By Ron Sanders, WBZ-TV

HOLDEN (CBS) — Police in Holden are warning people who use the rail trail that runs through their town and hunters to be aware of each other.

Ray Duda of Sterling was running along the trail near the Holden/West Boylston line when he heard gunfire and took some buckshot in his face and his left leg December 1. “The minute I got shot, I said, ‘You shot me…Hey, I’m no deer. Stop it, stop it,’ and he kept shooting,” explained Duda, a 70-year-old father of four.

WBZ-TV’s Ron Sanders reports.

He said he started running back to his car about three miles away, not having known it was hunting season, and another person on the trail called police.

Holden Police Chief George Sherrill said officers interviewed hunters in the area but did not find the one who hit Duda. He’s advising people who use the trail and hunters to be careful. There are signs all over the place, ‘Beware, it’s hunting season.’ Wear bright clothing and just use caution,” he said, adding it’s fortunate no one was seriously hurt.

Ray Duda was treated at the scene by EMTs. He thinks more than the caution signs are needed to make the trail safe during hunting season. “The first thing, when I got shot, I thought of the children. It could have been my child there. It could have been a mother with a carriage…If they’re going to have hunters in there, close the area up,” said Duda.

“I don’t want to see that,” said the chief. “It’s a recreational area for all activities and I don’t want to see one overrule the other.”

Duda said because it’s is a nice area and because he likes to run, he will still go running on the trail…but not during hunting season.

Shotgun deer season ended last weekend, but primitive firearms deer season began yesterday and runs through the end of this month. Hunting seasons for other game run at various times throughout the year.


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