Skip to Main Content

Eastern Shore Waterfowler Recovering After Goose Injury

Natural Resources Police 150th Anniversary LogoAn Eastern Shore waterfowl hunter is in stable condition today at University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center after he was knocked unconscious by a dead goose falling from the sky.

Robert Meilhammer, 51, of Crapo, was hunting with others shortly before 5 p.m. in the 25000 block of Voit Road in Easton, near the Miles River, when the group fired on a flock of geese overhead.

One goose fell about 90 feet to the ground and struck Meilhammer, knocking him out and causing head and facial injuries. When he came to, he was able to say who he was but was hazy about other details.

Maryland Natural Resources Police, Talbot County Sheriff’s Office deputies and local EMS responded. It was determined that Meilhammer suffered a “severe” head injury and it was decided to drive the victim by ambulance to Easton Airport, where he was airlifted by Maryland State Police to shock trauma in Baltimore for treatment.

A tree-stand fall on Christmas Eve has led to hunting charges being filed against a Cecil County man and the seizure of three firearms.

Kenneth Charles Sutton, 49, of Elkton, was charged last Friday with hunting without a license, hunting on a Sunday, hunting without written permission, using a shotgun during muzzleloader season, hunting within a safety zone and hunting with an electronic deer caller.

Maryland State Police seized two rifles and a shotgun after a background check indicated Sutton was prohibited from having firearms because of active New Jersey arrest warrants for drug possession and traffic violations.

Officers were called to the 2000 block of Philadelphia Road in Elkton shortly before 9 a.m. Dec. 24 for reports of a tree-stand accident. Sutton had fallen asleep in his tree stand and awoke on the ground, a distance of about 12 feet. He was not wearing a safety harness and told officers he had been drinking.

Sutton crawled and walked back home and called 911. He was taken to Christiana Trauma Center for treatment of a minor head injury and other bumps and bruises.

Back home, he told officers he had been hunting with a crossbow on land he believed was owned by the county. The stand, on private property, was 76 yards from a neighbor’s house and family members said they had not given Sutton permission to hunt there.

Sutton later changed his account to say they he had been hunting with a shotgun.

A hearing in Cecil County District Court has been scheduled for April 11. If found guilty of all charges, Sutton could be fined as much as $3,000.

Officers aboard Natural 1, the department’s helicopter, and on patrol boats charged three men with illegal oystering on Broad Creek in Talbot County.

Steven Kevin Tarleton, 23, of McDaniel, and Kyle William Porter, 23, and Corey Paul Porter, 21, both of Rock Hall, were charged with harvesting oysters with a power dredge in an area designated for hand-tonging only and possession of undersized oysters.

The three men were observed by air and intercepted by officers on water. Seventeen bushels of oysters were seized and measured. Each bushel was found to contain between 10 and 14 percent of undersized oysters.

All three men are scheduled to appear in Talbot County District Court March 15. The power dredging charge requires a court appearance. The charge of possessing undersized oysters carries a maximum fine of $1,000.