Stray bullet mystery: Prince George couple left with broken mirror, unanswered questions

Jason Stevens believes a stray bullet that entered his rural Prince George home came from the gun of a would-be poacher, targeting a "beautiful moose" that frequents his neighbour's acreage.

'I’ve done lots of shooting, have lots of gun experience. It was a bullet hole'

A neighbour called in a loud, gunshot-like bang around 10 a.m. PT on Thursday morning. Jason Stevens didn't discover this hole in his bathroom mirror until two days later. (Jason Stevens)

It took Jason Stevens two days to figure out how his bathroom mirror broke — seemingly on its own — with no one in the house to witness it.

But he put the pieces together and thinks that a hunter took aim — illegally — at a prize moose that frequents his property, and missed.

He says the clues are all there.

It was dark when Stevens arrived at his semi-rural property in Prince George, B.C., on Thursday evening when his wife pointed to glass shards littering the bathroom countertop and floor.

"We figured it was just a stress fracture or something," he said.

As the pair dutifully tidied up the splinters, they noticed something was off.

Clear glass was mixed in with reflective mirror glass, but they shrugged it off.

A few days later Stevens was measuring the broken mirror before heading into town to find a replacement.

That's when he finally saw the bullet hole in the bathroom window.

"I've done lots of shooting, have lots of gun experience. It was a bullet hole."

He then looked through the glass in the garbage bin and discovered fragments of lead.

"That ruled out a rock," he said.

Close call

He believes that the bullet entered through the bathroom window, finally hitting the mirror.

"The glass came through enough that it was embedded in the wall," said Stevens.

They hadn't noticed because the bathroom door blocks the view of the window when it's open.

The Stevens assumed their mirror simply broke because it was old but two days later discovered lead fragments in the trash alongside the broken glass and learned of gunshot that had been reported to police. (Jason Stevens)

Stevens closed the door while measuring the mirror, revealing the damage.

A quick call to police revealed that neighbours had coincidentally reported a gunshot near his home around 10 a.m. PT on Thursday.

His wife, he said, had left the house about two hours before that and returned at about 11 a.m. PT.

"If it would have been two hours one way or the other … it wouldn't have been good."

Hunting illegal in area

The Stevens' home is located near Chief Lake Road, on the northwestern edge of Prince George city limits where it is illegal to hunt with a firearm.

But Stevens is convinced that someone was trying to poach a moose that has been a regular visitor to an abandoned property across the road from his home for about six or seven years.

"It's a beautiful moose; everybody talks about it," he explained.

"And it was only one shot, it was a weird time of the day."

Conservation officers said there's no proof that the bullet came from a hunter or a poacher.

"It's speculation that poaching or hunting was involved," said Eamon McArthur, a conservation officer with the province.

But Stevens is convinced.

He's not shocked by the incident, as he's familiar with firearms and understands how errant bullets can end up in strange places, but he says his wife remains shaken.

He has a simple message for the shooter — if in fact it was a shooter: "Don't be a dumbass."

Conservation officers say if it was a hunter it's more than dumb. It's dangerous.

"The thing is you can hunt with a bow but you cannot hunt with a firearm in city limits. No matter how agrarian, how rural it may seem, you are not allowed to hunt with a firearm," said McArthur.

"If someone is injured, or albeit killed, because you're firing a firearm … you could be on the hook for criminal charges."

Listen to Jason Stevens recount how he solved the mystery of the shattered glass, with Daybreak North's Wil Fundal

Jason Stevens speaks to Wil Fundal about finding a bullet hole in his home. 2:35

About the Author

Ash Kelly

Digital Producer

Ash Kelly is an associate producer for CBC Radio and online. Her CBC outdoor column, 'The Great Wide Open' focuses on nuanced stories about life outdoors. It airs province-wide every two weeks. You can find Ash and more of her stories on Twitter @AshDKelly.