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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Aiken hunter who shot horse instead of deer is chargedBy Tracey McManus
Staff Writer

An Aiken County hunter has been charged with animal cruelty for shooting a $50,000 show horse while he was trying to shoot a deer Saturday.
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Lisa Doker rides her Dutch Warmblood, Oree, sidesaddle. On Saturday, a hunter shot Oree in his pasture while hunting on a neighboring property. Doker had to euthanize the horse after veterinarians said he lost too much blood to wake up after a surgery.



Samuel Stewart, of Aiken, was issued a ticket by Aiken County Animal Control and will be fined $1,092 and could get up to 60 days in jail if found guilty in court, said Bobby Arthurs, an animal control chief enforcement officer.
The horse, a 7-year-old Dutch Warmblood named Oree, was brought to the University of Georgia for treatment but had to be euthanized because of the injury, owner Lisa Doker said.
"I feel like my heart has been ripped out," Doker said. "I had him as a yearling, I practically raised him. I'm not able to have children, and this was the only next best thing I could have. It's been very emotional."
Doker said she was walking to her barn to feed her horses about 6:40 a.m. when she heard a gun shot near her stable.
As she approached the barn, she saw her 16-year-old Quarter Horse named Ike running frantically around his pasture. In the back of the pasture, she found Oree lying on his side, breathing "extremely hard" with blood on the right side of his body.
After several frantic phone calls, Aiken County Sheriff's Office and animal control arrived at the scene and found Stewart in his deer stand in a tree on a neighbor's property.
When questioned by authorities, Stewart said he did not admit to shooting the horse but said he was shooting at a buck, a male deer, that was in the direction of the horse, Arthurs said.
Arthurs said a neighbor had given Stewart permission to hunt on the property and that he was shooting during hunting season, which runs August through January.
A woman who answered the phone at Stewart's residence said he would not comment on the issue.
Doker said she has a hard time understanding how Stewart could have accidently shot her horse or mistaken the animal for a deer.
"My horse is (6-feet tall), weighs 2,000 pounds, and he's black and white," Doker said. "He doesn't have antlers growing out of his head, and he doesn't resemble a deer at all."
Veterinarians at UGA told Doker that because Oree had lost so much blood, he would not be able to wake up after an operation on the wound.
Doker said making the decision to euthanize her horse was one of the hardest of her life. She had been training Oree in a riding discipline known as dressage, which is a sport that trains horses to perform movements based on balance and collection.
She had been riding at training and first levels of the sport, but said she had pegged him as an athlete that could have progressed through the FEI level, which is the highest and international level of dressage.
Although her horse is gone, Doker said she wants closure and compensation for extensive vet bills.
"What scares me the most is (Stewart) could have shot me," Doker said. "I'm devastated and I'm shocked. Nobody can say I'm sorry to fix this. I want justice for Oree."
 

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When questioned by authorities, Stewart said he did not admit to shooting the horse but said he was shooting at a buck, a male deer, that was in the direction of the horse, Arthurs said.

Doker said she has a hard time understanding how Stewart could have accidently shot her horse or mistaken the animal for a deer.

"My horse is (6-feet tall), weighs 2,000 pounds, and he's black and white," Doker said. "He doesn't have antlers growing out of his head, and he doesn't resemble a deer at all."

Oh geeze!
 

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All I can say is "it happens".
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have never missed a deer however our horses do wear blaze orange during deer season, they tend to blend into the foilage without it.
 

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I have never missed a deer however our horses do wear blaze orange during deer season, they tend to blend into the foilage without it.
That is a pretty smart idea. If the hunter missed or had a pass through shot it is still going to bite him in the wallet. This story is one of the reasons I do not go out in the woods anymore, especially doing hunting season.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
oh come on...your not afraid of a 500 grain deer slug are you?...they sound like a bumble bee going by you
 

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dont think id be able to live without going out into the woods anymore, thats were i was meant to be along with everyone else in this world, most of us seem to have lost they ways we were supposed to live though. and what are you doing on a firearms forum if you dont hunt? maybe you should reconsider your thoughts
 

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My dogs (chocolate lab and Vizsla) wear orange blaze vests whenever we go in the woods, hunting season or not. And they wear them everyday during the season on my property.
 

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dont think id be able to live without going out into the woods anymore, thats were i was meant to be along with everyone else in this world, most of us seem to have lost they ways we were supposed to live though. and what are you doing on a firearms forum if you dont hunt? maybe you should reconsider your thoughts
I think you may need to give your statement a little thought. "what are you doing on a firearms forum if you don't hunt". Really, you don't know any firearms owners that don't hunt?? This is a firearms forum not a hunting forum.
 

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dont think id be able to live without going out into the woods anymore, thats were i was meant to be along with everyone else in this world, most of us seem to have lost they ways we were supposed to live though. and what are you doing on a firearms forum if you dont hunt? maybe you should reconsider your thoughts
The second amendment doesn't say anything about hunting. I have been shooting for recreation, competition and for a living for the past 40 years. I have no desire to practice being miserable in the woods, been there done that for 20 years in uniform. Last year I was in Afghanistan serving as a civilian assigned to the 10th MTN DIV, my firearms experience helps me do my job. Some of us just don't see the point after what we have been through. I can kill anything on this planet without a 2nd thought. I have no doubt I could kill and animal to survive if I had to do so. Anyway you are welcome!
 

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... and what are you doing on a firearms forum if you dont hunt? maybe you should reconsider your thoughts
After reviewing the totality of your posts and contributions to this forum since you joined, my advice would be for YOU to reconsider your thoughts before you click the post button. JMHO
 

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Back to the topic at hand.......

If Mr Stewart was in a tree stand (what? 20 feet above ground?), the only way I could accept his statement about shooting at a buck would be if the buck were right at the edge of the property line, and the horse right on the other side of the line.
Maybe they should inspect the bullet to see if it was a ricochet, but seriously, he should have been able to see what was behind his supposed target.

And wait until Ms Doker hits him with the civil suit. $50000 worth of damage (loss of the horse), plus potential revenue from competition? He might as well have shot himself...financially he'll be screwed.
 

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The blaze orange vests are a good idea.... A 2nd idea which is even better is to make sure this guy does not own any firearms in the future or ever hunt again....
 

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The blaze orange vests are a good idea.... A 2nd idea which is even better is to make sure this guy does not own any firearms in the future or ever hunt again....
I don't believe that taking his firearms away for the rest of his life is warrented, maybe it is, maybe it isn't. The financial havoc this incident is going to have is going to be devistating enough without adding insult to injury. There are a lot of people in this world that do not belong out in the woods hunting or otherwise, this guy may be one of them.
That doesn't mean he should lose the right to have firearms for defense of his home and family. Think about it if you ran a redlight and totaled a BMW, but didn't kill anyone should you lose your privilage to drive for the rest of your life. Everyone screws up every now and then, this was a big screw up but no human was hurt or killed. For the government to take his rights away for a near miss would be overstepping IMO, we are talking about a tragedy not a terrorist event.
 
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