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Welcome to Fieldsports Britain, coming to you this week from the People's Republic of
Coming up: This is where the pheasant and the muntjac come from, and I'll be looking
for both of them.
I'll be visiting one of the factories in Cina that make all the kit we use to attract pigeons
crows and ducks
First, I'm going to this paradise island to look for deer, goats and rabbits
So here's the story. In 2011, we carry a news report saying that the first man in China
to own land is a petrochemicals millionaire who has bought a lease on an island near the
city of Ningbo where, instead of opening a casino or a shopping centre, he opens a hunting
reserve, and this in a country where it is widely believed that hunting is banned. Well,
Erik van der Horst gets in touch with us to say he is based in Ningbo and would we like
to go? I push in front of David, Roy, Mark, Crow, Dom and everyone else, and say yes please.
18 months later, I am at a ferry terminal that may not be up to much but the boat itself
is Chinese industrialist class.
So we've left the Chinese mainland behind us and we are heading for we don't know what.
But this is the birthplace of Chinese hunting - something that's been banned along with
guns since 1949. Here, it's not only tolerated it's quite possibly legal. Let's find out.
It's a half-hour air-conditioned whiz over the water past dazzling James Bond scenery.
We come into port and, if you listen carefully, you can hear them say it: "The plane, boss,
the plane". We land, we round a corner and there is the hotel.
The following morning, we are up early to go stalking. Rosy-fingered dawn is spectacular.
The potential for hunting less so. Erik spots a herd of goats or, as he disparagingly calls
them, sheep.
I reckon we will have about three to four hour stalk up to the sheep you just filmed.
By the sounds of it we have got quite an experience and quite a good stalk. As far as I understand
we will call in the sheep when we get near. It will be something like "sheep, sheep, sheep,
sheep" at which point they will all come running in and we have got about ten minutes to shoot
Just ten minutes.
Probably ten minutes, yes.
The gamekeeper hands out the firearms to Erik me and to Mr Yang, a Chinese industrialist.
The 12-bore shotguns are marked with the word Ying - there: Yang with Ying - though it's
hard to know if Ying is the make of the gun or its dynasty.
We will use three-shot cartridges, whatever we are shooting at: deer, goats, rabbits or
pheasants. It is indeed a long walk in to the goats. There is plenty of sign of muntjac
but the undergrowth is so thick, you would have to be a muntjac to get close to them.
We reach the farm animals. Erik and the gamekeeper stalk forward. The goats turn out to be too
quick for Erik. Maybe this is not going to be easy after all. And Erik is cross about
another gap between European and Chinese hunting cultures.
It is a great and interesting stalk, but I am not going to shoot a goat at 50 metres
or more with a shotgun. We will give it to our Chinese friend
Another complaint Erik has is the speed at which the Chinese stalk
Fastest stalk I've ever done in my life
When I take over the gun, I slow the pace down significantly.
However, apart from the bark of deer and the occasionally crashing noise, I see nothing.
By 9am, the temperature has reached 30 degrees centigrade and the game is lying doggo, but
at least the gamekeeper is keeping something - his sense of humour. We head for the hotel,
where I ask Mr Yang what he thinks of the morning.
He says there are not too much game in this island.
Here the hunting is forbidden at night. But if we go out at night we may hunt some deers.
I also want to know what the Chinese think of shooting and hunting - and do they enjoy
He says in China people are only hunting on islands, Gobi Desert and forests.
Ok and what kind of animals do they hunt in China?
In northern part of China and eastern China, people hunt bears, and in Mongolia people
hunt wolves.
And for him is it about the hunting or eating the food afterwards or the whole thing. That
is important for us to understand.
People go hunting just for fun and you know that guns are illegal in China, so people
who are interested in them just due to their interest.
Throughout our trip to China, we were unable to find out whether hunting is really banned.
Certainly, gun ownership carries a stiff prison sentence in some provinces, but plenty of
people own guns, and some we met own them with the permission of the police. Look at
the London 2012 Olympics. The Chinese won more medals in the shooting events than any
other country.
As you can imagine, Erik has strong views about the hunting - and about what he would
do if he were running the gaff.
At the end of our walk I actually had the feeling that what we did may actually have
been wrong for the Chinese way. So what they do is they walk so fast and basically they
bump into animals.
They march the animals down.
Where we now had to compromise with too many people and of course the stalker behind us
chopping away on branches.
Yes, and I noticed that if we stopped where we might have seen a muntjac that was a good
opportunity to have a cigarette, especially if the wind was behind us.
Yes, exactly.
Interesting yes. And of course the misfires with the shotgun were absolutely ... you have
to cope with a lot. But we are sitting at one end of this beautiful beach, it is not
a bad place.
Actually I think it is a really, really good place. The sea with the beach. The hotel is
sunny and comfortable. I love the food it is really excellent food.
I love the fact that you eat what you shoot immediately.
Yes that is really good.
And to be honest if they would buy two dogs and a buttalo call
That would make all the difference.
Absolutely. Actually I think it could be a really good mix. On the one hand for the Chinese
people with the bunnies and the goats and on the other for Western people who have more
stalking experience, but they need to learn a lot.
They need to learn about muntjac stalking.
Shall we go back in for a cheeky rice wine?
Um that might be a very good idea.
And perhaps take a surf later.
Late afternoon before dinner we head off again, this time after bunnies which we have seen
near the hotel and look suspiciously un-nervous. Our new Chinese friend limbers up by practicing
on a nearby flag pole. It is only a few yards and we come upon a rabbit. Another 20 yards
and blow me another rabbit lurking behind some rushes, but otherwise oblivious to our
presence. Erik shoots, misses then goes to see if he can flush it out.
It is wild enough to have gone into hiding.
Further up the path, it's my turn to shoot and bring down another mighty rabbit.
Well I can't show you too much, but two man team from Europe is one all versus China at
the moment.
As well as the rabbits, the island offers Chinese bayberries.
These are really, really nice.
With the scores running even, Mr Yang edges ahead with first one rabbit, and then another
- but after we have one each, Erik and I are not quite so keen on the sporting side of
Chinese rabbit shooting.
The Chinese may have a lot to learn from us about shooting - but we have plenty to learn
from them about eating. Everything we shot or caught on our trip we ate immediately,
meat, feet, guts, backbone and all - and I might have come home smelling like a Chinese
restaurant but it was delicious.
Food for the Chinese is a social event that takes place three times a day. Whenever possible,
it involves beer, rice wine and French brandy. Here's Mr Yang showing his skills as a calligrapher,
writing Fieldsports Channel in Chinese - literally "hunting the weird". If the hordes sweep in
from the East, this is our new logo.
Then Mr Yang, partly fuelled by rice wine, shows how he will disable Erik when that day
The Golden Sand Bay Hunting Resort is expensive, but much of the cost is tied up in the price
for hiring the boat. One night there comes to �200 a person, including ferry, bed,
board and two outings shooting. Also, the price goes up significantly once the manager
decides you are rich. If you want to find out more and you either speak Mandarin or
you don't mind Google Translate's version, have a look at nbhaiyang.com
Another hunting resort advertising in China is the Oriental International Hunting Park
in Shanxi province, west of Beijing. Visit East-Hunt.com
What do you reckon?
I am not sure.
Do you think shoot it anyway?
Give it a try.
Ok and now it's over to David on the Fieldsports Channel news stump.
This is Fieldsports Britain News.
The Netherlands has 300,000 greylag geese. The environment department of a Dutch university
says that 380,000 geese need to be gassed over the next five years to bring that number
down to 100,000. It costs around 18 euros to gas each goose. Holland banned goose shooting
in 1981, except under licence.
Our government says well when you hunt them the next problem you are going to have is
what are you going to do with those animals and that is more or less one of the reasons
that I wrote a book about it. How do you get it back in the food circuit.
And you can watch more of that interview by clicking on the link.
Now, Swiss MPs have voted against a ban on stray cat shooting. They rejected a motion
to outlaw the cat hunt. The Swiss Government says there are around 1.5 million stray cats
in Switzerland and it points to a British study which shows that cats kill 15 birds
each per year.
Staying with cats. A woman from Indiana in the USA who shot what she thought was a bobcat
that had been attacking her own cats was surprised when it turned out to be a leopard. The owner
of a local wildlife rescue centre that specialises in big cats denies that it is his.
If you would prefer to see a live leopard instead of a dead one, then click on the link,
to see our how to release a leopard film. Made all the better because Charlie nearly
soils himself.
Our own Roy Lupton has been appearing on ITV news this week. Roy was talking about the
urban fox problem after ITV Meridian used our night vision footage of urban fox calling
in Maidstone town centre. The report also featured a fox expert who suggested that walking
a dog around the edge of your garden will keep foxes at bay. Yeah right.
Schools Challenge TV is offering a competition prize this week. You can win a family ticket
to the CLA Game Fair. Click on the link on the screen to watch this week's show, which
says how Schools Challenge Academy members plan to take their shooting careers to the
next level and bid for Olympic success.
And finally, these South African tourists got a surprise when an angry giraffe started
chasing them. Giraffes can run up to 35 miles per hour and have a lethal kick.
You are now up to date with Fieldsports Britain News. Stalking the stories. Fishing for facts.
Thank you David, very Oriental. Now the good news is I got him. Later in the programme
we are going to do some real poaching in China. First, duck, Peking duck? Crispy fried duck?
No, decoy duck, because China is where they are all made.
It is hard to put into words how urban China is becoming and in such a short time. Cities
I have never heard of before such as Ningbo and Guangzhou are already like a cross between
Wolverhampton and Gotham City.
So that racket in the background - this is where your duck decoys come from. I'm here
to meet Frank, who is going to tell me all about it.
I fly to Europe each year one time, two times so I see the chain stores, I see the shops
and I get some ideas from them and I come back to China and make my lines for the hunting.
How many of these are you shipping every year?
Half a million pieces, normally, totally, together, like goose, crow, pigeon, magpie
and ducks.
That's goose, crow, pigeon, magpie and ducks
It's not just deeks. Frank's company makes float tubes for fishermen and even standalone
It's all too much for keen deerstalker Erik. He has to go and try it out. It's meant to
cope with one tonne of weight. However, Erik may need to go easy on the wontons as he breaks
the ladder on the way up - and has to use the other highseat ladder to come down. Back
to the drawing board with that product.
If you are planning to order around half a million decoys and you want to find out more,
visit meitaisports.com
Now from a beautiful beach resort to the high hills of Canton where I will be going pheasant
Picture a group of country blokes sitting down to a good breakfast before going out
for a bit of walked-up shooting. That's what we have here. There is lots of chat about
what we might see, what pheasants look like, what eagle tastes like and that needless to
say we should have been here last week.
How do Erik and I establish that we know how to shoot a muntjac if we see one? We show
them films of Roy Lupton of course.
They tell us they mainly shoot pheasants here. But there is a variety of game. That is a
leopard cat, which is common across China, India and the rest of Asia, and is fond of
farm chickens.
In the 1950s, there were tigers here. Locals say the government came and shot them all
- but it is hard to see how. There is plenty of game in the tangle of bamboo. The rural
China you see is hacked out of thick undergrowth. There's an awful lot of China you don't see.
The guns our hunter friends use would not pass muster at a British shoot. Outside, they
proudly show off a heavily repaired Manufrance No5 �Robust' shotgun and a single-barrel
home made hammer gun, both of them 12-bore.Cartridges range from 3-shot to 7.5.
We load up into vehicles and head out into the countryside.
We're hunting here in Canton Province - and these guys are out after meat, so we're turning
down the really little birds and going for the bigger ones
At first, we drive round local farmland looking for birds. When we see one, we stop the cars
and one of the two shooters hop out and have a go. Any biggish bird will do - like this,
a common bird in the rice padis, a brown crake.
Now, as you have probably noticed, they ask us to blob-out their faces, and they are not
keen to be interviewed. I think they are unclear about whether or not shooting is legal in
this province in the eyes of the police or the Government. But if you do go shooting,
nobody else bats an eyelid.
Unbelievable you would expect the farmers to just show up with strange people running
all over their land. Especially us with the camera and the dogs and everything and there
was absolutely no reply. Even if we passed them they were just very friendly, a little
bit afraid of guns but it was really, really positive.
At last we hit the trail of the bird we had come to see - the pheasant, which of course
comes from here in China. The guys make their way across the field and a volley of shots
follow our soon to be lunch.The dogs leave the bird for our hunter to retrieve who is
very pleased with it. This pheasant ... is nothing like a michigan blue, but a subtle
brown. It isn't going to matter what colour it is in a few minutes. After that it is time
for me to have a go and I think there is a 50, 50 chance that I am going to the way of
that last pheasant. I hope the string and ceiling wax will hold. Thankfully I am in
one piece as is the pheasant I have just shot over. We both live to fight another day.
It was a very challenging shot there - didn't you think?
Um I was watching it from the side and it looked easy. Probably if you were standing
behind that very short side by side it probably actually was very difficult.
I would like to come back here with a reliable 20 bore. A mixture of six shot and buck shot
cartridges in case of larger game a couple of british gun dogs, a couple of books so
I can point out to the locals what I want to shoot and a butterfly book so that I can
identify the dozens of fabulous insects that I will see. I would like to spend a week walking
the paddy fields of China in among this gorgeous scenery. I ask Erik how he reckons a Continental
would shoot this, he being both hysterical and continental.
First of all I think overcome certain taboos, shooting muntjac with a shotgun, but also
some challenges you have to walk up much, much closer for example to the muntjac to
be able to kill it. The rough shooting I found very interesting. I think if you are doing
it in the right season, we saw a lot of tracks of pheasants, of muntjacs and saw a lot of
quails. It could be really interesting for rough shooting.
The quail are exactly what I would like to shoot, but the locals consider them to be
a waste of a cartridge
The dogs are peculiar. They have an inscrutable calm about them, but then suddenly burst into
But the dogs are not much good at retrieving game, even with the encouragement of the shooters,
who regard any bird lost in that deep thicket a personal failure
At last we stop at a collective farm for lunch with the workers. This kind of generosity
is normal, charming, and it only costs a few bob. The Chinese are very much in touch with
what they eat. In rural areas like this you are woken each morning at 4am by the squeals
of whatever is on tonight's restaurant menus. If you can turn up at a remote farmhouse with
fresh game, all the better.
We shoot a brace of crake, five pheasants and a pigeon. We turn down several coveys
of quail. If anyone offers you walked-up shooting in countryside like this, you have got to
do it.
Now for some bushcraft. It's the Chinese bayberry season, known locally as yang-mei.
One thing Erik insists, as a European, you can like the Chinese, laugh with them, eat
well with them but do not expect to understand them.
Like every developed country in the world, they have plenty of competing religions. The
main two in this area are Taoism, which gives us yin, yang and several martial arts, and
Buddhism, which gives us Nirvana, and I don't mean the one with Kurt Cobain.
I am off to pick berries in the woods with the sunniest girl in China. Sunshine Sun.
And now this, this, this, this trees are our family trees and you can enjoy it.
After the frantic few days of travelling around the country hunting, bayberry picking - just
like blackberry picking - is gentle and therapeutic. Sunshine is proud of her family trees and
passionate about the fruit, as are most people in this part of the country. Everywhere you
go there are people balancing baskets over their shoulders, carrying the fruit to market.
Once again, it's all about the food. I asked if this had anything to do with the starvation
the Chinese went through under Chairman Mao. Everyone said no - food has been a Chinese
passion for centures.
How many of the baskets do you get every year?
Uh years?
How many baskets like this of fruit?
There are about 30 trees all owned by my family on this hill, one hill. My family has two
hills with young May trees. Sorry.
Thank you Sunshine. Sorry to interrupt.
Chinese bayberries are called yang-mei and where-every we go they are delicious, sweet
yet sour. Sweet and sour. Now there is an idea.
Now we have shot birds, we have shot mammals in China. The one thing that is missing is
fish. We are going fishing.
If hunting and shooting is somewhere between banned and reluctantly allowed, fishing is
a major national pastime. And once again it comes down to food.
If you are getting a picture of a people who like eating game, just wait till they get
their chopsticks and their chops around fish. And when a restaurant advertises fresh fish,
it means fresh fish.
I've come to meet Chen An. He's a factory boss who likes nothing more than a morning
float fishing for carp. I meet him thanks to his sister, Lily, who speaks English.
What is the fish food made from?
Made from rice? And does it have flavour, like meat flavour?
Meat flavour? No flavour.
Just rice.
I want to ask Mr Chen if he gets first dibs at the newest fishing equipment on the market,
because it all comes from China. But perhaps he is a businessman first and a fisherman
second, because he reckons I want to make a deal on a new rod.
If you want to buy fishing equipment he can give you some information. The main factories
to produce this equipment are in Shandong province.
Is that here?
No Shandong Province.
Fishing is huge in China. Public parks in Chinese cities have lakes and those lakes
have fishermen. These lads are fishing right in the middle of Ningbo, population 5.7 million.
I ask Philip the translator to ask what they are fishing for.
Crucian, crucian crucian, crucian carp.
That will be crucian carp, then. Back at Mr Chen's pond and the temperature has risen
to just short of 40 degrees centigrade - that's over 100 degrees fahrenheit. You can see why
the Chinese like a sport that involves sitting still, even though he gallantly gives up his
seat in the shade to his sister.
Now it's Erik's turn to fish. The heat may be dulling our mammalian senses but the carp
are as sharp as ever
Nearly got one. It was a little bit quick and my response wasn't fast enough. But in
this hot weather it isn't easy.
Then it goes right for Erik and he is into his first Chinese crucian.
Now it's my turn to get the wrong end of the stick:
So he likes hunting, he likes the idea of hunting but he can't go hunting because of
the current situation. Would he like to see change?
He likes the hunting but the government closes the hunting places from each April to October.
During this time you take your guns to the police station.
So he can go hunting.
Yes, he can.
This is a country of a billion+ people. Around a quarter of the world's population is Chinese.
The government here tolerates fishing but it says that hunting/shooting is banned. That's
not what I've found. Just look at the restaurant menus. They go from pheasant through deer
and anything you can pull out of the water, right up to whale meat, and I have to say
the jellyfish was rubbery. You don't need a game meat marketing executive here because
everybody wants to eat everything. It's probably a good thing that the Government doesn't encourage
hunting any more than it does, otherwise there'd be nothing left. However, this is a country
that loves its fieldsports.
Right. My go. Mr Chen sets me up and I get to sit in Zen-like fisherman's trance, at
one with my float, feeling slow disintegration of ball of rice on the sharp little hook.
And I'm in.
Very unchinese feeling, but that is a really wonderful moment. First Chinese carp.
It's been a glorious, sweltering day. With a rod in your hand, you can forget the smog
and horror of life in urban China. And Mr Chen has plenty of fish to give to his friends.
Of course, we don't have a monopoly on making hunting films in China, even though we reckon
were probably the first. Let's have a look at the rest of them on Hunting YouTube
This is Hunting YouTube, which aims to show the best hunting, shooting and fishing videos
that YouTube has to offer.
El Dorado of Chinese hunting is the Mongolian steppe Inner Mongolia is part of China. There
are lots of films on YouTube about locals using golden eagles to hunt wolf and fox right
across Mongolia and into Kazakhstan. Israel Feiler spent a few days with a falconer to
make this film.
Hainan Island is located in the South China Sea and is China's southernmost province.
The Li people, native to the island hunt python and pig in the forests there.
Here's a home video of another of the chow-type dogs we saw actually doing some work. This
one is catching a large rat somewhere in southern China.
You can't cover Chinese fishing without putting 'Cormorant fishing' into the search box. This
film is a straightforward story about men using birds to catch fish and even the BBC
can't get it too badly wrong, apart from pointing out that the birds are 'slaves'. And what
the BBC gets right is superb underwater footage.
There's quite a lot of good sea fishing in China but not many good seafishing videos.
The more interesting film I have picked shows electro fishing in a river. The guys here
are floating car batteries on innertubes behind them. They fish along the bottom of the river,
electrocuting as they go. I have seen this done elsewhere in Asia where the fishermen
save power by only electrocuting certain known lies.
The Chinese are superbly resourceful. Here is a news story about how they have trained
foxes to catch rats that are destroying pasture lands. The presenter points out that foxes
are cheaper than rat poison.
Now, is there a European sporting agent operating in China? I hear you demand. Well this Spanish
operator claims to show argali sheep hunting in China. Chinese hunters we met told us that
North-West China and Inner Mongolia are the two great paradises for hunters, with game
including deer, bear and wolf. They were unclear about how legal this is. And they were vague
about the methods, mentioning everything from knives to dogs to AK47s.
Finally, let's go back more than 100 years to this extraordinary film from French IndoChina,
which shows buffalo hunting by white-clad colonialists in pith helmets. This was filmed
not far (by Chinese standards) from where I had my pheasant outing.
You can click on any of these films to watch them. If you have a YouTube film you would
like us to pop in to the weekly top eight, send it in via YouTube, or email me the link
[email protected]
Well I'm on the beach for a well-earned break after all that hard hunting, but not for long
because we are back next week and if you are watching this on Youtube please don't hesitate
to hit the subscribe button that is somewhere around the outside of the screen or go to
our website www.fieldsportschannel.tv where you can click to like us on Facebook, follow
us on Twitter or scroll down to the bottom of the page, pop your email address into our
constant contact box. There is a special incentive this week. If you can tell me the time code
in this show where you saw my friend the panda then you will be entered into a draw to win
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Fieldsports Britain - Hunting in China (episode 187)

5277 Folder Collection
稲葉白兎 published on August 29, 2014
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