Polk deputies investigate death near Lake Wales

Polk County Sheriff's deputies are investigating a death at the River Ranch Resort in the Lake Wales area. Full Story
Westgate R R Resort

Miami, FL

#1 Mar 21, 2008
This did not happen at Westgate River Ranch Resort
This was on the River Ranch Hunt Club Property.
Two different places.
CYA

Bradenton, FL

#2 Mar 21, 2008
Westgate R R Resort wrote:
This did not happen at Westgate River Ranch Resort
This was on the River Ranch Hunt Club Property.
Two different places.
Is the person still dead ?
RLP

United States

#3 Mar 21, 2008
It was indeed a hunting accident near the fenceline to the resort. Another hunter shot at a turkey decoy and the man that was killed was in his blind behind it. I will not say the victims name but he was from the Lake Wales area. It's sad when a so called hunter can't tell the difference from a real turkey to a decoy. I myself quit hunting at River Ranch because of the amount of jerks that go there that have no clue what they're doing.
Huh

Bradenton, FL

#4 Mar 21, 2008
RLP wrote:
It was indeed a hunting accident near the fenceline to the resort. Another hunter shot at a turkey decoy and the man that was killed was in his blind behind it. I will not say the victims name but he was from the Lake Wales area. It's sad when a so called hunter can't tell the difference from a real turkey to a decoy. I myself quit hunting at River Ranch because of the amount of jerks that go there that have no clue what they're doing.
Why wouldn't the hunter be hunting bunny wabbits instead of turkeys ?
name

Altamonte Springs, FL

#5 Mar 21, 2008
I wonder what was the distance he was shooting from ... anyone knows?
obey the law

Dunnellon, FL

#8 Mar 21, 2008
RLP wrote:
It was indeed a hunting accident near the fenceline to the resort. Another hunter shot at a turkey decoy and the man that was killed was in his blind behind it. I will not say the victims name but he was from the Lake Wales area. It's sad when a so called hunter can't tell the difference from a real turkey to a decoy. I myself quit hunting at River Ranch because of the amount of jerks that go there that have no clue what they're doing.
Good idea. Is this place( river ranch ) on of those pen raised game, shooting areas? That isn't hunting and those are not hunters, as this bush shooter has shown.
name

Altamonte Springs, FL

#9 Mar 21, 2008
obey the law wrote:
<quoted text>Why ? The shooter is still a DUMBASS bush shooter. Hunter my ass!This pos should not be allowed to hunt or touch a firearm again.
Yeah, sure. But to kill someone with birdshot he'd have to be pretty close, ain't he?
mcd

Sun City Center, FL

#10 Mar 21, 2008
This is such a sad thing. I don't know the details but I do know Mr. Hasting. He is a fine Christian man who made a terrible mistake that took a life and his life will never be the same. Our prayers go out for both families.
tms

Sarasota, FL

#12 Mar 22, 2008
I agree with mcd. This is an accident and the shooter will have to live with this for the rest of his life. It is a situation that will change his and his families life forever. The same with the victims family. My husband was involved in a
similar situation but he was the victim. He servived(thank God). I understand how both sides feel (we know the person who hurt my husband) and my prayers go out to everyone involved.
TOLEIHA WILLIAMSON

United States

#13 Mar 22, 2008
This was my husband that was shot. My 4 children and their wives and two grandchildren ask that you keep our family in your prayers. For clarification, there was no decoys involved, and my husband was shot from behind, through dense brush. The shot was buck shot, and thankfully, believed to be no suffering. Please pray for us. This man was a great man!!!! Carelessness can destroy a family. He was my rock and foundation. But one thing is to be stated here, use your head first before using a gun. Thank you.
The Skeens

Delray Beach, FL

#14 Mar 22, 2008
TOLEIHA WILLIAMSON wrote:
This was my husband that was shot. My 4 children and their wives and two grandchildren ask that you keep our family in your prayers. For clarification, there was no decoys involved, and my husband was shot from behind, through dense brush. The shot was buck shot, and thankfully, believed to be no suffering. Please pray for us. This man was a great man!!!! Carelessness can destroy a family. He was my rock and foundation. But one thing is to be stated here, use your head first before using a gun. Thank you.
Dear Toleiha & Family, We are so saddened to hear about Randy. Needless to say, we are praying for
all of you. You know who is in charge. HE will
get you through even this. We love you.
TOLEIHA WILLIAMSON

United States

#15 Mar 23, 2008
name wrote:
<quoted text>
Yeah, sure. But to kill someone with birdshot he'd have to be pretty close, ain't he?
I AM HIS WIFE AND HE KILLED MY HUSBAND WITH BUCKSHOT.It splintered the tree 15 feet away.
FRIEND OF HASTING FAMILY

Plant City, FL

#16 Mar 23, 2008
IT IS A VERY SAD DAY WHEN CHRISTIAN PEOPLE PASS JUDGEMNET.IF MICHEAL WERE AT FAULT IN ANY WAY CHARGES WOULD HAVE FILED .ANYONE WHO IS A HUNTER KNOWS YOU NEED TO MARK WHERE YOU ARE AND TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND HAVE ORANGE ON! WHEN YOU ARE DENSLEY IN A BUSH AND SHOTS ARE AROUND PELLETS CAN SPREAD. TRAGIC ACCIDENTS HAPPEN AND GOD IS THE ONE IN CHARGE NOT IDIOTS! GOD BLESS BOTH FAMILIES AND UNLESS YOU KNOW THE FACTS IT IS BETTER TO NOT LIE.
Kidderman

Clearwater, FL

#17 Mar 24, 2008
In this incident the shooter needs to be held liable and prosecuted to the full extend of the law. There was absolutely NO excuse for his actions.# 1 - he was turkey hunting with a shotgun and his 6-year old son. Turkey hunting is "specailized" hunting. It requires the hunter to be up close and personal with the turkeys. Turkeys have tremendous eyesight and can spot the slightess movement from long distances. And by-the-way, turkeys are NOT color blind. They can spot red and "hunter orange" a mile away, literally. That is why hunters are not required to wear orange vests when turkey hunting.
# 2 - it is spring gobbler season. The hunter (the shooter) has to be close enough to the bird to tell if it is/was a hen or a tom. It is illegal to shoot a hen turkey during spring gobbler season.
# 3 - it is obvious from the description of the incident that the shooter had NO idea what he was shooting at and did NOT care if he killed a hen or tom turkey.
# 4 - it has not yet been reported but I am going to lay odds that the shooter was using buckshot and not birdshot in his shotgun. It extremely difficult to kill a man with birdshot, unless the shooter is VERY close. That said, I believe that the shooter was out with his 6-year old son, hoping to shoot a hog and came across the victim clucking away on this turkey call and shot into the brush/palmettos, without seeing what he was shooting at.
The shooter broke every law of hunting and gun safety. The shooter should be charged with first degree manslaughter, but will probably only get charged with 2nd degree. Hopefully the victim's family willl sue the shooter for everything he owns and hopes to ever own.
TOLEIHA WILLIAMSON wrote:
This was my husband that was shot. My 4 children and their wives and two grandchildren ask that you keep our family in your prayers. For clarification, there was no decoys involved, and my husband was shot from behind, through dense brush. The shot was buck shot, and thankfully, believed to be no suffering. Please pray for us. This man was a great man!!!! Carelessness can destroy a family. He was my rock and foundation. But one thing is to be stated here, use your head first before using a gun. Thank you.
Dans Sister

Oviedo, FL

#18 Mar 24, 2008
TOLEIHA WILLIAMSON wrote:
This was my husband that was shot. My 4 children and their wives and two grandchildren ask that you keep our family in your prayers. For clarification, there was no decoys involved, and my husband was shot from behind, through dense brush. The shot was buck shot, and thankfully, believed to be no suffering. Please pray for us. This man was a great man!!!! Carelessness can destroy a family. He was my rock and foundation. But one thing is to be stated here, use your head first before using a gun. Thank you.
Dear Toleiha and family, Our entire family's prayers are with you. What a terrible tragedy! Dan and C are so distraught over this news. I'm glad they turned Dan around so he can be there with you and your family. God Bless NMW
EJM

AOL

#19 Mar 24, 2008
Dear Toleiha and Family We were so sorry to here about Randy what a tragedy! I know Anthony called you he is beside him self can t belive this happen. Our prayers are with you and your family.God bless you all. EVE
Jeremy Lightner

Corpus Christi, TX

#20 Mar 28, 2008
Mrs. Williamson
I am so very sorry for your loss. I will be praying for you and your family. With Love,
Jeremy
Renee

Vero Beach, FL

#21 Jan 1, 2012
If people are still using River Ranch as a hunting area they are not true hunters. The place has become nothing more then a place for people to ride drunk crazy on four wheeler's and show off their buggy's, that never really see the mud.I was going out there years before they let the ATV enthusiasts out there, long before the wildfires took out about 600 camps back in 2008/09, of which one of them was my family's.I would not even go out of the camp area on our buggy, without orange somewhere on our bodies, we vested and wore orange caps.Sadly to say, but it sounds like this so called hunter, shot blindly into the brush, and needs to totally retire his firearms and the sport, for good. Can't say I'd want him on a boat or near a fishing rod either.Note to the ATVers not all buggy's have breaks and if you find yourself wrapped up in the face or tale of one of those, it will be your own dang fault.

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