Not all wild turkeys are unarmed; hunter shot in face and shoulder

TurkeyNot all wild turkeys are unarmed

GREEN RIDGE STATE FOREST, MD. — Maryland Natural Resource Police report that a Pennsylvania man Natural Resources Police was injured Monday morning in a turkey hunting accident at Green Ridge State Forest in Allegany County.

Robert Lee Verbeck, 70, of Philipsburg, is being treated for pellet wounds to his face and shoulder at Western Maryland Regional Medical Center in Cumberland after he was shot by a 16-year-old who was hunting with his father and a friend.

The three hunters, from North East, set up their decoys not far from the intersection of Orleans Road and Dug Hill Road. Verbeck, who holds a valid Maryland hunting license, entered the area unbeknownst to the three hunters. Two shots were fired.

NRP received the call for assistance at 7:30 a.m. The investigation is continuing.

Maryland spring turkey season runs from April 18 through May 23. Only bearded turkeys may be harvested in the spring season. Hunters may use shotguns ─ loaded with No. 4 shot or smaller ─ crossbows or vertical bows. Hunting is allowed from one-half hour before sunrise to noon through May 9, and from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset from May 10 through May 23.

The NRP Hunter Safety staff and the National Wild Turkey Federation offer these reminders:

Be sure of your target and what is beyond it before you pull the trigger. Know the identifying features of the game you hunt.

Leave the area if you suspect there’s another hunter already working the same bird.

Resist the urge to stalk turkey sounds. It is nearly impossible to sneak up on a turkey and it could lead to an accident.

Never wear bright colors, especially not red, white, blue or black because these are the colors of a wild turkey gobbler.

Remain still and speak in a loud, clear voice to announce your presence to other hunters if necessary. Never move, wave or make turkey sounds to alert another hunter of your presence.

Maintain a clear field of view when using a camouflage blind or netting.

  • Resist the urge to stalk turkey sounds. It is nearly impossible to sneak up on a turkey and it could lead to an accident. Never wear bright colors, especially not red, white, blue or black because these are the colors of a wild turkey gobbler.

 

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