Hunting: The newest growing hobby of Japanese women

Hunting: The newest growing hobby of Japanese women

TOKYO —

As you probably know, gun ownership in Japan is quite rare, but it certainly does exist. The main reason for people to own firearms (almost always rifles or shotguns) is hunting – which is still mostly dominated by old men. However, one demographic is growing even as the overall number of hunters is shrinking: Young women.

While hunting is often seen as being a sport for men both inside and outside of Japan, the number of young Japanese women hunters in their 20s and 30s is staying steady – and even growing in Hokkaido – while almost all other demographics are shrinking. Even so, women still only account for roughly one percent of Japanese hunters now – but the trend indicates that we’ll soon see more women participating in the sport.

This isn’t occurring entirely in a vacuum though – the Japanese Ministry of the Environment is actively seeking out more hunters among young people in Japan. There are currently about 200,000 hunters in Japan – less than half of the number in 1970 – and around 65% of hunters are men over 60 years old.

So, you might be asking, who cares? What does it matter if there aren’t many (or any) hunters in Japan? Well, it seems that there has been a boom in the deer and wild boar population, which has resulted in them overeating foliage. This is a problem not only for the animals who might soon starving to death, but also for humans. When foliage is overeaten, the result can be dangerous mudslides, which become much more likely without plants to hold the soil in place.

But even though the ministry is seeking new hunters, it doesn’t mean they’ve relaxed their standards one bit. Would-be hunters still have numerous tests to take involving hearing and vision, knowledge of hunting regulations, knowledge of hunting equipment, gun tests, and more. There are additional tests to move up to more powerful guns, or to use nets or traps.

Even with all this trouble to go through, there is still a growing number of women interested in hunting. So, what is the appeal? For some, it’s about getting out in nature, when simply going for a hike isn’t enough. For other women, particularly women hunters in Hokkaido, there’s a far more practical reason for it: Taking care of their homes. In addition to culling excess deer and wild boar, they are able to get delicious food on their own via hunting.

The desire to be self-sufficient is nothing new in Japan, and one Japanese woman, Chiharu Hatakeyama, has even given a TED talk about her quest to live “off the grid.” Hunting offers women (and men, of course) the opportunity to kill their own meat. As one Japanese hunter said, hunted meat is much better for the environment since there’s no pollution caused by factory farms and it’s a literal take on the concept of “local production for local consumption.” Also, wild game simply tastes better, apparently.

One other aspect of hunting that seems to appeal to Japanese women was suggested by the Hokkaido women hunters organization, The Women In Nature, or TWIN. As they explain on their homepage, hunting helps remind them of their place in the world and of Japan’s traditional use of natural resources. Just like any other country, Japanese people have long felt a close bond with the natural world around them. Hunting helps people reconnect with the land and past people’s careful use of the animals they hunted.

For Japanese women interested in taking up hunting in Japan, it’s certainly a rewarding pastime, but it’s not quick, easy or cheap. Still, there’s a clear demand both from women for the unique experiences and from the government for more hunters to help keep wildlife populations in check.

Now the question is: How long until young women hunters out number the old men?

Sources: Naver Matome, TWIN, Nanameyomi Tsushin, Mezase! Kari Girl

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RocketNews24

  • 12

    Tony Alderman

    The deer/boar hunting season here in Kyushu runs from November 1st through March 15th, and I go hunting almost every weekend throughout the season. This is my fourth year hunting here, and I've yet to see any women hunters, let alone young women hunters! It's all old guys, thirty or forty years my senior! It would be nice if other foreigners wanted to get involved, but most people I speak to are either (a) not interested, or (b), interested, but they are not able to put the time or money in. The hunting is wonderful here.

  • -17

    cleo

    hunting is often seen as being a sport

    There's a world of difference between a sport and a blood sport. Killing things for the fun of it isn't a sport.

    So, what is the appeal? For some, it’s about getting out in nature

    ...and filling it full of holes.

  • 1

    Onniyama

    TonyAlderman. I am very surprised that you are able to hunt here in Japan. How hard was it to get certified to own a weapon and obtain a hunting license? Also, how costly? I used to hunt a bit when I was young in Canada. I loved being out in the bush with a rifle or shotgun.

  • 4

    Olrik

    Besides deer and wild boar is there anything else to hunt in Japan? I think its ok to hunt as long as you eat what you hunt.

  • 4

    Tony Alderman

    Hi Onniyama. It's not really hard, but there's a lot of red tape and hoops to jump through. As long as you can read Japanese at an intermediate level, the language in the tests is not so difficult. The actual content is mostly common sense. For costs, getting both a shotgun licence (no rifles allowed for first ten years) and hunting licence will cost you about 50,000yen. Renewal costs (every three years) are much cheaper. Also, each year you have to buy a permit for the prefecture in which you wish to hunt, currently about 35,000yen per season, including hunter's insurance. You can pick up a decent, secondhand slug gun for about 70,000-100,000yen. It's not cheap, but once you've done it all, it's worth it. And the venison here tastes fantastic!

  • 14

    Onniyama

    Cleo. Believe it or not, a lot of hunters eat what they shoot. These hunters are often the greatest stewards of the forests. They enjoy being out in nature (and hunting) and do not want to see the places they love disappear. As InakaRob said, of course there are idiot hunters, but as a group hunters are generally a very responsible lot.

  • 10

    Tony Alderman

    Olrik, yes. Pheasant, ducks, partridge, grouse etc.... Yeah, I eat whatever I hunt.

  • 2

    wtfjapan

    comon hunting has been around since the beginning af mankind, just as long as you only hunt in moderation and eat what you kill. nothing more natural than that. or you can have somebody else do the killing for you and buy that nice steak, pork or poultry at the supermarket

  • -3

    Bad2Dbone

    stay safe, do not shoot without looking first!!!

    dont want to read at JT ," Hunter goes Postal!"

  • 1

    ambrosia

    I know people talk about canned hunts as if those are the typical example but I think those are mostly for the rich and I personally know of no one who has ever been on one. Everyone I know who hunts or fishes, eats what they shoot or catch, unless the fish are too small and must be released. Additionally, many people I know hunt as a way to sustain themselves through the winter because the economy in that area is (and always has been) bad and jobs are scarce. True hunters are not wasteful, especially if they are sustenance hunters, as I mentioned. They know that if they are frivolous about what they kill there may be shortages the next year. Vegetarians are free to say what they like but anyone who eats meat and then has the gall to complain about hunters is just a ridiculous hypocrite.

    • Moderator

      Readers, please stay on topic. The story is about hunting as an increasingly popular hobby for women. References to vegetarianism versus meat eaters are, of course, off topic.

  • 2

    bass4funk

    I applaud these women! Hope it catches on, love the sport. Avid hunter myself.

  • 7

    Laguna

    Unfortunately, the loss in Japan of its apex predators (in particular, the Japanese wolf) has left its ecosystem out of balance, with humans now required to assume the role of apex carnivore. Not for me, thanks, but I do understand the need. Still, the need for balancing the herbivore population could also be filled by reintroducing carnivores. Here is an article on a proposal to reintroduce wolves to Japan: http://biodiversityconservationblog.wordpress.com/2013/05/31/reintroducing-predators-hokkaido-island-in-japan/

    It would be nice to have a balance of the two, and I'm sure hunters would agree.

  • 0

    The Original Wing

    I wonder how opinions about this vary by region. Being from a country with an avid gun and hunting culture, I support this activity. When I moved to Tokyo, however, most people I've spoken to about it have been very, very strongly anti-gun., even in hunting and sport contexts I've never been sure whether this is a common Japanese-culture response, or a Tokyo-culture response, since those in urban areas are much further removed from hunting culture than those from more rural areas. So, I'd be interested in seeing how the supposed growth of this hobby is spread geographically.

  • 4

    Hellokitty123

    I live in southern Gunma Prefecture, only 100 km from Tokyo but we are not allowed to eat any wild game that is killed due to the radioactivity it contains (we are 230 km from Fukushima).

  • 2

    Weasel

    I hope that this may start a trend in ridding those annoying crows that fly everywhere.

  • 2

    AkashiAussie

    I live in Akashi and I investigated getting a license and even doing some bow and knife hunting of all the boars north of Kobe, which are in plague proportion. The cops were not helpful at all and just thought I was crazy. Knife hunting was a definite no go for them and the process you have to go through to get all licensed up in Japan is out of this world. Added to that, like all government institutions in Japan, they are never open when you need them to be, so I gave up getting it all sorted in the end. If I was an innocent young Japanese girl or an honest old Japanese man it might be a different story though... :)

  • 1

    MarkG

    AkashiAussie.....knife hunting! Yes, I would give a double take look if you told me that. Wild boar are fast and ferocious. You may be capable but quite dangerous for most.

  • 3

    Tony Alderman

    AkashiAussie - as you can see from my photo, I am not a Japanese girl or Japanese old man! True, there is no bow hunting or knife hunting in Japan. When it comes to starting the application process, you need to get a Japanese person, even better an existing Japanese hunter, to make an introduction for you at your local gun shop. Sorry to hear you gave up applying. It seems to me that one reason for making it 'hard' to get a license is that the police only want serious people with guns, as opposed to "Ooh, I'd quite like to have a gun!" types. Not saying you're not serious about it, but yeah, I think you can get my gist. I'd be happy to offer you any help/advice if you want to PM or Facebook me. Cheers.

  • 1

    Thunderbird2

    I'm with Cleo on this - unless you are hunting for food this is just a pointless exercise in killing for the sake of it. The fact that Japanese women are now taking up the activity (I refuse to class it as a sport or hobby) is surprising. Will they drag the deer's corpse off to their Kei cars, take it home to Ueno, gut and skin it and prepare it for eating? Or will they just allow someone else to have it?

    I've never understood the compulsion to take in the natural beauty of the countryside, admire the scenery and wild animals... and shoot them.

  • -2

    FizzBit

    I've got a feeling that the women are NOT hunting deer or wild pigs, but probably at hunting farms with rabbits , quail or pheasant. Nobody hunts pigs or deer with dogs, per the picture. But more power to them. I'd love to just do some skeet 2 or 3 times a year.

  • -1

    Ah_so

    So there are 200,000 hunters in Japan, or which 1% are women i.e. 2,000. And the big news? Their numbers are not dropping.

  • 2

    Mennonite Maiden

    I grew up bow-hunting in my homeland and always ate the one or two creatures I took with me home. Hunting for prize, pleasure or just for the thrill is just NOT possible since I have plenty of principles and morals.

    There is no bow hunting in Japan, apparently it is deemed illegal. But shooting animals (and the casual human accident!) with a shotgun/rifle is perfectly OK... Japanese hunters in general do really love their firearms but not me. Since I'm only allowed to use my Hoyt Buffalo bow in a target range instead of the woods then no thank you, not interested to join in anytime soon, though I do have a couple of hunter friends in Hokkaido. Like myself, they eat what they hunt. Endless Blessings.

  • -5

    taiko666

    @thunderbird, cleo Spot on.

    There's something sick about anybody who kills for pleasure.

    Believe it or not, a lot of hunters eat what they shoot

    Unless you need to kill those animals to survive, then so what? Eating the things you slaughter for enjoyment doesn't ennoble your violence.

  • 0

    Jimizo

    There are so many more constructive hobbies. Learn how to paint, write, play an instrument, cook, dance, speak another language...Drilling holes in animals for a 'hobby' is just mindless. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

  • 0

    bass4funk

    @Tony

    The deer/boar hunting season here in Kyushu runs from November 1st through March 15th, and I go hunting almost every weekend throughout the season. This is my fourth year hunting here, and I've yet to see any women hunters, let alone young women hunters! It's all old guys, thirty or forty years my senior! It would be nice if other foreigners wanted to get involved, but most people I speak to are either (a) not interested, or (b), interested, but they are not able to put the time or money in. The hunting is wonderful here.

    I live in Kyushu, Fukuoka to be exact. Where can I go to sign up to go hunting. I'm interested. It's been a few years for me. Never been hunting in Japan. What is more common to hunt, boar, I would imagine. Any good recommendations?

    @taiko666

    Unless you need to kill those animals to survive, then so what? Eating the things you slaughter for enjoyment doesn't ennoble your violence

    It's the same kind of garbage I hear the PETA people spew about constantly! How about all the restaurants that throw away all the unbeaten meat or burger shops etc. a lot more meat that's processed and not consumed gets thrown in the thrash, but if I hunt something, I WILL eat it, after spending that kind of time out in the woods. So, yes, I enjoy it emensly. As far as the violent part, that's for interpretation. There is no real gentle way of killing an animal.

  • -9

    cleo

    There is no real gentle way of killing an animal.

    So don't.

  • -2

    Tony Alderman

    bass4funk - I'm in Fukuoka too. Just Facebook me, cheers.

  • -2

    Onniyama

    Tony. Thanks for the info!! Happy hunting.

  • 1

    Cliffy

    I hope they do the right thing if they seriously hurt the animal and it got away, they would do the right thing of any respectable hunter would do. Track down the animal and put it out of its misery rather than letting it die slowly.

  • -1

    Jimizo

    @Thundebird2 I couldn't agree more about the strange compulsion to shoot things. I used to go up to the Lake District and the lowlands and highlands of your country, some of the most beautiful places in the world, and photograph the scenery and wildlife. Don't take a gun, take a camera.

  • -1

    realdoll

    Cleo, overpopulation related starvation isn't a nice way to die either.. hunting keeps animals within the carrying capacity of the land.

  • -1

    OssanAmerica

    Hunting is not a "sport" as it is an "outdoor activity". It involves training, patience, skill and experience and brings an individual closer to nature in a way most city-dwellers and anti-hunters could never imagine. About 1% of hunting is about "killing something". The vast majority of hunters consume what they take and specifically target certain species with that in mind. An exception would be nuisance permit hunting conducted for a different primary purpose. Hunters are for the most part some of the most responsible people I know. They are not the blood hungry kill for pleasure types that some of you portray. The number of women participating in hunting has been steadily increasing in the United States over the last decade as well so I'm really not surprised to see this article. Hunting is one of the tools that societies use to maintain Conservation, the proper management of natural wildlife. Some of you advocate leaving all animals alone; that in Preservation, and leads to population imbalance, declines, disease, extinction, conflict with human populations.This is why we employ Conservation measures.

  • -2

    Thunderbird2

    Hunting is not a "sport" as it is an "outdoor activity". It involves training, patience, skill and experience and brings an individual closer to nature in a way most city-dwellers and anti-hunters could never imagine.

    Closer to nature, with a rifle or shotgun? No natural population levels would be maintained by reintroducing predators such as wolves.

    If you enjoy hunting, then why not do it with a camera as Jimizo suggested. There are wildlife wardens who are tasked with keeping numbers within healthy limits - at least in my country there are. It's only the landowners who allow hunting, and even then it's for deer or shooting unfortunate pheasants and grouse.

    People in Japan by and large don't need to hunt to survive - it's a hobby for most people. I'll stick to more constructive and creative hobbies thanks.

  • -4

    homleand

    There's nothing like the bond between a father and son when hunting. If more Japanese women are getting into hunting, this can only be a good thing. Families that hunt together stay, and survive, together!

  • -1

    LouHiro

    Many people (SOFA sponsored personnel and otherwise) do not know there is a skeet shooting range on board Naval Air Facility Atsugi, in the Kanto region. For those who wish to 'shoot for fun', all that is required is a basic 5 minute training and a fee for the clay pigeons - along with base access or a sponsor with valid ID. I tried my luck last year and shot the first pigeon at my first shot! Lucky!

  • 0

    FizzBit

    Thanks for the info Lou, but too far away for me.

  • -1

    bass4funk

    Closer to nature, with a rifle or shotgun? No natural population levels would be maintained by reintroducing predators such as wolves.

    Or, you can hunt these animals as well and I do suggest you try deer sausage and or deer chili, Oh, my God!! It's the absolute best. And please don't get me started on Grilled boar, with garlic potatoes and some nice Scottish Whiskey would turn anyone into an avid hunter.

    If you enjoy hunting, then why not do it with a camera as Jimizo suggested. There are wildlife wardens who are tasked with keeping numbers within healthy limits - at least in my country there are. It's only the landowners who allow hunting, and even then it's for deer or shooting unfortunate pheasants and grouse.

    But we are NOT in your country and I DO like taking pictures before and after the kill, on that, I do agree with you. By the way, hunting in conjunction with some wild predatory animals does help keep the numbers to a healthy level.

    People in Japan by and large don't need to hunt to survive - it's a hobby for most people. I'll stick to more constructive and creative hobbies thanks.

    True, but if you make that argument, we don't have to do many things. Having a hobby and what you make it out to be is subjective.

  • 0

    Wolfpack

    Here is an article on a proposal to reintroduce wolves to Japan: < http://biodiversityconservationblog.wordpress.com/2013/05/31/reintroducing-predators-hokkaido-island-in-japan/>

    Thanks for the link Laguna - very good article. The best way to control animal populations is of course the natural way through both the restoration of extinct predators like the wolf and by human hunting. Hokkaido and northern Honshu are probably the only places left in Japan where it could be possible to re-introduce wolf into the environment. However, I can see why live stock owners and farmers would be very concerned. Encouraging young women to hunt is a good idea given the age of the typical Japanese hunter and because it may be very hard to get predators re-introduced. Sometimes the solution to one problem has the potential for causing another - but I hope it happens. Besides, I don't think you could go wrong with a pack of wolves and young female foxes ... I mean.. hunters.

  • 2

    mrtestsworth

    There are no end of single Japanese female hunters where I live...Roppongi has always had a diverse wildlife and a substantial number of predators to keep it in check

  • -2

    Fox Cloud Lelean

    Interesting. I've never heard of female hunters before so this article surprised me. I've only ever known men in their 40's or over to go hunting. I predicted that there'd be anti-hunting activists throwing their nonsense around. Sure, we could reintroduce natural predatory animals into the ecosystem and they'll restabilize the herbivore population. In about 20 years. In the mean time there'll be devastating landslides that kill and injure people and cost millions in damages, or probably higher. Relying on Human hunters to lower the herbivore population is a much more sensible solution. What's better: Hunters killing animals which they then eat, or seeing half a town wiped out the next time there's heavy rainfall? Landslides destroy natural beauty as well you know, and the precious animals that these anti-hunting folk love so much often get killed as well as the people. How soon do you think those dead animals will be disposed of? Before or after the rats descend and spread disease? No, hunting is a good thing, as long as it is done responsibly and not wastefully (which around 99% of all hunters do anyway).

  • 1

    ambrosia

    ossan: Some of you advocate leaving all animals alone; that in Preservation, and leads to population imbalance, declines, disease, extinction, conflict with human populations.This is why we employ Conservation measures.

    Exactly. Where I'm from deer populations were getting far too large. Deer overpopulation causes forest damage, crop damage and results in more deer vying for fewer resources. That results in deer with weak bones, smaller, less healthy fawns and lowered immune systems. They get diseases such as, bovine tuberculosis, hemorrhagic disease and chronic wasting disease which end up spreading amongst whole herds and result in slow, painful deaths for the animals. Add to that the number of fatal accidents caused by deer/car collisions and you've got some pretty solid reasons for culling herds.

    Deer overpopulation harms natural ecosystems. In high deer density areas, deer browsing prevents the regeneration of forests as deer eat nearly all the tree seedlings, destroy forest understory plants, and reduce overall species richness. Several studies found that deer browsing significantly reduces songbird numbers by destroying their habitats.

  • 1

    Bluebris

    If the animals could somehow be given weapons to even up this "sport," or other hunters put on their team to protect them, then I'd be OK with it.

  • 3

    smithinjapan

    Killing 'for sport' is just wrong. If it's for food or clothing or what have you that you NEED, or even to control population, I can understand, but for sport? sorry.

  • 0

    Jerome_from_Utah

    My son's Hunter Safety instructor told the class that if there was more than one girl, the chances were that one of them would get the top shooting score. Sure enough, two of the three girls had the best scores. So, don't be surprised if more lady hunters show up.

  • 1

    Thunderbird2

    Bass... you take photos AFTER you've shot the animal? Bit ghoulish isn't it? As for venison - I never touch the stuff. I'd much rather see a deer on its feet than lying on the ground, a socking great hole in it somewhere.

    @homleand

    There's nothing like the bond between a father and son when hunting. If more Japanese women are getting into hunting, this can only be a good thing. Families that hunt together stay, and survive, together!

    I hated going fishing with my dad as a boy - I found it all rather pointless. We are very close even now with him in his 70s. As for that line about families that hunt together stay and survive together... well that may have been true when cave men were clubbing mammoths to death, but not really relevant to modern lifestyles... or are you one of the survivalists who believes the world is coming to an end.

    Seriously, unless you are living out in the sticks without a car or any other means of gathering supplies hunting is an anochronism in our modern world.

  • -2

    sangetsu03

    Unless you need to kill those animals to survive, then so what? Eating the things you slaughter for enjoyment doesn't ennoble your violence

    Everyone must eat to survive. Is it better that I eat animals which have spent their entire lives in cages and on feed lots? Is a shot from a rifle more violent than a three-pound sledge hammer applied to the forehead, or a sharp knife applied to the neck whilst the previously incarcerated animal hangs by it's feet on a conveyor belt?

    All animals which exist in the wild are eventually eaten, and the majority come to a violent end. Being pulled down and eaten by other animals is the fate most animals eventually endure. Being killed instantly (more or less) by a rifle or shotgun sounds tame in comparison, and as all animals are eventually eaten, there should be no conflict of conscience as to who does the eating.

    Hunting is a natural pastime, and the act of hunting appeals to a basic human instinct. For myself, hunting is enjoyable. I have rarely ever shot anything, and on those rare cases in which I have, I take whatever it was that I shot to the butcher, and bring it home afterwards neatly packed in white paper. At least I don't have to worry about the meat being full of growth hormones or antibiotics.

  • -4

    smithinjapan

    sangetsu03: "All animals which exist in the wild are eventually eaten, and the majority come to a violent end. Being pulled down and eaten by other animals is the fate most animals eventually endure. Being killed instantly (more or less) by a rifle or shotgun sounds tame in comparison, and as all animals are eventually eaten, there should be no conflict of conscience as to who does the eating."

    You miss the point entirely. These people aren't hunting 'to survive', they're killing for the fun of taking lives.

  • -5

    OssanAmerica

    Hunters do not kill "for the fun of killing". Why? Because as I have stated, 99% of hunting does not involve killing.

  • -5

    cleo

    as I have stated, 99% of hunting does not involve killing.

    Rubbish, the killing is the whole point of it. Otherwise you people would be out there with cameras as Jimiso suggests. Or even just binoculars. But then it wouldn't be hunting, would it? The whole point of 'hunting' is the jollies to be got from killing. And taking pictures of the animals you've killed?? What's that all about if not gloating over the kill?

    I could state that 99% of a 100m race does not involve breasting the tape - but that's the fun part, right?

    These people aren't hunting 'to survive', they're killing for the fun of taking lives.

    Exactly. All this talk about the animals are spoiling the environment and they're happier than farmed animals is just a weak attempt at justification. The animals are the environment.

  • 1

    ambrosia

    cleo: The whole point of 'hunting' is the jollies to be got from killing.

    Rubbish. Yes, there are people who hunt for that thrill but if you think that is the main point for all hunters that just tells me you just don't know any people who are so poor that they hunt to stretch their food budget. I know plenty. You can keep insisting they not eat meat but that doesn't change the point as to why they hunt. There are people who maintain gardens for the same reasons and not necessarily because they love farming.

    All this talk about the animals are spoiling the environment.... is just a weak attempt at justification.

    Rubbish again. It's far from being just talk or a justification. Like it or not, animals are not the only thing in nature. We are out there too and and an overabundance of deer causes problems for deer and people, not to mention all of the other animals affected by that overabundance.

    One of the links I've provided shows the difference in a forest with a good deer population and one with too many deer - mainly an absence of songbirds, squirrels, mice and 20 to 30 species of native plants that do not survive in the latter. The two main ways to solve the overabundance are introducing predatory animals such as wolves and cougars or allowing hunting. Not every place will agree to introduce wolves and cougars so the responsibility falls to hunters. That may not be why most people hunt but their doing so certainly has a role to play in wildlife maintenance when done properly.

    You have the sentiment of vegetarianism on your side to be sure. Hunters in areas with an overabundance of deer have science on theirs. For the record, I am a vegetarian and have been for over two decades. That said, if people are going to eat meat, which they are no matter what I say, I would rather it not be from an animal which has lived its life in a little cage, full of hormones and antibiotics, never having seen the outdoors. I would also rather it be from an animal that they have hunted or fished for themselves. If that is the only meat a person eats they are less likely to be wasteful or thoughtless about their eating habits and are more likely to be respectful of nature since they depend on it more than those who buy everything from a store.

    In 2008, over one million deer collided with cars and motorcycles in the United States. According to estimates by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, this resulted in the death of 150 people, injuries to 29,000 others, and an estimated $1.1 billion in vehicle damage.4

    An average deer will eat nearly 500 kg of vegetation each year.5 The entire population of deer in the United States will eat the equivalent of 15 million metric tons of vegetation per year, which is greater than the combined weight of all aircraft carriers in the U.S. Navy!

    One recent study of 13 northeastern states revealed deer caused $248 million damage each year to agricultural crops, nurseries, and landscaping.6

    In parks and other natural areas, deer consume wild plants. Over time, spring wildflower displays diminish. Plants highly prized by deer decline or disappear entirely. In some places, deer are responsible for the disappearance of over half of all plant species - in just a few decades.7,8

    http://www.actionbioscience.org/biodiversity/rooney.html http://www.fs.fed.us/ne/newtownsquare/news/NEnews/2003/articles/bostonglobeStudyDeeroverpopul.pdf http://www.swf-wc.usace.army.mil/georgetown/deermgt.asp http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20081023-SPORTS-810230378

  • -1

    smithinjapan

    Ossan: "Why? Because as I have stated, 99% of hunting does not involve killing."

    Ah, so it's fact because 'as you have stated'. So where are your stats proving that 99% of hunting does not involve killing? Is it because most hunters are horrible at the 'sport' and can't hit anything but other hunters?

  • -5

    cleo

    there are people who hunt for that thrill

    And they are the ones I find sick.

    that just tells me you just don't know any people who are so poor that they hunt to stretch their food budget...There are people who maintain gardens for the same reasons

    Mr Alderman higher up the thread tells us that getting both a shotgun licence...and hunting licence will cost you about 50,000yen. Renewal costs (every three years) are much cheaper. Also, each year you have to buy a permit for the prefecture in which you wish to hunt, currently about 35,000yen per season, including hunter's insurance. You can pick up a decent, secondhand slug gun for about 70,000-100,000yen. It's not cheap

    Hunting in Japan is not a poor man's 'hobby'. Maintaining a garden or an allotment - nurturing plants and tending the soil, eating the results - is about as far away from shooting furry/feathery things to death as it is possible to get.

    You have the sentiment of vegetarianism on your side to be sure. Hunters in areas with an overabundance of deer have science on theirs.

    Read the posts here, read any number of hunting blogs on the web. How many of them state 'I hunt for the sole purpose of keeping deer numbers down'? Instead we have them telling us The hunting is wonderful here - love the sport - I enjoy it emensly - Happy hunting - the act of hunting appeals to a basic human instinct. For myself, hunting is enjoyable

    If you're concerned about overpopulation, you join an environmental/animal welfare organisation and find ways to keep the population down humanely. You don't rig yourself out with firearms, go blasting in the woods and then take photos of the bloody gore.

  • 1

    Fox Cloud Lelean

    @cleo So deer being torn apart by wolves is more humane than a single shot to the head is it? That's the environmentalist solution: leave it to nature to deal with it. Hogwash. As has been stated, not everyone will allow predatory animals to be reintroduced, for fear of said predatory animals turning against Humans. And don't give me any of that "it's in their nature" nonsense to justify a wolf pack mauling a baby to death in front of its horrified parents. Hunting has been in Human nature for millenia, but it's only in recent years that people have started to oppose hunting. Why? Every hunter I've come across consumes what he kills, and kills humanely. They don't get a thrill from the actual hunting, but the companionship with their fellow hunters, and the almost ritualistic first hunt with their son. They don't hunt because they enjoy killing animals, they hunt because they enjoy the socialising that comes with it, and the satisfaction of maintaining a manageable herbivore population that doesn't mindlessly destroy an ecosystem. The "people" that I've seen mentioned who enjoy killing are a very small number. Less than 1% of hunters are that sociopathic. Environmental groups are a waste of time. They have no power, no authority, and no respect. Hunting is the most effective way of controlling animal populations, and no argument anyone can make can change that.

    • Moderator

      All readers back on topic, which is the growing popularity of hunting as a hobby for women in Japan. From here on, posts that do not focus on that will be removed.

  • 0

    OssanAmerica

    The increase in women participating in hunting coincides with an increase in women participating in fishing, rock climbing, kayaking and many other outdoor activities, not just in Japan but in the U.S. as well. I would hazard a guess that the same can be found in Europe. Hunting, when done properly is a lawful outdoor activity which needs no justification nor defense from people who seek to impose their own wills and beliefs onto to others. That hunting is a recognized conservation tool that serves society is an undisputed fact. The manufacturers of hunting gear have, for the last 15 years produced clothing and accessories specifically for women, and forearms manufacturers have made smaller versions of the well known hunting arms. There really is no sound reason why women should not participate in outdoor activities and sports that have traditionally been "men only".

    "National Geographic takes note of Census Bureau stats that show women now make up 11% of the nation's 13.7 million hunters, up from 9% in 2006."

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/11/10/newser-female-hunters/3488669/

  • 1

    ambrosia

    Cleo: The whole point of 'hunting' is the jollies to be got from killing.

    Those are your words. You can go ahead and say you were talking about rich people but you were the one who suggested all hunters do so for the love of the kill. The correlation with maintaining a garden is that as people hunt for sustenance, so do they grow crops for sustenance and not necessarily because they love the action of gardening or hunting.

    If you're concerned about overpopulation, you join an environmental/animal welfare organisation and find ways to keep the population down humanely. You don't rig yourself out with firearms, go blasting in the woods and then take photos of the bloody gore.

    Do some research. Hunting is one of the things environmental and animal welfare organizations believe should be used to keep populations of animals, such as deer, at manageable levels. They believe that because they understand that not only do too many deer in a particular area cause crop and forest destruction, they end up suffering as they destroy the very plants they eat to survive, starve and spread painful diseases by having too many animals close together. I get that you don't like it but being so single-minded about it doesn't make you more right. Why is hunting amongst Japanese women becoming more popular? I can't really say as I've never met any hunters in Japan.

  • -4

    cleo

    Those are your words.

    Backed up by the words of the pro-hunting posters here.

    The Dainihon Ryoyukai (National Hunting Association), which claims to be made up of 'Rangers who Love Mountain and Forest' (but apparently not the furry/feathery things that live there) describes hunting as a sport and waxes lyrical about 'the fun of pitting your wits, your skills and physical endurance against the birds and beasts of the field (知恵と腕と体力を野生鳥獣と競う狩猟の面白さ)'

    http://www.moriniikou.jp/index.php?itemid=31&catid=18&blogid=11

    You can go ahead and say you were talking about rich people

    We're talking about Japan, specifically about young women in Japan, as the mod reminds us. And as the article states, hunting in Japan is not cheap. Those young women are not poor peasants desperately hunting for sustenance.

    you were the one who suggested all hunters do so for the love of the kill.

    All hunters? Nah, I'm sure there are people living in the frozen wastes who cannot grow veggies, have no supermarkets close by, whose only source of food is hunting. But those people aren't indulging in a hobby, and they aren't living in Japan.

    I can't really say as I've never met any hunters in Japan.

    So everything you've said on this thread is off topic?

  • -2

    cleo

    A question for those who claim that the point of hunting is to keep down/reduce numbers of 'overpopulated' animals such as deer. If deer populations are so in need of reduction, why does the NHA website point out that a hunter may not kill more than one animal a day, and that in some areas the killing of does is prohibited?

    And a warning to folk who like to take their pets hiking/camping in the woods. The NHA website lists feral cats and dogs among potential hunting targets (kinda nixes the idea that they're hunting for food...) and advises that they can be distinguished from domestic cats and dogs by the lack of a collar. So if your pet happens to slip out of its collar in the woods, it's fair game for some intrepid (hungry?) hobbyist hunter.

  • -1

    ambrosia

    A question for those who claim that the point of hunting is to keep down/reduce numbers of 'overpopulated' animals such as deer.

    Those people were righting about hunting in general and those people making the "claims" happen to include numerous environmental organizations and agencies, none of which, I'm sure, know as much as you do about how to prevent overpopulation of certain species.

  • -2

    cleo

    Those people were righting about hunting in general and those people making the "claims" happen to include numerous environmental organizations and agencies

    No, look up the thread, no one identifies themselves as even a single environmental organisation or agency, never mind numerous ones. We have Fox Cloud McClean suggesting that the satisfaction of maintaining a manageable herbivore population that doesn't mindlessly destroy an ecosystem (not sure if he's calling the deer or the hunters 'mindless'...) comes from giving deer a 'single shot to the head', and then we have you telling us all about the havoc deer are causing in the US. It seems they are not causing anything like the same havoc in Japan and they don't need swarms of hunters out panting to give them that 'single shot'.

    If you see a problem and your first attempt at solving it is to kill something....sorry, but it's sick.

  • -2

    ambrosia

    Shooting deer was not the first solution. Using birth control on the deer was and it had little effect. They tried relocating herds but that didn't do much good either since the remaining ones bred into overpopulation again quite quickly. Some places have introduced wolves and coyotes but they have been rejected in many places for various reasons. Fox Cloud has nothing to do with the links I posted but hey, I bow to your expertise in the matter.

  • -2

    cleo

    ambrosia, you're telling us about America again. The topic is happy hobby hunters in Japan. If you're going to make snide remarks, at least let's talk about the same subject.

    I tried googling 鹿 問題 and found several articles about trying to 'solve' the problem by shooting the animals and trying to persuade people to eat the meat. I did not find a single reference to anyone trying birth control first, or even considering it.

  • 1

    habidaccus

    My hometown in Eastern Pennsylvania is right on the doorstep of farmland, and just beyond that, the wild. I grew up immersed in a strong hunting culture and have nothing but respect for it, even if buck fever dissuaded me from trying it since middle school. Cheers ladies! Hopefully it instills respect for the animals you eat.

    To be clear, if you're shooting an animal and not eating it, you aren't a hunter.

  • 1

    Noliving

    A question for those who claim that the point of hunting is to keep down/reduce numbers of 'overpopulated' animals such as deer. If deer populations are so in need of reduction, why does the NHA website point out that a hunter may not kill more than one animal a day, and that in some areas the killing of does is prohibited?

    To prevent over hunting, by having a quota each day where hunters will report their harvesting tags it gives the government, in the US the department of natural resources, the ability to determine how well the hunting is going. For example in my state of Minnesota if the number of reported harvests is way ahead of their, Department of Natural Resources, estimates for how many harvests there have been in the hunting season they will shorten the hunting season, if the harvests are coming up short they will then increase the length of the hunting season.

    The reason for why some areas the killing of does is prohibited is to help keep population sizes healthy, it is to provide maximum flexibility. Some areas will have too high of a population and the environment in that area can't support that many causing them to die of starvation while some areas will have too low of a population where the hunting might put that local population over the brink. If you didn't have the quota system and have a way to zone areas for hunting you wouldn't be able to direct hunters where to hunt over populated areas and to prevent hunting in areas where the population is declining while at the same time being able to bring a close of the hunting season early if the harvesting has gone extremely well.

    So I would imagine that Japan's reasons for doing those things is the same as the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

  • -1

    ambrosia

    Noliving: Thank you.

  • 0

    JTDanMan

    it doesn’t mean they’ve relaxed their standards one bit. Would-be hunters still have numerous tests to take involving hearing and vision, knowledge of hunting regulations, knowledge of hunting equipment, gun tests, and more.

    So true. A few times while in Japan I was invited to go hunting. Once near Kochi and another in the hills near Sasayama, Hyogo for boar.

    Or should I say, go along hunting. Neither time would my hosts let fire their weapons.

  • 1

    gelendestrasse

    I've hunted since I was 12 and in Pennsylvania the opening day of deer season was a school holiday. We butchered our deer ourselves on the ping-pong table (covered in brown paper) and put it in the deep freeze with the beef. It was an economical source of meat. Still is, if you can do DIY.

    So when it comes to anti-hunters who are chowing down on a burger I have nothing but contempt. Cleo had principles, I'd have a drink and a vegan meal with her just because she's upstanding. I may not agree with her but I respect her.

    But the thing that most people seem to not understand is that firearms use is a skill, and a difficult one at that. Target, trap, and skeet shooting are all a lot more difficult than they look. It's enjoyable. Some people bowl. I prefer clay pigeons.

    Hunting takes the skill to a whole different level because you have to understand your quarry well enough to be able to get to the point of taking a shot in their environment. I would propose that successful hunters understand wildlife ecology better than most people who consider themselves "conservationists."

    So it doesn't surprise me that young women would want to shoot and hunt. If you want a difficult challenge, both physical and mental, try it. Then complain if you want to.

  • -5

    cleo

    The reason for why some areas the killing of does is prohibited is to help keep population sizes healthy

    But killing only bucks doesn't do anything to control population size. Kill one buck, and the next buck in the forest will simply acquire a larger harem and just as many fawns will be produced from the next mating season. If the idea is population control (=the population is too large and needs to be reduced/not allowed to grow), surely killing the does is the effective way to go, literally two birds with one stone as you reduce the population by one doe + next year's baby. (No, this does not mean I am advocating the mass slaughter of Bambi's mother)

    some areas will have too low of a population

    ie no hunting allowed at all?

    It's enjoyable. Some people bowl. I prefer clay pigeons.

    Right. If you want to enjoy shooting a gun (and there's no reason why a person shouldn't), there's no need at all to aim at something living.

  • 0

    CraigHicks

    @ambrosia ... In 2008, over one million deer collided with cars and motorcycles in the United States.

    Please don't forget bicyclists also as victims. And turkeys also as culprits.

  • 0

    MarkG

    I prefer that the local deer population be hunted and consumed rather than road kill.

  • -2

    cleo

    Please don't forget bicyclists also as victims.

    Hunt and consume?

  • 1

    Noliving

    But killing only bucks doesn't do anything to control population size. Kill one buck, and the next buck in the forest will simply acquire a larger harem and just as many fawns will be produced from the next mating season.

    Very good Cleo, that must mean that the reason why doe hunting is prohibited is because the population there is small enough that killing does could/would cause the local population to collapse in that area but killing bucks would not.

    ie no hunting allowed at all?

    No not necessarily, it depends on the buck population in that area as well.

    If you want to enjoy shooting a gun (and there's no reason why a person shouldn't), there's no need at all to aim at something living.

    You have got to be kidding me with this statement, this is coming from the same person that has railed against target shooters because in her mind it is nothing more than practice for killing.

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