It was duck season in Florida when an Apollo Beach man was shot in the face by a fellow hunter in Cockroach Bay.
On Jan. 3, 2015, Jason Tackus was duck hunting with his buddies when he was caught in the crossfire of one hunters’ shot.
Michael Wilson discharged his firearm with Tackus blocking the shot. Tackus was “struck by shot or pellets,” according to the complaint filed Oct. 24, 2016.
Tackus and his wife are suing Wilson for negligence resulting in bodily injury, pain and suffering, hospital bills, medical treatment and loss of income. His wife also suffered loss of companionship and contributions made by her husband at the time of the incident.
The two are requesting a jury by trial for damages more than $15,000.
Just four days after the incident, Tackus posted to Facebook: “Got bad news. I was shot in the face Sunday while duck hunting. One shot penetrated my skin 1 inch below my eye. Gotta have surgery to remove the pellet. The ER doctor said it is very close to my sinus.”
Cockroach Bay separates Ruskin and Gulf City on the eastern side of Tampa Bay.
In 2014, duck season was open in Florida from Nov. 22 through Nov. 30, before picking back up Dec. 6 to Jan. 25, 2015. Hunters are required to purchase a $5 Florida waterfowl permit and a $25 Federal duck stamp. They must also have a hunting license and migratory bird permit.
All hunters must pass a safety course before obtaining a hunting license.
On the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) website, from 2013 to 2014, there was only one fatal hunting incident and six nonfatal incidents for hunters that have a license.
Out of seven cases, only five of the shooters took the safety course. One case was self-inflicted.