I wish I was writing this as hypothetical situation, but a certain Facebook post came across my screen that could not be ignored. Jake Euto posted in the Facebook group, Northwest Ohio Bowhunters that he had cut the straps on another hunter’s tree stand that was too close to his.
His post read “For the stupid F@#$ the [sic] put his stand 20 yards from my stand your straps are cut.” It did not take long for hunters to condemn his actions and let the Ohio Department of Resources know.
According to the ODNR they have referred the matter to their law enforcement wing.
So far no one has been hurt and hopefully no one will, but what if something did? As all hunters know falling from a tree stands cause serious injuries and deaths every year. Should his actions be considered attempted murder?
At the very least he should be charged with something like reckless endangerment. Which is defined as:
“A person who recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk of serious bodily injury to another person.” It is a class 3 misdemeanor. Class 3 misdemeanors are punishable up to 6 months in the county jail and up to $500 in fines. In some instances it can be a felony that carries a 7 year prison sentence.
Since no one was injured he will probably end up being charged with a misdemeanor.
I know it can be frustrating to have someone set up their stand so close to you, but this is not the right way to handle it. Leave a note or try and contact the other hunter. Do not resort to violence or sabotage to try and rectify the situation. Most hunters are reasonable people and a quick polite talk can a lot of times clear things up.
The original post took place in a closed group so it is unavailable for everyone to link to, but if you want to check out his personal profile click HERE
UPDATE: We have learned from a source close to the situation that when the ODNR visited Mr. Euto it was determined that he was all talk. Law enforcement determined that he did not cut the straps on the offending tree stand.
We are grateful no one was in any danger and that the ODNR took the threat seriously.
I urge all hunters to be respectful and try and work out any conflicts in a civilized manner.