Man shot to death while hunting

Published 8:28 am Wednesday, April 28, 2010

■ See obituary, A3

YALE—An investigation continues into the shooting death of a former Franklin man while he was turkey hunting Saturday in Sussex County.

Alan B. Rader, 61, who recently moved to Virginia Beach, died after a 17-year-old Petersburg-area boy shot him on private land at Rohampton and Butts roads, said Julia Dixon, spokeswoman for Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries in Richmond.

The shooter was not identified because he is a juvenile.

Dixon would not say whether the 11 a.m. shooting at Flat Tale Hunt Club, where Rader served on the board of directors for more than 20 years, appeared accidental or suspicious.

“I can’t say one way or the other,” she said. “There were witnesses in the area and the shooter has been interviewed.”

Dixon wasn’t sure if the victim, a 1966 graduate of Franklin High School, and teen knew each other, but she understands they were not in the same hunting party.

“The shooter was set up to hunt in a wooded area on the edge of a field where turkeys have been,” Dixon said. “The victim had been turkey hunting in the area and was coming through the woods behind the shooter. Each other was not aware that the other was there.”

“The shooter heard noises, saw movement and shot at what he thought was a turkey,” she continued.

Rader, who was retired from the U.S. Postal Service, was about 30 feet from the shooter and died from a single shot from a shotgun. He died on the scene. Rader was pronounced dead by a medical examiner at 12:02 p.m., Dixon said.

Lt. Scott Naff with the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries in Charles City said he understood Rader and the 17-year-old belonged to the same hunt club.

Turkey hunters are not required to wear blaze orange, although it’s recommended placing blaze orange around a tree near the hunter.

“We stress as the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries that all hunters make sure of their target,” Naff said.