Driver tells how hunter’s bullet entered car as he drove in Dordogne

The bullet from a boar hunt missed him by ‘a few centimetres’ and ended up lodged in the passenger seat

A view of hunters in France carrying guns
The bullet entered the man’s car during a boar hunt in Dordogne (image for illustration only)
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A driver in Dordogne, south-west France, has told how a hunting bullet missed him by 'a few centimetres' after it entered the boot and travelled through the car as he drove along a departmental road.

The incident happened in La Chapelle-Aubareil about 14 kms from Sarlat on Sunday, October 22.

The driver said he heard a bang and stopped immediately. He was shocked to find that there was a bullet hole in the boot of his Peugeot 307.

The bullet ended up lodged in the passenger seat and the back windscreen had smashed due to the impact.

« À quelques centimètres, il y passait » : lors d’une battue au sanglier, une balle se fiche dans une voiture.

— SO_Dordogne (@SO_Dordogne) October 26, 2023

The man’s wife, Sylvia, said the driver then reversed and “shouted at the hunters”. She told local newspaper Sud Ouest: “He was very shaken and trembling. Had it been a few more centimetres over, he could have been dead.”

She said that the couple had spoken to the press “not to stir up hatred” but to say “this is what can happen”.

The couple has since been visited by the hunter who fired the shot - a man in his 60s - and the director of the hunt (which was a boar hunt).

Damaged vehicle taken away as part of investigation

An inquiry into the incident has now been opened. Initial investigations appear to show that the shot was not aimed at the ground in contravention of the rules.

Local mayor Jean-Michel Faure, who took part in the hunt, said: “Maybe it was a ricochet?”

The car has been taken away as part of the investigation.

This is not the first time that a stray hunting bullet has entered a car that was on a major road in Dordogne. In December 2021, an inquiry opened into a similar incident in Saint-Félix de Reilhac, between Périgueux and Le Bugue. A bullet smashed the vehicle’s rear brake light.

In November the same year, a 67-year-old man died after being hit by a 9.3-millimetre ricocheting hunting bullet while driving near Rennes. The hunter who fired the bullet, a man in his 70s, has since been charged with manslaughter.

A few days later, in Indre-et-Loire (Centre-Val de Loire), a vehicle belonging to retired couple Hélène and Michel Hymer was shot while the pair were driving on the departmental road between Nouâtre and Sainte-Maure-de-Touraine, south of Tours.

The couple pulled over and realised that there was a bullet lodged into the rear headlamp and the petrol reservoir of their car.

In December 2022, a bullet hit a car full of people on the route nationale 1001, near the village of Warluis, in Oise.

The shot did not pass through the car and no-one was injured but the mayor of Warluis, Dominique Moret, commented: “Hunters should know that you never shoot in the direction of a road,” before denouncing "the general rudeness” of many hunters.

Each time a hunting accident hits headlines, there is a renewed debate over the practice’s safety, and whether it should be banned on certain days during the season.

However, statistics suggest that there are fewer hunting accidents now than in previous decades.

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