When Rudolf Stadler offered to help his friend get rid of a troublesome cow, he could have had no idea of the consequences.
Mr Stadler missed his original target
Mr Stadler, from Mooloolaba on Queensland's coast, tried to shoot the cow but missed, shooting passing motorist Carrie Tunning instead.
On Wednesday a judge at Brisbane district court fined Mr Stadler $1,000.
Mrs Tunning, 46, has now recovered. The cow was not so lucky, as Mr Stadler eventually hit his intended target.
The court heard how, on 17 April 2004, Mr Stadler coaxed the cow into a shed with molasses and hay, then tried to shoot it with a Winchester bolt-action rifle.
The first shot missed, and the second went through the back of the shed and then through Mrs Tunning's car door, as she drove along the nearby Beachmere Road.
Mrs Tunning told the court she heard a noise and looked down to see blood on her leg.
Although Judge Douglas McGill fined Mr Stadler, he ordered that no conviction be recorded.
He said the defendant had been so upset by the "freak accident" that he had voluntarily given up his firearms licence.
"There was no intention to do anyone any harm, and in these circumstances your actions must be regarded as a mistake," he said.
Although he added that it was a mistake Mr Stadler "really should not have made".