BIG LAKE, Minn. (WCCO) — A Big Lake Phy-Ed teacher is on paid administrative leave after he allegedly shot a gopher during an archery class.

There’s no denying the fact that the common gopher is so prevalent across Minnesota’s fields and prairies that many townships put a bounty on their heads. However, the problem is that Big Lake High School does not.

That’s why word spread quickly when Big Lake’s high school students learned that one was shot during the archery class.

“I think it’s a bit ridiculous. I think it’s not really a big deal. Stuff like that happens all the time,” said senior Alex Darsow.

Darsow is talking about the investigation and possible discipline that could follow after the class instructor, a 36-year-old veteran teacher, took aim with a bow and arrow and shot the target, which popped up from the ground.

Yes, it was a gopher that was tunneling under the athletic fields where the class was practicing target shooting.

A student, among the 20 kids in the archery class who didn’t want to be identified, confirmed the chain of events.

When asked how it unfolded, the student explained, “we were just shooting at targets in archery class and the teacher shot a gopher.”

While many of the students do not think it’s serious, the school district does. The district won’t go into details about the incident, but high school principal Bob Dockendorf said, “the teacher was placed on paid administrative leave pending investigation.”

Now, students hope the teacher’s demonstration of skill, doesn’t ricochet back in the form of suspension.

“It’s not that big of deal and he’s a very good teacher,” said senior Brook Yasger.

The teacher involved in the incident said there will be no comment until after the district completes the investigation.

Bill Hudson