Two Delta National Forest hunters were killed over the extended New Year’s Day holiday, and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks are investigating both incidents.
The first death came on Thursday (Dec. 31) when a Louisiana teenager was reportedly shot and killed by his father while deer hunting on the refuge.
Sixteen-year-old Cayle Mitchell Taylor of Franklinton, La., died from a gunshot wound about 7:45 a.m., and Issaquena County coroner Angela Easton said the incident will likely be ruled an accident.
In the second death, 24-year-old Daniel Franklin of Canton reportedly drowned Sunday (Jan. 3) after falling from a boat at Delta National Forest before sunrise, according to officials.
It was reported that Franklin and friends were going duck hunting.
Sharkey County sheriff Lindsey Adams confirmed the accident happened around 5 a.m. and that the MDWFP is investigating.
By late Sunday afternoon, Franklin’s Facebook page was filled with messages from his many friends.
Delta National Forest is a 59,000-acre natural area owned by the U.S. Forest Service, which manages the timber. It is located about 30 miles north of Vicksburg near Rolling Fork.
State wildlife officials manage the wildlife on the property, which doubles as the Sunflower Wildlife Management Area.