Manitowoc family urges hunting safety after dog killed

MANITOWOC, Wis (WBAY) Manitowoc police will hold an informational meeting Tuesday, Aug. 13, for hunters interested in bow hunting within the city limits this fall.

One family is urging a heightened focus on safety after suffering a tragic loss.

A new German shorthair puppy has helped the Dramm family heal, but the painful memory is still there.

On November 10 last fall, just after dark, Paula Dramm took the family's 5-month-old Windsor for a walk on nearby city property.

"I could hear him rummaging around in the longer grass like he liked to do, whereas I stayed on the shorter city cut grass, and unfortunately then I heard what sounded somewhat like a gunshot, and I realize now that was the sound of a crossbow," says Dramm.

Dramm remembers her dog crying out in pain and then silence.

"And then when I found him how I did, I was basically, just fell to my knees and was screaming 'No, no,' and 'Windsor,'" recalls Dramm.

Police were called and the hunter, who claimed he thought he was shooting a coyote, was cited for shooting after hours but no other charges were filed.

"To be very blunt, it was a stupid incident, it never should've happened. I was pretty upset when I heard it happened," says Manitowoc Police Lt. Mark Schroeder.

Lt. Schroeder oversees the city's bow hunt, which began in 2007 as a way to control the urban deer herd and reduce accidents.

"I'm guessing around 15,000 hours of bow hunting in the city the last 12 years, and this is really the first incident we've had," says Lt. Schroeder.

The Dramms are determined to make sure it's the last.

"If I can get anything positive out of this, it's awareness and signage perhaps of properties that allow hunting. If I would've know there was a hunter there I would not have gone to that area," says Dramm.

"It's a safety message of awareness for both hunters and civilians and if we can create an awareness, and we don't want the death of our dog to be in vain," adds Paula's husband, Seth Dramm.

Lt. Schroeder says an average of 100 people bow hunt within the Manitowoc city limits each fall.

He says this incident will be discussed as part of the focus on safety.

The police department will host two one-hour meetings on August 13 at 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. All bow hunting applications and land owner's applications for hunting on private property should be submitted to the police department by September 7.