    The answer to the last question is something I cant answer. It could be any number of reasons. If I could hazard a guess I would say security, as you mentioned above a good many people are getting tense.

    Ed Schultz, Randi Rhodes, Bill Press and Stephanie Miller make me very uneasy when I listen to all the people that call in to talk with them. Very scary stuff, I might go out and get a concealed carry permit to protect myself from those people.

  10. Byron–

    From my observations of late, we seem to have a lot more nut jobs living amongst us these days. And I think lots of folks are being whipped up into a frenzy by talk radio hosts and their ilk. There are people teetering on the edge between sanity and insanity–all they need is a little nudge to push them over the line into the “crazy” zone.

    There seem to be lots of adults who lack any kind of self-control or good judgment–adults with anger and rage issues. Not all that long ago–here in Massachusetts–two fathers got into a physical fight at a hockey rink when their children were either practicing or playing in a game. One father ended up killing the other. Were these fathers crazies? I can’t say.

    I doubt that you and I will agree on this issue of carrying guns on college campuses, on school grounds, at children’s sporting events, and at protests. I just don’t understand why some people feel the need to always carry a gun with them wherever they go.

  11. Elaine:

    I believe Charles Whitman was a nut job and he had a brain tumor. The only other time that I can remember a sniper killing people was here in DC. He was laid to rest recently.

    Someone proficient in the use of a sword could kill many people before he was stopped. A proficient bowman could take out dozens of people as well.

    It is not guns it is crazy people. I think most serial killers use knives or some other method that is personal like rope or their hands.

    Guns are a scapegoat. For example the VT shooter was a psycho in high school or at least a blooming psycho, he could have been stopped then but probably wasn’t because of the school systems fear of getting into a long drawn out court battle.

    Why should crazies be allowed to set the tone for the rest of us?

  12. Byron–

    The person that came to my mind first when I wrote about someone going on a shooting rampage was Charles Whitman. He killed about 10 or 12 people from the observation deck of a building at the University of Texas in Austin in the 1960s.

    I think you’re missing my point that it would be extremely difficult–if not impossible–to kill dozens of people with a knife, a sword, a pitchfork, or the other tools and objects that I noted in earlier comments. It would also be much more difficult for potential victims to run to safety when a crazy person bent on killing people is wielding a gun and shooting at them.

  13. Elaine:

    Most of the time when you have a shooting involving multiple victims it is done at fairly close range, think Columbine or the McDonald’s shooting CA years ago.

    People that do this type of thing are nut jobs and would find some other way to kill if they did not have access to a weapon.

    Personally I am willing to take the risk.

  14. Byron–

    To add to what I said in an earlier comment:

    It’s hard to go on a violent rampage and kill and wound dozens of individuals from a distance with a knife or a sword–or to kill or wound numerous people with a shard of glass or a pitchfork or a candlestick or a shovel, etc. The wounding and killing of people is much easier with a gun. In addition, the perpetrator of the violence doesn’t even have to be that close to the people he/she is shooting at.

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