The father of a Missouri girl who accidentally shot an elk thinking it was a deer, says she is being bullied online for what she did.
The 14-year-old girl, Abby Wilson, was hunting in Boone County when she saw antlers and brown fur, and pulled the trigger, the Springfield News-Leader reported.
— THV11 (@THV11) November 15, 2017
“She called her dad, who was hunting nearby, and her dad realized it was an elk,” Tom Strother, protection regional supervisor for the Missouri Department of Conservation, told the paper. “The dad called our agent in Boone County, Adam Doerhoff, and said, ‘We think we just shot an elk.’”
Missouri has no elk-hunting season, and elk are highly unusual in the state.
— Region 8 News (@Region8News) November 14, 2017
Wait, an elk? In Missouri? https://t.co/3ae3HydT1r
— Columbia Missourian (@CoMissourian) November 14, 2017
He added: “She thought it was a deer and took the shot. This young girl probably had never seen an elk in the wild before.”
Doerhoff said that the father sent him a photo of the elk. “You don’t expect to see something like that,” Doerhoff said. “I’ve learned to never say never.”
Donald White, Abby’s dad, said that after images of the dead elk went viral, the girl has been bullied and threatened.
The incident, he added, led to “hatred [toward] a child,” Fox News reported.
“Everyone is a keyboard hero these days. Seventy-five percent of people would’ve said nothing at all and left the elk. Or they would’ve took [sic] it home. And the conservation would never knew [sic],” White told Fox. “When I put my post up on Facebook, yes I was an excited Dad. And also I wanted to make people aware that there are elk in northern Missouri.”
Missouri reintroduced elk in another part of the state in 2011 and is growing a herd.
“There are no reports of elk in this area. It was kind of a surprise to us. There was no evidence of any ear tags or collars on this one,” Strother said.
The animal is being kept in a cooler, and its meat will possibly be donated after it’s tested for Chronic Wasting Disease, the News-Leader reported.
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