BENZIE COUNTY, MI – A Michigan family is grieving after they say a hunter mistakenly shot and killed their pet horse.
The Benzie County family tells WPBN that on Sunday, November 19, around 6 p.m., after heading out to feed her horses, Tracii Kunish-Chandler spotted her horse Kodi, who had took off down the driveway after being spooked.
Tracii and her sister-in-law followed the horse's snow tracks.
"I heard a gunshot at like 6:45 p.m., which I didn't think anything of it," Tracii told WPBN. "I thought maybe a hunter finally found a deer and had to put it out of its misery or something."
"Then my sister-in-law said "you probably don't want to see this but...," she was dead like ten feet from his bait pile."
WPBN reports Kodi was shot and killed by an 83-year-old man who had the bait pile set up for deer. The Benzie County Sheriff's Department said the man broke hunting laws by shooting well after legal Michigan hunting hours.
"There's no way he didn't know what he shot," Tracii said. "She's a red and white horse, 11 hundred pounds."
"My husband hunts, everybody in my family hunts," Tracii said. "It's nothing against people hunting whatsoever. It's about people doing it incorrectly or maliciously or illegally way past time and just to kill something basically that's a pet or a family member."
"It could have been kids playing back there," Tracii said. "If he couldn't see what he was shooting at then it could have been a kid he shot, could have been a dog, could have been anything."
The man is being charged with careless discharge of a firearm, but the DNR is continuing to investigate the incident and more charges could be coming.