Deer hunter: Middleton under fire for going shooting with the Royals


    Deer hunter: Middleton under fire for going shooting with Royals

    By GLEN OWEN - More by this author » Last updated at 23:23pm on 13th October 2007
    [​IMG] Comments
    Kate Middleton takes aim as she goes deer shooting with the Royals for the first time yesterday – in a move that has infuriated animal-rights campaigners.

    The girlfriend of Prince William was being expertly coached by two ghillies shortly before joining the main deerstalking party on the Queen's Balmoral estate.
    Prince Charles looked on as Kate, clad in camouflage gear and aiming a fearsome hunting rifle in the prone position, fired at a practice target.
    [​IMG] Pre-hunt: Kate with Charles before joining WIlliam's party

    Her presence on the Highlands shoot is the clearest sign yet that the 25-year-old fashion buyer has been fully accepted into the Royal inner circle.
    And Kate clearly passed muster with the bolt-action rifle, which was equipped with telescopic sights and a silencer to be able to kill at a mile.
    As she lay prone in the heather in full view from a public road, the gamekeepers set up the weapon for firing. After settling into the correct position, she made sure of her target through the telescopic sight and fired, scattering frightened birds.

    The sights on the rifle were then adjusted and she headed off to find William in the main party of stag hunters, leaving Charles to return to nearby Birkhall House, the home he shares with Camilla. It is not known if Kate managed to land her first 'kill' yesterday.
    But last night her involvement with the shoot was condemned by the League Against Cruel Sports. A spokesman said: 'It beggars belief that the Royal Family believe it is fun to slaughter deer and I am very sad that Ms Middleton has been introduced to this cruel sport.
    'Presumably it is all part of her induction into a family with an appalling track record on blood sports.' Patrick Murphy, of prestigious gunmakers Holland and Holland in London's Mayfair, said: 'It is quite normal now for women to go shooting.'
    However he did have a mild dig at Kate wearing camouflage gear instead of tweeds, saying it used to mark someone out as a 'suburban novice' but was now gaining acceptance.
    [​IMG] Huntswoman: Kate takes aim as she is tutored by ghillies

    He added: 'Deer are colourblind and the camouflage is a disruptive pattern that allows the hunter to get close enough to them to make a clean, humane shot to the heart.'
    The British Association for Shooting and Conservation says no one should consider stalking unless they can consistently hit a 10cm target with three shots from 100 metres.
    Stalkers also must, for humanitarian reasons, use bullets that fragment when they hit the deer so they have a greater chance of killing and not merely wounding it.
    The association additionally says shots should never be taken at moving or badly-positioned deer, in poor visibility or through cover.
    It is only legal to shoot in the deer-stalking season, which has only a few days left to run.
    Kate is spending a private weekend with William at his Balmoral cottage, just a few minutes away from Birkhall. It is part of an effort to pursue their revived romance away from public attention.
    The 120-year-old former gamekeeper's cottage, which is equipped with a large round bath-for-two, is hidden away and boasts impressive views over the rugged Highland estate.
    The pair have been in Scotland since Thursday.
    A spokesman for Prince Charles said: 'We do not act for Ms Middleton and so we have no comment to make. 'What the Royals do on the Balmoral estate is a private matter.'
  2. I hate blood sports. I think perhaps that kate is trying too hard to be accepted by the Royals.
  3. Would I want to go hunting myself? No.
    Would I want to see someone hunting? No.

    I'm okay with hunting, as long as the animal doesn't suffer and the result is going to be food.

    (I am NEVER okay with animals as trophies.)
  4. I am having a Princess Diana flashback right now. Yikes.
  5. I was strongly against hunting until I dated an avid hunter. People make a lot of assumptions about hunters as a result of pure ignorance that are almost always untrue. i know i always did. as a result, i'm not going to criticize her for this - when in Rome, do as the Romans.
  6. Kate has spoken about her fears of not being royal & also of how they treated Diana (according to friends). I would say she is a girl running scared of being queen & the might of the British establishment, diminished though it may be!

    Diana hated Balmoral, hunting etc. I admire her for sticking to her principles!
    What is the quote - "What if you gain the whole world & lose your soul?" Something like that :smile:
  7. I'm anti-hunting. What's sportsmanlike about it? It's not a fair fight unless you give the animals weapons, too.
  8. Brilliant point Flora, I bet there would be a heck of a lot less cowardly hunters (people who shoot defenceless animals) if the odds were evened!
  9. If it is something she truly enjoys doing (yikes!), then it's her choice.

    If it is something she is doing purely to please (them) = :tdown:

    I hope she knows what she is getting herself into....
  10. I am not about to pass judgement on people who hunt or shoot or whatever. If Kate wants to hunt, more power to her.
  11. I always say the exact same thing to people i know who hunt......

    Hunters always say that they help with deer overpopulation.
    The problem with hunting IMO is that..... it is not natural....

    yes we may have deer overpopulation. But if nature were to take its course, the weak and sick animals will die from natural death or eaten by other animals higher up in the food chain. When men hunt... they want the big strong deer with the nicest/ biggest rack. Men do not want to kill the sick ones who probably have broken rack. The point is... it is not survival of the fittest.... NOT natural. Men hunt the healthiest ones while the sick and weak ones are left.... now... thats not good IMO.
  12. I totally agree....
  13. Hunting is so evil, I am 100% against it.
  14. Unless you are a vegetarian...honestly this practice has been around for millions of years.

    I don't know what Kate's stance is on hunting but if she was against it, in theory, she could learn how to handle her weapon and shoot and just practice on clay targets as an alternative.

    I'm not a huge fan of hunting but my youngest brother is quite the outdoorsman when he's not kicking butt in the office so I'm not one to throw rocks here. Animals "hunt" eachother all the time and everyone has seen those nature footages where the victim is suffering a horrible chomped-upon death. That seems far less humane to me than a well-delivered shot where it's supposed to go - ??
  15. I'm not big on hunting (partly because I grew up in a family with a dad & uncles & cousins who hunted, and have seen my share of dead deer. Particularly disconcerting when the gutted carcass is hanging in one's garage.) However, I totally don't get this article. Why single out Kate? They have no idea if she fired a shot other than the practice ones. I think the focus should have been more on the Royal family.

    And as far as her trying to hard to fit in or whatever, who knows how she feels about hunting. Quite frankly, if the Royal family invited me along, I'd sure as heck go! I wouldn't shoot at anything, but I'd darn well go. I don't think she's a vegetarian, so really, it's probably not a bad idea to see it and get some appreciation for the sacrifice an animal makes for our dinners...