Hunter mistakes pot plant picker for boar

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.

Hunter mistakes pot plant picker for boar
Photo: Mateusz Atroszko (File)

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.

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Cafés and restaurants in most of French-speaking Switzerland to re-open on December 10th

Nearly four weeks after closing down, bars and restaurants in five of Switzerland’s six French-speaking regions will be back in business as of December 10th.

Cafés and restaurants in most of French-speaking Switzerland to re-open on December 10th
A waiter wearing a protective face mask poses in the nearly empty restaurant "Le Lyrique cafe brasserie" in Geneva. AFP

In a joint press release, Geneva, Vaud, Neuchâtel, Fribourg, and Jura announced on Wednesday that the decision to re-open restaurants and cafés “was made in a concerted manner and with a desire for harmonisation and clarity” among the neighbouring regions.

Of the French-speaking cantons, only Valais restaurants will remain shut, as the canton had extended its closures until December 13th.

Authorities noted that the decision to re-open was driven by the steadily declining coronavirus infection rates in the regions, which until the first week of November had been among the most impacted in Switzerland.

Cantonal officials said that the re-opening “will take place in a strict health framework. It will be mandatory to consume seated and provide contact details for tracing. There can only up to four people per table.”

Tables must be at least 1.5 metres apart and masks must be worn if customers are not seated.

Additionally, establishments must remain closed between 11 pm. and 6 am, in accordance with federal rules.

Authorities said they would monitor “for the possible effects of the re-opening on the pandemic. This means the decision can be revoked if the health situation requires it”.

In Vaud, electric heaters will be allowed outside the restaurants to encourage customers to eat outdoors.

READ MORE: IN NUMBERS: Reasons to be optimistic about the coronavirus situation in Switzerland 

Other measures will also be lifted

For instance, in Vaud museums will re-open on December 1st, and religious services will resume with a maximum of 30 people. They will have to wear masks and keep the 1.5-metre distance.

Also in Vaud, more relaxed measures will be put in place for the holidays: from December 18th to January 3rd, the limit for gatherings will be raised from five to 10 people.

However, participation in other public or private events will remain limited to five people.

In Geneva, the Council of State announced on Wednesday that museums, exhibition halls and libraries will be open from November 28th.

This new relaxation comes after hairdressers, beauticians and other wellness services resumed their activities on Saturday.

Until then, all non-essential businesses in Geneva had been shut down since the beginning of November to curb the canton’s alarmingly high contamination rate. 

You can see the situation in other Swiss cantons here.