November 27, 2008
Savannah, GA - A Conservation Corporal with the Georgia
Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division was
shot while on active patrol in Chatham County. In what appears to
be a case of mistaking a person for game, a deer hunter shot Cpl.
Curtis Wright of Savannah. The incident currently is under
investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and DNR and
no charges have been filed at this time.
“I am pleased to report that Cpl. Wright is in stable condition
and that it appears he will recover fully from this serious
injury,” says Chief of Law Enforcement Col. Terry West.
Cpl. Wright was on active patrol near Hwy. 21 and Port Wentworth
investigating a waterfowl complaint at approximately 5:45 p.m. The
area, a railroad right-of-way, is private property. He was shot in
the abdomen by a bullet from a 7 mm magnum firearm. The bullet
exited out of his back. Wright was able to maintain a level of
calm and managed to call 911 and render some of his own first aid.
The hunter came to Wright’s assistance and helped get him out of
the woods to emergency personnel. Wright was taken to Memorial
University Medical Center in Savannah where he was surgically
treated and declared in stable condition. The bullet did not
damage any vital organs. He is scheduled for surgery today to
further clean the wound and make sure there is no further tissue
The hunter has cooperated fully with his detainment and
questioning by DNR and GBI personnel. The Critical Incident
Response Team and GBI are reconstructing the incident and plan on
questioning Cpl. Wright later today.
Cpl. Wright, 56 years old, has worked for the Division for more
than 26 years, most of that time in Chatham County. The last
incident in which a conservation ranger was injured by shooting
was in March of 2001 when Cpl. Leon Tucker was injured on the
opening day of turkey hunting season.
“I believe the message that this incident can send to hunters is
to always positively identify your target – you cannot take back
that bullet once it is fired,” says West. “So far this year, there
has been one other incident where a person was shot when they were
mistaken for game. While neither of these incidents have been
fatal, they were preventable.”