Tragedy struck in Minnesota during a deer hunt in the northern part of the state.

Lukas R. Dudley of Bemidji was hunting deer in Beltrami County near the Red Lake Reservation on November 25. According to, the Beltrami County Sheriff said a 33-year-old hunter saw movement and thought it was a deer. He fired and fatally wounded Dudley.

The two men were not hunting together and the victim was not wearing blaze orange or any other high visibility clothing.

I'm going to be preachy for a moment. This awful tragedy could have been easily prevented if both men had done things differently and followed basic rules of hunter safety.

Firearm deer hunters are required by law to wear bright blaze orange clothing, or in some states pink, while hunting. Had the victim been wearing that it is possible that the other man saw the unnatural color and held his fire.

The man who fired should also have never fired his rifle until he verified what he was shooting at, which is the more egregious of the two mistakes. To shoot at movement or noise alone is no different than closing your eyes and ripping off shots. Any time a firearm is discharged there are two things you should know: what exactly you are shooting at, be it a buck, doe, moose, squirrel, or pheasant, and where is that bullet likely to end up after it hits what you are shooting at.

There are no exceptions to this, ever.

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