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Whale of a time

Seems some tribesmen shot a whale with a 50 caliber. Cue sensationalizing in the media. But, wait, apparently that’s how people hunt whales these days:

Recently, this technique has been replaced with the use of a .50 caliber rifle (as mandated by the International Whaling Commission) which is used following the harpoon strike to ensure a more efficient kill.

6 Responses to “Whale of a time”

  1. Ahab Says:

    Now that’s what I call sporting purpose!

  2. Cactus Jack Says:

    I can hear the PSH from the antis now; “If those guns can kill a whale then they can sink a ship!”

  3. Rabbit Says:

    Why do you think the Coast Guard uses them, silly PSHer….


  4. Lyle Says:

    This goes back several years. We’ve seen news footage of west coast tribesmen using .50 BMG to shoot whales back around 2001 or so. Its considered “traditional” to hunt whales, like their ancestors, you know, with motorboats and large, metallic cartridges.

    I spent some time in Alaska with Eskimos back in the ’80s. We were out fishing in Hooper Bay early one morning, and spotted a seal. The technique there was to shoot first, and harpoon later. It made total sense to me– longer range weapon to stun, and short range weapon to secure the kill and take the carcass. I guess it all depends on the desired level of theatre, verses practicality.

  5. nk Says:

    I think I’m turning into a Greenpeacer. This story disturbed me. What do they do with poor thing after they kill it?

  6. gattsuru Says:

    Well, the oil’s remarkably useful, and while the meat’s pretty fatty, it’s not exactly going to go bad anytime soon. Some internal organs are supposed to be useful folk medicines. In today’s generations, I can’t see the bone getting much use outside tourist trinkets, but other than that, most of the thing’s just as useful today as it was two hundred years ago.

    To be honest, even a .50 BMG seems a bit too weak a choice for such a large animal, but it’s better that than the harpoon alone.