Photo: WMUR.org broadcast

A mountain biker out for a ride near Elm Brook Park in Hopkinton, NH was shot by a hunter, according to a release from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. The shooting occurred about 4:20pm, just before dark.

Hunting is legal in this park, and according to the release, Conservation Officers believe that the 34-year-old shooting suspect “was shooting at a deer and failed to see the victim on her mountain bike in the background.”

But according to WMUR.org, “Because it happened just before dark, we haven’t really been able to piece a whole lot together yet,” said Lt. Scott LaCrosse, of NH Fish and Game. It’s possible that the hunter may have, in fact, mistaken the rider for something else.

The 27-year-old female victim was transported to nearby Concord Hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries. She’s expected to make a full recovery.

While “know your target and beyond” is one of the cardinal rules of hunting, this unfortunate shooting provides a reminder to take safety precautions during hunting season. For more information, be sure to read our guide to mountain biking during hunting season.

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By Jeff Barber
# Comments

  • Robert Dobbs

    Jesus, Mary and Joseph! After years of hunting with my dad and grandpa I still can’t figure out how the fcuk this happens. Yet every year I read about some hiker, biker or, ironically, another hunter who gets shot like this.
    Hunters, check your environment! Know your quarry and the other animals in the region (their sounds and habits) and know the capabilities of your firearm! (it’s the clumsy 1% of you that give the rest of us a bad rep!)
    -Very glad to hear the cyclist will recover.

  • schwim

    It’s a personal rule of mine to never trust someone that finds it a challenge to shoot a deer to be able to distinguish me from an their antlered prey. Any time I see a hunter in the woods, I put a hill between us as soon as humanly possible.

  • Boxmonkey

    As a hunter and mountain biker this troubles me. I agree with Mr. Dobbs 100%. Every hunting season people, livestock, and pets are shot needlessly. This part of the reason that I am mainly an archery hunter.
    Fellow bikers please wear your brightest colors or a blaze orange vest when riding in hunting zones during the season.
    Be safe everyone and I am so glad this was not a fatality.

  • MTBzine

    We just stay out of the lands that allow hunting during hunting season, there’s usually always county or state land that hunting is not allowed to ride in, why the heck would you even risk it? Forget rifles, what about bow hunting, if you miss the target an arrow can travel quite far through the woods unobstructed to reach a distant area where you have no way of seeing the rider in the distance or can even be deflected and maintain momentum. It’s not worth riding on land where hunting is active.

  • mongwolf

    This is just one of the reasons I always wear fluorescent colors when I ride. Other reasons include that I frequently ride in the city on my way to and from the trail. Also, the bright colors help other trail users more easily see you coming. Finally, it also helps when riding in a group and a rider in front of you wants to look back to see if you are with him or her. You can see and distinguish the bright colors with just a slight glance.

  • nkholmes

    I live in the area and am intimately familiar with the trail system she was riding. A few points for consideration. First, in NH, virtually all Federal and State Parks are open to hunting. Second, the local paper is reporting that she was wearing bright colored clothing. Third, the location where she was shot is frequented by people walking their dogs, hikers, and birders in addition to mountain bike riders — it simply is not a safe place to hunt deer. Personally I avoid the woods at dusk and have a bear bell on my bike, but assigning blame to a rider in this scenario is unwarranted.

  • Zimmie

    In PA I ride or off-road on Sunday during deer seasons, even archery, as its myopic and rude to be in the woods where hunting occurs. Period. The dog wears an orange vest on a walk and so do I when riding in the legal dirt roads. Bikes are only one step below motorized vehicles when I comes to damage and wildlife pressure, insidents like this will only get bikers banned “for their own good”. In addition, getting some access to the vast tracks of land the game commission bought over the last 100 years exclusively with hunting licenses would be a boon. Bikers showing ignorance as to the rules of the woods, makes it near impossible. I guarantee the next time I talk a local ranger this will come up. Thanks lady, I glad you’re gonna recover, but, thanks….

  • Sum Guy

    Lots of salt to go around in these comments. This threads on fire.

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