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February 04, 2005

Hunting Life - Bright Eyes

Posted by Jorocs

They sit huddled in the darkened corner of the pub, convinced that they are inconspicuous. Shortly they will leave and climb aboard their 4x4 vehicles, equipped with padded roll bars in the back on which to rest their rifles and the plethora of search light and lamps which give the game away. They are The Lampers. Because they operate in darkness they imagine we don't see them and we don't know who they are.

But they are considered to be a low form of life by country people. They operate under the cloak of the night transfixing foxes in their search lights and, completely non-selectively, will sterilise an area of its indigenous wildlife. There is an old gamekeeper saying, "You shoot a fox and two come to its funeral", i.e. you create a vacuum and you will find two more to shoot the next night.

These are the selfish people who operate with no moral code and no governing body to ensure the fox has a breeding season. They take no responsibility for their actions. They will decimate old and young, sick and healthy and even suckling vixens leaving the cubs to starve to death. They won't always make a clean kill, but in the darkness the victim will disappear to a lingering death. He will often end up as a road casualty. You may see him on the side of the road where he has sought freedom from his pain between the very headlights that injured him.

When the Hunting Act comes into force these are the people to whom it will give free rein to reap havoc on the countryside. Any hunter worth his salt has a great respect for his quarry species. It is a worthy opponent who must be given a breeding season and hunted in a fair and proper manner.

Next time you see a road side casualty fox, check him for gun shot wounds.

Jorocs writes about hunting life for the Social Affairs Unit. To read more by Jorocs, see Hunting.


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