News Releases

May 16, 2008

Turkey Hunter Cited in Shooting Incident

WATERBURY, VT – A turkey hunter who allegedly shot two other hunters in Woodstock on May 7th has been cited to appear in Windsor District Court on July 1, for simple assault. Ralph Townsend, 44, of Hartland, VT was cited by Vermont State Game Warden Keith Gallant after an investigation of the incident.

Two independent parties of two hunters were turkey hunting after each had separately viewed a tom turkey in a field while they were driving south on Pomfret Road in Woodstock. Both parties wore full camouflage hunting clothes with face nets. The hunting parties were unaware that the other was present, and all attempted to stalk the same turkey.

One of the victims, William Rea, 45, of Barnard, VT, shot twice at a turkey as it stood in a trail intersection.

Mr. Townsend, thinking he saw the fan of a turkey, allegedly fired one shot from his 12-gauge shotgun, striking the victims in their upper bodies with pellets.

Townsend and his son immediately offered assistance to the injured parties. Townsend’s son drove the victims to medical aid while Townsend remained awaiting the arrival of investigators. The victims were taken by ambulance to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center where they received treatment for their injuries.

William Rea underwent surgery to remove pellets from his head, left arm and torso. Rea also suffered a collapsed lung. Peter Meijer, 41, of Woodstock, VT was treated for two penetrations to his left hand and right arm and was released the next day.

Investigators from Woodstock Police Department, several Vermont Fish & Wildlife Wardens and Vermont State Police responded to the call.

Mr. Townsend faces a fine of up to $1,000, up to one year in jail, and a five - year loss of his Vermont hunting and fishing licenses.

Source: Agency of Natural Resources
Last Updated at: May 16, 2008 08:15:59