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China cafe: hunting wild boar

Winter is the season for building and renovating. But not all the changes are improvements

By Mark Kitto   March 2010

There are men with guns on the streets. It is the hunting season. The men work in pairs. One holds the gun while the other acts as spotter, and smokes cigarettes. When the shooter wants a cigarette, they swap over. The prey is bamboo partridge, of which there are plenty, or (more rarely) pheasant. They don’t shoot songbirds—other men catch and sell those.

The village’s top shot is Lao Xu. He is a wily hunter—even if he once shot one of his dogs by mistake. Following a heavy snowfall, he goes after wild boar with his surviving dogs. The scent…

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