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‘Careful Hunter’ Killed On First Day Of Deer Hunting Season

November 24, 1987

HINTON, W.Va. (AP) _ A hunter who had just lectured his son about gun safety became the first casualty of deer firearm season when he was shot to death by another hunter 50 yards away who mistook him for a deer, authorities said Tuesday.

Michael Piechowski, 33, of Shady Spring, was killed around noon Monday by a single shot to the forehead, hours after the season opened, the Summers County sheriff’s office said.

Dwight D. Richmond, 34, of Danese in Fayette County, has been charged with negligent shooting, police said.

Piechowski, an avid outdoorsman, was hunting with David Plumley, 21, also of Shady Spring, on Freezeland Mountain.

Plumley said he and Piechowski spotted a deer downslope from them and said he crouched down in the brush to get a shot off.

″I was kind of hunkered down and Mike was standing right next to me when I heard the shot,″ Plumley said.

Piechowski fell to the ground, a bullet lodged in his forehead. Plumley ran up the hill to find other members of their hunting party, one of whom went for help. He was pronounced dead on arrival at a hospital in Hinton.

According to Department of Natural Resources figures, Piechowski is the 26th person killed in state hunting accidents during the past four years.

Piechowski apparently was wearing blaze orange in accordance with a 1983 law that requires hunters to wear the bright color.

Piechowski, who ran a home remodeling business in Beaver, was a careful hunter who lectured his son about gun safety earlier Monday, Plumley said.

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