The 55-year-old female cyclist was hit by a pellet on her left hand and needed hospital treatment, police said.
The boy’s mother said she had allowed him to play with the rifle behind their house as it backed on to a large field and she didn’t think there was any danger of him harming anybody. He was supposed to be hunting rats, she said.
However the cyclist and her husband happened to be riding down a dirt road by the field.
Police have confiscated the air rifle and have temporarily banned the family from owning any weapons.