Lefty's Last Hunt

  • Thread starter RogueWarrior1957
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It seems that the Kennedy family can't drive, fly or shoot! Read on...

Lefty's Last Hunt: Dog Felled in 'Tragic Accident'

By Richard Leiby Thursday, May 6, 2004; Page C03

Kennedy cousin and onetime Maryland legislator Mark Shriver has learned an expensive lesson about pheasant hunting. Rule No. 1: Shoot the pheasant, not the hunting dog.

Shriver's errant shotgun blast killed Lefty, a champion English springer spaniel, during a December trip to a hunting preserve near Gettysburg, Pa. After months of negotiations, the dog's owner, Kris Pederson, last week accepted $9,500 in compensation for the dog, according to two sources familiar with the matter. Pederson, a businessman from Freeland, Md., would not comment, but the sources told us he originally valued Lefty (official name: Mason Dixon's Left Wing) at $15,000 and Shriver initially offered $3,500.

"It was a tragic accident," says Shriver, who lives in Bethesda and heads literacy programs for Save the Children. He would not comment on the amount of the settlement, but told us, "I provided full monetary compensation. And it was a sad incident for me as well. I've known dogs my entire life and it was very, very sad."

The incident that felled Lefty, 7, occurred at a preserve called Hill Country, where Shriver hunted as a guest of a member. The hunting guide that day, David Roesler, a police officer in Baltimore County, told us he grew wary after Shriver "had a misfire" early in the hunt. Not long afterward, Lefty was flushing a bird when Shriver shot the dog with his
12-gauge, leaving a fist-size wound, Roesler said. "It just missed me," he recalled, but Shriver said, "That is not true at all."

Roesler, brother-in-law of Lefty's owner, rushed to the dog's aid. "I knew there was nothing I could do," he said. "It hit him in the rib cage . . . exactly where his heart is." Shriver immediately told him, "I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry," Roesler said.

But the guide was furious: "There was nothing I could say. I was bawling my eyes out, I was so mad."

Asked whether he's an experienced hunter, Shriver, 40, told us: "I've hunted my entire life with my father and my family. We'll leave it at that."

Hill Country's manager, George Werner, called Shriver a "very sloppy" hunter who "did unsafe things." He said Shriver is barred from ever hunting there again.

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