Two hunters shot in Region

By Lisa Williams Ackley

Staff Writer

A 60-YEAR-OLD MAN FROM N.H. WHO WAS CRITICALLY WOUNDED — after being shot by a hunter on the afternoon of Nov. 5 near Thomas Pond in Casco is carried out of the woods by members of the Raymond Fire & Rescue Department and a Cumberland County Sheriff’s deputy to an awaiting ambulance that transported him to a LifeFlight helicopter a short distance away. The man was airlifted to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston. (Ackley Photo)

SEBAGO — A 46-year-old father of two was shot and killed in woods near his home on Hogfat Hill Road Saturday afternoon by another hunter, just one day after a 60-year-old man from New Hampshire who was target practicing was shot in the stomach by a hunter in Casco.

Peter John Kolofsky was fatally shot approximately 45 minutes before sunset on Saturday, Nov. 5 as the result of a hunting accident and died at the scene, according to Edie Smith, a spokeswoman for the Maine Warden Service.

“It has been determined that Mr. Kolofsky was wearing hunter orange,” Smith said.

Maine Warden Service investigators identified the man who shot Kolofsky as 61-year-old William Briggs, of Windham. Both men were deer hunting in Sebago, although they were not hunting in the same parties.

Kolofsky was hunting by himself a short distance from his residence on Hogfat Hill Road, when he was killed. Briggs, who was the one who called 9-1-1, was hunting with a relative north of Hogfat Hill Road, when he shot Kolofsky in the torso with a rifle.

The investigation into the circumstances of Kolofsky’s death is ongoing, Smith said.

Meanwhile, 60-year-old Mark Mattson, of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, was target shooting in woods near his family’s cottage on the north end of Thomas Pond in Casco around 2:30 p.m. Nov. 4 when he was shot in the stomach by 29-year-old Travis Wood, of Windham, who was hunting with a partner. Maine Warden Service investigators determined Mattson was practicing target shooting in the woods approximately 300 yards from a logging road off Quaker Ridge Road and Libby Road.

Peter Kolofsky

Mattson was airlifted to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston where he was listed in critical condition for two days, before his condition was upgraded.

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According to the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, the shooting death of 46-year-old Peter J. Kolofsky off Hogfat Hill Road in Sebago on Saturday is the first hunting fatality in the Maine woods since 2008, when a man deer hunting in Beaver Cove died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

In 2008, there were 10 shooting incidents (six deer hunting; four bird hunting) — one fatal

In 2009, there were eight shooting incidents (one deer hunting, one rabbit hunting, six bird and turkey hunting) — none fatal

In 2010, there were seven shooting incidents (all bird and turkey hunting) — none fatal.

There are over 200,000 licensed hunters in Maine.

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A third man, 26-year-old Steven Hutter, of Hebron, was shot in the leg while hunting with a partner Friday afternoon off Allen Hill Road in Oxford. Maine Warden Service investigators found that Hutter was hunting with 47-year-old Linton Thompson near Thompson’s property at 316 Allen Hill Road and that after shooting and wounding a deer, Hutter and Thompson began tracking the wounded deer and Thompson shot Hutter in the lower leg. Hutter underwent surgery at CMMC.

The Maine Warden Service, working with Maine State Police, the Warden Forensic Mapping Team and a Warden K-9, is continuing its investigations into all three shooting incidents.

Smith said all three investigations are ongoing, and no summonses have been issued and no arrests made. Questioning and the gathering of evidence continues, she said.

Asked what cautions he would issue to hunters and the general public, Maine Warden Service Sergeant Tim Place, of Naples, who has been a game warden for 25 years, said Tuesday, “100 percent target identification — hunters need to be sure what they’re shooting at. The only people required to wear blaze orange are those hunting deer and moose. People walking dogs or doing some other activity are not (required to wear hunter orange). So, you have to be 100% sure of your target — be safe, know your background before you shoot, and identify the head and torso. You have to be 100% sure — I can’t stress that enough.”

Safety tips for hunters

The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife lists these other safety tips for hunters:

• wear a hunter orange hat and vest or jacket

• identify yourself to other hunters in the area

• keep the gun’s safety on whenever you are not intending to shoot

• carry a cell phone and a compass

• let someone know your location

Remembering a good man & a good friend

Kurt Christensen knew his good friend Peter Kolofsky for 30 years. He and his wife and Peter and Lisa Kolofsky spent many occasions together, in the course of their decades-long friendship.

Tuesday afternoon, Kurt spoke with The Bridgton News, on behalf of Lisa Kolofsky. Peter’s family and friends are trying to deal with his sudden, tragic loss, though it is very difficult.

“The most important thing is we don’t want this to happen to anyone else,” Kurt said. “It’s just a terrible, tragic accident. Peter was Lisa’s whole world. You have to know your target, before you shoot. Every one of us, and all of our children hunt, fish and we work. And now, this has been taken away. I don’t want to go sit on a stump on a sunny afternoon and get shot. It’s terrible. There’s no excuse for it. I’ve hunted for 35 years and never once aimed my gun at something I didn’t intend to kill.”

Help for Peter’s family

“We will all do what we can, for Lisa and the kids,” Kurt said. “A fund — The Kolofsky Memorial Fund — has been set up at TD Bank.” (Call 647-5884, for more information). Kurt said further, “I’d like to ask anyone who hunts and fishes to make some kind of contribution — whatever they can. It’s so tragic. It’s just so tragic. Also, on Nov. 19 the Sebago Lions are doing a breakfast from 7 to 10 a.m. at the old Town Hall on Route 107. We’re also putting together a firewood raffle for two cords of dry wood. Tickets will be sold door to door and at Jordan’s Store in Sebago and other local businesses.”

Peter Kolofsky was a man who loved the woods and his passion was logging. He leaves behind his wife, Lisa, and their children, Maria and Thomas.

Visiting hours and a celebration of Peter’s life will be held today, Nov. 10, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Watson, Neal & York Funeral Home, 71 Maple Street, in Cornish. An additional time of visitation will be on Friday, Nov. 11, from noon to 2 p.m. at the funeral home in Cornish. A Mass of Christian Burial will be on Fri., Nov. 11, at 3 p.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 225 South High Street in Bridgton. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The Kolofsky Memorial Fund at any TD Bank branch.

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