From The Dallas Morning News, Monday February 13, 2006

Officials: Cheney, partner were hunting illegally

Men lacked game bird stamp required for quail

06:09 PM CST on Monday, February 13, 2006

From Staff and Wire Reports

Neither Vice President Dick Cheney nor the hunting partner he accidentally shot last weekend purchased the $7 hunting stamps required under state law, Texas Parks and Wildlife officials said Monday.

A blast from Mr. Cheney's shotgun wounded Austin lawyer Harry Whittington in the face, neck and chest. The wounds were not life-threatening.

In its report, the state agency that oversees hunting and fishing said it found neither Mr. Cheney nor Mr. Whittington had purchased the game bird stamp required to hunt quail in Texas. Both had valid hunting licenses, Mr. Cheney's a non-resident license.

The agency, in a release, said it has not been uncommon for game wardens to find hunters in the field without the required stamps since a new law took effect last Sept. 1. In those cases, hunters have been given oral warnings in lieu of fines or other penalties. Officials said that's common practice for up to a year after such a new law takes effect.

The statement said Mr. Cheney will get a similar warning citation, and there'll be no fine or other penalty.

Mr. Cheney, an experienced hunter, has not commented publicly about the accident. He avoided reporters by leaving an Oval Office meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan before the press was escorted in on Monday.

The shooting took place on the Armstrong Ranch in South Texas on Saturday afternoon. However, Mr. Cheney's office did not release word of the incident until contacted by a newspaper on Sunday.

Mr. Whittington was recovering in stable condition Monday after Cheney accidentally shot him during a weekend quail hunting trip, a hospital official said.

Mr. Whittington "rested well last night," said Peter Banko, hospital administrator at Christus Spohn Hospital Memorial in Corpus Christi. The hospital listed Whittington's condition as "very stable," he said.