British-officers

Pheasant hunting by the Western military has a long history on Jeju Island.  During the Korean War, soldiers, especially during the holidays, hunted pheasants to use as substitutes for Thanksgiving and Christmas turkeys.  It was after the war that pheasant hunting became a sport that was quite popular with UN officers and diplomats.

According to Gary Martin, a young serviceman stationed on the island in 1963/64:

 “Aircraft would come in to the grass landing strip once per week in non hunting season, twice per week during season.  Hunting took place in Fall & Winter.  The first two weeks of the season were for General grade officers and dignitaries.  Since we were a UN advisory force, the Generals and ‘Ambassadors’ were from several countries including US State Department dignitaries.  Some Generals flew in on their own aircraft and were the only hunters that used dogs (absolutely not needed on Cheju-do but who were we to even suggest no).”

 “Hunters rode to the hunting site of the day in ‘converted’ M Series military ambulances.  The conversion consisted of a repainting to have a ‘Pheasant Taking Flight’ logo and the addition of comfortable seats in the back along with a gun rack for the 12-gauge shotguns that we used, and a cooler for the game.  Each ambulance would typically have 4-5 hunters, a Korean Guide, and an American Guide.  The location each day was chosen by the American Guide in the group.  Because the ring-neck pheasants were so plentiful, we did not have to go very far from the compound to find plenty of birds.”

You can read the rest of the article – including the first Western sportsman’s club in Korea – here, at Jeju Weekly.