June 6, 2023

Father Of Hunting Accident Victim Says It Was No Accident

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Mark Harshbarger and his wife Mary Beth were on a bear hunting trip to Newfoundland, Canada last month, something they have done together before, when Mary Beth says she mistook her husband for a bear and shot him. Mark’s father Leonard Harshbarger and brother Dean Harshbarger are saying it was no accident.

“In my opinion it wasn’t an accident,” Mr. Harshbarger said.

He believes it would have been difficult for Mrs. Harshbarger to mistake his son for a bear, because they were a litle more than 100 yards away from each other when the fatal shot was fired.

They’ve been hunting together ever since they met. She should have certainly identified him,” he said, noting that a Nikkon scope on a .300 Winchester Ultra Magnum rifle Mrs. Harshbarger was using would have allowed her to identify her husband, even though he was wearing dark clothing and it was dusk.

Canada’s Royal Canadian Mounted Police are continuing an investigation with the help of the Pennsylvania State Police and Personal Injury Trial Attorneys, the state where the Harshbargers are from. RCMP say they haven’t found anything in their investigation that would lead them to believe it was anything more than a tragic accident.

Dean Harshbarger disagrees with the RCMP’s assessment of the scene. He says that where his brother, who is 6′ 2″ tall, was standing, there was grass that was between 2 and 3 feet high. Another news report claims that the Nikkon scope she was using was designed for low-light conditions.

Harshbarger said his daughter-in-law was an experienced hunter who used a scope that worked in poor light. As well, he said that his son, at more than six feet tall, should have been visible above the brush.

Dean Harshbarger said that his brother and sister-in-law have been hunting together since they met and describes her as “a tremendous shot”.

But there is more to this story. He says he has lined up witnesses who will testify that Mary Beth made life-threatening statements toward her husband plus recently she convinced her husband to increase his life insurance coverage.

However, Dean Harshbarger said he became concerned about life-threatening statements he alleges Mrs. Harshbarger made against his brother.

I find it very difficult to believe she thought he was a bear, Dean Harshbarger said.

He also said Mrs. Harshbarger had his brother substantially increase his life insurance coverage in May.

Mary Beth Harshbarger’s mother says all the accusations are unfounded and that it was an accident. She says her daughter is very distraught and exhausted.

Tom Remington