Shot hits caravan; spotlight ban call

A Bannockburn woman who reported rabbit shooters to police after a caravan at a camping ground was struck by a stray bullet, says spotlighting in the area must stop. Cairnmuir Motor Camp owner Martine McDowell said a school-aged child was sitting only 30cm from a window, when a stray bullet flew through it about 7.30pm on Sunday, October 4.

The family staying in the caravan was watching television at the time and did not realise why the window suddenly shattered until they inspected the caravan the next morning and found a slug lying nearby.

It was later confirmed by police that the bullet struck and pierced one side of the caravan before exiting through a perspex window on the other side. Mrs McDowell reported the incident to police and called police again that night when she and her husband saw someone spotlighting around the toilet block at the Bannockburn Inlet below the camping ground. She said her husband confronted the man and established he was hunting rabbits with a .22 rifle.
The man then left.

Police were unable to find him.

Mrs McDowell said they saw people spotlighting around the area fairly regularly, but she believed it was now too built-up and not safe.

”I mean this school-aged boy was only a foot from the [caravan] window – he could have ended up with a slug in his face.”

She wanted to publicise the dangers of shooting in the area and called for signs to be erected warning people off hunting around there.

A police spokesman said police were still trying to identify who may have been shooting in the area, but were keen to use the incident as a reminder to hunters about their responsibilities.

”Police are reminding hunters the obligation is on them to ensure they are versed in the law around the carriage and use of firearms, and to apply the seven basic rules of firearm safety at all times.”