The Waconia Patriot begins the story by replaying the scene the evening that the Russell family's horse was shot while standing in the family's pasture. The Waconia patriot uses the lead, 'Melissa Russell says its not unusual to hear gunfire around her farm, especially during hunting season.' followed by replaying the event where the family's horse was shot.
Melissa Russell said that the incident occurred around 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 2, when her daughter Sally was heading out to the barn to complete evening chores. As Sally made her way down to the barn, Dewey, one of the Russell family's horses was waiting at the gate. Russell said her daughter saw Dewey suddenly spin around twice, throwing his head up and down. Russell's daughter rushed to the horse's aid and saw the bullet hole in his shoulder, reported the Waconia Patriot.
According to the Waconia Patriot, after paying thousands of dollars in veterinary bills, the Russell family's forced to put Dewey to sleep, knowing that he would not be able to recover from the injury.
The Waconia Patriot reported that the sheriff office is investigating the issue. They believe that the horse was shot by a stray bullet and the incident was not a malicious act. Steve Walter, the local DNR conservation officer added that many deer hunters may have been sighting their shotguns that weekend, in preparation for the deer season opener. "You have to know what your backstop is," Walter said as a warning to hunters to prevent these incidents from happening in the future. "You have to know not just what you're shooting at, but where your bullet could end up. If you're shooting toward a hill or wooded area, you really shouldn't be unless you know what's behind it."
The Waconia Patriot reported that Russell said despite the incident, neither she nor her family is opposed to hunting. She hopes this incident can serve as a reminder to hunters to be careful and aware of their surroundings. "Its horrible about my son's horse," said Russell, "but the thing that emotionally scares me the most is my daughter was 50 feet away from this horse. That could have been her."