No citation yet for girl who shot elk in Boone County

(Photo Courtesy: Don White)

The Missouri Department of Conservation officials said Tuesday it had not issued a citation to the young hunter who accidentally shot and killed an elk while hunting in Boone County.

The department said the incident was still under investigation.

"Our goal is to manage our wildlife across the state," said Robert Hemmelgarn, a spokesman for the MDC's Central Region Office. "Since there isn't a hunting season for elk, it's illegal to shoot one."

This weekend near Hallsville, the young hunter apparently thought she was shooting a large white tailed buck. Hemmelgarn noted elks are much larger than white tailed bucks, and their antlers sweep backwards.

"That's part of what we teach in hunter education is to be sure of your target before you pull the trigger and to be sure of what's beyond your target so we don't have people killing the wrong species of animal or people or doing other kinds of property damage," said Hemmelgarn.

Department officials acknowledged the girl and her father handled the incident well.

"They contacted us promptly and we responded out and that was absolutely the right thing to do. We appreciate their cooperation throughout this process," said Hemmelgarn.

The MDC is testing the elk's tissue samples for chronic wasting disease. The department is also trying to figure out where the elk came from.

Hemmelgarn noted there are free ranging elk in the southeast Missouri but said it's unlikely the elk came from that area.

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