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Hunting Accident File > Safe Hunting?: > 2005

Six-year-old boy shoots, wounds father on Canadian hunting trip

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

KAMLOOPS, British Columbia -- A 6-year-old boy apparently shot and wounded his father by accident on a hunting trip, and the father may be charged with carelessness, Royal Canadian Mounted Police say.

The 43-year-old father has been listed in stable condition since Sunday, when he was shot in the back with a .22-caliber rifle near this southern British Columbia interior town.

The family said Thursday through a spokeswoman the man is an experienced hunter who is extremely cautious about firearms. She also said the boy had been around guns since he was two, had gone to a shooting range several times and had been taught how to handle a rifle safely.

Relatives are upset that police questioned the boy for several hours without an adult present, the spokeswoman added.

The fact that the man was shot in the back indicates the boy may not have been supervised, and if so that could lead to charges against the father, police Sgt. Kelly Auld said.

"We're looking at the possibility of charges against the father as he was the responsible license holder," Auld said. "He would be charged with careless use of a firearm."

The child shouldn't have been hunting because the age limit is 10, even with adult supervision, conservation officer Kelly Dahl said.

For children to hunt legally, a parent or guardian must sign an acknowledgment taking responsibility for the young person and "even then, if a 10-year-old wanders off the trail unsupervised, the parent or guardian is breaking the law," Dahl said.

Auld said the boy's mother was not present when officers talked to the boy because she couldn't be located immediately, adding that while having an adult present is common practice it's not legally required.

"He's too young to prosecute so he was interviewed as a witness," Auld said.

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