Hunter Fatally Shoots Hiker

A hunter mistook a Virgina college student for a deer and fired, killing her and injuring a companion
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A hunter mistook a Virgina college student for a deer and fired, killing her and injuring a companion

Hunting season and fall hiking season overlap, and unfortunately that can lead to deadly accidents: A hunter in Virginia shot and killed a college student trekking through the woods after mistaking her for a deer. Senior Jessica Goode was collecting frogs for a biology class on county-owned wilderness property near Ferrum College when she was shot through the chest. The bullet ricocheted and struck her classmate in the hand; he's currently recuperating in the hospital.

Police charged a 31-year-old man with with manslaughter, reckless handling of a firearm, and trespassing. The land where he allegedly shot the students does not permit hunting, and is located only 75 yards from a paved cul-de-sac.

While this is most likely a freak accident, it's a potent reminder to be extra careful this season. Wear bright colors (blaze orange, if possible) in areas known to be frequented by hunters, and don't be shy about making loud human noises (good for scaring off bears, too). Hike safe out there.

—Ted Alvarez

Ferrum student lived and died for the outdoors (Roanoke Times)