The Leitch family pose for a photo at sunset. Photo Submitted

The Leitch family pose for a photo at sunset. Photo Submitted

Hunters shoot goat on small farm west of Eckville

The family says they “feel violated and unsafe” on their own property after the incident

Hunting season began on Nov. 1, and one local farmer is calling on hunters to be responsible and ethical after one of her goats was shot.

Amy Leitch, a homesteader and goat farmer at Will O’ the Wisps Paddock west of Eckville, said her registered male Kiko goat was shot 50 yards from her house.

She says it happened around sun down, on Nov. 1.

“We aren’t on a public road, the only road on our land comes right up to house,” Leitch said.

She says hunters are not allowed on the property, but she does know the land owners on the farms surrounding her property does allow it.

Leitch speculates hunters shot into land after missing whatever they were aiming at.

“I think it was probably a missed shot, but that isn’t an excuse. Whoever shot was paying attention to what was around them and beyond their shot,” Leitch said.

“Either it was a mistake or someone purposefully shot at my goats, and ignored the house that is 50 feet away.”

Eustace, the Kiko buck, was in a pen with another male goat near the house. Leitch says it is very clear these are penned animals and not wild.

The homestead can be clearly seen from any direction for at least two miles, according to Leitch.

“We have done our due diligence as animal owners to ensure they are safe and taken care of, and that you can tell that looking in.”

Eustace was badly injured by the shot, and is being cared for to the best of Leitch’s ability, but they are not hopeful he will survive.

Leitch says the incident has impacted their life more than just disrupting her breeding program.

Now, she says her family does not feel safe on their property.

“We have been violated. We haven’t been outside much since it happened,” she said.

The family has reorganized how they live their life, including when to go out to do chores.

Leitch says the family has moved their chores later in the morning to avoid twilight and sunset, when hunters are more active.

The family has also taken to wearing high visibility clothing while out doing their chores.

“We are dealing with this the best we can. I know I have a completely different view of things right now, and probably for the next month.”

Leitch says she has nothing against hunters, as she herself is one.

However, she wants to make sure that something like this doesn’t happen again.

“I have great respect for hunters who are responsible and ethical,” she said. “but we have to reiterate the code of ethics of hunting.”

She is urging hunting going out over this next month to have open communication between the land owners, those of neighbouring land.

Leitch is also reminding hunters to know their surroundings, to make sure their shot is clear and to know what is beyond the shot before pulling the trigger.

“I would hate for someone else to have to go through this, or for something worse to happen.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Eustace was gravely injured when a hunter’s bullet struck him while he was in a pen close to the Leitch family’s house. Photo Submitted

Eustace was gravely injured when a hunter’s bullet struck him while he was in a pen close to the Leitch family’s house. Photo Submitted

Just Posted

COVID
Red Deer down to 313 active cases of COVID-19

Alberta reports an additional 411 COVID-19 cases

Seniors in the 65-unit Piper Creek Lodge are among those waiting for COVID-19 vaccinations. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Central Alberta senior lodges anxiously waiting for COVID-19 vaccinations

“Should be at the front of the line, not the back of the line”

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alex Panetta
Economists “cautiously hopeful” for economic recovery in Alberta

Charles St. Arnaud says Alberta’s recovery will rebound along with roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw acknowledged that Friday would be one year since the first case of COVID-19 was identified in the province. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Three more Red Deer COVID-19 deaths, 331 active cases in Alberta

Red Deer is down to 362 active cases of the virus

Caitlin Kraft, the sister of Jeffery Kraft, stands third from the left, holding a sign calling for the maximum sentence for Campbell, who is charged with manslaughter. (Photo by Paul Cowley)
UPDATED: Judge again rejects submission of 7-year sentence for slaying of Kraft

Tyler John Campbell charged with second-degree murder for December 2019 homicide

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

A decommissioned pumpjack is shown at a well head on an oil and gas installation near Cremona, Alta., Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016. The Alberta Energy Regulator says it is suspending all of the licences held by an oil and gas producer with more than 2,200 wells and 2,100 pipelines after it failed to bring its operations into compliance. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Alberta Energy Regulator suspends licences of oil and gas producer that owes $67M

The company is being asked to comply with past orders to clean up historic spills and contamination

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa Friday, March 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau holds firm on premiers’ health-care funding demands, COVID-19 aid comes first

Premiers argue that the current amount doesn’t keep pace with yearly cost increases of about five per cent

Pictured here is Stettler’s Jenner Smith with a guide dog from Aspen Service Dogs. An online auction will be running soon to help raise funds for Jenner to receive his very own service dog later this year. Jenner, who is four years old, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in 2019. photo submitted
An online auction is planned to raise funds for a service dog for a Stettler family

Jenner Smith, four, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in 2019

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

This Dec. 2, 2020 photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows vials of its Janssen subsidiary’s COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Johnson & Johnson via AP
Canada approves Johnson & Johnson’s 1-shot COVID-19 vaccine

It is the 4th vaccine approved in Canada and the 1st that requires just a single dose

Most Read