Aim at the true culprit

To the person, or persons, responsible for wounding two horses west of Penhold early Sunday night.

Dart…

To the person, or persons, responsible for wounding two horses west of Penhold early Sunday night.

Investigators have determined the horses were wounded by a single bullet fired from a .22-calibre gun. The horses were in a pasture in the vicinity of a gun range that residents along that scenic portion of the Red Deer River valley have been lobbying to shut down for years.

And at least one resident claims the horses were hit by a ricochet from the gun range, adding more ammunition to the campaign to shut down the range.

Let cooler heads prevail, warns Staff Sgt. Gord Glasgow, head of Red Deer Rural RCMP. “We need to do an investigation before we jump to conclusions.”

The bullet, fired at night, grazed one horse in the nose, then struck the other, lodging in the animal’s nasal passage. The circumstances suggest that this is a case of someone negligently shooting a gun in the dark. Incidents such as these tarnish responsible hunters and legitimate shooters.

And the Red Deer Fish and Game Association, which is in charge of the shooting range, deserves to be heard before this matter mushrooms into the ridiculous.

Was the gun aimed at the horses? Firearms experts no doubt are exploring that possibility. Who in their right mind would be at a shooting range firing at targets in the dark?

But some area residents in that area are quick to point the finger at the range, complaining about frequent ricocheting bullets.

A few years ago, a stray bullet buzzed passed a hearing impaired child living in the vicinity. Residents jumped on the case, demanding the range be shut down. But the bullet was fired from a road allowance, aimed at a porcupine sitting in a tree by a shooter with no affiliation to the range.

To be on the safe side after that incident, experts assessed the shooting range and gave it a passing mark. At the range, those shooting for target practice or sighting in their guns for hunting are firing into an embankment 26 metres (86 feet) high. Hardly room for a ricochet.

The boxes containing .22-calibre bullets offer a warning that they can be dangerous within one mile (1.6 km).

As it leaves the gun barrel, the heat from the friction reduces the lead bullet to a fairly soft state. If it strikes a solid object, such as a rock, it will ricochet and quickly reduce its shape into a distorted pancake.

Because it’s a small-calibre bullet, much of its punch is absorbed by the ricochet. Is it conceivable that a ricochet would travel on to graze one horse, then still have the power to lodge into the nasal passage of another horse?

Could that bullet retain its shape after the initial ricochet, then hit the horses, unless the gun was fired directly at the animals?

“We’ve tried to have it shut down from ricochet bullets for years,” said area resident Carolyn Nienhuis.

But if bullets ricochet out of the range, where’s the evidence?

Let the police do their work and take the appropriate action, based on their findings.

Rick Zemanek is an Advocate editor.

Just Posted

Updated: Nature trail unveiled at RDC

Trail unveiling and tree planting honours Nova Chemicals $2 million donation

Rural municipalities seek more funding to address cannabis legalization

Not enough supports in Municipal Cannabis Transition Program

Culprits smash truck into store in failed attempt to steal ATM

Suspects reversed truck through doors of Eastview IGA early Sunday morning

UPDATED: Flu immunization now available in Red Deer

Free vaccine to Albertans six months and older

WATCH: Blackfalds Fire teaches families about fire safety

An open house was held Saturday in support of Fire Prevention Week

Family: Remembering the important things

It seems so much of life is work and routine and then… Continue reading

Canada gets into Women’s World Cup with 7-0 win over Panama

FRISCO, Texas — Christine Sinclair isn’t concerned about chasing records. She’s set… Continue reading

Baldwin urges ‘overthrow’ of Trump government via voting

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Actor Alec Baldwin followed up his latest parody portrayal… Continue reading

Prince Harry and Meghan expecting their 1st child in spring

CANBERRA, Australia — Prince Harry and his wife, the Duchess of Sussex,… Continue reading

Sears files for Chapter 11 amid plunging sales, massive debt

NEW YORK — Sears filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday, buckling… Continue reading

Doctors to debate medical pot as more patients expected to ask for prescriptions

VANCOUVER — Doctors with opposing views on whether medical marijuana should be… Continue reading

Halifax smoking ban begins today; city announces several new smoking areas

Halifax’s sweeping smoking ban begins today, two days before recreational cannabis is… Continue reading

Canadians widely unaware of accomplishments of famous women, poll suggests

TORONTO — The organization behind Canada’s Heritage Minutes says provincial education systems… Continue reading

Most Read