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3 hunters die on opening of Pa. deer season

December 02, 2009 at 05:31 PM

SOLEBURY, Pa. (AP) - Three hunters, including one apparently killed by his own shotgun, died on the first day of Pennsylvania’s two-week firearm deer season, authorities said Tuesday.

Kenneth Hoagland, 49, of Solebury was found dead near his home shortly after midnight Tuesday, said Solebury Township Police Chief Dominick Bellizzie. He was found about three hours after he was reported missing when he didn’t return from a hunting outing Monday, the opening day of the season.

Hoagland had a gunshot wound. Autopsy results were expected Wednesday, according to the Bucks County Coroner’s Office.

Another hunter in Bedford County was found dead. State police did not immediately release the hunter’s identity but said the death was not suspicious.

A third hunter, Dustin Manning, 30, of Pleasant Gap died of head injuries when he fell from a makeshift ladder he was using as a tree stand in Plumcreek Township, according to Armstrong County Coroner Robert Bower.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission reported five injuries, including a 10-year-old girl and her father who were injured when a gun fell and went off in Indiana County.

Commission spokesman Joe Kosack said the agency does not keep statistics for opening day shooting incidents. Nor does the agency track deaths or injuries that aren’t weapon related. Still, in all of 2008, three deer hunters were killed and nine others were wounded by either shotguns or rifles, according to the agency’s annual report on its Web site.

About 750,000 people are expected to hunt this season.

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