Tragedy struck Pawnee County, Nebraska, earlier this week. On November 13, Kade Reiman was fatally shot in a hunting accident.
The 23-year-old was hunting south of Lewiston around sunset when his hunting partner fired a shot at a running doe. The bullet struck Reiman instead. When emergency services arrived, Reiman was pronounced dead at the scene from a gunshot wound to the neck.
According to Sheriff Branden Lang, investigators performed ballistics tests on the weapon and ammunition and found the ill-fated situation to be completely accidental.
"Investigating officers concluded that a series of unfortunate events culminated in Kade being struck and killed by a bullet fired by a hunting partner," Lang said in a written statement. "This fired round had been shot by the partner at a fleeing doe, and light conditions at dusk along with topography and timing placed Kade in the line of fire, but his presence was obscured from the view of the hunting partner due to conditions."
The investigation is closed, and Lang doesn’t expect any charges will be filed with the incident.
Nebraska requires hunters to wear 400 square inches of blaze orange above their waist during firearm season. This, now mostly standardized dress for the field alongside hunter education courses, has increasingly made hunting safer over the last half-century. But accidents still happen, and for a variety of reasons. This instance is another tragic reminder to absolutely know your target and what lies behind it.
Kade Reiman began teaching second grade at Bennet Elementary this year. He was also an assistant high school football coach and just started coaching the junior high basketball team.
District Superintendent Mike Hart described Kade’s time spent at the school in a press release: “Kade did an outstanding job of caring for our students, and he was purposeful and authentic in making meaningful and positive connections with our staff, his students (especially his second-grade students), our families, and the athletes he coached.”
MeatEater sends condolences to the family and friends of Kade Reiman. According to his obituary, “he truly was the man everyone respected, loved, and could depend on day or night.”