13 People Killed, 33 Wounded Since Start of Italian Hunting Season

If you plan on hunting Italy this year, you may want to learn (and practice) a few key phrases, like “watch where you’re pointing that gun,” because, according to this Reuters story, it’s pretty dangerous to be a hunter in L’Italia.

Italian hunting enthusiasts have killed 13 people and wounded 33 in shooting accidents since the season opened in September, increasing pressure to reform antiquated hunting laws. The death toll swelled across the country this weekend when a 16-year old was killed by a friend while hunting, a pensioner was shot and wounded in his garden and a cyclist was hospitalised after being hit with grapeshot. Hunting groups agree with environmentalists that the law – which allows hunters to roam on private land and discharge firearms within 150 metres (yards) of a house – should be changed. But the sides have become entrenched in a long-running stalemate over how.

According to the story, fewer than one in five Italians considers hunting an acceptable pastime, and that the number of hunters has declined from a high of 2 million, 30 years ago to about 700,000 now, with most of those hunters being between 65 and 78 years old.

So what do you think the problem is? Italy has a long and distinguished hunting tradition. Some of the finest shotguns in the world are made there. But 13 deaths and 33 shootings does seem awfully high for a relatively small number of hunters.