French hunting season kicks off with hunter shooting car in botched hare chase

A man driving along a country lane in north central France was lucky to escape with his life after a hunter fired 99 lead pellets into his vehicle whist allegedly attempting to shoot a hare.

French hunting season kicks off with hunter shooting car in botched hare chase
Photo: AFP

The first incident of France’s 2019/2020 hunting season has fortunately not claimed any lives, but it has immediately highlighted the ease with which civilians seem to get caught in the hunters’ crossfire. 

A man driving through a forest near the commune of Senonches in north central France was on his way back home to Paris on September 22nd when he came across a group of hunters with their dogs on a dirt road.

“When I drove up closer, only one hunter was left behind,” he told

“I drove past him, he was to the left of me, then all of a sudden I heard a bang and shots hitting the trunk.

READ ALSO: All you need to know about France's hunting season

Alarmed by the possibility that the shooting was intentional, the man went directly to Senonches police station to file a complaint.

When the gendarmes started assessing the evidence, they counted a total of 99 lead pellets stuck in the car’s bodywork.

The shooter was soon located and placed under police custody, identified as the president of a local hunting association in the départment of Eure-et-Loir.

“He acknowledged the facts but claims he was targeting a hare coming out of a hole and that he didn’t see the car,” Chartres prosecutor Rémi Coutin told

Hunting is more popular in France than anywhere else in Europe, with over one million people (not all of them licensed) taking part in a controversial pastime that makes headlines every year, namely for the number of rural residents who get injured or killed as a result.

Among the casualties of 2017’s hunting season in France were a 13-year-old boy who was shot dead by his own grandfather, a Frenchwoman who was killed in her garden after a hunter fired a shot through her hedge and a hunter who was shot dead during a wild boar hunt.

Some accidents are bizarre and completely random, such as the death of a driver killed by a bullet that rebounded off a boar, but many simply involve hunters shooting at people they have mistaken for game.

READ ALSO: How to get through France's hunting season 'without being shot'


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Snobs, beaches and drunks – 5 things this joke map teaches us about France

A popular joke 'map' of France has once again been widely shared on social media, sparking endless jokes at the expense of certain regions of France.

Snobs, beaches and drunks - 5 things this joke map teaches us about France
Image AFP/
But while the map – created by – is clearly intended to be comic, it teaches us some important points about France’s regional divides, local stereotypes and in-jokes.

Here are some of the key points.
1. Everyone hates Parisians
The map is purportedly France as seen through the eyes of Parisians, and contains a series of snobbish and rude generalisations about every part of France that is not maison (home) in the capital and its surroundings. The great majority of the country is labelled simply as paysans (peasants).
The general stereotype about Parisians is that they are snobs, rudely judging the rest of the country which they regard as backwards and full of ploucs (yokels) apart from small areas which make nice holiday destinations.
Like all sweeping generalisations, this is true of some people and very much not of others, but one of the few things that can unite people from all areas of France is how much they hate les parigots têtes de veaux (a colloquialism that very roughly translates as ‘asshole Parisians’)
2. Staycations rule
Even before Covid-related travel restrictions, holidaying within France was the norm for many French people.
As the map shows, Parisians regard the southern and western coastlines as simply plages (beaches) which they decamp to for at least a month in July or August. In the height of summer French cities tend to empty out (apart from tourists) as locals head to the seaside or the countryside.
In winter the Pyrenees and Alps are popular ski destinations.
3. Northerners like a drink
There is a very widespread stereotype, although not really backed up by evidence, that the people of Normandy, Brittany and the Nord area like a drink or two. Many suggest this is to cope with the weather, which does tend to be rainier than the rest of France (although has plenty of sunshine too).
Official health data doesn’t really back this up, as none of these areas show a significantly greater than average rate of daily drinkers, although Nord does hold the sad record for the highest rate of people dying from alcohol-related liver disease.
What’s certainly true is that Brittany and Normandy are cider country, with delicious locally-produced ciders on sale everywhere, well worth a try if you are visiting.
4. Poverty
The map labels the north eastern corner of France as simply pauvres – the poor.
The north east of the country was once France’s industrial and coal-mining heartland, and as traditional industries have declined there are indeed pockets of extreme poverty and high unemployment. The novel The End of Eddy, telling the story of novelist Edouard Louis’ childhood in a struggling small town near Amiens, lays out the social problems of such areas in stark detail.
However poverty is not just confined to one corner of France and the département that records the highest levels of deprivation is actually Seine-Saint-Denis in the Paris suburbs.
5. Southern prejudice
According to the map, those from the south are either branleurs (slackers) or menteurs (liars). 
This isn’t true, obviously, there are many lovely, hard-working and truthful people in southern France, but the persistent stereotype is that they are lazy – maybe because it’s too hot to do much work – and slightly shifty.
Even people who aren’t actually rude about southerners can be pretty patronising, as shown when south west native Jean Castex became the prime minister in summer 2020. 
Castex has a noticeable south west accent which sparked much comment from the Paris-based media and political classes, with comments ranging from the patronising – “I love his accent, I feel like I’m on holiday” – to the very patronising – “that accent is a bit rugby” (a reference to the fact that TV rugby commentators often come from France’s rugby heartlands in the south west).
In his first year as PM, Castex has undertaken a dizzying schedule of appointments around the four corners of France, so hopefully the lazy myth can now be put to bed.
And anyone tempted to take the piss out of his accent – glottophobie (accent prejudice) is now a crime in France.
For more maps that reflect France, head to