Breaking: Oxendine given ‘verbal guidance’ to complete hunter education course

State Department of Natural Resources investigators gave Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine “verbal guidance” that he needs to complete a hunter education course, according to a DNR report.

The department was investigating the Jan. 17 accidental shooting of a Walker County man who was observing as Oxendine and several others were hunting on a private quail preserve owned by a friend and major donor to Oxendine’s bid for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.

The man, Russell “Monty” Robertson, was hit in both legs and one hand by nearly 30 shotgun pellets as Oxendine and three others fired on a quail.  As first reported by The Atlanta Journal Constitution on Jan. 19, Oxendine said it was his 13-year-old son who accidentally shot Robertson. DNR’s final report, issued Monday, confirms that.

Oxendine was hunting with that son as well as his 18-year-old son, J.W. None have a Georgia hunting license, although none was needed as they were covered by the private preserve’s blanket license. But, according to the DNR report, Oxendine and J.W. Oxendine should have completed a hunter safety course as required by state law.

No charges were filed in the shooting, which DNR ruled “accidental.”

Oxendine, appearing a candidates’ forum at the Atlanta Hilton, said he had been under the impression he did not need a hunters education certificate because the DNR Web site says it’s only necessary to get a hunting license. But, he said, he plans to get the hunter safety certificate now.

Oxendine, the state’s insurance commissioner since 1995, and his sons were hunting at the Northwest Georgia Quail Preserve, co-owned by Delos “Dee” Yancey III, who is CEO of State Mutual Insurance Co., based in Rome. Yancey, Witt Cunningham and Larry and Jimmy Asher were also in the hunting party, according to the report.

“I still believe in hunting and I still believe in guns,” Oxendine said late week. “I still will hunt and my family will still hunt.”

Oxendine said Robertson is “a longtime friend” and an employee of Walker County, where the shooting took place. According to the report, Oxendine’s son shot Robertson about 4:15 p.m. Jan. 17 when Oxendine and other members of his party flushed a quail. The bird flew over the party and toward a group of observers about 30 yards away. The report says the four hunters all fired at the bird.

Robertson later told an Atlanta television station that he was hit by two different hunters because he had two different sizes of shotgun pellets in his leg.But the DNR report contradicts that as all hunters were using the same size shot, albeit different size shotguns. According to the report, Robertson acknowledged that he could have been wrong.

After Robertson was shot, one of the men drove Robertson to the Redmond Regional Medical Center in Rome, were he was treated for pellet wounds. A DNR agent interviewed Robertson at the hospital.

Oxendine said he asked Yancey if he could hunt with him on his property. Yancey is a longtime donor to Oxendine’s campaigns. Last May, The AJC reported that State Mutual Life Insurance and Admiral Life Insurance Company of America, both headed by Yancey, funneled $120,000 through a series of political action committees to Oxendine’s campaign in 2008. Oxendine denied any knowledge of the donations and returned the money. The State Ethics Commission is investigating.

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64 comments Add your comment

JRHD

January 25th, 2010
3:01 pm

Are we still talking about this non-story? Private hunting reserve, no license needed, ACCIDENT, 13yr old boy…go find some real news to report on.

Aaron Gould Sheinin

January 25th, 2010
3:10 pm

JRHD: The state’s insurance commissioner, who wants to be governor, was found to have not followed state law. Sorry, any way you look at it, that’s news.

lee

January 25th, 2010
3:11 pm

No I think they are talking about a Gubernatorial candidate who walks around acting like he is the end all be all of hunting and gun rights, yet has not had a hunting license in 10 years, and is hunting on the land of someone who may or may not illegally gave funds to his campaign. I think this is definately news.

Aaron Gould Sheinin

January 25th, 2010
3:12 pm

Lee: Nailed it.

A Georgia Whig

January 25th, 2010
3:16 pm

Finally the part of the story that is news. All reports seemed to be about the 13 year old, and I was annoyed by the coverage. The story isn’t the 13 year old shooting, or even the need for education course. Its campaign finanicing connection. Now we have a story…

UGA1954

January 25th, 2010
3:19 pm

Lee, I totally agree with you. Rather or not people what to admit it, he talks the talk but does not walk the walk.

Sunny Daze

January 25th, 2010
3:28 pm

While he’s at it, he could probably us a driving course too.

GoOx

January 25th, 2010
3:30 pm

The liberal AJC attacking my man Ox again. It was an accident. He got a verbal warning – enough said.

Good Government

January 25th, 2010
3:41 pm

The fact is that here is a man that just a few months ago claimed he didn’t know Yancey very well and now, AFTER the investigation has started, he get’s to know the guy well enough to go hunting with him? Something doesn’t smell right.

JRHD

January 25th, 2010
3:55 pm

Another example of why the AJC is a second rate fishwrap. Here is copy from the AJC’s website –

“The AJC’s team of reporters and photographers — the largest Capitol reporting squad in Georgia — brings you reports from the Gold Dome and the world of politics and government.”

The largest ’squad’ and all we get is a report of how JO was given ‘verbal guidance’ to take a Hunter’s Safety Course. How about reporting on the budget or how the current state administration is spending TARP funds or what the legislature is doing to bring more jobs to the state? I don’t care anything at all about this hunting trip. To coin a phrase, “It’s the economy, Stupid!”

Aaron Gould Sheinin

January 25th, 2010
3:59 pm

JRHD, keep looking at that Web site. You’ll see story after story after story about the budget, transportation, water, etc., etc. I promise it’s there.

GoOx

January 25th, 2010
4:02 pm

JRHD,
I have to agree with Aaron, they do cover issues, but the liberal slant and continued attacks on my man Ox get old. They do cover water, transportation, etc.

Aaron Gould Sheinin

January 25th, 2010
4:05 pm

GoOx, thanks? I think? :)

Red

January 25th, 2010
4:15 pm

I thought Ox was a hunter and had a license before? If he did, wouldn’t he have had to take the course? Hmmm. Things are not adding up here. Looks like someone is a show to try and win the gun vote. “Quick Mr. Crim! Run up to Wal Mart and buy me a few of those rifles. And find me a gun rack right quick as well!”

JRHD

January 25th, 2010
4:16 pm

I get the fact that the stories are on the site. My point is I guess if you tout yourself as having the most overhead, you have to justify it somehow. Someone (in this case Aaron) gets stuck w/ the “Cat Up a Tree” story, but this just isn’t a story. No one other than a dyed in the wool liberal moonbat gives to shakes of a lambs tail about this story.

SO WHAT, JO wants to be governor. I want to be Supreme Galactic Ruler. It isn’t going to happen. I don’t think JO will even win the primary…too many carry-ons to board, if you know what I mean.

Road Scholar

January 25th, 2010
4:17 pm

No Go Ox, They report the news in a fashion you don’t like! Doesn’t mean that it is liberal!!!

Oh and your man OX broke the law…” But, according to the DNR report, Oxendine and J.W. Oxendine should have completed a hunter safety course as required by state law.” What part of the word”law” do you not understand? Must have been passed by some of those “activist” lawmakers?

GoOx

January 25th, 2010
4:27 pm

Aaron, Your welcome I think :)

Shouldn’t you be blogging about how my man Ox, is proving that he is the only one who can beat Roy at the GMA debate.

John Miller

January 25th, 2010
4:32 pm

None *has* (not none have).

John Miller

January 25th, 2010
4:33 pm

None *has* (not “none have”).

Aaron Gould Sheinin

January 25th, 2010
4:33 pm

Hey GoOx, I’m listening to him right now. He’s having a good forum in fact.

GoOx

January 25th, 2010
4:35 pm

Aaron, It’s my man Ox of course he is doing good. Nobody else is even in his league.

Tony

January 25th, 2010
4:39 pm

JRHD – These “carry-ons” would be non-issues unless they were brought to light. This is news. It may not be news you want to read, in which case you’re quite welcome to seek out other venues more to your liking (like the press release section on Oxendine’s Web site), but it is news nonetheless that speaks to the candidate’s character. It’s not that his son accidently shot someone — it’s that he accidently shot someone on a preserve owned by a person with whom the candidate should not be so cozy. The hunting accident merits attention both for bringing to light these continued transgressions and because you would expect someone who has positioned himself to be a Second Amendment sportsman’s advocate would, you know, actually be a hunter and make sure his children were safely using their guns. If anything, true sportsmen in this state should be pissed that Oxendine is giving them such a bad name.

kimmieg

January 25th, 2010
4:39 pm

I think one day’s worth of reporting on this was quite enough. There sure are a lot of other things we can worry about than this over dramatized non-issue. Who really gives a rats fat fanny!

ACE

January 25th, 2010
4:44 pm

Does J.O. still have his siren in his crown vic?

Jon

January 25th, 2010
4:46 pm

Personally, I think we need more stories about Ox’s friendly outings with money launderers that he claims not to know. After that, how about a story on Ox’s continued extortion of independent insurance agents? For at least the last year, he’s been threating to yank licenses unless they contribute to his war chest. The insurance companies are next, with “optional” donations getting them passing marks on his bogus market conduct exams…

JRHD

January 25th, 2010
4:47 pm

@Tony – you have hit on the real issue. The real story is the potential conflict of interest b/n Oxendine and a contributor/friend/lobbyist/ne’er do well. Unfortunately the fact that someone was ACCIDENTALLY shot by a 13yr old (who is probably quite distraught by the entire ordeal) keeps being played up like it is somehow a real news piece. If you want to report on it, then focus on the actual news…the dealings b/n the Insurance Commissioner and the lobbyist or other tangential issues, but not something petty like he MAY or MAY NOT have had a Hunter’s Safety certificate. I have one. I can’t tell you where it is, but I took the course over twenty years ago when I turned 16. I haven’t been hunting in over 10yrs, but I still consider myself a gun rights advocate who supports hunting rights and the 2nd Amendment. Am I precluded from supporting gun rights because I did not go hunting last deer/turkey/quail/duck/dove/dumbass season?

ACE

January 25th, 2010
4:49 pm

I’ve got some errands to run, and don’t feel I should have to sit in
traffic w/all of these little peolpe

Aaron Gould Sheinin

January 25th, 2010
4:50 pm

Hey folks, I’m sure some of y’all noticed in this post that the 13 year old is now listed as Oxendine’s stepson. The original DNR report and Oxendine himself referred to the kid as his “son.” But the final DNR report, released today, said the young man is Ox’s stepson. I asked the Ox about that and he confirmed that he doesn’t refer to the youngster as his stepson, but he in fact is. Just in case any of you wondered about why that was changed.

Buck Shot

January 25th, 2010
5:04 pm

Jeez Louise! I think you all have ridden this horse into the ground already. VP Cheney got quite a bit of ink over a few days – but you guys have really blown this one up. At this point let me say, “I get it.” We got a guy running for governor whose stepson doesn’t know anything about hunting safety………….. is there something else you all would like to add that you haven’t said or implied yet? Just come out and say it – so we can move on here. Hell, I’ll settle for some more Cheney follow ups at this point. Please – you’re wearing this out!

Bob White

January 25th, 2010
5:04 pm

What law did he break?

GunTotenBibleThumper

January 25th, 2010
5:19 pm

Too bad that ole Mr. Sheinin wasn’t with the hunting party. Perhaps his understanding of this accident would have been different; meaning: non-leathal understanding. Sad that this newspaper is so obviously bias to a certain ’side’….especially since they have no more “America Air” to spit their venom from. Praying for all parties though….they need it.

Aaron Gould Sheinin

January 25th, 2010
5:20 pm

Mr. White, according to DNR, the law requires him to have taken a hunters education safety course.

Aaron Gould Sheinin

January 25th, 2010
5:21 pm

GTBT: I’m afraid I don’t understand what you’re saying. What do you think I’m not understanding?

Aaron Gould Sheinin

January 25th, 2010
5:21 pm

Mr. Shot, the real point of all this has nothing to do with the stepson, the 13-year-old. It’s about Mr. Oxendine touting himself as an avid sportsman, but is one who doesn’t have a hunting license and, according to DNR, violated state law by hunting without having taken a safety education course. It’s also about the fact Mr. Oxendine was hunting on land owned by a man who funneled more than $100,000 in contributions to Mr. Oxendine’s campaign — contributions that are being investigated by the state. At the time the contributions was revealed, Mr. Oxendine indicated he barely knew the man.

ACE

January 25th, 2010
5:22 pm

BUCK SHOT-I think the story here is more about the possible campaign financing irregularities, not the actual shooting

Bob White

January 25th, 2010
5:22 pm

Sorry, but that’s not correct. The law does not require that he have taken the course. I run a plantation in Worth County, and hundreds of people in Georgia shoot quail every year with no safety course.

iron_eagle

January 25th, 2010
5:26 pm

he was very arrogant and sarcastic answering reporters questions on several television reports about the accident… it was not a good first impression for me… we already have too many cocky poiliticians now… this one will not be getting my vote…..

ACE

January 25th, 2010
5:35 pm

KNEEL&BOB WHITE-Maybe while you’re down there you can tie K.O.’s shoes for him. He’ll need them tied to keep walking on water the way you people seem to think he does

Bob White

January 25th, 2010
5:38 pm

What’s the “you people” comment mean?

JRHD

January 25th, 2010
5:41 pm

Hey Bob White, no use letting facts get in the way of a good story.

Aaron Gould Sheinin

January 25th, 2010
5:50 pm

Mr. White, I don’t know what to tell you. It IS confusing, but DNR was clear about it. I even wrote them back to double check what they said in the report.

ACE

January 25th, 2010
5:50 pm

“You people”=idiots

Bob White

January 25th, 2010
6:04 pm

Aaron – I’m not disputing that they told you that. You can talk to 5 employees of state agencies and get 10 different answers, but I know for a fact no hunter’s safety course needs to be completed to hunt under a shooting preserve’s license. It’s my job. Check out the websites of all the plantations. None mention a hunter safety course.

As a hunter, I will certainly agree with other sane people that JO should complete the course. No good reason not to. As someone with a master’s degree in political science, I also agree that campaign $$$ is a newsworthy topic. I just think we need to give the kid a break.

ACE – Wow….I don’t have a response for that….

Friend of Animals

January 25th, 2010
6:10 pm

Check out (b) below. It says that licenses are not needed when hunting on land owned by the hunter or his/her immediate family. Where does it say that licenses are not needed on private plantations?
Add section 27-2-5 below says that anyone born after Jan 1, 1961 needs to have taken a safety class to get a license OR to hunt. Wasn’t Ox born after that?
Sounds like he went astray of the law here. And he wants to be Governor?

TITLE 27. GAME AND FISH
CHAPTER 2. LICENSES, PERMITS, AND STAMPS GENERALLY
ARTICLE 1. HUNTING, TRAPPING, OR FISHING
O.C.G.A. § 27-2-1 (2009)
§ 27-2-1. Hunting, trapping, or fishing without license or permit generally; nonresidents

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt, fish, trap, or possess any wildlife or feral hog without first procuring all of the licenses, stamps, or permits required or authorized under this title.

(b) It shall be unlawful for any resident of this state who has attained the age of 16 years to hunt, fish in the waters of this state, or trap without a valid hunting license, fishing license, or trapping license, respectively, as provided in Code Section 27-2-23, except on premises owned by him or her or his or her immediate family. It shall be unlawful for any resident of this state to hunt, fish, or trap in this state without carrying such license upon his or her person, except on premises owned by him or her or his or her immediate family and except when otherwise specifically directed by authorized personnel of the department.

(c) It shall be unlawful for any person not a resident of Georgia who has attained the age of 16 years to hunt, fish in the waters of this state, or trap in this state without a valid nonresident hunting, fishing, or trapping license, respectively, as provided in Code Section 27-2-23, except as otherwise specifically provided by law and interstate agreements. It shall be unlawful for any nonresident to hunt, fish in the waters of this state, or trap without carrying such license on his or her person, unless otherwise specifically directed by authorized personnel of the department.

(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (b) and (c) of this Code section, no license shall be required to fish with permission of the owner from noncommercial premises not open to the public, including docks and foreshores of such premises, or at a facility or on a charter boat licensed pursuant to the provisions of Code Section 27-2-23.2.
END of O.C.G.A. § 27-2-1

§ 27-2-5. Required hunter education courses

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person born on or after January 1, 1961, to procure a hunting license or to hunt by means of weapons in this state unless that person has been issued a certificate or other evidence the department deems acceptable which indicates satisfactory completion of a hunter education course as prescribed by the board. Persons ages 16 through 25 shall provide such certificate or other evidence to the issuing agent at the time of purchase of a hunting license. All persons required by this subsection to complete a hunter education course, by signing such license, by receiving a temporary license identification number, or by receiving a license from a telephone license agent, Internet license agent, or other vendor, shall certify their compliance with this subsection.
END of O.C.G.A. § 27-2-5

Bob White

January 25th, 2010
6:16 pm

A person that hunts under a blanket license is not buying a license.

back roads

January 25th, 2010
6:28 pm

Why was it necessary to point out that Nero fiddled. while Rome burned. Did he take lessons?

frugal voter

January 25th, 2010
6:42 pm

OX is a sleaze. No two ways about it. I don’t believe he’ll resign his Insurance Commissioner’s post and run for Guv. The hand writing is on the wall that he has too much baggage to win the primary.

Friend of Animals

January 25th, 2010
6:49 pm

Bob White: read 27-2-5 (a) again. It says: “…unlawful… to procure a hunting license or to hunt by means of weapons in this state”. Blanket licenses satisfy the license requirement in 27-2-1 but as long as they are hunting, with or without a license, they need to have taken a class if they were born after 1/1/1961.
Or am I reading this wrong?

Blame the Right Folk

January 25th, 2010
7:08 pm

Who was the adult that was “supervising” the two youthful hunters ? I assume that would be Commissioner Oxendine and he failed to deliver – again, just like we residents have be dumped on by Oxendine, his commission and the insurance industry.

WAW

January 25th, 2010
7:31 pm

Johnny’s going to put a gun rack and blue light on Sonny’s helicopter.

Aaron Gould Sheinin

January 25th, 2010
7:33 pm

Mr. White, I hear ya. But you understand, I hope, that I’m limited here in what I can say in the story. DNR is the official word and that’s what I have to use.

Really Poor Now

January 25th, 2010
8:09 pm

Hey Bob White…maybe you need to get a new job….

John Galt Jr.

January 25th, 2010
8:12 pm

Ox was and is wrong. Period. I am a conservative and that has noting to do with it. Wrong is wrong.

Thalley Thmith

January 26th, 2010
7:03 am

Thorry Ox thupporters. Thith thory ith relevant.

I’m thure media conthultants would advith Oxth to talk in a lower-pitched, mathucline, NRA-type of voice which would make Oxth’th thtory more believable.

Anyway, how could the thepthon thoot 50 pelleth. Thomething doethn’t thound right.

Hopefully when Dick Cheney campaignth for Oxth, he and the Oxth family can do a little hunting. Thweet!

Andy Capp

January 26th, 2010
7:19 am

OK… a group of fellows goes hunting and somebody gets shot. Police arrive and nobody gets a ticket?

Kid shot somebody. I have seen others, in accidental shootings get time. Why not here?

lmno

January 26th, 2010
8:41 am

Ox says he “believes” in hunting.

However, what about someone raising tame quail and then releasing them in big coveys and then shooting them equals hunting.

Hunting is something you do with wild animals.

This is essentially golf with guns.

DirtyDawg

January 26th, 2010
9:38 am

Somebody told Oxendine that he needed to ‘macho-up’ his image…that ‘the story’ was gettin’ around and he needed to do something to make himself appear more ‘manly’. The trouble with that is when you probably haven’t shot a ‘real’ bird ever…you could probably pour salt on the tails of these pen-raised things…not that that’s all that manly since the birds have never been able to shoot back. Although maybe they figure ‘crappin’ what’s left of those purple berries on my car is enough revenge…just wish they’d do it to this Oxy-clean guy.

By the way, do you actually own your own shotgun Oxy? Does your son, er, stepson? Just let it go and concentrate on being the faux-conservative you are. After all, we all know you’re just in it for the money. Oh, and one other thing, it could be worse…the overhaul of your persona that is…all you’re having to do is ‘appear’ to be a ‘manly-man’, Georgia Bush ended up having to buy a pig-farm in Nowhereville, TX.

Thalley Thmith

January 26th, 2010
10:29 am

DirtyDawg I think you’re onto something.

No doubt media consultants advised Oxendine to be more manly. I guess the advice kind of backfired.

I’ll have to see if there was a “shotgun” wedding. The Internet is a valuable tool for checking profile information out.

I would guess Oxendine didn’t have a shotgun wedding. He was probably shooting blanks until his speaking voice lowered a couple of octaves. I can’t imagine what his speaking voice sounded like during puberty. It must have been very high.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being a sissy, but being a sissy Republican is kind of strange. The Democratic Party is all-inclusive. That’s not the case with the Republican Party.

I haven’t shot a ‘real’ bird, either. But I sure know how to give the bird.

Let’s just hope Oxendine’s media consultants don’t advise him to pose nude for a magazine. I guess for Scott Brown it was a plus. For John Oxendine it would be a negative.

John Oxendine needs to find a new hobby. A hobby that’s not so dangerous. Sewing and knitting would be perfect.

Sally Smith

January 26th, 2010
2:54 pm

Enter your comments here

John Oxendine’s Web site is interesting. Two things are especially interesting. At least they were to me.

The Web site mentions Oxendine’s active involement in SAFE KIDS OF GEORGIA. Safe kids? That’s right! Oddly enough, Oxendine served on the Board of Directors. This organization guards against kids’ accidents and promotes safety.

I wonder how Oxendine will dance around his involvement in SAFE KIDS OF GEORGIA? No doubt his opponents will bring this subject up. And they should.

In light of the shooting injuries at the hands of Oxendine’s child, Oxendine was negligent in guarding against kids’ safety. In this case, his own stepson. Letting a 13-year-old kid fire a gun was irresponsible behavior.

The second interesting thing is the description of the newest Oxendine family member, Jake. I think Jake was born last year. In the description, Jake is described as ALL BOY. What is that supposed to mean? Jake is just a baby, and John Oxendine is describing him as ALL BOY. I don’t get it. Why doesn’t Oxendine describe himself as ALL BOY?

Maybe Jake is taking ballet lessons? That must be it. Boys, and men, taking ballet lessons raises eyebrows.

Ronald Reagan Jr. was a ballet dancer and President Reagan described his son as ALL BOY, too.

I-285 Racer

January 26th, 2010
7:34 pm

The man is ethically void. There is not a story he won’t distort, cavalierly dismiss or spin. Crass elitist trying to masquerade as a populist.

CaptainCraig

January 27th, 2010
3:11 am

The report states all four hunters shot at the bird so how do we know it wasn’t Ox that shot him insted of his son.If I had my eye on the Govener’s Mansion and shot someone The first thing that would enter my mind is “Pulling a Cheney might hurt my chances” mabe my 13 year old son could take the blame.

Sally Smith

January 27th, 2010
9:25 am

The image this family tries to project of themselves, and what is reality, seems to be at odds.

Most times, the Internet provides information as to previous marriages. And especially with public figures. With this couple, information as to both John and Ivy Oxendine’s previous marriages is almost non-existent. As of yet, I still don’t know the names of their previous spouses.

It’s obvious the Oxendines have gone out of their way to purge a lot of family background information that doesn’t fit, or contradicts, their projected public image of wholesome family values, God, apple pie, and native Georgia roots going back for generations.

Atlantaguy

January 27th, 2010
11:40 pm

I think people who haven’t lived here long enough may not have heard (or forgotten) about the time Oxdendine was caught using a magnetic emergency flashing light on the top of his car to speed through red traffic lights. He was caught and didn’t seem to think anything was wrong with it, but once public pressure chimed in, he “apologized”.

So, we have someone who wants to run the State who disregarded public safety by misusing an emergency light, and who thinks nothing about the fact his improperly trained 13 year old boy could have killed, blinded, or maimed someone else while hunting. One must now ask if anyone with any amount of common sense would actually want a person like this leading the State (??)

CaptainCraig

January 28th, 2010
1:22 am

Ray Mcberry is looking better all the time!