Published: Friday 31 December 2004

internet hunting

A new shoot 'em up venture has been launched in Texas, home of the world's most famous huntsman-statesman. Last month Texan rancher John Underwood appeared on popular American TV program Today Show to promote his controversial new website whose tagline gaily offers users a "real time on-line huntin' and shootin' experience" from the comfort of their own condos.

Underwood has invested US $10,000 in constructing a platform on his Texan ranch for a rifle and camera, which can be remotely aimed by web-browsers worldwide. The system is not yet operational for killing animals, but Underwood declares as soon as he gets a fast enough Internet connection, cyber hunting will be unveiled. He says he was inspired by which allows users to photograph exotic animals using wireless solar-powered cameras. "We were looking at a beautiful whitetail buck", Underwood explains, "and my friend said 'if only you had a gun for that'. A little light bulb went off in my head."

State wildlife officials have vociferously condemned Underwood's website, but as yet there is no law banning Internet hunting.

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