Pigeon Hunter Identified As Possible Shooter Of Amish Teen

From newsnet5.com:

KIDRON, Ohio – The Wayne County Sheriff’s Department believes they have identified the man who accidentally struck an Amish boy in the head with a bullet who was plowing a field.

The 34-year-old told police he was shooting pigeons at the time of the incident. The man fired one shot into a group of pigeons and then fired a second shot when the pigeons flew up into the air.

He believes the bullet that struck the 17-year-old, who was plowing a field nearby, was from his gun.

Police are doing a ballistics test which will identify if his was the gun.

My first thought on reading this was, pigeons? I guess people have their hobbies.

Hopefully this will solve the mystery, and put to rest any idea that it may have been intentional.

And more importantly, maybe this will reinforce a lesson that should have been absorbed after Rachel Yoder’s death four years ago: shooting a gun up into the air in a populated area is plain stupid.

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    1. Barb

      hunting pigeons........really???

      Why in the world does anyone hunt pigeons – or any other living creature for that matter. What’s wrong with using a camera or binoculars “in the field” in stead of guns? I hate guns. I was, in fact, in the military – and had to learn how to shoot. I actually qualified as sharpshooter; yet, I felt very uncomfortable shooting it and have not touched a gun since retirement! There is absolutely no need for hunting, unless maybe you live in the wilderness of Alaska! I am sure Ohio must have at least one supermarket!

      1. Osiah Horst


        I suppose from your comments that you live in an urban area and have never been a farmer! While I don’t own a gun I do realize that guns may be necessary for pest control. Ground hogs can really play havoc in fields; horses or cattle may break a leg if inadvertently stepping into a hole, equipment gets damaged when hitting the mound and then bouncing through the hole to say nothing of the damage ground hogs can do to crops. Skunks and other small animals make it difficult to raise free range hens, geese may strip grass or other seedlings. Wild turkeys were introduced into our area and now flock around grain and silage storage areas. Starlings pick the cherries the day before they are ready to be picked. These are just a few of the nuisances that farmers must put up with while trying to raise food for city dwellers. In some cases it is not necessary to actually kill the bird or animal. Several gun shots can successfully drive away the pest. When I was a teen, my brother and I bought a rifle together. I saw a ground hog and shot at it but missed. I tried several times with the same success. Finaly the ground hog gave up and slowly walked away realizing that I was never coming close to him. That is the extent of my hunting or shooting. The hunter in this case probably was not hunting for food or for the fun of it.

        1. Barb

          You may not believe it; however, I do in fact know about all of these issues. I have lived around farming most of my life. There are other ways besides “killing” them. If someone chooses to shoot into the air to rid themselves of pests, then they take the chance of harming an unintended victim. Come on, be a little inventive!

      2. The Wordguy

        In defense of hunting

        I wasn’t going to comment, but I just can’t let this go by.

        First, pigeons on a farm are a huge nuisance. Their droppings ruin animal feeds and are a health hazard.

        Next, you should know that hunting, particularly deer hunting, puts food on A LOT of tables in Ohio (and other states). I myself grew up eating rabbit and squirrel. We were not poor, it was my family’s choice, and heritage, to eat this. You choose not to hunt? That is your choice. But why pass such harsh judgment on others? I haven’t hunted in many years, but do allow it on my land — my choice.

        I would respectfully challenge you to do some research on the animal species and woodlands that have been SAVED by hunters. For example, conservation programs funded by hunting license fees created the robust whitetail deer population we now have in Ohio, and have done the same for waterfowl. I wouldn’t even begin to estimate how many thousands of acres of land have been set aside for wildlife habitat directly because of hunters.

        Hunting also is a very effective wildlife management and conservation tool, and is closely regulated by our ODNR. You also should know that, according to the organization, “Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry,” last year hunters donated the equivalent of 1 million meals to the hungry. Would you take that food out of a needy person’s mouth?

        Hunting also is a major source of revenue in Ohio. According to 2013 ODNR figures, and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, hunting has an $853 million economic impact on our state. No doubt that translates into thousands of jobs.

        I agree that hunting pigeons with a .22 rifle is a bad idea. A shotgun would be far more appropriate. But the vast majority of hunters, gun owners and shooting sports enthusiasts are responsible people. It’s only the occasional bad choice that makes media headlines that brings the naysayers out of the woodwork.

      3. James

        eating pigeons

        Lots of people eat pigeons. Passenger pigeons, once the most abundant birds in North America, were hunted to extinction. The last one died in captivity in 1914.

      4. Matt from CT

        I guess I’m at the opposite end of the spectrum, even though the only gun I own is a single-shot 22 rimfire…how can someone live outside of a city and not own and use a firearm?

        Even with a trap, how would I kill groundhogs whose dens are subsiding my lawn? Or that a dog proud he finally learned how to catch them after eight years of trying brings to me still alive and very, very annoyed? (Relocating trapped animals will often result in death by starvation in inappropriate drop off locations or fights over a good territory it was suddenly introduced in the middle of.)

        I don’t even really understand it for city dwellers. I’ve caught rats (I assume courtesy of a nearby farm) on glue traps, after they evaded snap traps, what do you with a stuck rat in the city, hit with a cast iron frying pan? Or is just better to poison them so they die slowly of internal bleeding and possibly kill whatever scavenger scanveges them?

      5. Regina


        Do eat meat of any kind? People kill animals to eat. Yes even pidgeons, its called squab in fancy restruants. I seriously hope you do not think the food in grocery stores grows in that packaging. The only thing this hunter did wrong was shoot near a populated area.

    2. Donald

      Hunting... or Shooting?

      I don’t know about that man’s motive, but a lot of farmers around here (Amish and otherwise) try to get rid of pigeons and I know many who will shoot them. They perch in the haylofts & corn-cribs and their droppings foul the hay & corn. Obviously hay & corn covered in pigeon dung is not fit to feed livestock. Just my 2 cents.

      1. Good points, I suppose it is not a “hobby” 🙂 I live in an area with a lot of pigeons and they are messy.

        The main issue is that firing into the air in an upward trajectory when you have neighbors all around you just doesn’t seem wise. Even if there’s just a small chance of actually hitting someone. Is there an alternative way to get rid of them that doesn’t involve that risk?

        1. Barb

          Thank-you Erik, as that is my main point as well.

    3. Bill Rushby

      Pigeons Are a Problem!

      Another problem with pigeons, and barn swallows, is that they defecate on farm machinery and other valuables in the barn. This is quite unsanitary, and it also is bad for the paint on machinery. Have you ever tried sitting on a tractor seat after the pigeons have done their thing on it? And, when it comes to the yard, groundhogs are a major menace. They multiply like rabbits. Oops! I shouldn’t even bring up the problems created by cute little rabbits!

    4. Trish in Indiana

      upward trajectory

      As a hunter, I do not understand why anyone was shooting at birds with a BULLET. (rifle or handgun) As Erik says, the upward trajectory of such a projectile creates a danger of hitting an unintended and even unseen target at a great distance. Birds in flight should be hunted with a shotgun, which sends its projectiles over a much shorter range.

      What was this guy thinking?

      Please do not judge true hunters by every yahoo with a gun, any more than you would judge every driver by a drunk who plows into the side of a house and kills a child in her bed.

      1. Thanks Trish, that makes more sense doesn’t it. I’m not a gun guy but I understand a shotgun is about a wide blast and not a long distance shot. Seems suited for just this type of thing.

        The way this was described, it seems like someone was just messing about in his backyard and not trying to rid the place of pests in a responsible and systematic way. Scaring the birds into the air and then taking a potshot at the flock. That’s my impression from the few details we have.

    5. Jerry

      The shooting

      Why would someone use a .22 to shoot pigeons? Anyone with half a brain would use a 410 shotgun with buckshot. A good shooter always knows where his bullet could land and never shoot if there’s any doubt. I wonder if the shooter was Amish. I’ll bet not.

      Almost all of the OOM and Amish men and boys I know have guns and hunt for food. Another interesting note is that when they hunt, they often are in full English hunting gear. Camo and orange clothing and the whole works. They don’t do very much target shooting except to line up the sights and scopes. I have also seen a few Amish at skeet shoots. I did not see them shoot but they were there. I’ve had a couple of Amish women tell me that they have shot foxes trying to get to the hens.

      In the western part of Perry county, a couple of land owners have told me that the Amish kill all of the deer, rabbits and squirrels and I detected some resentment from them.

      One farmer I know currently has two nice beagles for rabbit hunting and he invites me to join in from time to time. I enjoy listening to the running dogs more than anything else. About ten days ago he mentioned that he would like to have one more and if I ran across a small short hair female to let him know. I thought his dogs were part Bassett but he says they are purebloods but not registered. He used to raise and train hunting dogs. And no, it was not a puppy mill.

      When I’m on the family farm in VA, I won’t leave the house without packing. Copperheads, rabid foxes and coyotes can pop up anywhere.
      It just a way of living and the key is training and respect.

    6. Warren Hershberger

      My first thought was not about pigeons, but about a follow up on the victim’s health. Did he survive? How serious were his wounds? How is he progressing? I didn’t want to presume the worst and think that the victim died, but there have been very few details about the effect of this shooting on the boy who was plowing in the field.

      1. Linda

        Victim survived

        My understanding is that the bullet went through his hat and his skin, but thankfully did not penetrate his skull. He is doing fine as far as I know.

      2. Yes, good question, he went to hospital and they removed the bullet, and sounds like he will be okay. Glad this turned out alright for him.


    7. Matt from CT

      The better tool than a .22 for pigeons (and even rats) when you need to eliminate vermin damaging property these days are the modern high-powered air rifles.

      While I wouldn’t want to get shot at close range, a .22 pellet from an airgun has about 1/3rd the weight and leave the muzzle at 1200-1500 feet per second. A .22 Long Rifle like you’d use for pigeons is up around 1300-1800 f.p.s.

      Still need care, but a lot less momentum and overall energy than a firearm.

    8. Katrina

      Pigeons- rats with wings. I am glad the teen is OK.