Gun accidents prompt calls for French hunting curbs

A string of recent gun accidents by wildlife hunters in France, some of them fatal, are prompting calls for restrictions on the sport - including from one presidential candidate.

Like many countries, hunting in France's rural heartlands is viewed by some as a way of life.

But Elodie Le Frixon flinches every time she hears a gun go off in the fields around her house.

She remembers when, four years ago, a stray hunter's bullet came through her kitchen window, missing her partner by centimeters.

"When there is hunting taking place around our home, I still instinctively duck or avoid windows when I hear a shot go off close by, something that's not exactly normal."

Yannick Jadot, the Green candidate in presidential elections next year, is proposing a restricting hunting rights on weekends, to reduce the risk to joggers, mountain bikers and others.

Meanwhile, a petition on the senate's website calling for restrictions has gathered around 120,000 signatures.

It was organized by friends of 25-year-old Morgan Keane, who was in his garden when he was fatally injured by a bullet fired by someone hunting wild boar.

But the initiative's faced some backlash.

Willy Schraen is head of the National Hunters' Federation.

"I believe the proposal to ban hunting on certain days is very rabble-rousing, it's not serious and I think it is actually stupid."

Opponents who enjoy the hunts say it's also an attack on their freedoms.

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