A 12-year-old boy miraculously escaped death last week when a hunter shot at him, having confused him for a wild boar. Fortunately, he only hit the sled the boy was using at the time. But this is not the first case where hunters have opened fire on other people, as Alena Skodova reports:
Although the bullet "only" hit the sled, the boy was injured in the thigh and he will require two weeks' medical treatment as a result. The investigator in charge has accused the 35-year-old hunter of grievous bodily harm and he could face a sentence of up to one year in prison and the suspension of his hunting license. The boy went for a walk with his relatives near the village of Stribrnice in North Moravia on Thursday evening. When he sat on his sled and started moving, the hunter confused him for a wild boar and opened fire. "Fortunately, his aim was not good enough," the investigator commented, adding that there was no proof the hunter was acting under the influence of alcohol. The head of the Czech-Moravian Hunting Union, Vladimir Divis, told the CTK news agency that a hunter must not shoot at deer that he cannot see properly nor in places where he does not have a clear field of vision. "If it's proved that these regulations were breached, the hunter will be expelled from the union," Mr. Divis said. He was not willing to comment on the latest case, but he admitted that hunters were allowed to shoot wild boars even during the night. "But the final decision depends on the results of the investigation and on a possible court verdict," Mr. Divis explained.
Cases where hunters have opened fire on other people have become more common in the Czech Republic. Earlier in the year 2000, a hunter hit one of his colleagues in the knee, and three months later another hunter opened fire on a farmer working on his field. Both of them were hunting wild boars. Back in 1999, a 77-year-old hunter died within 15 minutes after his colleague shot him in the abdomen.
As of the year 2000, assaults against hunters themselves are punishable. Under the present law, hunters are considered "public figures" and if anyone fails to obey their instructions, they could face a fine of one thousand Czech Crowns. And if anyone causes heavy injury to a hunter, they could spend up to 10 years in prison.
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