A couple in the south of France have told how a stray bullet from a hunter’s rifle came into their garden and missed them by just two metres.
The bullet passed through Lucille Roquieru and Mathieu Meyer’s car before going into the wall of their home
"First I heard the dogs and their bells, before approaching the fence where I heard the hunters talking," Ms Roquieru told La Depeche.
When she went inside her house to tell her partner what was happening, a rifle shot rang out.
"I went to the doorstep of the garage when there was a second shot. This bullet went through the car and into the wall.” That was when Ms Roquieru began to “scream”.
The incident occurred near Ollioules (Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur) around 10:00 on the morning of October 7.
What happened to the hunter?
The 300 calibre bullet came from a hunter who was hunting wild boar nearby. Shortly after the incident, the alleged shooter turned himself in and was arrested by police.
Ms Riquier has filed an official complaint and has been questioned at Toulon police station.
"At the very least, we would like payment and the damages repaired," she says.
At the moment, the investigators of the departmental security favour the theory of an accident.
Hunting near to properties
In France, it is widely believed that hunting is banned within a 150 metre radius of a property, however in practice this is not as simple as it sounds.
Although this 150 metre is often cited as a general rule, it actually only applies to ACCA controlled areas – these are areas managed by local hunting associations.
Outside of an ACCA zone local municipal or prefectural laws apply, which may differ by department.
This means that in some regions hunters may in fact be entitled to approach within 150 metres of your home.
That said, shots should not ever be fired in the direction of the dwelling.
The rules in France
The number of hunters in France is a subject of debate with the Fédération Nationale des Chasseurs claiming five million but the Ministry of Ecology one million.
Anyone who wishes to hunt in France must first acquire a hunting licence, which has to be renewed each year. The exam includes a theory test and a practical exam involving a simulated hunt.
Hunting without a valid licence is punishable by up to two years of prison and a fine of €30,000.
During the hunting season from September to February, each hunting federation will set its own hunting days along with days when hunting is not permitted.
The animals vary from small animals to larger game, including pheasants, foxes, deer and boars.