Hunter Comes Under Fire as Man Takes Target Practice

Deer hunter cowers under spray of automatic weapon fire

The tables were turned on an Indiana deer hunter on Friday when bullets from a semi automatic weapon started hitting tree branches around him as he sought a target of his own.

Charlie Smith said at least 40 bullets whizzed by him, with one flying just a few feet from his head. Smith was certain that he had suddenly become the prey. He ducked low to the ground in the wooded area near Michigan City where he was hunting, and took cover behind a tree to call 911.

The police dispatcher he spoke to instructed him to stay put until the gunfire stopped, but Smith took advantage of a brief lull to dash to his truck and lean on the horn to let the shooter know there was a human out there.

The gunfire didn't stop.

''I kind of felt I was being shot at, at that point,'' Smith said.

It turned out that the man firing the semi automatic was taking target practice. Benjamin Gaurin Jr. told LaPorte County police that he thought a pile of wood chips he was using as a backdrop was adequate to absorb the bullets. 

No charges were filed in what police deemed to be "an accident."

Smith said he is not easily shaken. The 40-year-old has been hunting for a long time, he said, but Friday's accident had him "shaking so bad."

Contact Us