Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Shooting Range

I have a confession. In 6 years of gun ownership and hunting, I can count on two hands the number of times I've been to a shooting range. I guess it tells in the fact that I'm not a good shot against moving targets.

At the beginning of February, with the hunting season winding down, I had to go to the shooting range for a seminar. It's required for hunters who have been conscripted by the city office to cull deer and boar. It had snowed the night before, but the roads were pretty clear in the morning. This would be the first time shooting slugs at a range, since in Chiba prefecture for many years now there has not been a range that allowed slugs. It's a bit ridiculous to have to drive hundreds of miles just to go to a shooting range, and of course shooting outside of a range (unless at prey) is illegal in Japan.

Anyway, they finally reopened a 50m slug range, so as part of the seminar everyone would be firing 5 shots. I got to watch several other rounds of shooting, and unfortunately I saw a lot of intact paper, with plenty of shots hitting the dirt a meter away from target. In Japan the hunting population is now made up of older, mostly retired gentleman, which brings the average age to over 60 years old. Since I started hunting, every hunting club I've joined, I've been the youngest (and usually the only person under 50). We have a lot of hunting accidents, which cause a lot of bad press for hunters and hunting, here in Japan.

So, I was expecting a pretty bad showing, especially since I've never sighted my smooth bored slug shooting shotgun, but here's my grouping at 50m.

It seems that out of around 100 hunters there, I was one of the best shooters, so now I've got a rep as being a really good shot, when personally I feel the opposite about myself. This off season I'll be at the range getting my accuracy up for sure. Moving targets, I'll be working on that.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Yamabiko Puppies

The puppies I went to see at Yamabiko. This was a litter of 4 sesame, and 4 b/t, but two pups didn't make it. 8 pups is a huge Shikoku litter!

Sesame female 1

Sesame male 1

Sesame male 2

Black & tan female 1

Black & tan female 2

Black & tan male

Sire: Teruhide

Dam: I've misplaced her pedigree
She's a dual working/show dog.

######################Edited: I thought that Kotofusa was the sire of these pups, but turns out the sire is Teruhide (Kotofusa's sire).###############

Monday, February 24, 2014

Do You Ever Think About Where Your Food Comes From?

I'd thought about it, a lot actually. It's the reason I tried to go vegan for a while before I started hunting. I think the answers to ethical questions that arise when contemplating ones diet, will be different for everyone. I don't run around telling people what they should or should not do, but I will ask them to think. Ask questions. Do some research. Be honest.

Deciding to add the latest ingredient for a healthy diet just may seem like a brilliant idea, but may be creating complicated shock waves where the food is produced

Are we supporting our local environment, and our local food producers through our choices? Are we supporting ethical and sustainable methods of production? We can close our eyes and take a big bite of that steak in front of us... and really, that's what happens at billions of tables every meal. Society today is so far removed from the realities of survival: finding food, finding drinkable water, creating shelter from the building blocks around us. We used to be punished rather quickly by our environment when we made bad choices, but now being so detached from the environments producing our food, we ravage with impunity.

If you eat meat, where does it come from? Luckily the situations shown in the video below are not necessarily the worldwide norm, but the very idea of factory farming sends alarm bells ringing in my head. I was once scolded by the wife of one of my clients for hunting. She's a self professed animal lover, and spends her weekends volunteering at an animal shelter. Over dinner at their house, she asked me how I could kill animals. If I wanted meat, there was plenty of it at the supermarket she said. It was ironic that she asked me this as we were eating beef.
I told her that it was to fill the freezer, and to feed the dogs. I decided a while ago that it was more ethical to eat an animal that had been free its entire life, to live naturally and organically in the wild, suffering for perhaps the last few minutes while being hunted by me, than to cage an animal for its entire life, feeding it processed feed, and pumping it full of medication, in an environment that is often abusive and brutal.

When I had dinner with this family again a few weeks later, the wife had her rebuttal prepared. "When you kill an animal in the wild, you are killing a mother or father or baby!"

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Visiting Yamabiko Kennel (2)

The last post was all Shikoku pictures. Yamabiko has also bred award winning Shiba in the past, as well as Kishu.

All rights for these pictures belong to Yamabiko. Please do not copy or use them without their permission. 

Look at the how different Shiba head's were shaped in the past.

Working line Kishu out of my friend, Mr.Kondo's, line.

The two pictures above are not of a black sesame Shikoku. That's a black sesame Kishu you're looking at! They don't make them like that anymore.

Boar dog training.

One of Yamabiko's famous Shiba. He was a working dog too!

 Make sure your Shiba pups are all in a row.

Out of these 4 Shiba pups, which one would you choose to keep?

Fashionable hat, or fashionable pillow. Depends who you ask.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Visiting Yamabiko Kennel (1)

I visited my friends at Yamabiko a few weeks ago to see the litter produced by Kotofusa and their black and tan female. They have been NIPPO members for many years, breeding and showing Shiba, Kishu, and Shikoku. They are an older couple, now with only two Shikoku, but a wealth of experiences and knowledge. They love hunting with their dogs as well! I got to chat with them for a few hours, and see their large collection of pictures.

I'm putting up the Shikoku pictures here.
All rights for these pictures belong to Yamabiko. Please do not copy or use them without their permission.