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64-year-old deer hunter shot dead by fellow hunter in Miyagi

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A 64-year-old man who was taking part in deer culling in Miyagi Prefecture, died after he was shot by another hunter, police said Monday.

According to police, a group of 15 hunters were culling deer in Onaga-cho at around 8 a.m. Sunday when the incident occurred. The victim, identified as Takechi Okada, was spotted lying on the ground. TBS reported that he was transported to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Another hunter, Tetsuo Niizuma, 82, told police that he and Okada were about 60 meters apart. "I saw two deer and shot one of them. Then I saw Okada lying on the ground behind the deer," Niizuma was quoted by police as saying.

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58 Comments
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dangerous sports..

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

82?

10 ( +10 / -0 )

The laws for obtaining and keeping a rifle in Japan are very strict and there is a quite a lot of training involved, but it seems that common sense is not part of the training. You hunt in a line and never fire back into the line.

An 82 year old with a rifle seems a little frightening.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Sunday morning blood 'sport'. Would have been better for all concerned - including the deer - it they'd all had a lie-in instead, like sensible people do on a Sunday morning.

-14 ( +5 / -19 )

Do they not wear blaze orange in Japan while deer hunting? It prevents tons of these incidents in the states and This ojisan obviously didn't follow cooper rules for gun handling that are widely known to practically everyone that shoots: "Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy." and "Be sure of your target and what is beyond it."

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Buck fever.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Cleo, I hate guns too but as in Blighty, culling is necessary to preserve the deer's habitat, and shooting seems to be the most humane method.

I do hope the resulting venison doesn't suffer the indignity of MSG.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Three questions: 1) When this 82 year old last have his eyes checked? 2. It doesn't sound like they were sporting bright orange jackets. Why not? 3) Why is an 82 year old allowed to go hunting with a group?

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

See? Even when there is strict gun control, at least 0.00056% of people are at risk for getting killed with a gun! Yes, I'm being sarcastic.

An American friend of mine got his hunting license, though his wife isn't comfortable with the idea of a gun in the house. It has been interesting learning of the process for getting a hunting license through him.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

rest in peace, this is a sad story indeed. I think they should put inplace an age restriction on these hunts, at 82, sight might be deteriorating.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

82…this man shouldn't even be driving a car much less participating in a group hunt /cull.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

According to NHK, the old geezer fired two shots at a deer that 'appeared in front of him' and at the time he 'didn't know' where the other man - supposedly his hunting partner, they were working together- was. Too keen to get his jollies from shooting bambi.

Get Real - Yes I hate guns, but even more I hate people who join hunting clubs and kill animals for fun. It's no better when they claim they're performing a service or doing it in the animal's best interests. The deer are just being deer. There is no need to cull. It's people messing around with the habitat for their own profit or out of ignorance who are the problem.

-23 ( +2 / -25 )

bambi is being hunted and then made into food. Japan has a strict rule on this. If you hunt, you eat. And there are too much of these pest anyway. Japan should reintorduce wolves in the wild.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

As Mikihouse said, the deer are a pest because they have lost their place in the natural order. They are food as well as feeders, be it for wolves or omiyage buyers.

Left unculled, they will deplete the forest resources, and probably invent aerosol cheese.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

82 and a gun? I guess there are no eye checks? Harder to get a drivers licence than a gun?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I really don't like you guys bashing the 82 year old. My grandfather used to go hunting with me when he was 81 . It was just an accident and you are overreacting.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

It was just an accident

No it wasn't. He aimed and shot at the deer with every intention of killing it.

-22 ( +3 / -25 )

Get Real - Yes I hate guns, but even more I hate people who join hunting clubs and kill animals for fun. It's no better when they claim they're performing a service or doing it in the animal's best interests. The deer are just being deer. There is no need to cull.

You can actually make some serious money hunting deer in Japan.

The spike in Japanese, or sika, deer looms large in rural areas that retain significant political power, even as their human populations shrink. Many local governments like Bungo-Ono offer hunters bounties of up to 10,000 yen per head for any deer bagged and tagged. Most prefectures in Japan have effectively waived the notion of a hunting season, granting special permits to allow kills year-round.

Mr. Niizuma could have been hunting to supplement his retirement income.

"We can bag up to 18 deer in a single day. They're just everywhere," laments Yoichi Kodama

10,000 yen/deer x 18 = 180,000 yen

Not bad for a day's work. Of course an accident like this is a reminder that hunting isn't entirely free of risks.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It was just an accident and you are overreacting.

Like cleo said and I agree, he also made the unforgivable mistake of not ensuring that the area behind the deer was clear as well.

I wonder what type of rifle and ammo he was using myself. The guy who died had to be relatively close behind the deer if there was only one shot made and the bullet had to have travelled through the deer AND hit the poor gent.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You can actually make some serious money hunting deer

You can make serious money doing all kinds of unspeakable things, some of them illegal and none of them moral. Doesn't mean it's a good idea or that cleo will like you for it.

Like cleo said and I agree, he also made the unforgivable mistake of not ensuring that the area behind the deer was clear

That's not what I said. His unforgivable mistake was setting out that morning with the intention of killing.

The guy who died had to be relatively close behind the deer if there was only one shot made

There are conflicting reports, but it seems he fired at least twice. The vernacular press are saying the police are looking at the possibility that the dead hunter was hit either by the same shot that killed bambi, or by a 'stray shot'. Could be the intrepid hunter isn't sure how many shots he fired, he was just so high on the prospect of a kill. Bottom line, bloodthirsty old codger tramping about in the woods shooting anything that moves. Very Bad Idea.

-24 ( +0 / -24 )

the deer are a pest because they have lost their place in the natural order

You want the wolves back?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

That's not what I said. His unforgivable mistake was setting out that morning with the intention of killing.

I didnt say that you did say that, I agreed with your statement

No it wasn't. He aimed and shot at the deer with every intention of killing it.

AND added he also made the unforgivable mistake of not ensuring that the area behind the deer was clear

You only clarified what you WANTED to say afterwards.

he was just so high on the prospect of a kill. Bottom line, bloodthirsty old codger tramping about in the woods shooting anything that moves. Very Bad Idea.

This is an assumption that comes from someone who has never been in the woods and knows nothing about hunting.

Typical hunters are NOT bloodthirsty old codgers and a 60's something older man is nothing unusual. The 80's something guy? Maybe, but with the way gun laws are here, he had to be stable to keep the license.

Don't cry about killing, no matter what you eat, it DIED to give you nourishment, just be happy that there are other people around to do the killing for you. Since I highly DOUBT you could do it yourself. Even that lettuce in your salad died for you.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

You can make serious money doing all kinds of unspeakable things, some of them illegal and none of them moral. Doesn't mean it's a good idea or that cleo will like you for it.

Without a natural predator, a deer population will grow out of control.

Now, too few hunters prowl through rural Japan's thick bamboo and cedar groves, and deer account for an estimated $33 million in annual crop loss, triple the total a decade ago, according to Japan's environment ministry.

Hawaii is having a similar problem with its deer.

Axis deer, called chital in their native India, are similar in size to whitetail deer found in the continental U.S. Tigers and leopards keep axis deer numbers reasonable in India, but the deer population is growing 20 percent to 30 percent per year in Hawaii because there aren't any natural predators - except for humans. ... On Lanai, deer that eat everything from Hawaii's native ebony tree, the lama, to a native olive tree and a now-extinct mint helped turn a rich native forest into a desert-like landscape so desolate people compare it to the moon.

Even in the Blue Ridge Mountains you have out of control deer populations destroying the ecosystem.

But the deer problem has proved even more profound, biologists say. Fast-multiplying herds are altering the ecology of forests, stripping them of native vegetation and eliminating niches for other wildlife. Varmints of old were mainly predators, Dr. McShea said, but this is the age of the marauding herbivore. "I don't want to paint deer as Eastern devils," said Dr. McShea, a wildlife biologist associated with the National Zoo in Washington, ''but this is indicative of what happens when an ecosystem is out of whack.'' The damage is worse than anyone expected, he and other scientists say.

You can either reintroduce a natural predator or have groups hunters do what a natural predator would be doing. Doing nothing is not an option.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

RIP Okada san, should be a good lesson for more ojisans before joining such interesting but also dangerous events.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There is no need to cull. It's people messing around with the habitat for their own profit or out of ignorance who are the problem.

Ah, the words of the city dwellers who have not seen close up the damage an uncontrolled deer population in Japan can result in. Hell, even the liberal press in Nagano almost daily is lamenting about the lack of people who are licensed to shoot the habitat-destroying deer. Alpine flora, agricultural land, and trees are all victims of the overpopulation of deer (Nagano alone is trying to reduce the deer population by 35,000). Reintroduction of predators is not realistic in this day and age.

The regular hunting season is over, so this was an officially sanctioned cull to reduce the deer population to a manageable number. If more people would get over their phobia of guns and learn to use them responsibly, and if the laws on their ownership were made more realistic, the 80 year old wouldn't need to be out there doing something someone with better eyesight should be doing.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Why don't more Japanese eat the deer? Then these culling excursions wouldn't be needed. The Japanese always lament their dependence on food imports, but then they hardly eat some of the food that is available.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Venison stew. Venison shabu shabu. Venison shogayaki. Venison steak frites. Bambiburgers. Venison medaillons in blackberry jus.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

@Cleo

"There is no need to cull. It's people messing around with the habitat for their own profit or out of ignorance who are the problem."

There would be no need to cull if the wolf population hadn't been killed off and other natural predators (including humans) naturally kept the populations in check.

I don't eat meat. I find "trophy hunting" and any blood sport abhorrent. That said, I recognize that umans are and have been part of the eco-system for countless millenia. A healthy ecosystem requires some predators.

(Unless you want to try some sort of birth control delivery system...!!)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

82 = bad eyesight

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Yeah, it is too bad deer isn't eaten more.

They go out and do these culls, and there's never enough hunters to do them usually, so they don't solve the problme of the crops getting destroyed. And then they let the carcasses rot half the time.

They could be doing a planned, more effective cull, solve the over grazing problem, and also providing a healthy cheap and local source of meat for the population. The meat also has no aftertaste, even less so than beef, and should be acceptable to the J palate.

But for some reason it doesn't happen, and it left for the few geriatric hunters who still exist to do the half-assed cull and let the meat go to waste. (Ya, I know it is eaten sometimes, but left to rot too often.)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Idiot knee jerk liberal reaction: Outlaw guns and hunting!!

Common sense conservative reaction: Realized that hunting and lawful gun ownership has been in Japan for over 70 yrs and accidents are extremely rare, then do nothing except remind hunters to be safe and wear hunters orange (blaze orange) as they do stateside (deer are color blind).

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

live by the gun....

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

live by the gun....

Gimmie a break.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

There is no need to cull. It's people messing around with the habitat for their own profit or out of ignorance who are the problem.

Cleo: Unfortunately there is a need to cull. Richmond Park in London culls about 150 each year. This is not done by a hunting club or for entertainment, but to limit the number of deer that the park can sustain before starvation takes over. The deer in the park have no natural predator so the cull must take the place of the predator.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

What are these guys using in Japan? This style of hunting with rifles invites accidents of this kind. 12g with buckshot would be safer.

Cleo, you are a preservationist. Emotionally driven to advocate leaving the animal "alone" no matter what. Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way, not even in nature. With the interjection of humans, the balance must be maintained through "conservation". And it relies on population control, both protection and culling if need be to protect that species as well as others and the habitat. And no, it's not just "hunters" and "gun freaks" who believe in the principles of conservation, it's educated people, biologists and researchers, government agencies tasked with wildlife managemernt.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

12g with buckshot would be safer.

Yeah, I agree, it's not like they are trying to hunt 10 pt white tail, the deer I've seen are relatively small, and a 12 gauge should be more than enough to put one down.

I really would like to know what type of rifle and ammo they were using. I am not an "expert" by any means but did deer hunt back home quite a bit. Yes accidents happen, but something is missing here and these guys seem like they didn't know what they were doing, or were not trained properly in safety out in the woods.

You never shoot without first being sure of your target and everything around it as well.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oh where I am from there over an estimated 1.1 MILLION deer in the state, and they can and do cause HUGE problems.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Will they play Cavatina at the funeral?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Hmm: Culling the deer population, nature will cull them the idiot human does not need to do this, it is time they started culling themselves.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

canadianbentoMay. 14, 2013 - 01:02AM JST Hmm: Culling the deer population, nature will cull them the idiot human does not need to do this, it is time they started >culling themselves.

You would be correct IF humans did not kill off their natural predators, demolish and reduce their natural habitat and alter the natural balance. But they did.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Deer skin is used for fabricating the gloves the kyudo archers use. As far as I know there is great demand for it in Japan.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

nature will cull them the idiot human does not need to do this

Have you removed yourself from the equation? Humans are the problem yes, but the solution as well. I doubt you would appreciate these animals if one ran into your car while driving down the toll-road at 120 kph.

It's messy to say the least, and you'll be lucky to stay alive when it happens too. But I guess you'll morn the deer and not your loved one's.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is why I let these guys know I'm around when I come across them. Usually I hear them first and whistle a song (something obviously human) while I'm still behind cover.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Lots of intrepid hunters clicking the thumbs-down.

Personally I think I'd rather have wolves roaming the woods than these old geezers with guns that they demonstrably do not know how to use safely.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Yubaru - I see you have no idea about hunting practices in Japan! A rifle?!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Deer Royale?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Please stop starting messages with "I see you have no idea about..." It is impolite to other users.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Personally I think I'd rather have wolves roaming the woods than these old geezers with guns

Most people with young children would disagree. Ditto for the geezer hikers.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Get Real

A friend who lives in Nagano says the deer corpses in his area are never harvested for meat. He makes his own venison stew, however, and his Japanese neighbors are extremely reluctant to sample it, saying stuff like, "We Japanese are fish eaters," etc.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A few years back my brother came from California and I took him to Nara Koen. He had a fun time feeding deer the biscuts. The next day we were at a mountain hut in the Nara Mountains eating deer curry rice. Very tasty!

I am always sad at the death of any animal, but with out management, deers will destroy a forest.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Jeff: Maybe its just the the area you are in or the people you associate with dont eat deer. I live in Shiga and have had it a few times at parties and restaurants. And oddly enough, I actually liked how it was prepared. Maybe a raise in awareness if deer meat is needed.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Jeff Lee

the deer corpses in his area are never harvested for meat.

Ew! Do you mean the corpses people stumble across while walking in the woods? Sadly, this is a problem they're experiencing now around my hometown as the result of a very long, very snowy winter and an over abundant population. No one would eat "found" meat!!

I have known people to eat (fresh killed) venison in both Gunma and Hokkaido.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

jeff and sakula-

that's what I was saying- they can't dispose of the meat and so most of these 1000s, 10s of 1000s?, of deer just die. yes, sakula, you can find deer meat in some specialty shops and onsen ryokans in the sticks, but that is different from all of the deer being killed in your area used for meat. most ppl don't ever eat it. a few try it. I really know no one who eats it regularly.

It's just one of those things you have to chalk up to tradition here; if it's not done, no one is gonna do it, even if it is a good idea on many levels.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Lowly: I bet if they could get some "talentos" to show how to cook up deer then it would be the newest trend. It is just a matter of getting info out and meat supplies standardized. Sadly though, it seems like quite a process. I think quite a few people would be worried about diseased meat even though it could easily be tested.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Idiot knee jerk liberal reaction: Outlaw guns and hunting!!

Talking of idiotic reactions, not one comment above yours suggested outlawing guns, and despite the distaste for hunting expressed a couple of commenters, no one called for that to be banned either.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Back on topic please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Since this takes place in Japan (a country with strict gun-control laws), I want to ask just one question. "Where on earth did he get a gun from?"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Jeffrey, There's strict laws, but that doesn't mean no guns. Anyone who wants to can apply. There is a vetting thing you go through and once you have your gun there's all these little rules about what to do with it and how to store it. There's inspections by the cops. So these guys having guns and hunting is not surprising.

sakurala, wild meat from the woods is probably way cleaner than any farm animal which is hormone-injected and otherwise poorly cared for. Especially in Japan where bacteria in water from hikers and animals still hasn't spread much. It's more like, since nobody does it, nobody does it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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