News Releases

Fatal hunting incident in Martin Co.

News Release

Friday, October 19, 2012

Media contact: Officer Robert Dube, 305-684-8703 or Officer Amanda Phillips, 561-662-0135

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is investigating a fatal hunting incident that occurred late yesterday in Martin County.

About 6:30 p.m. Thursday, two male acquaintances were hunting hogs on an undeveloped portion of the Bridgewater development north of Jupiter when one of the men apparently took a shot at what he thought was a hog. Sadly, it was his hunting partner.

The victim is Clinton Robert Haas (DOB 07/12/78) of Loxahatchee. The alleged shooter is Ernie Small Jr. (DOB 09/25/76) of West Palm Beach. The victim died at the scene.

“At this point in our investigation, this appears to be a terrible hunting accident,” said Capt. John Suggs, law enforcement supervisor for the FWC. “As with all hunting incidents, we will conduct a thorough investigation to find out how and why this hunting trip ended so tragically.”

The continuing investigation will look into numerous factors, including weather conditions, the types of firearms involved and the experience level of the hunters.

The FWC will release more information as the investigation progresses. Martin County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the initial shooting report but turned it over to the FWC, because it appears to be a hunting accident.

FWC Facts:
In Florida, male black bears typically have home ranges of 50 to 120 square miles; female ranges generally are 10 to 25 square miles.

Learn More at AskFWC