Rancher urges caution after horse catches hunter's bullet
An Osoyoos horse owner has concerns about hunters using an adjacent property when hunting at dusk after one of her animals was hit by a bullet last week.
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October 17, 2017 - 7:30 PM
OSOYOOS - An Osoyoos horse owner and rancher has concerns about hunters using an adjacent property to hunt after sunset, after discovering one of her animals had been shot last week.
Jennifer Brock owns an 80-acre parcel of ranch land in the Sidley Mountain area east of Osoyoos. She was tending her 15 horses last Friday, Oct.13 when she discovered one had a bullet wound.
“Myself and my farmhand were outside on Wednesday night and heard a shot about 40 minutes after sunset. Then we saw a truck in my neighbour's field drive westward towards my fence line and then shortly after turn around and leave. On Friday, I found my mare had been shot. The vet figured the wound was a couple of days old,” Brock said.
The owner of a neighbouring property allows hunters to use his land, Brock says. She believes a hunter took the shot Wednesday evening, without being able to clearly see beyond his target.
“I think he scoped a deer, but missed and the bullet kept going. It was too dark for him to see what was on the other side of his target, and my horse was in the path of the bullet,” she says, adding the area where the shot occurred consisted of an open field with a backdrop of trees on the other side.
“It would have been dark down there, and I believe it was probably a long shot. In my view, I don’t believe he could see what was behind his target,” she says.
The shot missed bones and vital organs, lodging around eight centimetres deep in the horse’s rump muscle. It can’t be extracted, but the horse is expected to survive, although it will probably never be a riding horse again.
“All I’m saying is, this didn’t need to happen," Brock says, adding she’d like to rectify the situation with her neighbour.
She would like compensation for her vet bill and some assurance that hunters would not use the property after dusk.
Brock says she has contacted the RCMP and the incident is on file with the police.
“There are just too many people out there who take chances in hunting season and our area has a lot of cattle, horses, sheep and also houses and people. I could have been out there and got hit, or someone else. Legal hunting times aren't always safe hunting times," said Brock, who is also a retired hunter.
Brock said she felt compelled to share her story to warn others to be careful about the liability of letting others on their land to hunt.
“I love my home and my community and area,” she said. “But I also love my safety and that of my livestock. So as neighbours we all have to care for each other, and watch out for each other and what happens on our lands. And we have to respect one another.”
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