Cheese eating surrender monkeys come good

They aren’t much chop at fighting wars, only winning when not led by a frenchman or when the Americans do the fighting.

But at least the cheese eating surrender monkeys have got some things right.

France has the largest hunting community in Europe, with 1.2 million registered hunters, one-third more than in Britain and four times as many as in Germany. And unlike the traditional English fox hunt (now banned), the practice in France is class blind.

At the start of the French Revolution, hunting, until then an exclusive privilege of the nobility, was opened to all. Today, nearly half of French hunters are workers and farmers. (It is still, however, a male thing — only 2 percent of hunters are women — and for the elite, as important a way to do business as golf is in the United States.) 

The country has two satellite television channels devoted to hunting and fishing. Hunting magazines are sold at nearly every kiosk. Nov. 3, the feast day of St. Hubert, the patron of hunting, is celebrated with local banquets and country fairs. In some parts of France, hunters call in sick and shops close when pigeons and ducks fly their way.

Though hunting with dogs or on Sundays has been banned in much of Europe, French hunters have no such hindrances. In fact, obstructing a hunter is a national offense punishable by a 1,500-euro fine. (A political party called Hunting, Fishing, Nature, Tradition lobbies hard for the rights of rural France.

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