Field Target: It Grinds My Gears #2

Field Target - It Grinds My Gears

You know what grinds my gears, hunting.

Where I stand on hunting is difficult to explain and probably as confusing as when hunters of big African game call what they are doing conservatism!

After all, how I can I speak out? I eat meat, don’t I!

The way I was brought up was to respect animals, never to be cruel to them and not to hunt them while they had young. That’s what my grandfather taught me when we’d go for a few rabbits or hares, none of them were hunted for fun but for the pot because of one or two reasons. 1. My grandfather was skint. 2. He fancied some rabbit/hare stew.

Hunting didn’t interest me back then and it doesn’t now, the idea of sitting in a field looking for quarry has absolute zero interest for me and similar with things like ratting, it’s just not my idea of a good time and you’d never talk me into doing them, killing stuff just doesn’t give me the horn and I often wonder about the psychology of those that it does give the horn!

I look at things like fox hunting not as a sport, by any definition, but as a complete barbaric practice, the odds are defiantly stacked towards the houses’ side, that’s not a sport to me. Paying to shoot big game and then posing with the dead animal makes no sense to me on many levels, a beautiful animal reduced to a paid for trophy and shot safely at 1000yds! You won’t get a well done from me and you shouldn’t be surprised by the public outcry.

If this is your thing then what is wrong with you would be my usual first thought and what the hell drives someone to want to do that? I’ve simply have no idea. I don’t understand the buzz anyone gets from killing a lion and paying for it. Nor do I understand the perverted use of the word conservatism, why don’t they just be more honest about it and state that they are conserving a bourgeoisie capitalist system to forward themselves while breeding animals to be shot because I think that is actually closer to the truth.

For me Field Target has nothing to do with hunting and it isn’t even close to anything like a hunting simulation, some of the targets looking like quarry don’t help our cause but the public has little to no understanding of the sport. They just see people with big guns and some people dressed in camo and let’s be honest here, they think you look like a nutcase’s having some kind of midlife crisis.

I’ve never worn camo and have no plans to ever do so, I’ve no desire to be seen as a nutcase or a toy soldier and pretty much share the public’s view that you do indeed look a bit daft in camo while sitting on a cushion in the open. No doubt this will get a few people’s backs up but honestly that’s what I think and yeah I understand it’s warm and waterproof but hey so are most North Face jackets.

Recently at an event, a guy turned up dressed head to foot in desert camo, American paratrooper boots and topped off with a camo cap with the word “sniper” stitched into the front. I didn’t know whether to laugh or die from embarrassment for him. I know we all go through a mid-life crisis but for me, that is not the image Field Target should be projecting and if anything I think it worsens any cause we may have because it plays up to some Hollywood stereotype, we’re not some re-enactment society.

I do understand why land needs to be managed and numbers need to be kept down, that makes perfect sense to me and I don’t have a problem with that but I’ll always struggle with pictures of people with their gun and a load of dead quarry but then I’ve never found a butchers window that interesting either. You may be even asking what’s most of the above got to do with Field Target well you must be able to see some of the same threads if you’ve ever been to a shoot, the public, however, sees no difference.

Field Target feels like it is on the fulcrum of change to me, which way it tips is up to us all, professional sport or Sunday league kick about!