Gunfire begins a bit early at hunters’ campsite

Two men face charges after an apparent alcohol-fueled exchange of gunfire stirred several hunting camps in White River National Forest.

Joshua Hall, 24, of Burlington and Kalob Ludwig, 19, of Carey, Ohio, were booked into Rio Blanco County Jail on suspicion of weapons-related charges after authorities were called just after 3 a.m. Sunday on a report of multiple shots fired at a campsite off Forest Service Road 240, near Sterry Lake.

“We had about a half-dozen 911 cell phone calls from other campsites of anywhere from 12 to 20 shots fired,” said Rio Blanco County Undersheriff Michael Joos.

According to Joos, Hall allegedly fired at least nine shots from two handguns into a campfire. The shots “alarmed” three others in the same campground who had been sleeping, according to a news release.

Ludwig, one of the sleeping campers, emerged from his tent with a 30.06 rifle and allegedly fired a shot into the ground in the direction of Hall’s feet, Joos said. Hall was standing next to his girlfriend at the time. Nobody was injured.

Hall was believed to be intoxicated at the time.

“He figured he’d be funny,” Joos said of Hall’s initial blasts.

Hall was booked on suspicion of prohibited use of a weapon and reckless endangerment. Ludwig was booked on suspicion of reckless endangerment. Joos said both men were released after posting bond.

Several Rio Blanco deputies, along with Colorado Division of Wildlife officers, responded to the scene. The incident happened on the first night of rifle hunting season; Hall and Ludwig were part of a group of five hunters who had camped for the night.

“It’s going to be a banner year, I’m sure,” Joos said.


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