Hunter confrontations lead to pair of arrests

Argyle, N.Y. – Southern Zone firearms deer season got off to a
violent start in one part of the state during opening day
weekend.

Two men were arrested after incidents in Washington County in
which two hunters were allegedly harassed by a property owner who
police said fired rifle shots toward them, and a hunter confronted
and allegedly threatened a teen who he believed interfered with his
day in the woods.

The incidents happened just miles apart, but were unrelated,
according to police.

In Argyle, Shaune Sellingham, 43, of Argyle, was charged with a
felony count of first-degree reckless endangerment and misdemeanor
assault for his alleged actions toward hunters near Cossayuna Lake
the morning of opening day, state police said.

Police said the two hunters were on land where they could
legally hunt, but Sellingham was apparently upset about their
presence and fired shots from a .22-caliber rifle in their
direction as they sat in tree stands. The incident happened shortly
after dawn, and the victims said they heard the man yelling to “get
out of here” as the shots were fired. The bullets hit in the trees
near them, state police said.

Sellingham is also accused of striking one of the hunters in the
face with a beer can as he exited the woods, causing minor
injuries.

In an interview two days later, Sellingham said he was
target-shooting on his own property.

He acknowledged he was dealing with people “who have been
regularly hunting on property that they shouldn’t be on” but said
he was not trying to intimidate them.

“I absolutely didn’t do anything to endanger anybody,” he
said.

Sellingham was released pending an appearance in Argyle Town
Court.

The next day, a Fort Edward (Washington County) man was jailed
after he allegedly threatened a teen with a rifle because he was
upset the teen and his friends were in an area where the man was
hunting, police said.

Kevin D. Wiedl, 44, of Drifting Ridge Road, was charged with
four misdemeanors, including counts of assault and criminal
possession of a weapon, after the incident in woods behind St.
Mary’s Cemetery in Fort Edward, according to the Washington County
Sheriff’s Department.

A group of teens was playing “paintball” games in the area,
which apparently angered Wiedl, said Washington County Sheriff
Roger Leclaire.

Wiedl is accused of grabbing and knocking down one of the teens,
choking him and pointing his rifle at him, Leclaire said. It was
unclear if the rifle was loaded, Leclaire said.

Wiedl was arrested without incident later that day. One of the
teens knew him, Leclaire said.

In addition to the assault and weapons counts, he also was
charged with unlawful imprisonment and menacing.

He was sent to Washington County Jail for lack of bail.

State Police Senior Investigator Thomas Aiken said troopers
handled at least one other dispute in Washington County involving
landowners and hunters during opening weekend, though no other
arrests were reported.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation recommends
that hunters who want to hunt on private land ask permission of
landowners well in advance of their outing, and discuss with the
owner where on the land hunting can occur.

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