Hickok45 does his best Dirty Harry impersonation complete with S&W in .44 magnum.

Snap Shots

Everybody should kill dinner; NT waterfowl season; fire danger; illegal hunting busts; NZ has enough laws; lions targeted by poachers; rhino protection scams; Dirty Harry returns.

Everybody should kill their dinner

“I think everybody should have to go out at least once in their own life and kill their own dinner,” author Adrian Gill says. His comment came in an ABC radio interview where the slightly incredulous presenter brings up the matter of elk hunting in Sweden, calling it a “civilised society [where] they go out and pop off these majestic animals.” Gill gives a good reply: “Well, I’m with them. I think their unsentimental attachment to their habitat, to nature and to where they live is very attractive and I find our metropolitan squeamishness about where our food comes from and what actually happens to it is deeply unhealthy.” He has more to say, and it’s worth a listen, especially from about 14min 15sec in.

NT hunting season

The waterfowl hunting season begins in the Northern Territory in less than a month, on 19 September. It will close at Lambert Lagoon and Howard Springs just before Christmas, on 23 December, but all other permitted areas, including private land, will be closed on 2 January, 2013. The season starts late this year because of late nesting by magpie geese. “The daily bag limit of 10 magpie geese and 10 ducks, implemented last year to maintain potential hunting effort with the shorter season, has been maintained,” Karl Hampton, Minister for Parks and Wildlife, said. “We encourage permit holders to submit a return at the end of the season, as it provides key information for declaring the season and ensuring the sustainability of the magpie goose hunting season for the future,” he added. Full details are available on the Parks and Wildlife website.

Fire danger warning

Bushfire season is coming up and some areas are already a worry, so hunters need to be wary. The Game Council advises that the season has begun in NSW. There’s a total fire ban in the Far West, and a ban on lighting fires in state forests on the North Coast. R-licence holders in state forests may find black powder is off the agenda in certain regions. Before hunting, check the Game Council website and/or the Rural Fire Service site, and double-check your written permission.

More illegal hunters busted

NSW police earlier this month cracked down on illegal hunting in the Tumbarumba region. Over a weekend, they laid charges and issued a number of infringement notices. Offences ranged from unlawful hunting and knife possession to drugs, unregistered/unlicensed driving and not having microchipped dogs.

NZ police don’t want more laws

Police say there are enough laws in New Zealand to deal with accidental deaths caused by the misuse of firearms. The comments comes after the parents of Aaron Grimwood, who was shot dead in 2008 while preparing to go rabbit hunting, said there was too big a gap between laws covering manslaughter and the careless use of firearms. The Grimwoods are reported to have said they did not want the shooter, Raven Walters, to be punished over the accident but changed their minds when he showed a lack of remorse. Walters was sentenced to four months community detention, 100 hours community service and a year’s supervision and counselling, which the Grimwoods say is too lenient. The coroner who investigated the shooting recommended NZ adopt a new charge of dangerous use of a firearm to fill the apparent gap in current laws.

Poachers go after lions

Lions have joined rhinoceroses, elephants and other animals being targeted by poachers in Africa. Lion bones are being taken to fill demand in Vietnam and Laos, where they are used instead of tiger bones to make tradition potions claimed to lift a man’s sex drive. Legal trophy hunters from Laos have become a major part of the safari business, which some fear is artificially raising the prices for hunts. The bones of legally hunted animals may be taken out of Africa. However, reports say wild lion, as opposed to the so-called ‘canned hunt’ lions used in some paid hunts, are more valuable, leading to a rise in illegal killing of the big cats. At this stage there is no clear evidence of poaching, and the legal market appears to be filling demand for bones, and some in the hunting industry suggest the fears of poaching are being spread by groups who are trying to ban hunting altogether.

Rhino protection hit by scams

Meanwhile, South Africans are in danger of being “rhino’ed out,” in the words of one anti-poaching manager. The push to save rhinoceroses from poaching may bring on ‘donor fatigue’. With at least 260 organisations trying to help, SA is flooded with fundraising pens, stickers, clothing, chains, CDs and more. Worse still, there is evidence of fake fundraisers who are scamming the public, making people shy of donating. The stronger anti-poaching effort has slowed the rate of killings compared with last year’s record number.

Dirty Harry is back

Dirty Harry returns! Well, in a manner of speaking. Hickok45 is one of our favourite ways to spend time on Youtube, and this is a great video. Hickok45 relieves his Dirty Harry days with “the most powerful handgun in the world,” his Smith & Wesson model 29-2 in .44 Magnum. And boy, can he shoot that thing! Funny thing is, Dirty Harry never did, not in reality, because blanks for the .44 magnum where unavailable and a similar looking S&W 25 in .45 Long Colt was used whenever the gun was fired in the movie series.





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Mick Matheson

Mick grew up with guns and journalism, and has included both in his career. A life-long hunter, he has long-distant military experience and holds licence categories A, B and H. In the glory days of print media, he edited six national magazines in total, and has written about, photographed and filmed firearms and hunting for more than 15 years.