Veteran, Avid Shooter’s Wake is a Blast

Weekly news, tips, trivia, fun facts and wild tales from the outdoors

Jan. 13, 2016

A U.S. Army veteran from Utah was honored by his family last week when nearly 100 of his friends gathered to send his remains into the air — along with some gunpowder — at a shooting range where he spent hundreds of enjoyable hours during his life. You’ll also read about a state game officer who cited some ne’r-do-wells on HIS property, and much more!

Out With a Bang!
Walter “Jim” Hosey, a Vietnam War Army veteran from LaVerkin, Utah, who died January 2, received a heartfelt sendoff from family members and friends January 9 at the Southern Utah Practical Shooting Range in Hurricane where he spent so much of his life.

The Marine Corps Times reports that in addition to the customary American Legion rifle salute, taps and the honorary presentation of the American flag to Hosey’s son Clint and daughters Emerald and Heidi, Hosey received a special kind of tribute in keeping with his personality. That’s because Clint loaded 50, 12-gauge shotgun shells with his father’s ashes and sent his dad’s remains downrange, with the help of compliant relatives and friends (pictured above).

More than 100 family members and friends gathered for Saturday’s event, and many took a moment to share memories with those in attendance.

Clint said his father didn’t talk much about his service in Vietnam, and Hosey didn’t even bring the medals he’d received home with him when he returned from overseas. Instead, he concentrated on enjoying each day, and part of that included shooting guns.

“As soon as I could hold a pellet gun up, I was learning to shoot,” said Clint, who lives in Cedar City.

The funeral director admitted it was a first for him, though appropriate for the man and his family.

“It’s the first time for me that a veteran’s or an individual’s ashes were made into ammunition and then fired through a shotgun,” Spilsbury funeral director Mark Heiner said after the ceremony. “But it’s a fitting tribute to the way he lived.”

J.R. Absher
J.R. Absher

Wildlife Agent Busts Game-Law Violators — On His Property!
Often it takes a little luck and being in the right place at the right time for state game agents to apprehend those who choose to violate game laws. But last week a Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agent arrested five men for allegedly night hunting after they came to him – literally!

Lt. Kenneth Balkom was at home in Claiborne Parish around 11 p.m. Jan. 1, enjoying an otherwise quiet evening, when he heard a utility vehicle driving down a rural road outside his house. He went to the window and observed the occupants of the UTV shining a light into his hayfield, the agency said.

Lt. Balkom quickly changed into his uniform and stopped the men inside the UTV, finding the men in possession of three freshly harvested rabbits, a spotlight, one rifle, one pistol and three shotguns. He also found a bag of marijuana on one of the men.

The officer seized the guns, marijuana, rabbits, spotlight and UTV and booked the men into the Claiborne Parish jail. Cited were Justin S. Wren, 34, of Monroe; Christopher L. Wren, 23, of Shreveport; Jordan M. Wren, 26, stationed in Atsugi, Japan; Aaron C. Kilpatrick, 27, of Katy, Texas; and Joseph B. Ralston, 27, of McKinney, Texas; for hunting rabbits during illegal hours, hunting from a moving vehicle and from a public road.

Committee Kills Proposal to Ban Mountain Lion Hinting in Nebraska
A legislative committee voted this week to kill a proposal that would have outlawed mountain lion hunting in Nebraska.

The Legislature’s Natural Resources Committee voted 8-0 January 5 to indefinitely postpone Legislative Bill 127, which would prevent the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission from setting mountain lion hunting seasons. State Sen. Ernie Chambers introduced the bill last year, but the committee took no action at that time.

“I think that Game and Parks is the entity that needs to control wildlife in the state and hunting is a good way for Game and Parks to administer that,” said State Sen. Ken Schilz of Ogallala.

Other committee members expressed concern that if the Legislature tells the agency how to manage one species, it will get pressure from outside groups to ban hunting of other game animals.

N.C. Agency Launches New Turn-In-Poachers Program
The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission has launched a new program that could reward members of the public who report suspicious activity or provide knowledge related to wildlife poaching violations that results in a conviction. The Turn-In-Poachers (TIP) program was created to encourage any concerned citizen to report information on wildlife violations.

“Wildlife crimes affect us all, whether we are hunters, anglers, trappers, bird watchers or just someone who enjoys walking in the woods,” said Lt. B.J. Meyer, assistant training director and communications supervisor for the Commission’s Law Enforcement Division.

The Turn-In-Poachers program was developed in partnership with the N.C. Bowhunters Association to implement Session Law 2013-380, which established the Wildlife Poacher Reward Fund. The fund receives at least 10 percen of replacement and investigative costs (by court order) from adjudicated cases. Additional money to support the fund comes from wildlife law violators themselves, who are required to pay restoration fees directly to the NCWRC. The restoration fee replenishes the fund in the amount of the reward paid out to capture the poacher.

Rewards range from $100 to $1,000, depending on the severity of the crime and the fines assessed by the court.

Click here to learn more about the program.

Quote of The Week
“He has the first quality of an angler, which is not to measure the pleasure by the catch.”
– Winston Churchill,
The Hinges of Fate, 1950

J.R. Absher is a freelance outdoor writer whose articles and columns appear in numerous national publications. He offers his unique perspective of the outdoors weekly for You may contact him at






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