Hunting Accident File > Safe Hunting

IN: Hunter shoots horse

November 16, 2009

Horse shooting being investigated

Incident near Laconia might be accidental 

An Indiana conservation officer is investigating the weekend wounding of a horse near Laconia on the opening day of the state's deer-hunting season with firearms.

Conservation Officer Jim Schreck said Duke, an 18-year-old gelding owned by Sandy and Jeff Foreman, was shot in the belly Saturday and had to be put down. Scheck said the preliminary evidence points to an accidental shooting.

A neighbor of the couple on Union Chapel Road, Ray "Radar" Lillpop, a member of the South Harrison school board, said Monday he may have shot the horse but recalled shooting only "a really large buck" while hunting on his own property Saturday.

Lillpop said he was interviewed by Schreck and agreed to turn over the shotgun he was using for ballistics testing.

"A stray shot can go really far," Lillpop said. "I wouldn't shoot a horse. If I did it, I did it accidentally."

The shooting was reported to Harrison County Prosecutor Dennis Byrd.

Sandy Foreman, 43, a postal carrier who owns four other horses and some livestock, said the loss of Duke was painful because he was a good-natured, sweet companion. The Foremans had him 10 years, she said.

"They didn't get any better than that horse," she said.

Foreman said she and her husband were deer hunting themselves when they thought they heard the shot that hit Duke shortly before 5 p.m. Because the sound came from their property, she said, "I had an uneasy feeling."

The couple got home an hour later, and immediately Sandy Foreman took the family's ATV to check their animals. She said Duke was standing alone in a pasture and didn't move as she wheeled up beside him, indicating something was wrong.

With a flashlight, she found a quarter-sized wound near the gelding's flank. A veterinarian examined Duke and concluded he had internal bleeding and couldn't be saved, she said.

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