COLDWATER, MI (WTVB) - The firearms deer season began in the state yesterday and while no incidents were reported to Branch County authorities, one hunter from West Michigan died on Thursday and the day was soon marred by the accidental shooting of another.
A 54-year-old Zeeland man, Rich Deboer, was found dead in his van by his son yesterday morning before the hunt even began. Tests are being done but it’s believed he asphyxiated using a propane heater inside a closed van. He went to sleep and didn’t wake up. It happened at a deer camp at the Manistee National Forest in Mason County. Half a dozen other family members were along on the trip but apparently he was the only one in the van.
In the other incident, a 15-year-old was accidentally shot in the leg by another member of his hunting party in an elevated hunting blind in Newaygo County. The teen is expected to survive, but how well he recovers may depend on the surgery he received at DeVos children’s hospital yesterday.