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Knowing your target is what you think it and that it’s a legal animal to shoot is one of the most important things a hunter can do before taking a shot. This young hunters mistake is a cautionary tale for anyone who’s ever taken or almost taken a shot that ended up being a misidentified creature.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — She saw the antlers and a big brown body in the bushes.

And with one shot from her rifle Saturday, Abby Wilson, 14, killed what she thought was a very large white-tailed buck.

It wasn’t. It was an elk.

“She called her dad, who was hunting nearby, and her dad realized it was an elk,” said Tom Strother, protection regional supervisor for the Missouri Department of Conservation. “The dad called our agent in Boone County, Adam Doerhoff, and said, ‘We think we just shot an elk.'”

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