Licensed to Kill – But Kill What?

Driving down the country lane to our local town I noticed several of the road signs bore strange indentations; almost as though they’d been shot at. Surely hunters were not using road signs as target practice? I immediately dismissed the idea because one of the damaged signs was in very close proximity to a house. However, what other explanation could there be? The hunting season started on the 15th August so the idea, while ridiculous, was also feasible.

Puzzled, I consulted the “oracle” on hunting related issues; he confirmed my suspicions and even sent me a photograph of a hunting sign bearing eight grade buck shot as evidence! This sign was less than 26 mts from his house! Scary!

"Hunting" sign full of shot
"Hunting" sign full of shot

How could people with guns (I won’t call them hunters) be so irresponsible? It is against the law to discharge a shotgun less than 250m from a property or road but apparently it is not enforced with any enthusiasm by the authorities. Perhaps motorists are far easier “target” for the Police.

The “oracle” also brought to my attention an article published in The Resident* A man was shot and injured by hunters in his own garden!

“Approximately 150m away, I saw a group of hunters shooting at prey (probably rabbits) and when they noticed my wife and I observing their movements, one pointed his rifle threateningly in our direction,” he said.

Article continues here

While some hunters are using hunting signs for target practice I don’t/can’t believe they would actually use road signs! Not wanting to believe my eyes I drove back to the area where I spotted the signs, parked up the car and then walked along the road to investigate.

Please take a look and see what you think.

Are hunters using road signs as target practice?
Are hunters using road signs as target practice?

As I inspected and then photographed the various road signs I noticed an old van had now parked behind my car. This was a deserted road so I immediately switched my camera focus to an old ruin beyond the sign. Old ruins are fascinating! (Paparazzi in training)

I nervously walked back to my car avoiding any eye contact with the van man who was dressed in hunting attire. Another hunter appeared, from the adjoining scrubland, with two hunting dogs in tow which were then loaded into the back of the van along with several other dogs. It was tough trying to look totally disinterested as I walked to my car.

I drove off and passed on the idea of taking further photographs. Shame because the damaged sign I really wanted to inspect and photograph was actually next to a house.

Later the same day, driving along the same road with a friend I pointed out the signs. He thought the hunters were shooting at birds perched on the road signs! “What? What about the danger to people?”, I spluttered in sheer disbelief.

*A weekly newspaper which reports Portuguese news in English.

Related posts:
Wildlife Species Legally Hunted in Portugal
Hunting Signs in Portugal

31 thoughts on “Licensed to Kill – But Kill What?

Add yours

  1. When we lived in the country, I used to wear an orange vest when ever I went out into my yard beyond the deck. People would hunt on the land adjacent to ours. While we never had any problems, it was a precaution I didn’t give up.


  2. I am with Katrina: Yikes. Whereas I understand that some people still have a need to hunt for food, I really don’t like the idea of hunting for trophy. And, to imagine hunters shooting near homes, vandalizing (what else would you call it?) signs–well, that’s scary. I live in the country now, so there are guns that go off from time to time. When I make my move, I will be deeper in the country. I hate the sound of gunshot.

    Stay safe. Wear an orange vest in your yard?


    1. Hi MWD,

      Fortunately my yard is not in the country and there are too many houses in close proximity for them to shoot here. I think judging by the newspaper article even if the man had wore a vest they shot at himm deliberately!


  3. I live in a forest with hunters 7 months out of the year. Our signs are shoot up as well. However, it is not the hunters that are the cause of the destruction. It is teenagers with nothing to do but drive and take target practice on our innocent signs


    1. Hi Kibble,
      I wondered if it was teenagers but reports in the newspapers lead me to belive otherise. Plus, one New Years Eve, I was at a party when the Portuguese guy opposite fired his gun at midnight. He came round later and he was DRUNK!


  4. It’s idiots like those irresponsible gun owners that ruins it for the honest law abiding ones. I agree, it’s frightening to think how close to death the houses are when the idiots are shooting at birds or just at the signs.
    I hate that. 😦
    It sounds like you may have riled one of those nuts who didn’t take kindly to you documenting their illegal target practice.
    Be careful, my friend.


  5. Very disturbing indeed! Unfortunately the police are more interested in hunting driving infractions instead of policing the infractions of half a dozen hunters who would probably bring in very low fines. They are not only infringing the law as well as damaging State´s property, and they should be penalized for that.


  6. Yikes! We are in deer hunting season here in Ontario and we live near an Indian Reservation. The Indians don’t observe the huntings laws, and sometimes take potshots at deer from their car windows. Very disturbing. I don’t walk the dogs in the woods until well after Christmas, safer for all of us. Take care Piglet.


    1. Hi Katrina, I don’t have any issues with hunting for food if it is carried out safely. It just worries me that “some” people are wandering around with guns close to residential areas putting lives at risk. I hope other hunters “police” their own sport.


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