An elk hunter from Pennsylvania faces a charge of criminally negligent homicide after shooting a bowhunter from Houston, Texas. It happened in the San Juan National Forest in southwest Colorado.
Authorities say the hunting partner of Ronald Morosko tried to call in an elk when Morosko allegedly thought he saw an elk and fired his muzzleloader. Instead of an animal, his shot struck and killed Gregory Gabrish, a bowhunter who was not with them.
According to the arrest warrant and as reported by the Durango Herald, Dolores County Sheriff Don Wilson said, “Basic hunting knowledge (is) to identify what your target is and beyond before shooting the gun. Ronald Morosko did fall below the standard of care by failing to properly identify his target, resulting in the shooting of a person.”
Colorado Parks and Wildlife released a statement calling the shooting a “tragic incident.”
Hunters with rifles are required to wear fluorescent orange clothing while archery hunters are not. Gabrish did not wear hunter orange. The incident happened in a place and during a time of the hunting season where black powder and archery hunting are both allowed.
“A key principle of hunter education is to be sure of your target and what is beyond it before you aim or take a shot. If not 100% sure, do not aim or take the shot,” John Livingston, CPW spokesperson, told the Durango Herald.
Morosko went to jail and is scheduled to appear in a Colorado court.
(Photo source: San Juan National Forest)