A Missouri teenager hunted and killed a protected animal while out in the wild. Now, her father claims that online trolls are harassing and bullying the 14-year-old hunter, Abby Wilson because she killed an animal she was not supposed to shoot. During the hunting experience with her father, Abby took aim at a protected elk that she (and apparently her father) mistook for a deer.
Although Abby and her dad were legally hunting for deer at the time in Missouri, they were not supposed to hunt elk. When Abby shot and killed the elk, she immediately approached its carcass to snap a photo with the kill. However, her father, Don White, realized that they had accidentally shot the wrong type of animal, so he called the Missouri Department of Conservation to report the error after he did a thorough review of the animal’s body.
“We think we just shot an elk,” he told them.
Elk do not often migrate down into Boone County, Missouri. This location is about two hundred miles from where the animals were reintroduced in Carter and Shannon counties. Even people with the Missouri Department of Conservation were doubtful that Abby shot and killed an elk. But when they saw the photo, they could no longer doubt it. Somehow a large elk had traveled hundreds of miles out of its usual territory to the location where Abby and her father were hunting that day.
“The dad sent me a photo to my phone, and it was very clear that, yes, that’s an elk,” said conservation agent Adam Doerhoff, reports the Springfield News-Leader. “You don’t expect to see something like that. I’ve learned to never say never.”
The department released an official statement about the elk killing.
“To see one in Boone County is out of the ordinary,” said the conservation department’s spokesman, Robert Hemmelgarn. “She saw antlers. She saw the body. She thought it was a deer and took the shot,” said the department’s regional supervisor, Tom Strother. “This young girl probably had never seen an elk in the wild before. The dad certainly did the right thing by immediately calling us.”
The image of Abby Wilson holding her trophy from the hunt began circulating online after they reported the mistake to the Department of Conservation. Eventually, anti-hunting groups took notice of the fourteen-year-old’s kill, and a Facebook group called “Stop Trophy Hunting Now” reposted Abby’s story and showed it to a lot of people who were not supportive of hunting like this.
The Facebook group wrote, “Idiots and their offspring with guns in the woods don’t even know what they are shooting at.”
White is furious that online communities are criticizing his daughter.
“Don’t come at my daughter saying lock her away,” said White. “Wow. If my daughter gets fined, I’ll pay it and move on. So be it. We’ll deal with it.”
What do you think about this teenager’s hunting error?
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