Three days into this illegal spring hunt and two hunters have shot a protected bird each. They both feigned ignorance, where one said he mistook the protected bird for a non-protected one, and the other thought he could hunt the protected bird he shot in spring.
Mistakes happen to the best of us, and to all of us. So, to make sure that hunters do not make any more of these mistakes, I have devised the following illustrated guide to (illegal) spring hunting in Malta. This Idiot’s guide is well suited to budding young hunters, to older hunters who may not be sure which birds are protected, and to all hunters in general. NB – The title does not allude to hunters being idiots; the title is derived from a series of books of the same name, just in case someone gets a bit touchy.
1) This is a Turtle Dove
Just in case there are any hunters like Shaun Demicoli who have missed the spring hunting referendum, you can only hunt turtle doves and quails in spring. If you have never seen a turtle dove, the following is a turtle dove:
2) This is a Quail
As per the first point, spring is not to be confused with autumn. Just in case you get confused, if the countryside is full of pretty colours, it generally signifies the presence of spring.
4) These are not Turtle Doves
It is very easy to confuse turtle doves with other things. Do not be fooled, these seemingly stupid birds are masters at deception. Before you shoot what you think is a turtle dove, explore the following images to avoid criminal charges:
5) These are not Quails
Quails are the ultimate masters of disguise. They can morph into several other animals and objects that may or may not be found in the Maltese countryside. If you you think you are seeing a quail, stop for a second and think it through:
It could a hedgehog (they are protected as well, just in case)
This Idiot’s guide to spring hunting should hopefully allow hunters and those interested in hunting in spring to do so within the limits of the law. I would strongly suggest conserving paper and not printing these images.
Happy (illegal) spring hunting!