You signed the contract and you're wiling away the hours on base, or you're employed by a multinational company with a significant Asian market and you're working hard while learning a new culture, and wondering how to go game hunting in Japan. If you're willing to go through the steps, you can participate in a broad range of hunting traditions in Japan.
To go game hunting in Japan you will need:
- legally purchased shotgun registered with Japanese Police
- Japanese Police issued firearm "blue book"
- Japanese hunter safety class
Money for license fees
- Move to Japan. The best way to go game hunting in Japan is to live there. You've got to get through hunter safety in Japan and pay extensive fees to get your permit, so make it worthwhile.
Take hunter safety. Hunter safety is more extensive in Japan than America. It begins with a test on game laws followed by a game identification exam, firearm safety demonstration, distance estimation, and finally, skeet qualification.
Get your shotgun. Hunters in Japan must hunt with a shotgun for the first ten years before moving to rifle hunting, even when hunting Shika (Japanese Sika deer) or InoShiShi (wild boar).
- Seek the wild. Of course, the West is most aware of Japanese innovation in its large cities, but Japan also has islands covered in mountains and farmland. These are the areas where you will want to stalk your prey. Of course, like in America, you'll want to build relationships with landowners as you plan your hunts.
- Hunt in season. As in America, Japan has hunting seasons to properly manage game populations. To go game hunting in Japan requires hunting within legal limits laid out in the coursework you completed during hunter training.
Remember, pistol ownership is illegal in Japan for regular citizens, so like with the restrictions on game hunting in Japan with a rifle, you must abide by local laws. Western hunters can enhance their hunting experience in Japan by learning the history and traditions of Japanese game hunting and by building relationships with local hunters.
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