Vinnie Jones is one of the best Hollywood “bad guys” in the business. He’s a British star who has made a name for himself by playing silent, stoic, and terrifying strong men in the movies. He’s appeared in films like “Gone in 60 Seconds,” “Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrells,” “Snatch,” “The Midnight Meat Train,” and many, many others. However, he first became famous in the UK as a professional soccer player in the English Football League (EFL). The point is, he’s been famous for quite some time and throughout his life he has spoken openly about his passion for hunting and shooting, something which is becoming less and less common in the United Kingdom.
However, Jones may have recently gone “too far,” for the liberal folks he needs to appease in Hollywood and the UK. He recently shared this photo on Twitter after a successful night of “lamping” (or night hunting) for fox.
The picture was accompanied by a short note from Jones – “A real night lamping #foxes anyone beat this?”
Jones didn’t realize that the photo of such a successful hunt might trigger a flood of negative reaction from the mostly liberal Twitterverse, which is exactly what happened. In fact, the backlash was so swift and so overwhelmingly negative that Jones quickly removed the photo and the tweet from his Twitter feed.
Previously Jones has shared photos of himself on the hunt, but his photos haven’t ever inspired this kind of negative attention.
It’s likely that the sheer number of foxes that he bagged in this latest hunt is the problem. People see so many dead animals and they immediately recoil. The likelihood is that every fox taken by Jones in this recent hunt will be wholly and completely used and none of it will be wasted. Whether the meat is all used by the Jones family or some of it is given (or sold) away, don’t let the number of dead foxes fool you, Jones is a true nature lover who cares about the animals that he hunts.
In an interview with Shooting UK earlier this month he spoke about his passion for hunting.
ST: Do you go shooting in the US?
VJ: I was invited to a quail day in Georgia, but it wasn’t really my cup of tea. I didn’t fire a shot in two days. However, I went driven wild boar shooting in Hungary, which was great.
ST: What about in the UK?
VJ: I’ve got a cottage in Sussex where I’ve got a quad bike, trailer and Land Rover. In the cottage it’s camouflage and tweeds, callers, telescopic sights, shooting gear, guns, rods, lamps and all sorts. I look forward to it when I get a job back in England because I can spend some time there and escape from the world. One of my best mates is Dave Whitby, headkeeper at Petworth, and I do lots of stuff with him.
Last January I took a young lad of 14 out ferreting. I hadn’t been ferreting in years, but it was my passion when I was that age. This lad had been out once and had one rabbit. So we did it all properly. We put the nets down and I showed him how to do it — we didn’t even dig one hole. We had 16 rabbits in a morning. When I was growing up we’d get 30 to 40 rabbits in a day, but those days are gone.
I love pigeon shooting — building the hide, putting the decoys out. It’s the same with rook and crow shooting. Lamping is probably my favourite. I’ve spent a lot of money on customising my Land Rover for lamping. If the farmer has a fox problem I love going out and dealing with it for him…
I like a great driven day, I love partridge shooting, but you know, just man and the field, I love a fantastic day decoying pigeons. My perfect day would be to get up early, get the hide out, shoot pigeons all day, bagging 200, then go lamping all night and get half-a-dozen foxes.
The truth is that hunters like Jones know far better than most urban environmentalists about what is good and what is bad for nature. Hunters like Jones meticulously care for the natural world in the rural parts of our countries, and they understand that there is a balance that must be maintained for the health of the environment. While killing 100 foxes may seem overzealous, if the number of foxes in an area are allowed to grow unchecked then they could ravage the local communities of other small mammals. Hunters are a necessary and important part of ensuring balance in a world where humanity no longer “needs” to hunt for our food.