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!
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.
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.