Hunter Shoots 72-Year-Old Woman Mistaken For Deer

A hunter in Arkansas, Dale Williams, is under criminal investigation after shooting 72-year-old Jane Rust when he mistook her for a deer.  As we discuss in torts, such accidents are relatively common and often do not result in criminal or even civil liability.Some states recognize “buck fever” defenses, particularly for young hunters who shoot people in their eagerness to bag a deer.   For a prior column, click here.  We have previously discussed such hunting accidents (here and here and here and here and here and here and here) and “buck fever” cases.

What is notable in this case is that Rust reportedly walked outside of her house to take a picture in the woods.  Much will depend on the distance from the house.  Arkansas mandates that it is illegal to hunt within 150 yards of a residence without the written permission from the owner or occupant.

Local juries can be highly sympathetic to hunters in such accidents.  Take Maine hunter Donald Rogerson.  Rogerson mistook a 37-year-old housewife for a white-tailed deer, Rogerson shot and killed her. Locals insisted that the victim (who had recently moved from Iowa) was to blame because she was wearing white mittens during deer season. And a Bangor, Maine, jury cleared him of manslaughter.


75 thoughts on “Hunter Shoots 72-Year-Old Woman Mistaken For Deer”

  1. This is appalling. Whether or not it was an “innocent” mistake, a person with a weapon takes on the responsibility of the damage that weapon can cause including involuntary manslaughter. Not upholding the law creates a dangerous environment for everyone.

  2. Somehow, I just couldn’t picture myself moving to a country where I either didn’t like a lot of the people living there or didn’t agree with their politics. If I were to move to another country, I would want to be in a country where I would enjoy and respect the heritage and culture of the citizens of that country. I would also go their in the proper legal fashion. Well, that’s just me.

    1. I can’t either Bob. It is sadly ironic that the people supporting open borders and protecting illegal immigrants to come here and enjoy everything we have to offer, actually support a weaponized administrative state that if left unchecked will resemble the oppressive regimes they left behind.

  3. The people on these juries are morons. What if it was their wife, sister or mother?

  4. Oh well, might as well do an Irish Poem for her. Morbid, but when Erato whomps you upside your head. Here, I am using the French pronunciation for orange, which is “eww raj”

    Oh Deer???
    An Irish Poem by Squeeky Fromm

    There once was a lady named Rust.
    Whose photo shoot ended a bust.
    She wore not orange,
    And met a barrage,
    Ashes to ashes, and dust to dust.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

      1. Thank you, Cindy!!! I am glad you liked it! I know it is morbid, but it also a fascinating topic! I can’t help but try again:

        You Gotta Have Hart???
        An Irish Poem by Squeeky Fromm

        There once was a redneck named Dale.
        Who’s lucky that he ain’t in jail!
        That deer that he shot,
        It turned out to not,
        Be a deer, but a woman! Oh well.

        Squeeky Fromm
        Girl Reporter

        1. Squeeky – I am soooo glad I did not have a mouth full of coffee when I read that. 😉 You would have owed me a new keyboard.

  5. 60 million fetuses aborted in America since 1973.

    300 billion McDonald’s hamburgers sold since 1955.

  6. When people say they “hunt”, they are embarrassed about the fact that they enjoy destroying life. If they weren’t ashamed of what they were doing, they would simply say, I’m going to destroy life.

    1. Sam – that is what abortionists say “Today I am going to destroy some lives.”

      1. PCS, take all you want; eat all you take. Hunting is for subsistence. They hunt the easy way down at the slaughter house to provide product to McDonald’s et al.

      2. Paul-
        So you think that fetal cells are equivalent to a completely independent living breathing animal? And you think that providing needed medical care is equivalent to the enjoyment of killing?

        1. “medical care”, Sparky? Tearing an infant apart limb by limb is medical care??????

          1. Foxtrot…….exactly! Don’t forget, Libs have their own dictionary, with its own super special definitions. I believe it’s sanctioned by George Soros, Nancy Peyote, The Clinton Foundation, and the Pope.

        2. Perhaps also, a seeminlgy brain dead, unemployed liberal, is a person too, especially if you count all the sugars they steal at the coffee shops. Perhaps we should consider the nuances that you’re alluding to there Sam, and also consider quality of life and the drain on social resources. Weigh these values and find what rights exceed others!

          Maybe the rights of society exceed the rights of social net-parasites, in the same way the biologically dependent and arguably parasitic fetus has its rights exceeded by the mother’s biological integrity over her own person? Perhaps a dilation and extraction of all the parasitical humanoids walking upright in enclaves in the major metros would be salubrious for the organic American whole society? Just a hypothesis, not an assertion. We could debate this.

          we could have a reasonable discussion about this. i’m not taking any sides just stimulating discussion here folks

      3. PCS, off topic, is it the case that McSally rejected Trump and was rejected in turn? That bodes well for Arizonan conservatives, no?

        1. George – I know there are claims of vote gathering going on which are illegal in Arizona. The Democrats were doing it from the nursing homes. Trump had first support Ward in the primary and then Trump did a rally for McSally so I am not sure about your claim.

    2. Sam .. IMO you are either a Vegan or you are a confused person who gets his meat from market where the animals providing that meat didn’t suffer. Like Al Capp’s Schmoos they volunteered to sacrifice themselves to feed you. 😉

    3. So do you eat meat, chicken, fish? If so you have just hired the murderer to do your killing for you. I would not apologize for eating meat. It is part of the cycle of life.

    4. Humans have eyes in the front of their heads so they can see their kill. Nothing embarrassing about using our god given talents to kill a deer. Venison chili is freaking awesome. Squirrel and dumplings is fantastic. Rabbit stew also good. And who doesn’t like the taste of bacon from a wild boar.

  7. I don’t understand how this ever happens except through recklessness of the hunter. I grew up hunting and was taught that you never take a shot unless you are certain of your target and what is behind it that will stop the bullet. it baffles me that “deer fever” is an acceptable excuse and shows an ignorance of what is expected of a properly trained hunter in the woods.

    1. Tim – I was watching a show on the Iraq War and a pilot who shot down the first Iraqi jet was explaining that it was “the opening day of hunting season, so he wasn’t sure of his first shot (rocket) so he sent another. Both hit at the same time.” He could have been hunting deer except those rockets blow up the meat. 😉

    2. I agree. I was raised with the understanding that I am personally, morally, and legally responsible for any bullet that I fired. I was to be aware of what’s behind my target at all times. Eagerness does not supersede gun safety. You are responsible for the safety of your group, bystanders, and anyone else. You’re not suppose to blast anything that moves. This is exactly why there are laws against hunting in close proximity to homes. There are some hunting accidents that are understandable, but this type is not one of them.

      Full disclosure – I only target practice and have never hunted, but do have many family and friends who do.

        1. We’re all good, thanks for asking. I have relatives all across the state, and several have had to evacuate at both ends of the state because of various fires, but they are all okay, and their houses still stand.

          Meanwhile, my state just voted in ultra extreme Leftist Newsom. We will stay the course, I suppose, and throw 75 billion dollars away on a vacation train pork project, plus the annually increasing gas tax, rather than buy our own Super Scoopers to fight our ubiquitous forest fires.

          I am familiar with all of the areas impacted by the fires, both North and South, and they were all hard hit, none more so than Paradise. There are limited escape routes from Paradise, and it’s forested.

          Here is a video of Rebecca Hackett in her narrow escape from White Cloud Ranch in Malibu. She had to navigate Kanan Dume when the fire had reached both sides of the road. It’s a winding mountain road, filled with smoke. She and her mother stayed behind to evacuate 48 horses, and a foal was born during it all. She was the last one out, I believe. She was crying over whether her mother and her horses made it out, but everyone survived. They named the foal Spark.

 (there is some cursing at the end, totally justified, fair warning)

          1. Karen…….Thank you SO much for these videos! That dear dear woman! I can’t imagine going through that!
            I am so glad she made it out…..and the colt story is one of such hope!
            Keeping all of you in our thoughts!
            It must be terrible seeing all of this destruction, and then knowing what is coming, thanks to Gavin et al!!
            You’re welcome in Texas anytime!

    3. Hunting gear is a billions of dollars a year industry. People love the thrill of the first kill of the season. Young people and older folks too get the fever to get their first buck. Your shooting instructor sounds like a hard ass. My grandpa taught me. Never heard words like that.

  8. A hunter recently shot my sister’s house in CT and it hit the roof of her garage while she was home…

    And guess what? She never called 911!

    She should have had him arrested for reckless endangerment and she could have sued him for a lot of money.

    You are not supposed to hunt within firing range of buildings for this reason.

    1. one annoying fool was popping off behind the house a few years back and I went out and told him to cease because it was annoying me. and that he was obviously not going to get a deer rather he was out there playing at hunting as an excuse to pop off his shotgun and I didn’t appreciate it. i think that embarrassed him and he talked a lot of crap at me but I just walked away. II was ready for this since once before he had accidentally hit the neighbors house but not ours. we never called the cops. but i had figured out who he was and who his daddy was and was ready with the info before the next incident; so after I admonished him, very quickly his old man also got a letter that he didn’t like. neckbeard never came back.

      guns are just tools and usually if you see them, then they’re in the hands of knuckleheads; and the guns to fear are the ones you don’t see.

      hunting animals is difficult. i have been many times and not bagged a thing. again, information is the key factor. where is the quarry and can you locate them and take a good shot. information on the hunter is key to making the hunter go hunt somewhere else if you don’t like it. you make the hunter feel like the quarry and he will bug out like a deer on the run.

  9. There is something quintessentially American gun culture about defending idiots with guns who ‘accidentally’ kill people. An idiot with a gun is an idiot with a gun; whether he or she leaves it out for a child to find, leaves it where it can be stolen, or in this case simply is an idiot with bad eyes and no control over its self. Second degree manslaughter charges would lower the death rate in these cases.

    1. There is something quintessentially French Canadian in the Jumping Frenchmen of Maine disorder. To wit:

      Jumping Frenchmen of Maine is an extremely rare disorder characterized by an unusually extreme startle reaction. The startle reaction is a natural occurrence. It is the normal, rapid, involuntary response to a sudden or unexpected stimulus (e.g., a sudden noise or sight). The exact cause of jumping Frenchmen of Maine is unknown. One theory is that the disorder occurs because of an extreme conditioned response to a particular situation influenced by cultural factors. Jumping Frenchmen of Maine was first identified during the late nineteenth century in Maine and the Canadian province of Quebec among an isolated population of lumberjacks of French Canadian descent. Jumping Frenchmen of Maine is one of a group of culturally specific similar disorders, the startle-matching syndromes, which have been described from various parts of the world. The relationship among these disorders is unknown.

      Signs & Symptoms

      The symptoms of jumping Frenchmen of Maine usually begin after puberty or during the teenage years. Individuals affected by this disorder display an abnormal and exaggerated startle reaction consisting of jumping, screaming, flailing the arms, hitting, or throwing objects.

      A startle reaction is caused by sudden or unexpected stimuli such as loud or unexpected noises, a sudden command or gesture, or unexpected physical contact such as a sudden poke in the ribs. Following the startle reaction, affected individuals may repeat back words or phrases in a parrot-like manner (echolalia) and they may involuntarily mimic or imitate movements or gestures (echopraxia). Some affected individuals may involuntarily swear or utter obscene or socially inappropriate words or phrases (coprolalia). In addition, some affected individuals may exhibit automatic or “forced” obedience after a startle response during which they automatically respond to simple commands such as jump, run or hit. Normally, these individuals would not respond to such commands.

      There is more at the link, and on wiki. It is a real disorder. IMHO opinion, people with this disorder might become extremely agitated about things like say, PRESIDENT TRUMP, and go into all sorts of histrionic responses.

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

      1. So, Squeeky, if I understand you correctly, JFoM syndrome is pretty much exactly the same as TDS?

        1. I think the two may be related. But there are many more TDS sufferers than Jumping French Canadians(JFC). Probably, JFC is a subset of a larger neurological disorder, which includes the hardcore Trump Derangement Syndrome’rs, Two Citizen Parent Birthers, Sovereign Citizens, and 911 Truthers.

          I think that the original M’Naghten, with his delusions of persecution provides a clue. He was an intelligent person, an ex-actor, and businessman, who learned French, and was a wood worker. He was no dummy. BUT, he was purely apesh*t crazy and it seemed to be politics that drove him into that. To where he imagined persecutions.

          Same with the Democrats here on this forum. I think many of them, the non-shills, are just pure nuts. They are functioning nuts, who maintain jobs, and pay their bills. They have driver’s licenses, and feed themselves, but they are just nuts.

          If Scott Adams is right, then it “cognitive dissonance”, but I think that diagnosis just scratches the surface. There is some deep level psychosis going on inside their heads.

          Squeeky Fromm
          Girl Reporter

            1. And you’re “Anonymous”, signifying that you have no imagination whatsoever.

          1. Same with the Democrats here on this forum. I think many of them, the non-shills, are just pure nuts. They are functioning nuts, who maintain jobs, and pay their bills. They have driver’s licenses, and feed themselves, but they are just nuts

            Four of the Democrats who post here give off a decidedly adolescent vibe. I wouldn’t wager they’re working in any setting other than food service. One of the adolescents and one other individual claim to be lawyers, but never say anything which indicates the slightest familiarity with the law. One of those posing lawyers also claims to be a nurse. Since all of her posts are rants which display a kalaidoscope of her shticks, I certainly hope not (the topics of discussion are less likely to implicate the vocational knowledge of a nurse, so no tells there). There’s another Democratic poster who displays abnormal intellectual deficits. Two oddities: she writes in complete sentences and she has opinions about public affairs (all of them face-palm inducing). There are lots of unintelligent people around, and it takes all kinds in this world. The thing is, unintelligent people commonly confine their opinions to matters palpable to them (about which they know something). Others devote some of their opinionating to harmless diversions (celebrity news, astrology, spectator sports etc). They don’t usually chatter about public affairs or vote in elections.

            With some of these characters, you get the impression they’re adults, that they’re not held together with psychotropics, and that they’re able to balance a checkbook. They have an intense interest in the day’s disinformation, ancillary matters which are their special fixations, the Jews, &c. Just yesterday, they drove an involved discussion of …. the White House press office revoking the pass of some blowhard at CNN. Sometimes one person’s problems can be indicative of something about the character of the public official harassing them (see Hellary v. Billy R. Dale or upChuck Schumer v. Christina Jeffrey). Not in this case. It’s just a minor tiff.

            Then you get the real nuts. One’s some sort of Nazi who posts the same bilge over and over. Another is a peddler of conspirazoid rubbish who, like such people generally, is under the illusion that he’s the smart one in the room. Another yammers on like someone whose doctors just cannot get his lithium level right. My guess would be the conspiracy peddler may have some sort of technical job which requires you no know nothing about social relations or human motivation. The others I would water are looked after by their relatives or by the Social Security Administration.

            1. I agree that some of the ones here appear adolescent, or at least juvenile. But that trait seems to run rampant thru the Democratic establishment nowadays, so who can tell what age they are.

              There is a decided lack of even a semblance of legal reasoning by most of them. You never get a well constructed argument, which if wrong in its conclusions, is at least cognizable as an argument.

              Lawyers make arguments all the time which fall flat in front of a judge or jury. But they are at least “arguments.” There is some kind of beginning, middle, and conclusion. Here, among many of the Democrats there is nothing like that.

              For example, marryaminority said that an attack on Acosta is an attack on all reporters or the press. Something like that. Which statement should be the conclusion of an argument, the end point of a line of facts/law, not the argument itself.

              But I can not say that she is just mentally incompetent, because over the last decade or so, merely stating conclusions as facts is the common practice of Democrats. For example, Romney is a racisssst! type stuff. No laying out of what a racist is, what acts Romney may have committed in line with that definition, etc. Nope, just a conclusion.

              The whole party seems ate up with the dumb a$$. And with an extremely over-rated opinion of their own intellectual and moral superiority.

              Squeeky Fromm
              Girl Reporter

                1. Marry – it was a partial win and a big loss. Acosta could be without a pass before he gets one back.

            2. SMH.

              Wretched: There’s a sale on ex-lax at your neighborhood drugstore.

              What would you do with your limited self if you didn’t have the comments section of this little blog.

              1. What would you do with your limited self if you didn’t have the comments section of this little blog.

                I’m not motivated to ask you that question, Diane. I merely note you produce an ocean of verbiage and are posting under four different handles, some of which talk to each other.

                1. The oh so wretched one says: “…Diane. I merely note you produce an ocean of verbiage and are posting under four different handles, some of which talk to each other.”

                  Utter nonsense, but it obviously makes you feel better; it comforts you in some odd and twisted way.

                  The ex-lax apparently isn’t working yet…or maybe it is…

                  (Who the eff is Diane?)

            3. I’m nuts and I think his whole last paragraph was intended to apply to me. (cries in his cheerios)

              but i really am obsessed with E Howard Hunt. Did we finish our conversation the other day? LMK if you want to pick it up again. Fun times guys!

              1. No, it was meant to apply to ‘Patriot’ and ‘bill mcwilliams’. There were a couple of others who have shuffled off.

              2. Mr Kurtz…….I have a true snippet of an Alexander Butterfield story that is my very own. It’s kinda interesting…..Dec 1971, Dulles
                (Set the flower pot on the balcony if you’re interested..😊)

    2. i been shooting since i was a kid and I used to shoot a lot. but i shoot less and less because it freaks me out more and more how many people are way to casual with their gun handling habits. i don’t want to get ventilated at the range by some moron.

      some folks are really safe and really sharp. some are idiots. it’s just like cars. some folks are super careful and some are totally reckless. what can you do? you cant ban cars and you cant ban guns. must encourage safe practices and adequate training and hold fools responsible for harm

    1. She wasn’t in the woods, Benson. She was in her yard. Why do you post such inane comments?

      1. From the linked article:

        “Jones says the woman stepped into the woods to take a photo and that’s when she was shot and killed.”

        **the woman stepped into the woods”

          1. You, Squeeker and the wretched one should get together today. Share that ex-lax and enjoy…

          2. To FFS:

            And you’ve handled yourself with such grace, honesty and integrity, in this little exchange, FFS. Good showing!! “True colors shining through”…

  10. Most of them in my very long experience in Minnesota and Oregon were city hunters and quite often drunk. Trespassing meat nothing to them or breaking fences. Usually a carefully aimed near miss in return would convice them the target wasn’t a deer. Or if you could find their illegally parked vehicle a bullet in the engine block worked.

    Another way and this was 50s and 60’s was to disarm them take their license and car keys and bring them to the county sherriffs local office.

    On the bright side most just wanted out of the city house and as kids we made a good haul each year using their rifle and their tags. Dropping one then bringing it back to where ever they were playing poker – and drinking – or even delivering to the butcher shop for cutting and wrapping.

    Some became regular clientele. Back then it was not hard to find a nice one – now it’s just overgrown with California style three foot apart crowded housing Why do they try to escape from that place then turn it into another California?

  11. Was she hoping to get a sunrise or sunset shot. This would affect what the hunter was seeing. And coming directly out of the house there is not telling what she was wearing. These hunting accidents are rough on everyone. Personally I never shot near a residence, too much chance of hitting an animal. I would really be interested to know how she was dressed. When I was growing up you wore all orange if you lived in a house like that.

    My heart goes out to her family, him and his family. These shooting accidents can be rough on everyone.

    1. And coming directly out of the house there is not telling what she was wearing

      Are you suggesting that maybe she was wearing antlers? Or a full-body deer suit?

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