A shooting accident in the canton of Fribourg over the weekend illustrated the hazards of being in the wrong place at the wrong time during hunting season.
A 60-year-old man from the canton of Vaud was seriously injured on Saturday after being shot by a hunter who reportedly mistook him for a wild boar in a field near the rural community of Villeneuve.
The victim had apparently been harvesting cannabis in the field and was carrying a garbage bag containing the plants, according to cantonal police.
He was transported by helicopter to CHUV, the university hospital in Lausanne, for treatment of life-threatening injuries.
The man sustained lead shot injuries in one arm and in the stomach, according to a report from Le Matin.
“The same morning we had killed a boar and two other animals ran off in this field,” a man involved in the hunt, identified as Serge, told the newspaper.
“It’s a convergence of incredible circumstances,” he said.
“The victim was on his knees in the middle of the field and with a black garbage bag under each arm — my colleague mistook him for a boar.”
The group of hunters immediately called for help.
Police arriving on the scene checked the hunters for alcohol consumption, and they confiscated the gun used on the victim, Serge said. Breathalyser tests showed that the men had not been drinking, he noted.
He added that his colleague was “in shock”.
Meanwhile, the owner of the property, a young farmer, was surprised to learn that marijuana was growing in the field, Le Matin reported.
“We just cut (the field) at the end of the month,” he said.
“It’s certainly the first time that someone has grown cannabis on my property.”
The autumn hunting season is now in full swing in most parts of Switzerland under regulations set by the cantons.