michael-shawn-pekarek

A mule deer hunter in Oregon is facing criminal homicide charges after “accidentally” killing his hunting buddy with an arrow.

A Tillamook bow hunter is facing the charge of criminally negligent homicide after deputies said he shot and killed his hunting partner in Deschutes County as they were tracking a mule deer.

Michael Shawn Pekarek, 53, called 911 at 7:40 a.m. Monday and told dispatchers he had shot a man with an arrow while they were bow hunting near Paulina Lake Road, about seven miles east of Highway 97.

Pekarek was given instructions on how to perform CPR, which he did until deputies and medics arrived to take over.

Jeffrey Lynn Cummings, 45, of Wood Village, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators said Pekarek and Cummings were bow hunting when Pekarek spotted a mule deer from their vehicle.

Pekarek, who was the passenger, got out of the vehicle to attempt a shot at the animal.

Deputies said Cummings also got out with his bow. According to investigators, Pekarek was ready to fire, but the deer moved out of his view.

He then turned with his bow pointed toward Cummings to tell him the deer was moving in his direction. Investigators said Pekarek released his arrow, which hit Cummings in the abdomen.

Pekarek attempted to render aid to Cummings and then called 911, according to deputies.

I used to be a decent archer when I was younger but I don’t claim to be a deer hunter, so I’d like those of you who do hunt with a bow explain if it seems plausible to you that Pekarek would turn his body without first lowering the bow and relaxing tension on the arrow, returning it to a resting state. It simply strikes me as odd, and I’m sure the┬áDeschutes County prosecutors are going to do a thorough investigation to make sure this wasn’t a poorly-staged murder instead of an accident.

gunsite rules

Even if it was “just an accident,” Cummings’s death highlights the simple truth that the “four rules” are eternal.

Pekerek’s bow was cocked and loaded.

He covered his friend with a loaded weapon.

His finger was on the trigger (of his release).

The easily predictable then happened.

When the rules are violated, people die.

We’re now moving into fall hunting season. Please remember that the four rules apply just as much in the field as they do on the range.