FESTUS, Mo. A Missouri teen hunter who says she accidentally shot an elk by mistake, is now the target of online bullying.
Abby Wilson, 14, shot the elk Saturday while hunting in Boone County with her father. Abby thought the elk was a large buck, so she aimed and fired. “It looked like a deer because it was brown, had four legs and had antlers so the only thing I could think it would be in Missouri is a deer,” Abby Wilson said.
The high school freshman texted her dad thinking she had killed her first buck. He was nearby at a deer stand. “I said, ‘get your butt down here’,” recalled Wilson.
Her father Donald White rushed over but immediately knew the animal was an elk. "I was like, oh boy, oh, that's an elk."
Elk haven’t been reported in that part of Missouri. White immediately called the Missouri Department of Conservation. He said they asked him for a picture. Once they saw that photo White said an agent was there within an hour. “He just couldn’t believe there was an elk in Boone County,” said White. There is no elk hunting season in Missouri. An agent from the Missouri Department of Conservation issued a warning.
The teen says the bullying started when a picture of her with the elk was posted on Facebook. It quickly went viral, with many criticizing the teen. Some people even wrote "Lock Her Up." Others said the teen hunter should have known the difference between a bull elk and a buck deer.
Her father isn't too happy with the online criticism. “I get it, you have people who think one way and think a different way, but to trash a 14-year-old what kind of person are you?” asked White.
Wilson said from now on, she will triple check her target. She also says she is learning to just ignore the bullying. “I don't take anything like that to heart because I know who I am and I know all those people who say those things have no idea,” said Wilson.
The elk Wilson killed is being genetically tested by the Department of Conservation to try and figure out where it came from. Once testing is finished and if the elk passes the Chronic Wasting Disease test, the Department of Conservation will donate the elk meat to needy families.