Cumberland Times-News

Michael A Sawyers - Outdoors

October 6, 2012

Md. officer attends hunting-related shooting training

Cpl. Jeff Herndon, the Maryland Natural Resources Police investigator for the state’s four most western counties, was in West Virginia recently when he and some other officers were made aware of a 911 call.

“We were told that the caller said there was a man who had fallen from a treestand near a certain road,” Herndon said this week. “We were able to locate tracks in the grass and eventually found the treestand with a hunter hanging from it in a full-body harness. We also discovered that he was dead with a bullet hole through him.”

As officers were searching the area, according to Herndon, a woman approached and said she hadn’t heard from a hunter and was concerned about him.

“Then another hunter in full camo came up to us and he turned out to be the woman’s husband and the dead man was his hunting partner,” Herndon said.

Bottom line, the dead man had been having an affair with the woman and the woman’s husband shot him.

“You know the old adage,” Herndon said. “If you want to get rid of somebody, take them hunting.”

But there’s more to this story. It was staged. The dead hunter was actually a mannequin and the woman and the shooter were role players.

The story line was real, though, actually having happened. But this time it was part of a weeklong training session at Chief Logan State Park dealing with hunting-related shooting investigations.

Herndon was one of 40 officers from 16 states in attendance. He called the training “extremely valuable.”

The training was put on by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources and the International Hunter Education Association.

The shooting of a person by a hunter is not considered to be an accident, according to IHEA.

“The term that is used is hunting-related shooting incident,” Herndon said.

Herndon has been with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources for 25 years, eight of those years with NRP and 3.5 of those years as an investigator.

Instructors at the training session came from seven states. This academy, formed in 1993, is the only one of its kind. It offers a national clearinghouse database that can be used by investigators anywhere.

“The idea is to re-create the shooting scene,” Herndon said. Investigators first attempt to determine from where the shot came. A bullet that passes through a hunter and strikes a tree or some other object gives investigators a direction to work from.

The direction of a blast from a shotgun can be determined by finding branches or brush that have been clipped by pellets.

Herndon said he hopes he never has to investigate such shootings in Maryland, but if he does he now is better equipped to reach a successful conclusion.

Contact Outdoor Editor Mike Sawyers at


Text Only
Michael A Sawyers - Outdoors
  • Black bear biologist explains new hunt

    The Maryland Wildlife & Heritage Service has abandoned the bear harvest quota system in use for 10 hunting seasons and has set the next two hunts at four days apiece.

    April 5, 2014

  • MIKE SAWYERS South Branch of Potomac River best place in W.Va. for trophy rainbows

    I always enjoy the annual roundup supplied by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources that reveals where all the trophy fish were caught.

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • MIKE SAWYERS Mettiki will once again produce trout

    Brian Richardson is confident that the Maryland Fisheries Service will, little by little and year by year, get to the point where full production is restored to the state’s trout hatchery system, meaning that fish will no longer have to be purchased from private sources.

    March 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • The answer my friend ...

    Recently, the Times-News published
    a photograph of sea gulls that had
    landed on the parking lot at Braddock
    Square Shopping
    Center in LaVale
    My first thought
    was, “If those sea
    gulls landed in the
    Gunpowder River or
    Big Hunting Creek
    on their way here
    from the ocean I
    hope they didn’t have
    felt soles on their
    feet, otherwise they
    will spread rock snot
    to our trout streams
    in Allegany and Garrett counties.”

    March 15, 2014

  • Gobbler stuff can get crazy

    Tough, old bird
    The third gobbler I killed was in 1990 while hunting on Pond Hill near McCoole. Relatively early in the morning I sent out a couple yelp calls. Immediately, 75-100 yards away, what sounded like three gobblers got into a fight.

    March 8, 2014

  • MIKE SAWYERS Almost Maryland welcomes you back

    If you are a hunter in Almost Maryland, circle Thursday on your calendar so you don’t forget to attend the 7 p.m. hearing at Mountain Ridge High School in Frostburg that deals with proposed hunting regulations for the next two years.

    March 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • MIKE SAWYERS Gobbler radar activated

    With only 54 days until it opens, the Maryland spring gobbler season is officially on the radar.

    February 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • MIKE SAWYERS Region A buck, doe changes possible

    The Maryland Wildlife & Heritage Service, the Allegany-Garrett Sportsmen’s Association, the Quality Deer Management Association and the Washington County Federation of Sportsmen have hashed out a new deer hunting concept for Region A, which includes Garrett, Allegany and the western portion of Washington counties.

    February 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • MIKE SAWYERS Meshach Browning would say ‘Just do it’

    I wonder if it is possible to attach a
    GPS unit to legislation that has been
    introduced at the Maryland General

    February 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • MIKE SAWYERS Get ready! Get set! Legislate!

    The wheelings and dealings associated with the 90-day Maryland General Assembly have been going on for more than two weeks now and some legislation having to do with hunting fishing has already been proposed.

    January 25, 2014 1 Photo

Latest news
Must Read
House Ads