James Futrell, 4, killed this doe on Dec. 24. SUBMITTED

Archived Story

Four-year-old kills two doe

Published 10:30am Thursday, January 5, 2012

COURTLAND—James Futrell took his first and second deer this season — two doe, each from 20 steps or less away.

James is 4 years old.

“I was very excited for him,” said his father, Brian Futrell of Courtland. “He’s going to be a really good hunter.”

“It was a proud day for us,” added James’ mother, Mandy Futrell.

A member of Newsoms Hunt Club, Brian Futrell has been told his son is the youngest ever from the club to take a deer.

Unlike some states, Virginia has no mandatory minimum age for hunting. Youth 12 and under must be accompanied by a licensed adult hunter.

James, who turned 4 on July 11 and is in pre-kindergarten at Meherrin Elementary School, got his start in the woods at age 2.

“I had the gun in one hand and him in the other,” said Brian Futrell. “He carried a toy gun with him — a little over-and-under double barrel plastic one from Walmart. He likes to go with me. He likes the outdoors.”

Before the hunting season opened, Brian Futrell was letting his 10-year-old stepson, Christopher Clapp shoot a .410 shotgun that Futrell’s dad got him when he was 8.

“He (James) wanted to try and I told it him ‘it will kick you pretty good.’”

Standing behind James, Brian Futrell watched James shoot at some targets.

“He said, ‘that thing kicks, but that was fun.’”

Brian Futrell promised to take James hunting this fall.

In November, father and son were sitting in a cutover and a deer came within 20 steps of them.

“We were sitting on a log in the woods,” Brian Futrell said. “I told him where to shoot. He hit it in the side, and she went down about 100 yards (away) and laid down. He (James) was jumping up and down.”

The pair went out again on Dec. 24.

“We were in the swamp, and the deer was coming down the hill. The dogs were running it,” Brian Futrell said. “The deer got about 20 yards from us, he had his gun up and she stopped about 10 steps from us, turned around and was listening to the dogs. He shot her right in the side.”

He sees a bright future for James’ hunting.

“He loves the outdoors and he will learn to take care of the outdoors,” Brian Futrell said.

James’ other siblings are Alexis Clapp, 8; and Mason Futrell, 1. James is the grandson of Tommy and Jane Futrell of Courtland.




  • bigbarrett

    Boy all this intrest on a little fellow huntting with his Dad, and not ruunning the streets or breaking into someone’s home. Just how are folks going to act when FRANKLIN has its 1ST. Topless Bar and Wednesday is Clergy Night,bring a church bulletin and get in FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • http://www.blackwaternottoway.com Jeff Turner

    Does James eat deer?

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  • itsalwayssomething

    I would much rather see a 4 year old and his DADDY out hunting together, than see a 15-20 year old street gang member or some guy whacked out on drugs killing another person. This child has found quality time with his dad, has something to look forward to every hunting season, I’m sure his daddy will take the time to train him properly and probably talks to him all the time about guns and hunting. I personally agree with deer hunting. Deer are over populated. I would rather have them thinned out than to starve to death. AND many hunt clubs donate the meat to family’s who are hungry, and that is a good thing. Yes, it is shocking to see a dead animal in the paper, but it is more shocking to me to read that an 18 year old went to prison for life for murdering another human being. Last but not least, EVERYONE is entitled to their opinion, and for or against, I am glad we ALL can air our views on any subject, at any time.

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  • Zunikiang

    Unless you are a vegetarian you are just paying someone else to do your “harvesting” for you.

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    This article has explored everything imaginable from politics,religion, raising kids, race and the killing of animals.I think it not wise to let a four year old to be hunting with a gun even though with the adult supervision.Let them accompany the parent until they are older. LOL when the rest of the world sees this that live
    outside of our”Hooterville we will be veiwed as a bunch of West VIRGINIAN’s from some unknown holler.

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  • Froggie

    And, for the record, there is a good chance that I may be more educated than you. Because you hunt, does not mean you are better educated than me. Might mean the opposite.

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  • Froggie

    Believe me, I know Southampton County is famous for the BIG “SPORT”? of hunting. It is just shocking to know a 4 year old is holding a gun. Sorry, but that is my opinion. Doesn’t mean I am wrong just because so many people like to hunt. And, I still don’t believe I have to look at the child holding the head of a bloody deer. I didn’t know I would be seeing that picture ’til I turned the page. Believe me, the paper went in the trash can and I am through with this blog because I don’t want to see it on the website anymore either. Good luck to you, James and all the hunters. Enjoy standing by your truck or hanging out in a tree for hours, waiting….waiting…waiting to kill.

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  • Froggie

    speaking of “ranting”, you may want to re-read your calming opinions. You posting your opinions doesn’t make you right either. So, here we stand. You believe one thing – I, another. So be it.

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  • skooch

    This Doe has been beat to death!LOL On to bigger and better topics..

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  • SlimPickens

    For goodness sake people all these negitive comments, you would think the Father handed 4 year old James a 20ga shotgun and a can of Skoal, slapped him on the back and said “go out there and kill us a deer for supper”. This Father accompanied his 4 year old son out in the woods, cleared them out a spot in the leaves, sat side by side on a fallen tree (each holding their own gun, safely I am sure, that being part of mentoring his son you see) and simply spent quality time with this boy and luckily had a deer come within range for young James to harvest (kill).He did this not once but TWICE. There are kids out there who ain’t SEEN their Father twice in their lifetime and you sit here and crucify this responsible, loving, caring, role model, law abiding, sportsman and Father. I think Brian went above and beyond in his duties as a Father, initiating his son into the wonderful world of sportsmanship and hunting. Hunting is 200% legal, there are precautions in place to ensure children under the age of 12 years old have adult supervision within an arms reach to help promote safety and teach the minor child the right way and the safe way. If those out there do not agree with what this Father and son have done, you are entitled to your own opinion but simply because you do not approve does not make this wrong at all. Personal opinion is fine but for God’s sake look around and see all the bad things that our youth is doing and before you bash a Father for doing what all us Fathers should make sure we do everyday, spend time, quality time, with our kids. If you don’t hunt then don’t take them hunting. Get the children out from in front of the television set, take the video game controller out of their hands and take them outdoors and do something to teach them a worthwile skill or task. Hunters provide the State with an invaluable service by controlling the size of the herd which in turn promotes a healty herd, decreases deer/vehicle collisions, reduces crop damage and we pay the state to allow us to provide this service!!! Who wants to have a tax increase so we can pay PETA to fly over these deep dark piney woods all over the State of Va and drop birth control so the deer don’t over populate? Don’t laugh because this exact thing has been proposed in the past. We have all had to learn to become “more accepting” over the past few years, try to remember that before you start ranting over something you disagree with.

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  • skooch

    @washnahi There is no law because the lawmakers did not think that anyone was foolish enough to let a 4 year old shoot and kill a deer or anything else.

    This child is happy because he did something that his Dad wanted him to do and he made his Dad happy. I doubt that he learned anything about gun safety or hunting because he is to young to comprehend all of that I doubt he even realized what had taken place. I agree that kids need to learn the proper way to hunt and use guns and spend time with their Dad’s but let’s use some sense and let baby’s be baby’s. There is plenty of time when kids get to be 12 or 13 and have a better concept of such things.

    It is scary to see how many people think that this was a great event for a 4 year old.

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    • kathyfutrelldunlow

      @skooch, I love how often you all are jumping to conclusions and acting as if you were there for the event and that you all know what happened on the days James killed these deer. That is the problem with just about every negative opinion that has been brought forth and put out for discussion. Each of you has molded into your minds your own scenario of what has or has not happened. You were not there, you do not know James, you do not know Brian. How can you assume that he was not happy or proud of his accomplishment? Does he share in his fathers excitement, sure he does, what child wouldnt? But was he just as happy for doing this for himself? Of course he was. Does that make him a bad child? NO. It would be the very same scenario if he was playing football with the neighborhood kids and made a touchdown. He would be excited because that is what he knows to do. Is it bad that it makes him happy to kill a deer? In my opinion, no. But then again, I grew up around hunting and to me, thats just the way “we back woods country folk “do around here. You talk about babys being babys, lets talk about the teenage pregnancy rate, the rate of children going into their schools and shooting classmates (most of these kids are kids overly involved in violent video play), lets talk about the drug, alcohol, STD and gang activity surrounding our youth! There are FAR bigger problems facing our community (yes, folks, Southampton/Franklin has a drug and gang problem)than a young child spending quality, positive time with his father.
      @ Froggie, Im glad your children have grown up to be god fearing adults that dont like to kill animals, but again, thats how you raised your children. It does not mean that children raised to kill deer or any other animal for that fact for game or nourishment will not. At both you and beachgal, you have to realize that you live in a rural setting, this is a county rich in hunting, fishing, farming, and the likes, more often than not you are going to read about those activities. If you have a problem with it, take to the TN, not to the 4 year old who just wants to hunt and take part in family tradition.

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      • Pierce

        YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN A WRITER!!!!!!!!!!!
        You made very good points!!!!!

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    • SlimPickens

      I find it amazing that you posess such a skill. Never in my life have I ever run across a person who could read a childs mind and know exactly why he is smiling from simply looking at a picture!! What an amazing skill!! Wish I could put my picture up here so you could read what I am thinking right now…..of course you wouldn’t like it.

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  • itsme

    Well said SlimPickens!!!

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  • SlimPickens

    As a life long hunter and sportsman I am happy this child was able to get this type of instruction from his Father, and enjoy the outdoor experience. Too many “children” do not have the chance to spend quality time with their parents, just read the paper and see what I am talking about. The “Children” I am referring to range in age from 2 to 22. They grow up in a single parent houshold or wind up being raised by Grandparents because the birth parents are too sorry to raise what they brought into this world. In my opinion (means little to most), If I can raise my children to provide for themselves, rely on no one for almost anything, learn to depend on themselves for most everything, then they will never be disappointed. Not to mention the sooner they learn the more proficient they become at the task at hand even if it is hunting and shooting a shotgun. When my kids were that age the hunted with me but carried a BB gun until they learned proper gun safety, how to walk with a firearm safely pointing to the ground, not to point at anything unless they intend to shoot, keeping your gun out of the mud and things like that. Once they reach the ripe old age of say 5 or 6 if they have paid attention to Dad and done what I instructed them to, they were then allowed to carry a .410 or maybe a youth model 20 ga. Hats off to the Father who taught his kid earlier than that. I am sure this child will grow up to be a responsible sportsman and hunter. For those who think 4 years old is too young to shoot a gun and legally harvest game, the law plainly states a child under the age of 12 must be accompanied by a parent or adult, James was supervised. If you think the deer are too pretty to kill and that we should not kill these animals, read the good book. Man was put on this earth and given domain over all the animals on the earth and the fishes in the sea. They were put here for us to eat, and to put to our use to help sustain ourselves so we may better serve the Lord. Disagree? Then don’t raise you kid the same way. I would bet some readers won’t raise their kids like Brian has, probably won’t raise them to suit many of us. Some of these same kids will grow up, learn to drink, Father children before they marry, use drugs, never learn they have to work for what they want so they will take from someone else and in some cases will learn to shoot a gun eventually but for the wrong reason and at the wrong target. Statistics show children who grow up hunting and fishing, enjoying the outdoors, will not be the same ones who break into houses, shoplift, take what does not belong to them and simply break the law. Not saying hunting and fishing is a cure all for todays children but simply the time spent with a responsible parent pays huge dividens later in life. Those of us who enjoy the outdoors and have taught our children to do the same will not be the ones waiting on the next government handout because we learned at an early age to do for ourselves. See how convoluted many peoples minds have become? All due to waiting on someone else to do for them? Good job James, hats off to a fine display of superb parenting by a responsible caring parent. One last thing….@ 1st Amendment, now google up auto accidents or drinking and driving….. tell me when we intend to ban automobiles and alcohol? Keep drinkin that government Kool Aid.

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    • HokieLuv


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    • Froggie

      I don’t think God put the animals on the earth for you to enjoy killing. They were suppose to roam the earth freely until man sinned. The Lion and the Lamb? I do understand the overpopulation of deer needs to be controlled. But, killing a deer does not make a man. It does not make a super adult. It makes a lot of adults who spend a couple of months away from home, out in the woods, killing animals. I didn’t hunt, my father didn’t hunt, my grown adult children don’t hunt; they turned out to be wonderful, educated, God-fearing, kind adults. Hunting does not produce perfect children. A four-year old would learn just as much value from Dad doing other outdoor activities. The man’s children are going to learn good values from him anyway. Shooting an animal dead has nothing to do with it!
      Hunters just want justification for shooting a gun and killing a living animal.

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      • SlimPickens

        @froggie….just like you state in your rant,”killing a deer don’t make you a man” anymore than you posting your opinion here makes you right! Just because folks don’t agree with something someone else does don’t make them wrong. If you don’t enjoy hunting, don’t hunt. Same with fishing, shopping with your spouse…..whatever. If you don’t understand why Deer overpopulation is a “bad thing” then perhaps you should read more and write less, until you educate yourself anyway.

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  • Pierce

    Good Job James!
    There sure are ALOT of “what ifs” in these comments… Everyone has there own opinion about this but why not just keep them to yourself and stop trying to make this a negative experience for James and Brian. You can look at his picture and see how proud he is….STOP trying to ruin it. If you don’t agree with this then don’t do it!! I am proud of Brian for spending the time to teach James. Keep it up Brian!!!!!!

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    • Froggie

      It is hard to keep this opinion to myself because I wasn’t given a choice – I didn’t know when I turned the page of the paper, I would have to see that picture. I hope Brian also teaches James that there are a lot of people that don’t hunt and why they don’t and why they don’t like to see pictures of bloodied animals that someone has shot and smiled about it.

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      • Pierce

        I don’t know where you live, but in Southampton County, hunting is a BIG sport. And as far as you not having a choice…you did… you don’t have to read the paper. If you see an article that offends you then simply don’t continue to look at it. There have been alot of articles that I didn’t care for so I just chose not to read them.

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  • itsme

    WAY TO GO JAMES!!!! Love that kid! Mandy and Brian keep up the good work. You have 4 GREAT children that will no doubt grow to be productive members of this community no matter what others say. I can’t wait to see the Tidewater News picture of him killing his first BUCK next year!

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    • Froggie

      I wouldn’t want to take away your excitement of seeing another bloodied deer with a smiling James. But, I also have a right to not turn the newspaper page and see that staring at me. The Tidewater News needs to put a “warning” on the front page and I will not read that issue.

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  • 1stAmendment

    According to a mother opposed to 10-year olds being allowed to hunt in New Jersey: “When my sons were 10, they could not even aim into the toilet, so why would anyone put a firearm or other dangerous weapon in their hands at that age?”

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  • 1stAmendment


    ONT, CAN: Illegal hunting a dangerous game – 9 Nov 2009

    MN: Man dies after shooting self while deer hunting – 9 Nov 2009

    MN: Teen boy shot in leg during Minn. deer hunt – 8 Nov 2009

    VA: Boy shot in hunting accident – 7 Nov 2009

    NY: Watertown man shot in hunting accident – 6 Nov 2009

    NC: Hunter drowns, another injured on hunting trip – 4 Nov 2009

    ID: Man Shot By Hunter while walking dog – 3 Nov 2009

    WV: Reverend killed while hunting – 3 Nov 2009

    NC: Man shot in apparent hunting accident – 2 Nov 2009

    PA: Hunter shoots himself dead – 2 Nov 2009

    TN: boy injured in hunting accident – 2 Nov 2009

    CA: 12-year-old boy dies after hunting accident – 1 Nov 2009

    WA: Hunter shoots himself in leg – 1 Nov 2009

    NH: 1 killed, 1 hurt in NH hunting accidents – 31 Oct 2009

    NH: Hunter Accidentally Shoots Himself – 31 Oct 2009

    SD: Woman killed by hunter while sitting in car – 30 Oct 2009

    CA: Hunter found dead in Delta – 29 Oct 2009

    OR: Hunter killed in fight with Scappoose family – 28 Oct 2009

    VA: man shot by his son was ‘mistaken for game’ – 28 Oct 2009

    NY: Family dog shot dead by bow hunter – 27 Oct 2009

    WV: Accident or Murder? – 27 Oct 2009

    PA: Woman shot while hunting – 27 Oct 2009

    WA: Man injured in hunting accident – 27 Oct 2009

    WV: Turkey hunter killed in accidental shooting – 26 Oct 2009

    MI: teen dies in hunting mishap – 26 Oct 2009

    OK: Man shot to death while hunting – 26 Oct 2009

    NC: Man Injured in Crawford County Hunting Accident – 24 Oct 2009

    PA: man shot while hunting – 23 Oct 2009

    AL: Hunter killed in fall from tree – 21 Oct 2009

    GA: 12-year-old boy killed while hunting – 20 Oct 2009

    MN: Man Shot in Chest in Hunting Accident – 20 Oct 2009

    OR: Ore. man injured in hunting accident sues insurer – 20 Oct 2009

    MO: hunting death near Granby – 19 Oct 2009

    IA: Man Dies In Hunting Accident – 19 Oct 2009

    PA: Rescue crews go deep in woods to reach hunter who fell from tree – 18 Oct 2009

    IN: Columbia City man dies in hunting accident – 18 Oct 2009

    CO: Hunter falls off mule and dies – 18 Oct 2009

    GA: Crawford Co. Sheriff: Man Shot in Hunting Accident – 17 Oct 2009

    CT: West Hartford Man Wounded In Hunting Accident – 17 Oct 2009

    NJ: Hunter dead after hunting trip (the dog survived) – 13 Oct 2009

    PA: Hunter dies after falling from tree – 13 Oct 2009

    LA: Hunter hurt by falling tree – 13 Oct 2009

    GA: Hunter dies after rattlesnake bite while hunting – 13 Oct 2009

    ME: Teen Hurt While Rabbit Hunting – 13 Oct 2009

    TX: Tyler Man Injured In Hunting Accident – 13 Oct 2009

    IN: Hunter hurt in fall from his tree stand – 12 Oct 2009

    ME: Duck Hunting Accident Third in Maine This Season – 12 Oct 2009

    MN: Duluth Man Injured In Hunting Accident – 9 Oct 2009

    GA: Child Shot in the Head in Dawson County – 9 Oct 2009

    WI: Officer injured in hunting accident – 8 Oct 2009

    MN: Area hunting accident prompts airlift – 8 Oct 2009

    NJ: Hunter falls from tree in Hillsborough – 7 Oct 2009

    NH: Hunter shoots self in foot – 7 Oct 2009

    IA: 19-year-old injured in hunting accident – 7 Oct 2009

    WY: Woman dies after being rescued from hunting camp – 6 Oct 2009

    MI: Bow Hunter Injures Back and Head in Isabella County Fall – 5 Oct 2009

    IL: Fairfield Man Killed in Hunting Accident – 4 Oct 2009

    MN: Boy, 13, Shot In Hunting Accident Near Willmar – 3 Oct 2009

    ME: Hunter Shot on First Day of Pheasant Hunting Season – 2 Oct 2009

    MI: Hunters shoot dogs – 29 Sep 2009

    UT: Utah boy shots self with hunting rifle – 27 Sep 2009

    AK: Man dies in Alaska accident – 26 Sep 2009

    CA: Hunter falls off cliff – 20 Sep 2009

    TX: 1 shot, 1 stabbed after feral hog hunt – 16 Sep 2009

    WI: Hunter dies after falling from tree stand – 15 Sep 2009

    MA: Body Likely That Of Missing Hunter – 15 Sep 2009

    VA: hunter in his 80′s falls from tree stand – 14 Sep 2009

    WI: Green Bay Man Shot in Head During Hunting Accident – 14 Sep 2009

    TX: Hunter injured when deer blind falls on him – 7 Sep 2009

    CA: Another dove hunter shot – 4 Sep 2009

    OH: Hunter shot while hunting geese – 4 Sep 2009

    TX: Man shoots himself in head while hunting – 3 Sep 2009

    CA: 3 hunters shot on opening day of dove season – 2 Sep 2009

    TN: 11-year-old hunter shoots 21-year old hunter – 1 Sep 2009

    WA: Man shoots self while hunting opossum – 25 Aug 2009

    AK: teen killed while hunting – 24 Aug 2009

    SD: Hunter killed in accident – 21 Aug 2009

    SC: Deer Hunting Season off to a Dangerous Start – 16 Aug 2009

    FL: 2 Tampa area divers die while hunting lobsters in Keys – 6 Aug 2009

    1987: Cyclist Greg Lemond shot in hunting accident – 25 Jul 2009

    PA: Man accused of shooting a woman while hunting – 16 Jul 2009

    SC: 11-Year-Old Boy Dies in Hunting Accident – 10 Jul 2009

    ID: Hunter attacked by Grizzly bear – 24 Jun 2009

    TX: 18-year old killed in hunting accident – 22 Jun 2009

    NY: Hunter shot – mistaken for a turkey – 29 May 2009

    NY: Turkey hunter shoots friend – 22 May 2009

    NC: Hunter lucky to be alive after being shot in the abdomen – 22 May 2009

    NM: Boy, 13, killed in hunting accident – 19 May 2009

    NY: DEC investigates hunting accident – 16 May 2009

    MT: Horses crush hunter’s head – 13 May 2009

    NY: Arrest made in Montgomery County hunting accident – 12 May 2009

    CA: Jury gets Brentwood frog hunting murder case – 12 May 2009

    OH: Companion Shoots Firefighter In Hunting Accident – 8 May 2009

    TX: Dallas man injured in hunting accident – 8 May 2009

    OH – Turkey hunter shot in lower back – 6 May 2009

    NY: Turkey hunting accident sends victim to hospital – 5 May 2009

    NH: man injured in turkey hunting mishap – 4 May 2009

    MI: Mount Pleasant man dies in hunting accident – 2 May 2009

    WV: Fatal Investigation Leads to Unrelated Citations – 1 May 2009

    VT: Police: teenager killed while turkey hunting – 1 May 2009

    OK: Man shot turkey hunting in Wagoner Co. – 30 Apr 2009

    WV: Hunter Killed in Lewis County – 29 Apr 2009

    WV: Wheeling Man Hospitalized After Hunting Accident – 29 Apr 2009

    MA: man arraigned in hunting shooting – 28 Apr 2009

    KY: Trooper Injured In Hunting Accident – 24 Apr 2009

    KS: Man shot with arrow during hunting expedition – 24 Apr 2009

    CT: Man who killed friend won’t get hunting license – 24 Apr 2009

    HI: Man gets jail term for role in fatal hunting accident – 20 Apr 2009

    NJ: Man shot in face in West Milford hunting accident – 14 Apr 2009

    NJ: Hunter shoots dog – 11 Apr 2009

    TX: Teen killed while turkey hunting – 8 Apr 2009

    OH: Hunter shot, loses eye – 7 Apr 2009

    TX: Hunting accident claims life of BHS student – 7 Apr 2009

    VA: Bedford man dies in hunting accident – 31 Mar 2009

    AR: 19-year-old killed in hunting accident – 31 Mar 2009

    TN: Man shot while hunting for turkeys – 28 Mar 2009

    FL: Hunter misses turkey, shoots himself – 27 Mar 2009

    SC: Man fatally shot north of Walhalla while hunting – 21 Mar 2009

    NY: Duck hunter shot – 5 Mar 2009

    OR: 13-Year Old Silverton Boy Shot in Neck While Hunting – 3 Mar 2009

    MI: Mother of shooting victim from Oceana County faces shooter in court – 2 Mar 2009

    WV: 16-year old’s life cut short – 2 Mar 2009

    OH: Writer chronicles tree-stand catastrophe – 27 Feb 2009

    PA: Hunter charged in fatal accident – 26 Feb 2009

    AL: Former university president OK after hunting accident – 25 Feb 2009

    IA: Coyote hunter shot – 22 Feb 2009

    FL: Hunter shot while hunting rabbits – 21 Feb 2009

    NJ: Man killed while hunting illegally – 20 Feb 2009

    ND: Hunter: ‘Dude, I shot myself’ – 10 Feb 2009

    FL: Hunting accident this takes the life of a 57-year-old woman – 8 Feb 2009

    IN: Goose hunter dies in boating accident – 3 Feb 2009

    VA: 10-year-old boy killed in Campbell County shooting – 3 Feb 2009

    HI: Goat hunter falls to his death on O’ahu – 2 Feb 2009

    MO: Hunting Incidents Claim Two Lives In January – 2 Feb 2009

    VA: Deadly Year for Hunters – 1 Feb 2009

    NE: Man Injured in Hunting Accident – 29 Jan 2009

    PA: Hunter in critical condition after apparent accident – 27 Jan 2009

    PA – Hunting accident – 26 Jan 2009

    CT: Hunters injured as canoe flips – 25 Jan 2009

    FL: Orange Springs man killed in hunting accident – 25 Jan 2009

    MI: John Eugene Roswell faces trial in hunter’s death – 24 Jan 2009

    MO: Teen Accidentally Killed by Cousin – 23 Jan 2009

    AL: Another hunter killed in hunting accident – 23 Jan 2009

    GA: Children are victims as fatal shootings rise – 20 Jan 2009

    WI Teen hurt in hunting accident – 20 Jan 2009

    WV: Two Shot in Hunting Accidents – 18 Jan 2009

    NJ: Deer hunter accidentally shoots into Flanders home – 14 Jan 2009

    TX: Hunting accident kills father, teen son -13 Jan 2009

    KY: Search Resumes For Juveniles Missing After Duck Hunting Trip – 11 Jan 2009

    AL: Toddler wounded when father’s hunting rifle accidentally discharges – 10 Jan 2009

    FL: Hunter shoots himself – 10 Jan 2009

    MI: Man arrested for 2007 hunting death in Oceana County – 9 Jan 2009

    MN: Rochester Man Shot While Hunting – 9 Jan 2009

    AL: Auburn hunter falls from tree stand – 8 Jan 2009

    VA: Virginia hunting deaths up in 2008-09 – 8 Jan 2009

    NC: High school football coach suffers paralyzing accident – 7 Jan 2009

    IA: teen injured in hunting accident – 6 Jan 2009

    NJ: Man kills wife while shooting squirrel – 5 Jan 2009

    VA: Man killed in hunting accident in Campbell County – 3 Jan 2009

    CA: Death of San Luis Obispo hunter ruled accidental – 2 Jan 2009

    MI: Man shot and injured while deer hunting – 2 Jan 2009

    SD: Man injured in Brookings County hunting accident – 2 Jan 2009

    FL: Fishers dead after boat crash – 2 Jan 2009

    NC: Man faces charges in fatal deer-spotlighting crash – 2 Jan 2009

    MA: Hunter shot in the stomach and leg – 1 Jan 2009

    Former hockey player shoots himself while hunting – 1 Jan 2009

    And this list is just in 2009 – if trained adults die hunting, why i it safe for a child? Even a “multi generational” hunter?

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    • HokieLuv

      REALLY?! I cannot believe this, if anyone is sick it’s you who spent the time to look this crap up. The child was not alone with a gun. Some people take things waaaaaaaaay out of perspective. Get a grip, get over it, the boy probably shot more deer than you, and you’re upset he mad the paper and not you. GO JAMES!

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  • washnahi

    I appreciate the outdoors and the service hunters do to thin deer populations. However, the article still troubles me. Were this same four year old, apparently able to fully appreciate weapons and weapon safety, were to turn his weapon on a human being, we’d all be crying foul that he is “only a child” and should not be “tried as an adult.” Even very good people can make unsound choices. I think a child handling a weapon is one of them. At the same time we have pending legislation to prohibit children from operating farm equipment. I have to say, Virgina confuses me. How can there POSSIBLY not be a minimum age for hunting?!

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  • JDT82

    Kind of dangerous I must say… Especially at only 4, I am sure a few months ago the child was still drinking from a Sippy cup, now he’s able to shoot a gun? Talk about being a fast learner. Good for the parents of the little one – teaching gun responsibility.

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  • kathyfutrelldunlow

    I want to start by saying how absolutely proud I am of James and my brother, Brian, who is teaching him responsibility, gun safety, the love of the outdoors and the sport of hunting. Just as it is for most people in Southampton County hunting is a “generational” activity for my family. My father was taught how to hunt by his uncle and my father has instilled hunting and gun responsibility in my brother and is also teaching my children. Brian now instills the same in his children.
    I know the article was not specific, so let me clarify that James is not walking around toting a gun by himself without supervision. He is not allowed to carry the gun, the only time he even handles the gun is when it is handed to him and even then Brian is there to assist. For those of you quoting the Code of Virginia, let me clarify that for you. The Code of VA reads: 18.2-56.2. Allowing access to firearms by children; penalty.
    A. It shall be unlawful for any person to recklessly leave a loaded, unsecured firearm in such a manner as to endanger the life or limb of any child under the age of fourteen. Any person violating the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.
    B. It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly to authorize a child under the age of twelve to use a firearm except when the child is under the supervision of an adult. Any person violating this subsection shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. For purposes of this subsection, “adult” shall mean a parent, guardian, person standing in loco parentis to the child or a person twenty-one years or over who has the permission of the parent, guardian, or person standing in loco parentis to supervise the child in the use of a firearm.
    (1991, c. 537; 1994, c. 832.)
    At no time has James been left unsupervised or the gun to be unsecured. I hope this helps clarify your misunderstandings.
    For those of you who feel that Brian is irresponsible in allowing his son to hunt, Im sorry that you feel that way, you obviously do not know him. He is a very responsible person, he is a great father, he is a trained firefighter and emergency responder in this very county. If your house has been on fire or if you have been in an accident in the Courtland area he is one of the first responders who have come to your aide time and time again.
    Everyone is entitled to their opinions, I just felt like I needed to clarify a few things and let you know that this is our way of life. You may or may not agree with it and that is fine. Im sure there are things that your family participates in or does that I would not agree with. However, the difference is that I am not publicly condemning or persecuting you from behind a computer. To those of you who state you know my family personally and do not agree with James hunting and carrying a firearm, let us know face to face.
    This article was meant to showcase a little boy and a big accomplishment, not to cause him or his family to feel slighted by his community. My thoughts are that teaching children now to respect firearms is a way to ensure non misuse as an adult. Spending quality and positive time with your children, helps to build character and self respect in them, again, setting them on a positive path for the future. As it has been mentioned, this can be done in many areas including other sports/activities. Trust me when I tell you that hunting is only one area that his family is supporting him in.
    He has a bright future, he will be a strong young man and the negativity that this article has generated will only help strengthen him and the bonds he has with the outdoors and his family. I look forward to seeing what next hunting season brings and to celebrate in his success

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  • skooch

    @Hokieluv: The comments are negative because the idea of a parent letting a 4 year old handle a shotgun is unbelievable . They might be great parents as you say but they certainly used poor judgment here. It is one thing to spend time with your kids and teach them about nature but to let them actually use a gun at 4 yrs old is just ridiculous. What would have been the end result had this youngster dropped the gun and shot himself or his Dad? What would this family had gone through then?

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  • HokieLuv

    OK, to the people who have left negative, immature comments about this article, it’s time for you to grow up! I happen to know this family AND I have taught sweet little James. Grow up people, take the time to spend with your children, teach them right from wrong and stop judging this child and his family. I see this hunting event as precious time spent with together with dad, and a day Brian and James will never forget. With this outing Brian had an opportunity to TEACH his child about nature, and the proper way of using a gun. I love the fact that the child was out in the woods with his dad instead of sitting behind a T.V. watching movies and playing video games, living a sedentary lifestyle. This family is the most loving and is very involved with their child’s life. You could not ask for a better family, and as far as James goes, good job! I love you and I know you cannot wait to go hunting with Mason!

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  • skooch

    Why isn’t the 1 year old in this family shooting and killing deer yet? I bet the folks in Richmond that govern hunting never thought that anyone would actually let a 4 year old hunt and shoot a gun but I guess they better think again.

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  • brian

    KMTU if you know me and my family then call me or us instead of talking about it on the computer .Thank you.

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  • beachgirl

    Why not just give him a can of skoal also, that would make the picture complete…

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    • SlimPickens

      @ beachgirl….
      I sumise from your comments that you disapprove of this whole hunting/child taking a deer at 4 years old/killing animals thing? Folks “out here” enjoy a different life style than you may enjoy at the beach or what “in your opinion” is right and wrong. If you disagree, then don’t raise your child that way. Don’t learn to hunt, don’t fish (hooks hurt their lips). But don’t condemn what a responsible caring family determines is right for their child. Young James did handle a gun, he did shoot not 1 but 2 deer, and nobody was hurt or injured and a 4 year old boy gained a memory he will take to his grave when is time comes. If your life style does not approve of this kind of activity then don’t read a rural publication that comes out 2-3 times a week and talks about Farming, Church functions, River keeper reports, and outdoor activity like HUNTING. Read the surf report, the tanning index, complain about Jet noise and traffic jams if you live in that rat race. We like John Wayne, Johnny Cash and John Deere……out here. (Skoal Too, or Kodiak)

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      • beachgirl

        SlimPickens..Although I am not a hunter and I have raised my grown girls to respect the wildlife…I do not condone hunting, I do however condone a 4 year old hunting and handling a firearm. A child 4 years old cannot fully comprehend the dangers of a firearm. That is what I am against. My girls were raised in a house where having a weapon was their fathers job. But when they were born all the way up till the time they left home after graduating college that firearm was kept under lock and key. And they respected that. Even at any age I do not trust anyone with a gun or rifle,,,and at 4 good grief the child is just out of diapers and still has accidents, no child at 4 is so smart that they know all the laws of guns and hunting..

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  • Froggie

    OH MY GOODNESS!!!! A 4 year old shooting a gun! The hunters will always have the “over population” card to o.k. there killings, or what is it called now, “harvesting”. I harvested a deer when I was only 4!! I hope the 4 year old is such a good shot that when the doe was hit, she didn’t suffer. Please have it announced on T.V., radio or newspaper the next time the pre-school child has a gun in his hand. I want to be far, far away!

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  • beachgirl

    Oh yeah it made me feel good, it made me sick…

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    • bobs94

      Did you ever think that what makes you sick gives enjoyment to others? It’s called diversity. It doesn’t just mean that you have to like the black guy you work with, it means you have to respect ALL views, even those which are not popular.

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  • Maxdoubt

    All these years I thought the plural of doe was does.

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  • bobs94

    I know Brian personally. I was at the hospital shortly after James was born. Anyone that knows this family would know they are passionate about hunting. It comes as no surprise that James is hunting at an early age. I have no kids so it’s hard for me to say what I would or wouldn’t do. I have to believe that Brian is exercising his own good judgement in this matter as the parent of this child. In my view, it’s the parent’s sole responsibility to determine the activities that their child partakes in. It shouldn’t matter to me, you, or anyone else. This story is about a child accomplishing a feat. It was meant to be a “feel good” story as opposed to the way many of you have taken it.

    Now having said all that, I don’t think I would let my hypothetical child use a shotgun. But I certainly wouldn’t tell another person that their child was not allowed to.

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  • hilltopper

    get ready to step aside kid…i’m sure there are several 3 year olds out there ready to start mowing them down…haha..I hate deer…best place for them is a deep freezer (not my car windshield)…kill’em all youngun…

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    • Froggie

      Why do you hate deer? They are beautiful animals. I know there is an overpopulation of them, but, there are too many people in the world too. Oh, but, I guess they’re getting killed too. Well, mow ‘em down youngin’. Let’s all hoop and holler and drive our muddy trucks!! YEEEE-HIIIII

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  • MDUNN911

    All i can say is kids who hunt and fish don’t steal and deal….way to go James. Hope my 5 year old has better luck next year….as for the smart remarks…I’m sorry you weren’t privileged enough to have that kind of opportunity to spend that quality time with a parent. I would much rather have my child out in nature vs. Stuck inside on a dern video game….eat that LOL…(I’ll eat venison)

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    • Froggie

      Hey, you can read a bumper sticker!!! No, I didn’t have the privilege of taking the life of an animal and feeling that thrill!! I love nature and animals are part of it, so I guess my opinion differs from yours. You were raised to kill animals, I was raised to love them. Don’t think I missed a thing!!

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  • wonderyears

    What a DISGRACE that the Tidewater News glorifies parents who allow their four year old child to handle a gun and kill two does. How SICK can you get?? These LAWS need to be changed. PERIOD!!!

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    • bobs94

      How sick can you get? I can think of a lot of other activities involving four year olds that are in the press that are “sicker”. Go back to your boring life and quit trying to tell others how to live.

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      • Froggie

        You assume if people don’t murder animals, that they live boring lives. Some of us don’t like to see pictures of dead, bloody deer in the paper. You and others obviously like to see dead, bloody deer. Just hope the 4 and 5 year olds don’t accidentally shoot something or someone else. But, I am sure with their advanced age and intelligence and the higher intelligence of their parents, we don’t need to worry. Do we?
        I guess people can carry their 2, 3,4 year olds hunting and put a gun in their hands, but, shouldn’t have to see a picture of it.

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  • beachgirl

    Yep, back woods talking at its finest…Proper? What a joke.,

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    • bobs94

      Maybe you should go back to the beach if you don’t like it. How’s that for proper?

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  • RoyDeSoto

    Way to go James!

    And don’t y’all concern yourselves with the busybodies who commented. Proper southern folk know to keep quiet if they have nothing good to say. This here is just troublemakers looking to stir up a hornet’s nest.

    Amy, Virginia, this is how it’s done out here. Deal with it.

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    • Froggie

      Well butter my biscuits and throw ‘em in a pan! You told her Homer!!

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  • JustReading

    As do so many in our area, I also come from an extended generation of outdoorsmen and hunters. I know the little ones in our family will be taught hunter safety and all that goes along with safety in the woods. However, having said all of that – I think a 4-year old handling a shotgun is a recipe for disaster either way you slice it. In fact, I think if you research the Code of Virginia, Child Protection Services laws – you may find that “exposure to firearms” is a violation of that law – just saying, maybe it’s there for a reason. Please use some common sense guys!!!

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    • bobs94

      I agree that a 4 year old using a shotgun is a little on the extreme side; however, I think it would be far more extreme to have the government telling a parent what activities their children can and can not participate in. To equate hunting with a parent and “exposure to firearms” without adult supervision is also extreme. I myself have been around firearms since I was very young. I was always supervised and learned a great deal of respect for the weapons I used.

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  • CloggingGal

    I usually don’t comment at all but this one hit home. I am not for or against hunting and not really commenting on this picture itself but commenting on hunting in general. Just like fishing, etc. it is a sport/hobby and it can teach lots of lessons in many different ways. My father, husband, son (13) and daughter (7) all hunt. Before my children were allowed to hunt they first had to learn many things: gun laws, gun safety, wildlife rules and regulations, respect for animals and land, etc. It has also taught them how to read a compass, land maps, and so much more it is hard to list it all. In past history and as well as today, many hunted for food, elders killing hogs, cows, chickens, etc. My children have been taught that you only shoot what you will eat, what will provide you food/nourishment. My children have also been given the responsibilities of having hunting dogs, caring for them which includes food, training, monthly shots, cleaning dog kennels, and so much more that comes with having pets. As a matter of fact, we lost one of the hunting dogs who was in the hunting family for quite a few years due to old age and my son took it pretty hard for days. Still talks about how much he misses him every day when he goes to the kennels. Hunting as well as many other things has also encouraged lots of family bonding. I hunted with my father when I was a child, my children hunted with their grandfather, and my children are hunting with their father. We have many grandfather/father/son/daughter/wife/grandchildren in our hunting club and spend many hours together. Spending time with your children doing things teaches life long lessons that you just don’t get anywhere else. They could be doing so much more not so good things that we don’t even want to get into. Whether you choose to hunt, fish, sports, camp, and so much more – enjoy it with your family. There are plenty of rules, regulations and guidelines to promote safety and general well being of all involved and just like anything else they have to be respected. Responsible family members and friends/family alike all have to work hard to be role models and teach them right from wrong not matter what they are involved in!

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      I believe you have summed up my thoughts exactly. As the only girl among a house full of brothers and the only girl in the neighborhood growing up, it didn’t take long to become a “tomboy.” I can tell you and everyone else as well, that Brian’s father and mine taught us the proper use and handling of guns from the time we were big enough to start learning right from wrong. This also included close supervision as well. To read the comments of some of these people, you would think that Brian left James to just go blasting through the forest. Get a life people.

      I’ll tell you this as well…some of my best memories will always be of hunting with my dad. It is even better now that my dad & I take my two boys hunting. My 9 year old also killed his first deer this year. It was a joint kill of a 10 point buck with his “PaPa”, in the same block of woods where I killed my first buck, which was also a joint kill with my dad of a 10 pt buck as well! The only difference was that my son accomplished it a year younger than I was. He killed two more since then, completely without assistance but with complete supervision, just so you know.

      And another thing, my 9 month old got to accompany us on his first hunting trip as well. He too, will be taught early on how to properly handle and use a firearm – just like he will be taught to not touch the heater or run with a knife or any other important life lesson. Thank you!

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  • amysuite14

    Stupid, stupid, stupid and shame on the Tidewater News for making a big deal out it. This is so ridiculous, and it is time Virginia had a law against anyone under 10 hunting. Please contact your Va. congressman.

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    • bobs94

      Please explain to me and everyone else what is stupid here and why there is a need to contact a congressman to further regulate our lives.

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  • Virginia Girl

    Unbelievable. This article, glorifying a 4-year-old killing animals, is horrible enough, but did you have to include a photo of a dying deer? I hope along with teaching this child how to kill things, the parents are explaining the difference between killing for food vs. for sport. That child should be playing sports or with toys, not with guns.

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    • bobs94

      1. That deer is dead, not dying.
      2. Teach your child what you want and let others teach their children what they want.

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  • 1stAmendment

    What a heart warming story!

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  • Typhoon

    How wonderful lets mount the Doe’s heads and hang them in his bedroom.

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    • kmtu

      I’ve known this family for years and have nothing but respect for them BUT I was shocked when I read this article and it has truly bothered me. I personally feel it is WRONG to allow a 4 year old BABY to kill anything. We monitor what they watch on TV, who they are around, what they hear and see, when they go to bed, what they eat and drink and what they play with all in an effort to help them grow and develop in a way that is appropriate emotionally for their age – putting a gun in their little hands and instilling the desire to kill anything at such a young age is not acceptable and makes me wonder what they are creating in his little undeveloped brain, heart, mind and soul. I am sad for him. This is not normal behavior for a 4 year old or normal behavior for the parents of a 4 year old either. I am not trying to offend them in any way – I know them and I know they would never intentionally harm one of their children but this was wrong.

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