I came across this just on a random search about foxing. This is some scary S H I T, scary how 3 experienced hunters could take a shot at something without knowing for sure that it was a fox they were shooting at. Just reiterates the importance of being 100% sure about 1. Sure about the target 2. Who else is using the land
Heres the text:
A hunter who shot a leading wildlife expert after mistaking his night-vision binoculars for a fox's eyes was cleared of assault yesterday.
Anthony Burns, 52, from Prestwood, Buckinghamshire, was out "lamping" for foxes late one night in April last year when he shot and seriously injured journalist Trevor Lawson, 37.
Aylesbury crown court heard Mr Lawson had been looking for barn owls along a footpath through farmland near the village of Hyde Heath, Buckinghamshire, when he was shot in the chest with a hunting bullet designed to disintegrate inside the body of an animal to kill it more effectively.
Although there was no suggestion Mr Burns shot Mr Lawson deliberately, prosecutor Neil Moore argued unsuccessfully that he had acted recklessly.
But the jury believed Mr Burns when he said he had been "100% sure" he had been shooting a fox. The jury took just under two hours to unanimously clear him of causing grievous bodily harm.
Mr Burns hugged family members, who were weeping for joy, after the verdict. His solicitor, Stephen Betts, said: "He's just very grateful, it was a tragic accident."
Mr Lawson was not in court and his wife left without commenting.
But speaking by telephone later, Mr Lawson said: "The verdict makes no difference to me in the sense that the damage is already done and it is massive damage. If I put my finger in the hole in my ribcage where my ribs used to be, I can feel the blood pumping through my aorta."
The jury was also told during the trial that Mr Lawson was pursuing a civil action for damages against Mr Burns.
The court heard Mr Lawson spent two days in intensive care, lost a lung and still has part of the bullet under his skin.
Mr Burns had two decades of shooting experience, including "lamping" - a form of night hunting using a red filtered light which is difficult for the fox to see - without incident.
Under an arrangement with the farmer on whose land the accident happened, Mr Burns and a group of friends rear pheasants in pens and organise small-scale shoots.
With the farmer's permission, he and his two fellow lampers would go on periodic expeditions to shoot foxes so as to protect their pheasants.
On the night of the accident the three had already shot one fox and were ready to turn in for the night when they decided to make one last visit to a field where one had earlier got away.
The lamp picked up a fox and the court heard that Mr Burns had seen the whole animal three times before picking up a "massive set of eyes".
Convinced that what he saw was the same fox he had seen moments earlier, Mr Burns pulled the trigger but to his horror heard Mr Lawson screaming in agony. He went to Mr Lawson's aid and found him lying on the ground while one of his companions called an ambulance.