Sport: Belchen Butchery

Hard by the Swiss-German border, 50 green-coated hunters crouched in the bulrushes and cocked their scatter-guns. The hunters were edgy. It was 7:27 a.m.—three minutes left before they could start banging away legally at the flock of plump, brown-black Belchen (coots) paddling peacefully across the nippy surface of Lake Constance. Suddenly, a single shot sounded—then a rapid fusillade. Out of the reeds raced a Swiss patrol boat. "Wrho fired those shots?" roared an angry official. "Not us," answered a sullen German hunter. "It was those damned Tierschutzverein [i.e., S.P.C.A.] people trying to warn...

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