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Boaring... Cmon, tis friday after noon.... Be merry and break out the mead!
The Catalan authorities have raised a few eyebrows with a plan to hunt wild boar with bows and arrows. The powers that insist that the boars in the Parque Natural de Collserola have become a serious headache, with a burgeoning population increasingly making forays into neighbouring Barcelona.* The problem is that the park is …
Hardly a "medieval" practice. Animals have been hunted with bows for thousands of years, right up to the present day.
I'm an archer - not a bowhunter - but it is a common misconception that bowhunting is cruel and always leads to quarry suffering a slow and painful death. Bowhunting - if performed under licence and with careful regulation and education - is a perfectly responsible and reasonable method of putting food on the table and contributing to population control of wild animals.
There are many other benefits - other animals aren't disturbed by gunfire; the range of an arrow is significantly lower than a rifle bullet, so the risk to passersby is greatly reduced; it's much more difficult to get within range to make a kill, thus reducing the chances of overhunting; and so on.
As long as it's properly regulated, good luck to them.
Another advantage is that a modern hunting arrow has a much better impact effect on the game. A wounded animal will be stopped in shock, presumably not even feeling the pain right away, unlike what happens with guns. Especially with boars, which are incredibly resistant beasts (with a hell of a hide, too). It is not uncommon to find several pre-existent slugs in wild boars killed in certain area, as wounded animals can escape and hide. Certain animal-lovers might want to do a bit of research before they pick the (medieval) torches and pitchforks.
"surprising that Catalonia is allowing hunting with bow and arrow at the same time that it's establishing itself as a society at the forefront of animal rights"
Animal Rights activists....can't please them. If the regulation had be "hunters can go in with guns and shoot the boars," they would have complained that guns give an unfair advantage to the hunters and disturbs the natural habitat. Tossers the lot of them!
If you hunt a boar with a bow during the hunting season (autumn) you get a Darwin award.
Male boars towards the end of the summer grow up to 2+ inches of special fat to protect them when fighting with other males over a mate. That fat can stop some (lower energy) bullets. A bow does not stand a chance. It will only annoy the animal and annoying a testosterone blinded boar is a really bad idea. Terminally bad idea.
If someone is that keen to down a boar the hard way they should take a spear and do it as our great grandparents did it. Not a bow.
My compound bow with a 56lb (~25 Kg for the metric ones) peak draw can penetrate a brand new compressed straw boss (thickness ~8cms or so) at a distance of 90m with about 20cm of the arrow poking out the back end. The kinteic energy in my arrows when I shoot is significantly greater than your standard bullet used by hungers. Replace my bulletpoints with broadheads and we are talking of something that is not going to be troubled with 5 cm of fat (which has much less stopping power than 5 cm of compressed straw).
"In 2009, there were 199 "incidents" involving wild boar penetrating the Barcelona suburbs. Between January and September 2010, this jumped to 540, meaning roughly a threefold increase in incursions for the year as a whole."
I don't know if this is a direct result of population size. If you look at most migrations of wildlife to urban areas (eg foxes, herring gulls), it seems to be more about the ease of finding food in urban environment than the difficulty of finding food elsewhere.
Reducing litter and securing bins is the first line of defense.
We have wild boar in this part of France (just over the boarder from Spain), that are a real pest. Not only do they dig up the gardens but wander through the village at night annoying all the dogs. Fortunately the local hunters group make their monthly sweep which occasionally bags one but more importantly drives them off for a while.
A wild boar in Spain stands a meter tall and weighs between 50 and 150 kilograms. If you don't hit it perfectly and are not in a tree stand then it's going to come over tear you into small bloody pieces.
A boar isn't some meek mild little herbivore. Google images for boar spear and note that every one has a cross-piece to keep the boar from pushing right up the spear so that it can eat your face.
Just a thought but a "state of the art" compound crossbow can deliver a hit with the same range, accuracy and force as a shotgun slug and in complete silence. You don't need to be a "Robin Hood" archer to use one either.
Death will not be slow though I can't speak for painful, that's GOTTA smart.
Down in the hills of Pennsylvania, and elswhere in the US there are folks that take on wild boar by hand with what is endearingly called a "Pig Sticker" a double edged dagger about 10" long.
I guess that's because they like to even the odd's for the pig.
I live in Catalunya. And I've got the correct arrow for it. It came from Papua New Guinea. I've got another arrow from there. It's designed for human targets...
It is true that there's not much enthusiasm for bull-fighting here. On the other hand, look up "correbous" and go figure.
Ironically, Spain also has a strong anti-toreada movement and seem to have better progress in banning bull-fighting than their former colonies.
Oh, and Catalans *hate* Spain, which they consider to be a rebaptized "Castilla". Calling a Catalan "Spaniard" would get you a response such as "I'm not a ****** Spaniard!"
I once saw a guy giving an atl-atl demonstration who said he'd hunted wild boar in Pennsylvania with it. I've only done it with a gun, myself. I hope these guys in Spain are hunting in groups, because the boars tend to travel in groups, and if you miss with a bow (or your gun jams), you could be pig food...
FYI, these boars have teeth the size of your pinky finger and weigh as much as 2 or 3 people.
... shooting wild boar isn't hunting. It's varminting.
A good, well-placed, razor-sharp broad-head will drop a pig faster than a similar well-placed 12-gauge slug ... seems there is less trauma to the meat, so the pig bleeds out faster (hamburger makes for a good plug). And in my opinion, the sharp arrow head seems to cause less mental trauma to the pig, as well. I have never hit a pig with an arrow and had it flip about, biting at the wound. I can't say the same about slugs.
I use my old Browning bow where allowed ... and my Browning shotgun where not allowed. Other tools include the afore mentioned 7-foot boar spear, just in case you miss too badly and piss-off the pig (technique is "get a clean shot through the heart & lungs, but if you miss, place butt of spear on ground, set your back foot on it, and track charging pig's chest with the sharp end, all the while trying not to shit yourself"). I also carry my Kimber, in .45 ACP, for the coup de grâce if/when needed.
I always have "wild boar", smoked and/or salted & hanging, and in the freezer ...
Them boys is seriously tasty. They aren't really "wild boar", but a cross between domestic pigs and true European wild boar ... the wild ones were brought into California back in the late 1800s for so-called "sport hunting" purposes. They managed to cross with the more domestic variety. They look, and taste, like the real wild ones from Europe ... if a trifle smaller.
Anyone griping about killing off pests that don't just die and rot, but also provide proper bacon sarnies, ham, prosciutto, ribs, hocks, picnic butts and shoulders ... not to mention the sausages and blood pudding and head cheese, trotters, ears, cheeks, lard and crackling provided by all the misc. bits that are just too good to throw away ... Well, I just feel sorry for the gripers. They don't know a good thing when they smell/taste/see it. Poor bastards.
Family lore has it that I was introduced to bacon when I was two days old ... I doubt it's true, but I've had a love for all things pig since before I can remember ... We have a litter or two of domestic hogs here at the ranch every year. They are raised with tender, loving care. And then will kill them and eat them. It's called "food chain" and "apex predator" ... I'm just a trifle less mentally abusive than your average Puma/Mountain Lion ;-)
The cities around here have deer population problems and they use bow hunters to thin the herds due to the lack of natural predators (although we have been having more lion sightings and them occasionally eating the family pet). Of course you have those that don't want Bambi hunts, but most agree that this is the safest way to hunt them in populated areas and avoid traffic accidents. In the large parks they will sometimes use guns to hunt but not in neighborhood areas.
I've eaten a lot of boar meet but never bacon from a boar. I have a hunch it wouldn't be like (english) bacon at all.
As an archer myself I think the only reason hunting with the bow is illegal in the UK is because bow manufacturers didn't have enough money to 'pay the expenses' of MP's when whatever bill that made it illegal went through.
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