According to the father, his 14-year-old daughter who ‘mistakenly shot a protected animal’ was bullied by users online. The 14-year-old girl, Abby, reportedly shot the protected animal that she mistook for a different animal during a hunting trip with her father. The father and daughter were hunting legally. The teen’s dad, Don, said he contacted the state Department of Conservation after inspecting the animal’s body.
Abby’s dad said that his daughter shot a protected elk in error and has been subjected to abuse on social media. According to the state officials, it’s unusual that an elk would be in the area, which is roughly 200 miles from where a wild elk herd was reintroduced. Until Don sent him a photo of evidence, conservation officer Adam was unconvinced that the elk existed. “The dad sent me a photo to my phone and it was very clear that, yes, that’s an elk,” said Adam. “You don’t expect to see something like that. I’ve learned to never say never.” “She saw antlers, she saw the body. She thought it was a deer and took the shot,” said the department’s regional supervisor, Tom. “This young girl probably had never seen an elk in the wild before. The dad certainly did the right thing by immediately calling us.”
Since their photo was shared on social media (SEE PHOTO), Don said that his daughter has been the subject of online hate from internet forums. A Facebook group said “STOP Trophy Hunting NOW” posted about the story, saying, “Idiots and their offspring with guns in the woods, don’t even know what they are shooting at.” “Don’t come at my daughter saying lock her away,” argued Don. “Wow. If my daughter gets fined, I’ll pay it and move on. So be it. We’ll deal with it.” The father also added that he hoped his family would be permitted to consume the animal’s flesh and antlers.
“I’d make sure everybody around my family would have some of that,” he said. He was told that no parts of the elk will be returned to him or the family by personnel, according to reports. If the meat is found to be free of disease, it may be given to low-income families. “The elk is a protected species. As there is no elk season, shooting it is illegal. Age or ignorance is not a defense for breaking the law. She made a mistake, there are consequences,” said one social media user. “The fact the dad asked to get the trophies from this animal is just really in poor taste. Your daughter illegally shot a protected elk, no you do not get the trophies from an illegal action. She shouldn’t go to jail but if there is a fine it is definitely justified.” “She’s 14. She’s learning still. Her dad did the right thing in calling immediately however,” added another person. “The elk had no tag and they even said they didn’t have any reports of elk in the area so it was odd to even see one out there.”