Cazafir, Mora d'Ebre

Discussion in 'Events' started by snowbunny, Jun 10, 2016.

  1. snowbunny

    snowbunny Registered Users

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    There's a "Hunters' fayre" on this weekend in our local town. With demonstrations of different types of hunting dogs, falconry and SAR.

    I'm really interested, but also rather concerned I'll see things I'm not happy about - the Spanish aren't renowned for their good treatment of their hunting dogs. Still, it's worth going along to see, without making any assumptions in advance.

    http://cazafir.org/

    J is very happy that the bar opens at 9:30am. There are certain things that are done very well around here, and daytime drinking is one of them ;)

    Another nearby town also has a cherry festival this weekend. Man, I love cherries. It's the height of fruit-picking season right now, so I'm hoping to eat my bodyweight in local produce.
     
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  2. bbrown

    bbrown Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Now remember your toilet facilities. Your body weight in cherries could do awful things to your constitution !
     
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  3. Oberon

    Oberon Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Mmmm..cherries! Lucky thing with all that summer fruit :)
     
  4. Dexter

    Dexter Moderator Forum Supporter

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    :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: as may the local brew....
    Have a super time!its great when there is something on to visit with your dogs with ....
     
  5. Snowshoe

    Snowshoe Registered Users

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    The poster is scary. Look how the gun is pointing at the dog. Yikes. Sounds interesting though.
     
  6. snowbunny

    snowbunny Registered Users

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    Hahaha! Must remember to stock up on poo bags.... and not for the dogs ;)

    You can stop having palpitations now, Angela, I'm just joking :rofl:
     
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  7. drjs@5

    drjs@5 Registered Users

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  8. snowbunny

    snowbunny Registered Users

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    J and I ate two kilos of cherries between us yesterday!! TWO KILOS!

    Anyhow, the game fair thing was .... interesting.

    We went on Saturday, sans dogs. As I'd expected, there were several pens selling dogs and puppies of various flavours. It's very strange seeing so many breeds that you would rarely see in the UK, and almost no hunting breeds we'd normally associate with these events. I didn't see one Labrador and the only spaniels were a few cocker pups being sold by a pet store stall. There were pointers, Britannies, English setters and Spinones, and another type I looked up, which I'd never heard of, Podencos. As well as lots of others I've no idea about.

    I was interested to watch some of the demonstrations, so ambled over to the field in time for the "blood dog" demonstration. Strangely, although there were penned Bloodhounds, these weren't what were being used for the hunting. The first dog was obviously very young and was still on a training line. Watching him work was really, really dull! The field was mown, leaving areas of longer grass that the handler took the dog to to sniff. When he was on the far side of these areas, you couldn't see him. It took a good ten minutes of him walking from one to the next before they found the prize, which I took to be a dummy at first, but was actually a boar's foot. It was nice to see the handler playing with the dog with the foot as his reward for finding it.

    Some discussion of hunting live animals follows, so avoid if it's not your cup of tea.

    They then moved on to the more experienced dogs, who were hunting live game. They released some live rabbits into the field, who scurried off to the respective bits of grass, to be hunted down by the dogs of different descriptions and hunting styles. Well, the first dog found a rabbit within a couple of minutes, gave chase and ... I don't know what happened next, because it was behind long grass. I don't know if the dog killed it or the hander did the deed, but he came back with it in hand, while the crowd (of about 20 people) dutifully applauded.

    Then, there was a whole lot of nothing. The best part of 40 minutes later, with several more rabbits released, and the dogs didn't find a one. The handling was ... random. Now, I'm not professing to understand Spanish hunting, but it seemed entirely to me as if the handlers were doing almost nothing, and the dogs were just self-employed. There was no communication between dog and handler, except when they wanted the dog to go into the cover, they'd pick up a stone and throw it in - the dog would jump in after the noise, then out the other side, without any thought of hunting. It just seemed like they were waiting for the dog to flush something by accident. I wasn't impressed, I have to say! All the rabbits lived to hop another day.

    Then, it was time for the partridges. An organiser would take a bird, tuck its head under and then, holding it in his hand, would swing his arm in circles. I wasn't sure if he was stunning or killing the bird, but it definitely wasn't feeling the best afterwards. The organiser would then shake it over a section of cover, obviously to get some scent there, then toss it into the long grass.
    The dogs worked for the birds in a very similar way as for the rabbits. Sometimes, there was a single dog, but more often a pair. The first pair were English setters. One found a bird pretty quickly and pointed beautifully. The handler came over and picked up the bird, blew in its face and chucked it in the air - answering the question of whether it was dead or just stunned, it flew off, at a low level, with the dogs in hot pursuit. One of them must have caught it (the long grass getting in the way again), as he brought it back to the handler, who took it off him and handed it back to the organisers. A few minutes later, the second dog flushed another partridge, which both dogs gave chase to, but the bird won the day by flying off over the fence and to freedom. I have to tell you, I was so unimpressed by the handling of the dogs, that I was definitely gunning for the game at this point, and gave a little cheer :)

    I hung around for about another half hour - J had "popped" to the builders' merchant, and was meeting me back there, so I had little choice - and no more game was found, which was quite remarkable, considering the number of partridge that had been put out, not to mention about ten bunnies still hopping around.

    The highlight for me, though, was a certain handler who ended up taking direction from the audience as to where the birds had been placed. When his dogs couldn't find anything, even with repeated stone throwing into that section of cover, he bundled in himself, flushing a bird, which one of his dogs then grabbed and legged it with. Priceless.

    Needless to say, I wasn't really that impressed with the whole thing and won't be joining the local hunt any time soon!
     
  9. bbrown

    bbrown Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Hhmmmm dizzying birds. Fine if your pointer stays on point until you get there but a very high risk of dogs pegging birds which here is a big no-no.

    Hopefully not a dilemma you'll have with a retriever :D
     
  10. drjs@5

    drjs@5 Registered Users

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    Hmm....sounds all rather odd!
    Glad you enjoyed the cherries :rolleyes:
     
  11. charlie

    charlie Registered Users

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    Yumm love cherries and could happily eat them by the bucket load but as for the other stuff!
     
  12. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

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    Hmmm - not sure at all that you'd be allowed to do that kind of thing in the UK - I mean the dogs hunting game that has been released there and then (I'm sure it's perfectly legal to eat cherries).
     
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  13. Emily

    Emily Registered Users

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    Surely there's a rule against eating that many cherries though! 2 kilos between 2 people? That's insane!

    The hunting part is a little strange. I do find it amusing that they purposely impaired and released so many 'creatures' but so few were actually caught :p
     
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  14. snowbunny

    snowbunny Registered Users

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    I kept on thinking, "This wouldn't happen in the UK!". Of course, I've never been to a game fair in the UK, so I've no idea what I'm talking about. I do know that the British public at large would definitely be appalled at the sight of Thumper being picked out of his box and put in a field to be run down by a dog.

    Another cheer-worthy moment was when a bunny made a dash for it and broke through the fence and to freedom.

    I'm not anti-hunt per se, but it has to be in the right kind of environment for me, and that wasn't it.

    I also had the pervading feeling that hunting there is far more of a redneck pastime than a gentleman's pursuit. There were a lot of combats being worn, and not one pair of breeks in sight!
     
  15. Karen

    Karen Registered Users

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    That all sounds absolutely frightful - unnecessarily cruel, and on top of it the handlers obviously shouldn't be called that at all!
     
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