Deer dispute settled with coin flip
ONEIDA - Opening weekend for Deer Hunt 2014 is in the books, but one buck tale may have an unhappy ending for one young hunter.
Kameron Jorgenson,11, wounded a nine-point buck while hunting with his father, but when they tracked the deer to a neighbor's property, a picture was all Jorgenson was able to keep.
The season was just a couple of hours old when D.J. Jorgenson says his son Kameron shot the deer in the Town of Oneida.
"Deer hit the ground, and it came back up, and took off running," said D.J. Jorgenson.
The Jorgensons tracked the buck through the woods toward the adjoining property when they say they heard two shots.
"We could see that the other landowner on his land, and we got up as far as the fence line. He came down and met us by the fence post," said Jorgenson.
"He" is landowner Randy Heyrman. Heyrman did not want to go on camera, but he told FOX 11 he saw the deer too. Heyrman took a picture to show where he says the deer was wounded in the leg. Heyrman says he shot twice from his deer stand to finish off the animal.
With the deer dead, and the two hunters deadlocked as to who would keep the buck, they both agreed to settle it with the flip of a coin.
"So I dug in my pocket. I grabbed out a quarter. He did the coin flip. My boy called tails, and it was heads. And he said, 'well, it looks like it's my deer then,'" said Jorgenson.
So whose deer is it?
"When sportsmen are afield, they need to be aware of their surroundings. Knowing what could happen if the deer gets to private property, that they do not have a right to go in there and just take the deer. They need landowner's permission and the landowner can in turn actually take that deer," said Shad Webster, Oneida Conservation Department Director.
Heyrman says even though he is 34 years older than Jorgenson, the coin flip was fair.
Jorgenson's father thinks his son should have more than just a photograph.
"I wish he would have done the right thing to begin with. All my son wants is his deer that he shot," said Jorgenson.
The Department of Natural Resources reminds hunters that they need to have permission to retrieve any deer from private property.
Wardens say if they are called to settle any dispute, the deer is usually confiscated and the meat donated to an area food pantry.