By blaming poachers for the injury to the mare in a field near Chisbury Woods (Gazette & Herald, October 16th) aren’t the police completely overlooking another possible source of a stray bullet?

I live nearby in Froxfield, and mid-morning on October 16, the first sunny morning after days of rain, shots could clearly be heard from the Chisbury Wood/ Almshouse Copse area.

The previous week, which was mostly sunny and clear, the sound of occasional shots could be heard from that area during the day.

I’m told that local landowners give permission for deer stalkers to cull deer on their land at this time of year.

Last year a friend and I came across one of these deer stalkers while walking locally. He told us that he regularly travelled from Bristol to ‘cull’ and that his special rifle had a range of three miles.

We pointed out that he was shooting within half a mile of the public footpath which runs near Chisbury Woods, a fact of which he seemed to be unaware. Even if these ‘stalkers’ are excellent shots and shooting legally on private land, isn’t it obvious that stray bullets do not respect boundaries?

The mare was reportedly checked in her field at twilight, when her injury was noticed. Doesn’t that imply that the shot was more than likely fired during the day? And aren’t we all being naïve to assume that an illegally discharged weapon is more likely to be responsible for the mare’s injury than a legally discharged weapon?

Who exactly is monitoring the guns, licences, local knowledge and proficiency of these apparently legitimate gun-users who often do not live locally but who shoot in our countryside?

Lindy Elliott, Froxfield.