Dove hunters shoot fiber optic lines in Ralls county, cause majo - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Dove hunters shoot fiber optic lines in Ralls county, cause major damage

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RALLS CO, Mo. (WGEM) -

Ralls County Electric Co-Op officials are looking for your help to find the people responsible for shooting down wires.

The damage left about 150 homes without television or internet service on Sunday night, and now some costly repairs.

A leisurely Sunday night was out of the question for residents in Ralls County, after they spent five hours Sunday evening without television or internet.

But a standard power outage wasn't to blame.

"This one was shot with a shot gun and it busted through the fiber," said Lynn Hodges with the Ralls County Electric Co-op.

Hodges says dove hunters are the ones responsible.

"The doves will tend to accumulate on the power lines or the fiber optic lines. Some folks even though it's probably not ethical, and it's certainly illegal, they'll shoot up towards the lines and the pellets of the shotgun blast will penetrate the lines and shatter the fiber, and that causes the outages," said Hodges.

In fact, Hodges says hunters have caused nearly $10,000 worth of damage to the lines, which crews have temporarily fixed.

But this isn't the first time this has happened, Hodges says dove hunters have damaged lines four separate times over the past two years.

Co-op officials say enough is enough and now, they're hunting down the hunters.

"It's a felony for service interruptions, whether it be electrical utility, telephone, internet services we're going to be aggressively following up on these incidents, and trying to track them down and try to claim restitution from folks," said Hodges.

Hodges says crews will have to permanently replace half a mile of lines sometime next week, which will leave some customers without TV, internet, or telephone service for about 8 hours. @

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