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CONTACT:  
Col. Martin Garabedian: 603-271-3127   
Jane Vachon: 603-271-3211
November 9, 2011

UPDATE 11/10/11, 4 p.m.: Investigation has confirmed that the person who discharged the firearm was Wade Holmes, age 48, of Lisbon, N.H. The NH Medical Examiner's office has released the cause of death as a single gunshot wound to the neck from a high-velocity rifle. The investigation continues and will be forwarded to the Grafton County Attorney's office when complete.

UPDATE 11/9/11, 2 p.m.: The hunting-related shooting incident victim has been identified as Kenneth Brunelle of Marlboro, Massachusetts.

31-year-old Man Fatally Shot in Hunting-related Incident in Lisbon, N.H.

CONCORD, N.H. – A 31-year-old man who was hunting with his father and brother on the opening day of New Hampshire's firearms deer hunting season was fatally shot today at approximately 8 a.m. by another hunter in the vicinity. The man was pronounced dead at the scene. The incident occurred off of Mt. Eustis Road in Lisbon, N.H.  The alleged shooter was unrelated to the victim's hunting party and is being interviewed by authorities at this time.

The incident is being investigated by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department and the New Hampshire State Police.  No further information is available at this time; updates will be posted on this web page.

Fatal hunting incidents are unusual for New Hampshire, which has a generally good record for hunter safety, largely attributable to mandatory hunter education and the increasing use of blaze orange clothing by hunters. The average number of hunting-related incidents per year has gone down steadily since the state instituted the hunter education requirement for first-time hunters in the 1970s. During the 1960s, New Hampshire had an average of 21.4 hunting-related incidents per year. Fewer incidents have occurred each decade since, with an average of 3.36 incidents per year since 2000.

Serious incidents are even rarer – counting today's tragic death, only five hunting-related fatalities have occurred in the state in the last 15 years. The most recent previous hunting-related shooting fatality in New Hampshire occurred on the opening day of muzzleloader season in 2009; in that incident, a hunter was killed when his muzzleloader discharged shortly after he had gotten into his treestand.

All hunters are encouraged to review the ten commandments of hunter safety:

1. Treat every firearm with the same respect due a loaded firearm.
2. Control the direction of your firearm's muzzle.
3. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
4. Be sure the barrel and action are clear of obstructions.
5. Unload firearms when not in use.
6. Never point a firearm at anything you do not intend to shoot.
7. Never climb a fence or tree, or jump a ditch or log, with a loaded firearm.
8. Never shoot a bullet at a flat, hard surface or water.
9. Store firearms and ammunition separately.
10. Avoid alcoholic beverages or other mood-altering drugs before or while shooting.

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