HUNTING, by nature, is a dangerous sport, especially if you are a rabbit, partridge or a boar.
However new figures released by the government show that even the hunters themselves are not safe from the sights of a hunting rifle.
A study conducted by the Spanish Hunting Association and accessed by Senator Carles Mulet from the Valencian Electoral commission, Compromis, have shown that during 2020, 605 people have been accidentally shot during a hunt.
Of the total, 17 of the victims have been minors, and alarmingly, a total of 52 have died from their injuries.
The numbers have been taken from the period between January 1 2020 and September 6 2020, traditionally including just one hunting cycle.
The figures were broken up into provinces, with Toledo leading the way with 67 confirmed shootings and six fatalities.
Ciudad Real is next up with 50 cases, then the Andalucian province of Cordoba, with 31 shootings and two deaths.
Jaen, Cuenca and Albacete also make the top six with 31, 28 and 35 respectively.
Hunting is still a popular and wide spread pass time in Spain with over 2.5 million hunting licenses registered across the country, however it long been a talking point among conservationists and rights activists.
Many hunting associations argue that the ‘sport’ is vital for the ecostsyem in Spain and is a key method of population control of species of rabbit, fowl and boar.
What the country is trying desperately to control however is the illegal and irresponsible hunting practices that continue un-vetted across large parts of rural Spain.
Rare bear species in northern Spain, endangered Eagles and wolves have been the unfortunate victims of trigger happy huntsmen in recent months, leading to stricter penalties and increased protection of certain species of animal.