Hunter dies on opening day of deer season

December 2, 2008 6:51:50 AM PST
An eastern Pennsylvania man was found dead after a fall from a tree stand, a shotgun slug was fired through the window of a home, and two hunters were taken to hospitals after falls as the state's rifle deer season got off to a start Monday. The game commission says deer license sales are up this year, and about 900,000 hunters were expected take to the woods on the opening day of the season. The season runs through Dec. 13 in most areas of the state.

About 323,000 deer were harvested by licensed hunters last year, down from nearly 362,000 in 2006.

The Bucks County Coroner's Office planned an autopsy Tuesday on the body of a Tinicum man found in the woods behind a home in a rural section of the county, about 35 miles north of Philadelphia.

The man was found about 5:30 p.m. Tinicum police said it was uncertain whether the man was stricken, causing him to fall from the tree stand, or whether he was killed by the fall.

Pennsylvania Game Commission officers were investigating who fired a slug that broke a bedroom window in West Cocalico Township in Lancaster County at about 7:30 a.m. Monday. Nobody was hurt.

In Berks County, a hunter had to be rescued in a remote wooded area in Spring Township, near the Lancaster County line, after falling 30 feet off a tree stand before dawn.

Scott E. Schweitzer, 56, of Adamstown called family members on his cell phone shortly before 6 a.m. and said he had fallen and hurt his back, police and fire officials told The Reading Eagle. Family members called 9-1-1, and emergency crews found Schweitzer about an hour later.

There was no immediate word on the extent of Schweitzer's injuries.

In York Township, an 85-year-old man was taken to York Hospital after falling while hunting deer.

The man was found by his daughter after failing to arrive home for lunch as planned, York Area Regional Police Sgt. Rod Varner told the York Daily Record.

The unidentified man was found just after noon on a wooded section of his farm in York Township, police said. Officials said it wasn't clear if he fell from a tree stand or tripped. His loaded shotgun was found in the tree stand.

Police said the man was being treated for an injury to his head. His condition was not immediately known, police told the newspaper.

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