A DEAF 82-year-old hunter has been banned from hunting and banned from owning a gun after he accidentally shot two walkers in woods at Bertric-Burée, Dordogne.
One of the 70-year-old victims is still in hospital in Bordeaux nine months after the shooting and has been in intensive care several times due to the throat wound he received. The second victim was wounded in the side.
The court at Périgueux heard that the hunter had been out in woods near Verteillac and thought he was shooting at a rising pheasant which had come up out of the undergrowth. Instead, he fired horizontally at the two men, who were out looking for mushrooms, about 30m from him.
However, the judge said that the “ABC of the hunter is always to identify the target before firing. Here, this was obviously not the case.”
The prosecutor said the hunter had said he was out hunting wood pigeon – but his gun was loaded with heavier shot normally used for deer.
In addition, the prosecutor said, the hunter is deaf and was not wearing his hearing aid at the time.
The judge banned the hunter from having a gun for five years, withdrew his hunting licence and banned him from reapplying for the same length of time. His guns were confiscated.
• The past hunting season has seen 21 people killed, with all but two being hunters themselves. In all, the season from July 2012 to May 2013 saw 179 shooting accidents.