Hunting Under the Influence...
An Animal Rights Article from


Ruth Eisenbud
January 2012

Cheryl Blair was shot and critically wounded by a hunter on New Year's Eve as she walked her golden retrievers (see appendix A) (

The hunter, State Trooper John Bergeron, claims it was an accident. His excuse: he mistook her golden retriever for a deer, ignoring the reality that if hadn’t been out intending to kill a helpless deer, Cheryl Blair would not have been shot. If he had wounded or killed the dog, there would be little fuss. Though a beloved family member, a dog is still only an animal according to biblical standard of compassion:

"God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: 'Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. The fear and dread of you shall rest on every animal of the earth, and on every bird of the air, on everything that creeps on the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; into your hand they are delivered. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you; and just as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.'

Hunting parties, fueled by alcohol, are viewed as an sporting expression of man's triumph over animals. When mistakes are made and accidents occur, when a domestic animal or even another hunter, or a human bystander is injured or killed it is shrugged off as collateral damage, as it was in this case. State Trooper Bergeron, was not charged with a crime.

When a person driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol injures or kills someone, he/she is charged with a felony or motor vehicle homicide. No effort was made to determine if the hunter was under the influence, for it might put a damper on the spirits of those out with their buddies for a good ol' time of drinking, carousing and killing. Though John Bergeron may or may not have been thing is clear: he was HUID, hunting under the influence of dominion. The arrogant intention to hunt down a harmless creature for sport easily results in other behaviors associated with violent self indulgence, such as: drunkenness, spousal/child abuse and trigger happy violence towards strangers..

Bergeron was not charged since hunting is allowed in every state of dominion USA and permits are granted by wildlife services for a fee. Profits generated by these fees and the sale of hunting gear, including guns, is big business, not to be challenged under any circumstances. Challenges are met with derision by the powers that be: government and legitimized by religious authorities.

(appendix A)

NORTON, Mass. (CBS/AP) — Police say a 66-year-old woman walking her two dogs just after sunset on Saturday was shot and wounded by a hunter who claimed that he thought she was a deer.

The hunter is State Trooper John Bergeron who was off-duty at the time. Police say the woman was on a wooded path Saturday evening when Bergeron fired a single shot at her.

State Police said in a statement that Bergeron, an experienced hunter who lives in the area, did not see the victim, and mistook the tails of her two dogs as the tail of a deer.

At this point, investigators believe the shooting was accidental and no charges are expected. “The incident occurred while he was deer hunting while off-duty. He was properly permitted, in-season, and in an appropriate area for deer hunting,” the statement read. “Upon immediately realizing what had happened, the trooper called the incident in himself and administered medical aid to the woman until EMS arrived.”

The victim, Cheryl Blair, was taken to Rhode Island Hospital, where she is recovering from surgery for a fractured pelvis. Norton, state and environmental police officers are still investigating the shooting.

State regulations allow deer hunting until 30 minutes after sunset. Sunset on Sunday was at 4:21 p.m. Police say the shooting took place around 5 p.m., but did not give an exact time.

Investigators seemed to indicate that they believe the shooting took place before 4:51 p.m., which would mark the end of the hunting day. Both Blair and Bergeron are neighbors in Norton. State Police also wished Blair “a full and speedy recovery.”

Return to Animal Rights Articles