Hunter Sues Federal Cartridge; Claims Faulty Bullet Almost Cost Him His Life

In what seems to be a very odd lawsuit, a hunter, Rolf Rohwer, was on an African lion hunting safari when bad luck turned almost deadly.

According to court testimony, Mr. Rohwer was hunting a lion when he shot it in the paw injuring it in a very non-lethal way.   So as not to let the animal wander off injured, the hunter then began to track the animal for 3 hours until he found it about 60 meters away.

The lion recognizing Mr. Rohwer’s approach began to charge when the hunter shot his high-powered rifle at the creature when it had closed the gap to only 7 meters.   A second later the animal was on top of the hunter and mauling him.   Eventually, the shot that hit the lion a split second before the attack on the hunter proved fatal as the lion died, but the hunter was injured so badly that he had to be air-lifted to a hospital.

You can read much more about his story here.   Still, the hunter tried to claim Federal Cartridge manufactured an inadequate bullet that should have contained a warning label on the box.   The hunter claimed he had shot over 100 lions in his lifetime, but had never used this particular load manufactured by Federal.   The hunter’s claims were that Federal was responsible for his near-death experience and should be found negligent in their manufacture and promotion.

According to the Litigaton Professional Information Center, their report sums up the decision as:

“Chief Judge James M. Rosenbaum of the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota dismissed his claims for negligence, design defect, breach of warranty, and failure to warn….Judge Rosenbaum found Federal Cartridge had no legal duty to provide a warning.  Rohwer failed to demonstrate either that the product was dangerous or that Federal Cartridge had superior knowledge or any danger, the judge wrote.  Rohwer offered no studies, tests, field reports, or evidence of bullet-failure incidents other than his own….”

As I read this I can’t help but form some impressions about the hunter, Mr. Rohwer.   First off, he offers only himself for expert testimony considering that his hunting experiences were so vast that apparently nobody else could measure up.   Second, it strikes me as odd that a hunter, supposedly of his experience level, would wait until a charging animal is only 7 meters away before discharging his gun.   For those who are not familiar with the metric system, that equates to about 23 feet away.

I don’t know many experienced or non-experienced hunters alike who would allow a fast charging critter of that danger level to get so close without firing.   Granted, we were not in that situation so it might not be fair to speculate…but there is a lot about this story that just doesn’t add up in my mind.

My hunch is Mr. Rohwer is looking for an excuse.   His pride has gotten in the way for him to accept the fact he made a few mistakes.   Rather than let his reputation of a serious, successful hunter be tarnished by this attack, it is far easier to blame the equipment he was using rather than accepting responsibility for the outcome.

I am really bothered by people who make themselves out to be the victims when it is their own stupidity or poor judgment that created the situation.   I’m not saying that Mr. Rohwer is either…but something with this story seems awfully suspicious.   Now in his failed attempt to prove product liability, perhaps it is time for Rohwer to look for what might be the real cause of his injuries.

© 2005 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved.   No Reproduction without Prior Permission.

Michael Moore’s Bodyguard Arrested For Gun Possession

If you don’t know who the blowhard Michael Moore is you certainly have had your head buried in the sand for the past several years.   This is the outspoken critic of…well, should we say everything that President Bush and most sensible-thinking people find acceptable in our society.

Indeed, Moore is the film producer who did more to capitalize financially on the deaths of the poor school children in Littleton, Colorado than anyone else…but he did it surreptitiously under the guise of producing a documentary called Bowling For Columbine, an ardent anti-gun culture flick that has slurred and slandered the entire gun industry.   More recently, Moore produced another highly controversial film entitled Fahrenheit 9/11, another film tainted with a point of view skewed well away from the norm of what most people find acceptable, but this topic is for another day.

No, today I am interested in the fact that Michael Moore’s body guard was arrested recently in New York for carrying a gun without a permit.   Imagine that, this hypocrite who spouts off his disdain for guns finds it acceptable to hire a body guard who must carry a gun to protect his fat @$$.   You get the picture here that I really don’t like Moore and the hypocrisy he stands for.   Guns are no good for society, but they are necessary to aid in his protection.

Oh sure, I can imagine that it will come out that Moore had no idea his body guard carried a gun.   If this is the case, then he is a bigger idiot than I imagined him to be for not checking out the credentials and capability of the protection agency he hired.   Fact is, you don’t work and live in close proximity of someone carrying a gun without knowing at some point they packing heat.   To make claims otherwise fools only the foolhardy who give this man way too much credit.

I don’t fault Moore for taking precautions to protect himself…in today’s world it is a necessary evil or you leave yourself highly vulnerable.   On the other hand, Moore’s crusade to get guns out of law-abiding hands—so long as it is not the hands of his bodyguard—speaks to hypocrisy at one of its worst examples.

For more information on this interesting controversy check out this link.

© 2005 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved.   No Reproduction without Prior Permission.

Hunter Waves Underwear To Hail Rescuers

Every now and then you run across a news story that is so bizarre you can’t make the stuff up.   Consider the story of Ben Lipscomb who was waterfowling and became lost in an Arkansas bayou but was resourceful enough to use his white underwear to alert rescuers to his location.   Worse yet, even if this situation did happen to you…a stranded hunter has to know that goofy antics such as this will make the news wire and you will be ridiculed.

“Pilots in an Arkansas State Police helicopter found Lipscomb shortly before 6 p.m. They spotted him waving his briefs – tied to the end of a gun barrel.   After all, it’s hard to see somebody in camouflage at dusk in the woods. But a pair of white underwear is very visible, Lipscomb said.”

Hey, it happens to the best of us.   You spend enough time in the outdoors you will get lost.   As Lipscomb realized, one of the worst things that can happen is to find some hunting success and suddenly your mind wanders from matters relating to your bearings.

But, as most hunters realize, becoming lost does not mean you start acting irrationally.   In fact, one of the first things a sportsman should do when accepting the fact he or she is lost is to sit down and devise a plan.   For some strange reason that concept evaded Lipscomb.   His plan for dealing with survival was this:

“Lipscomb started thinking he might have to spend a cold night outside. He had a few handfuls of bayou water and ate a raw duck breast.”

Alright, I remember thinking back to the time I was in a similar situation hunting antelope out in Montana.   When faced with the prospect of being lost and having to spend the overnight in cold, snowy weather…at no time did I even consider cutting out a raw tenderloin and eating it…or chewing on some sagebrush for nourishment.   Fact is, a stranded sportsman is not at immediate risk for starving to death or dying from dehydration.

"I’ve got to thank the Arkansas State Police, the Arkansas County Sheriff’s Office, Arkansas Game and Fish, the Benton County Sheriff’s Office and the Arkansas County Department of Emergency Services," Lipscomb said.

"If it hadn’t been for them, I would have probably frozen to death out there. It was a real humbling experience," Lipscomb said.”

Humbling?   Yea, I would imagine so.   I guess here’s yet another reason mom was prophetic in reminding us to wear clean underwear before we leave home.

© 2005 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved.   No Reproduction without Prior Permission.