A British woman has died after being accidentally shot by her partner during a boar hunt in Brittany yesterday Sunday, October 16.
The 67-year-old was taking part in a hunt with her partner, 69, who was a member of the local hunting society, when he reportedly let his gun go off as a result of a handling error.
Reports say that his rifle was on his shoulder as he was heading for a field, with the barrel pointing backwards, when the shot was fired during the hunt in Goudelin, near Guingamp (Côtes-d'Armor).
The bullet hit the woman in the chest and she died on the way to hospital in Saint-Brieuc. Her partner was placed in police custody but later released after medics said that his state was not “compatible” with being in custody.
Analysis showed that he had neither consumed alcohol nor drugs before the incident. The procurer’s office has confirmed to The Connexion that the victim was a British woman.
The local mayor, Laurent Le Faucheur, told France Bleu: “We know the couple very well. We are very upset because she was a real part of the hunting society. She came along, she prepared food for everyone. She was a jovial, kind, smiley person.
“Hunters who were present at the scene are shocked. We are all affected and we are thinking of her and her partner, who will have to live with this sad event. We are all shocked.”
An inquiry into involuntary homicide during a hunt has been opened, and is being investigated by the Brigade de Recherches de la compagnie de Saint-Brieuc, and the Office Français de la Biodiversité (OFB).
Nicolas Heitz, Saint-Brieuc prosecutor, said that the “exact circumstances of this dramatic accident remain to be determined”.
The victim’s body has been taken to the medico-legal institute in Rennes, with an autopsy set to be carried out on October 19.
Hunting death toll
Figures from the OFB and the Fédération nationale de la chasse show that since the year 2000, there have been 3,325 hunting accidents in France, including 421 deaths.
This works out at just over 150 accidents per year, of which 20 are fatal. These figures show that since 2000, the number of accidents has dropped by 40%, and the number of deaths by 70%.
In 2020-2021, there were 83 hunting accidents in France, of which seven were fatal.
Earlier this year, a 25-year-old woman in Cantal was shot while walking with her partner, in an accident that sent shockwaves through France.
Even more recently, a number of accidents have attracted attention due to their severity, which could have proven fatal.
This includes one in Drôme, on October 9, when a 62-year-old was seriously injured in the abdomen while mushroom picking in the forest of Vinsobres.
One the same day, another accident happened in Pommiers, in the Beaujolais. A 33-year-old woman was walking in the vineyards with her children aged 7 and 10, when the family was hit in the legs by lead shot.