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Hunter Kills Self After Accidentally Shooting Son, Police Say

November 25, 1991

EXETER, N.Y. (AP) _ A hunter committed suicide after discovering that he accidentally shot and killed his son, state police said.

Gene Bulak, 41, shot his 18-year-old son Michael in the head Sunday after the two took different paths through the woods and the older man mistook his son for a deer, police said.

The teen-ager was about 150 feet from his father in a dark green jacket, authorities said.

″Upon discovering that he had killed his son, Gene Bulak took his own life with one of the hunting shotguns,″ state police said in a statement.

The Bulaks were from the small community of Taberg, about 35 miles from Syracuse, and were hunting with three other people on private land about 50 miles west of Albany.

Neighbors of the Bulaks said it was the first time the father had taken his eldest son on a hunting trip he made every year.

″These were the nicest people,″ said Penny Prosser, a cashier at a store in nearby Lee. ″I’ve seen grown men with tears in their eyes this morning.″

Gene Bulak was a truckdriver for the Owego Wire Co. in Williamstown, N.Y., and a volunteer firefighter. His son graduated from Camden High School last spring and attended Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica.

Teachers and counselors at the high school were prepared for a tough day today, said teacher Wayne Edkin. A counseling group was formed and staff was watching for distraught students and staff.

″It may not be until the middle of the day when a student breaks down,″ Edkins said. ″It’s a shock because it reminds them that accidents happen to people like them, too.″

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