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

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Red Deer reports 25th COVID-19 death

415 new cases identified provincially Saturday

Alberta Health reported two new COVID-19 deaths in Red Deer Friday. (Image courtesy CDC)
Two more deaths linked to Olymel outbreak in Red Deer

Province reported 356 additional COVID-19 cases Friday

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta’s budget promises more help for COVID-19 with a hard deficit

Annual spending on debt interest is closing in on $3 billion

Alberta reported an additional 399 cases of COVID-19 Thursday, on 9,217 tests, for a test positivity rate of 4.3 per cent. (Image courtesy CDC)
Red Deer down to 562 active COVID-19 cases

8 new COVID-19 deaths, 399 additional COVID-19 cases

City of Red Deer has nearly doubled its active COVID-19 case count since Feb. 10 and has 75.6 per cent of the Central zone’s active cases. (File photo)
Another new high: Red Deer hits 574 active COVID-19 cases

Province reports 13 new COVID-19 deaths, 430 new cases

Bookings for COVID-19 vaccines for people age 75 or older start Wednesday. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Updated: Delays for seniors booking for vaccine appointments

By 9:20 a.m. Wednesday, 4,500 seniors had booked their appointments

Vandalism is shown on Alberta NDP MLA Janis Irwin’s constituency office in Edmonton in this handout photo on Saturday, February 27, 2021. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney quickly condemned vandalism at an Opposition legislature member Janis Irwin’s Edmonton office after the MLA posted pictures showing her front window spray-painted with the words “Antifa Liar.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Janis Irwin *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Alberta Premier slams vandalism after slur painted on MLA’s office window

Edmonton MLA Janis Irwin posted pictures showing the front window spray-painted with the words ‘Antifa Liar’

A helicopter flies past a mountain near McBride, B.C., on Saturday January 30, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Avalanche warning for backcountry users in North and South Rockies

Avalanche Canada is urging backcountry users to always check their regional avalanche forecasts

Supporters pray outside court in Stony Plain, Alta., on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, as a trial date was set for Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church. He is charged with holding Sunday services in violation of Alberta’s COVID-19 rules and with breaking conditions of his bail release. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Trial date for jailed Alberta pastor charged with breaking COVID-19 health orders

The court says it will reconvene with lawyers on March 5 for a case management plan by teleconference

A pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at Village Green Retirement Campus in Federal Way on Jan. 26. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
Canada approves use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine

The country joins more than a dozen others in giving the shot the green light

Emily Keeping of Wetaskiwin, Alta., was last seen at 4:20 p.m. on Feb. 25, 2021 at the FasGas on 49 St and 50 Ave in Wetaskiwin. Supplied/ Wetaskiwin RCMP.
UPDATE: Wetaskiwin RCMP seek assistance in locating missing 11-year-old

Emily Keeping was last seen on Feb. 25, 2021 at the FasGas on 49 St and 50 Ave in Wetaskiwin.

Sylvan Lake's Winter Village lured many visitors to the town this winter. The town has launched a new contest to attract a new business.
(Black Press file photo)
Sylvan Lake offering rent-free storefront space to lure new businesses

Winning business proposal will get a storefront space rent-free for a year

Alberta premier Jason Kenney, right and Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, provide details about Bill 13, the Alberta Senate Election Act., in Edmonton Alta, on Wednesday June 26, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Minister Doug Schweitzer talks on Enhanced COVID-19 Business Benefit

Provincial government rolling out new benefit this April to better help small businesses.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
NDP will not trigger election as long as pandemic continues: Singh

‘“We will vote to keep the government going’

Most Read