Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Chinese "hunting parks"

This video carries a Reuters report by Kitty Bu on what are referred to as "hunting parks" in China. The story is interesting in its choice of angle ("Chinese hunters complaining about gun control") and in its casual assumption that the activity depicted is hunting!

For the record, there is no hunting in this video, Ms. Bu. And those are not rifles.


Mike Spies said...

I wonder what happened to the concept of fact checking reportage prior to release?

If this is the level of reporting we can expect from Reuters, wire services and reporting in general require a high level of skepticism.

Matt Mullenix said...

Mike: Good point! If they need ME to fact check on the topic of firearms, things look pretty grim at the Bureau.

But the oversight on what might (or might not) constitute "hunting" is a larger-scale mistake.

Obviously even the gun-ignorant like myself can tell a shotgun from a rifle, but ignorance about hunting is widespread. Chances are that several editors watched that story before its release and none might have known better than to call tossing tame, trash-feathered pheasants in front of armed tourists "hunting."

We can argue about how much better our own version of pen-reared game shoots might be (not a lot, IMO) but clearly this is the worst possible example I have ever seen.

Steve Bodio said...

Soooo... they object to REAL hunting, but not to this?

I wonder if anyone will call their attention to the shotguns, as well. Bet they think it just doesn't matter...

Mike Spies said...

Matt, most people have no problems with killing animals, as long as it is 'sanitized' and institutionalized. Meat is from Safeway, not from animals, seems to be the main form of denial.

The question of the ethics of death arises. To paraphrase Prince Philip... criticism of the killing of animals centers on the sketchy concept that killing is OK as long as the killer is not ENJOYING it. Why this should be so is unclear.

As for the shotguns, Steve, they look like Chinese copies of the Remington 32/3200, Tikka, or Kreighof design. I notice some discomfort in (improperly) mounting and firing the guns, and also that they are tossing hulls on the ground. Any of these people would be rapidly corrected on any skeet or game field in the USA.

I also noted that Reuters slipped in a shot of someone indoors holding an automatic, military weapon. Ohhh! Muy peligroso!

M.L. Miller said...

That's a truly strange--and poorly reported--story.

The oversight on what might or might not constitute hunting IS a larger-scale mistake.

Unfortunately, it is a mistake I see perpetuated every month in certain "hunting" magazines.

I'm not surprised that urban reporters with anti-hunting sentiments can't get this right when many "hunters" themselves promote blasting farmed elk, pet deer and zoo reject lions.

I once was given an enthusiastic tour of a "deer hunting ranch" because the owner had the mistaken belief that, because I went on big game hunting trips, I also had the urge to knock off a record book whitetail or two. It was the deer hunting equivalent of this video. Deer raised in paddocks, bred and fed like cattle, then released for the "hunters." In two hours I walked up to a parade of giant bucks.

Over the next several years, I read articles by several high-profile "outdoor writers" extolling the virtues of this place. Obviously there are writers and editors in the "hook and bullet" press who don't know what real hunting looks like, either.

Do what you want, but call it what it is. And it isn't hunting.

Mike Spies said...

The Brits call shooting of driven and released birds shooting, not hunting. Walking up game in field and moor is 'rough shooting' or 'walking up'. Hunting is on horseback behind foxhounds. OK with me.

Shooting birds in a preserve - whether planted or flown from towers - is equally OK with me. I don't do it, but it keeps people buying licenses and ammo. And it keeps them OFF MY WILD BIRD HUNTING AREAS. Also OK with me. I won't diminish their experience (or fantasy) by insulting what they do.

But I don't call shooting released birds hunting, either.

mdmnm said...

I've been on one pen-raised bird shoot. That was enough to give me an idea of what they are like. That scene in the video where the guy is throwing the birds up into the air to get them to "flush" for the shot was reminiscent of my experience, in that the one really good flush we got was when one of our party lagged behind, picked up a bird that wouldn't rise, tossed it in the air, and called our attention to it after it had gotten up a good head of steam.

To some extent, I feel the same sentiment Mike Spies expresses above- if folks want to do this instead of crowding up public lands, well, good. That sentiment wars with the thought that if this activity is considered "hunting", a bunch of us are getting damned by association.

Matt Mullenix said...

szFalconry has been somewhat insulated from development into a farmed game excersize, although there are some exceptions: The falconry schools will place chukkars and pheasants out to ensure a flight for their paying clients. You get what you pay for, but at least the clients don't know any better.

More troubling to me are rumors I've heard about state falconry clubs holding field meets at commercial game plantations, or worse---providing bagged game for members to chase over otherwise barren land. When that door opens a crack, there's no reason to doubt it will open further.