Tragedy on first day of deer hunt

Calif. man who ac­ci­den­tally shot him­self in Thur­mont had pre­pared for out­ing with un­cle

Baltimore Sun - - NEWS - By Jes­sica An­der­son jkan­der­son@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/jan­ders5

Pre­par­ing for his first hunt­ing trip, Vin­cent Cavallo read about safety pro­ce­dures and prac­ticed at the firing range.

But de­spite his pre­cau­tions, the 32-yearold Cal­i­for­nia man died Satur­day while hunt­ing with an un­cle in Western Mary­land. Po­lice said his ri­fle ac­ci­den­tally dis­charged when he ei­ther slipped or dropped his gun.

The men were hunt­ing deer on pri­vate prop­erty on Eylers Valley Flint Road near Thur­mont, po­lice said. It was the first day of Mary­land’s two-week deer hunt­ing sea­son.

“He looked for­ward to this for quite a long time,” said his fa­ther, Joseph Cavallo. He said his son, a Navy vet­eran, adored his un­cle, an ex­pe­ri­enced hunter, and had been plan­ning the trip for a while.

The men had be­come sep­a­rated when Vin­cent Cavallo’s ri­fle dis­charged, po­lice said. His un­cle heard a shot just be­fore 9:30 a.m., po­lice said, and then found Cavallo’s body.

Cavallo’s un­cle could not be reached for com­ment.

It was one of two ac­ci­den­tal shoot­ings on open­ing week­end. In a sep­a­rate in­ci­dent Satur­day, a 44-year-old Delaware man shot him­self in the leg in Ce­cil County, po­lice said.

Scott Carroll had shot a deer on pri­vate prop­erty on Wards Hill Road in War­wick near the Delaware line, po­lice said, and was try­ing to re­trieve the an­i­mal in a swampy area when he lost his foot­ing. His ri­fle dis­charged.

Carroll was flown to Mary­land Shock Trauma Cen­ter in Bal­ti­more, po­lice said. His in­juries were not be­lieved to be life-threat­en­ing.

Joseph Cavallo said his son had read hunt­ing safety pro­ce­dures, went to the firing range and asked his un­cle lots of ques­tions be­fore they left Satur­day morn­ing. He said he does not blame his brother-in-law.

Cavallo’s younger brother, Ni­cholas Cavallo, said his brother “was ask­ing all the right ques­tions. He was def­i­nitely ex­cited about it.”

He said his brother had med­i­cally re­tired from the Navy as a petty of­fi­cer.

Joseph Cavallo said his son was serv­ing aboard the car­rier USS Carl Vin­son in 2010 when it de­ployed to Haiti for re­lief ef­forts af­ter a dev­as­tat­ing earth­quake.

Joseph Cavallo said his son helped un­load wa­ter from the ship us­ing he­li­copters.

“He said, ‘Dad, I was busy ev­ery minute,’ ” his fa­ther said. “He was very proud.”

Re­cently, he had been liv­ing at home in Cavallo Al­tadena and plan­ning to move to Ore­gon, where the cost of liv­ing is cheaper, his fa­ther said. He was in­ter­ested in learn­ing to race cars.

He and his fa­ther loved watch­ing foot­ball to­gether, and cheered for the New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots be­cause they were Tom Brady fans. They went to Gil­lette Sta­dium in 2014 to­gether for a fa­ther-son trip.

“It is so painful,” Joseph Cavallo said. “I’ve cried so much the last day. I just miss him so much.”

An East­ern Shore man was killed last year dur­ing hunt­ing sea­son.

Marvin Bowen Cop­page, 75, of Hen­der­son was shot to death dur­ing a pheas­ant and chukar hunt in Queen Anne’s County.

Cop­page, an em­ployee of the hunt­ing firm Schrader’s Out­doors LLC, was flush­ing birds from the brush when three boys fired.

They were part of a party that had hired Cop­page.

The shoot­ing was ruled ac­ci­den­tal.

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