Italian boar hunters are trigger happy
Italian boar hunters are accused of being trigger happy, careless hunters violating basic hunting safety rules. Italian boar hunters getting shot by another eager hunter are not unusual. But one member of a family shooting another of the same family is unusual even for Italy.
Italy does not have the strict hunting safety training all American hunters have to undergo before they can apply for a hunting license. And this omission shows in the number of Italian boar hunters shot by other hunters every year. Their number runs into the dozens year after year.
It is not uncommon for one Italian boar hunter to shoot at another hunter mistaking him or her for big game. Didn’t we all learn the importance of clearly identifying the target and a safe backdrop before taking a shot? I bet your hunter education teacher stressed as much as mine not to shoot at some moving and rustling bushes unless you can definitely identify that it is indeed some big game creating the commotion.
Obviously, nobody told our brave Italian boar hunting father and son about this ironclad safety rule. How else could it otherwise happen that a trigger happy Italian boar hunter could shoot dead his very own father?
This is what happened: Father and son, both Italian boar hunters, went into the woods on a weekend to shoot some boar. The son’s dog started barking and the 34-year-old heard something rustling in the nearby bushes. He fired a shot at the moving and rustling bushes. Unfortunately, instead of bringing down a wild boar he shot his 55-year-old father in the stomach.
Father Martino Gaudioso died before he could receive medical treatment in the nearest hospital. Police charged the careless son with manslaughter and confiscated his rifle.
It turns out that our two intrepid Italian boar hunters were actually scofflaws in the first place. The shooting incident occurred in a protected wildlife area where hunting is not allowed at any time of the year. They also were out hunting boar before October 2 at the official start of the hunting season. In 2018, boar hunters fatally shot an 18-year old during a boar hunt.
But that is not all. A dog walker in the woods near Apricale close to the French border was shot in the abdomen by a Winchester toting hunter. According to the Italian national anti-hunting group Association of Victims of Hunting 22 hunters were killed during the 2017-2018 hunting season. Fatalities from hunting accidents amount to 230 people killed and 854 injured during the past twelve years.
As expected, the lethal results of so many hunting accidents have brought out anti-hunting forces in great numbers. They demand hunting to be completely banned in the entire country. Their allies in other European countries support this demand wholeheartedly.
Though the anti-hunting forces are getting stronger and stronger, they still do not have enough influence to ban all types of hunting outright. Therefore, they generally settle for slightly less than the complete ban on hunting but instead promote hunting bans on weekends when European forests are teeming with hikers, runners, dog walkers and, believe it or not, mushroom collectors. They all “gamble with death” when they venture into forests during the autumn and winter hunting season states the Association of Victims of Hunting.
As in almost all European countries, the number of wild boar has increased dramatically during the past decade. Mild winters, an abundance of food sources from agriculture, the abandonment of farmland by farmers, and the trend of wildlife to move into human activities centers where they are safe from Italian boar hunters allowed the boar population in Italy to grow to an estimated one million animals.
Boar are becoming a common sight near or in cities like Genoa, Rome, and other big Italian urban centers. The damage they cause by searching for food in parks and by raiding agricultural centers is so severe that that Italian farmer’s association called for a major boar cull.
Despite the strict training requirements American hunters have to meet, there are hunting accidents in our country as well. American hunters, like Italian boar hunters, must be keenly aware of the strong anti-hunting trend that is taking hold worldwide. Let us all be responsible hunters and set an example that can serve to match the wild-eyed anti-hunting forces and their agenda effectively.