Posted by: kathandroger | August 12, 2018

La Chasse.

Hunting is very popular here. The season is mainly in the winter, and is strictly controlled. But exceptionally permits are granted for hunting the wild boar in summer. There are lots of them in the area, and we have often seen families of pigs crossing the woodland roads at night. They do cause some damage to the crops, particularly the maize, and nearby there are signs of grazing on the now ripe cobs. So the hunters have an excuse for summer slaughter.
Yesterday morning we were woken by the sounds of baying hounds. I had been told that the hunt would be nearby, so went to investigate. “Bloody ell”, I thought, the whole of the district had invaded our little tracks.IMG_0116 There were cars and vans everywhere, especially the little white vans that every self respecting hunter must have. And there were rows and rows of chaps in their fluorescent red jackets lining the edges of the maize.IMG_0117
I had arrived by bicycle, a bit puffed, and bid “Bonjour!” to the nearest warrior. “Ssh” was the reply, and he gave me a fierce look. I guessed I was not his favourite observer, so cycled a bit down the lane and found my chum John Claude. He is a lovely chap and was very happy to chat. Apparently there were about sixty hunters that lovely summer morning, who had all started at about 7am, had been assigned their positions and were waiting for the wild animals to emerge from the cover of the crop to be greeted by a bullet in the head. The flushing out was done by our local hounds,kept just up the road at the goat farm. Some of them must have been in the maize, but the only one I saw only wanted IMG_0119to have a pee on one of the vans!
Lots of dog noise, lots of chaps standing around with guns and very little else. But it was a glorious morning and a pleasure to be outside. Bored after the several seconds of observation, I made my way home and took the dog for a walk-in the opposite direction to the hunt but up the hill so that we could monitor any action. There was none. After a couple of hours there was lots of hoots from the hunting horns and red clad chaps meandered off with hanging heads. No slaughter today.
I used to hunt in the UK. Mainly on expensive Pheasant shoots which rich patients had invited me to, and occasionally on the local fox hunt when the horse was in good enough condition. I loved it, but now don’t want to kill wild animals any more. Here in France hunting is done for the pot mainly, and the huge number of birds killed as in the UK, does not happen. Our local chaps may kill the odd brace of birds and even the many deer found locally, but it is all divided up and eaten by the hunters and their families. The boar shoots are different with powerful rifles needed, and sometimes they are done in the many large estates, in which animals are released and prevented from escape by the wire enclosures. The hunters just have to wait for the zoo animals to appear and slaughter them from their elevated platforms. Horrible.
I guess the summer boar hunts give the chaps an excuse for a gathering of like minded hunters, and probably a few drinks afterwards. As for preventing crop damage it really is like farting against thunder-boar can travel 50 km a night and I bet there were none in that maize to begin with. Sanglier 1 Hunters 0!


Responses

  1. They need Asterix and Obelisk to help keep the wild boar numbers down!

  2. Sorry, Obelix!

    • Nice to hear from you Tim. I hope all is well with you both.

  3. I have come to loathe the hunt and find it quite frightening. I hate the idea of luring a wild animal to its death and as for giving it no chance of escape – that’s just unfair.
    Once on one of our long drives back to the UK after a holiday in our little cottage we passed a wood with the fluorescent jackets dotted around the edge, guns pointed into the trees. A few hundred yards away a solitary boar was legging it across the fields as fast as he/she could in the opposite direction. We cheered!
    I realise my feelings are at odds with my being a meat eater but can’t help how I feel, strangely.

    • I feel the same Jean, and I hate killing our lambs, but the lure of vegetarianism hasn’t got me ……..yet!


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