Hunting in France My First Hunting Experience

Hunting in France

My first time hunting
My first time hunting | Source

Hunting Is A Sport, A Hobby And A Passion For Many People But It Is Also An Economic Activity Which Generates Revenues Directly And Indirectly


Living in Central France, one of the most rural areas in the country, you cannot escape hunting. France is a hunter’s paradise for its variety of game and beauty of its land. Hunting is part of French culture. In the countryside, almost everyone I know goes hunting and even those who do not like hunting go just for the pleasure of spending time with their friends walking on the fields, laughing, eating and drinking.

However, as common as it is, hunting is not done without permissions and regulations. You cannot hunt in France without a valid permit, and to obtain a permis de chasse you need to take a theory and a practical exam. To pass the exams you must follow training at the Federation Nationale des Chasseurs. The practical training includes knowledge about safety zones, shooting, identifying protected and non-protected species, gun handling, etc. The theory training involves safety, ballistics, law, identifying game, etc.

Like with everything else in France, hunting legally involves a lot of paperwork. To obtain a valid permit to hunt, on top of doing the official training, you must have a copy of insurance for civil responsibility (at least this is free from your insurance company); certificate of good health (you can obtain this from your GP, it will cost you the price of a consultation, 23 euros), two photos and proof of identity. Of course, you must also pay a fee. Later on, once you have your permit, you also need to buy a local licence to hunt on that locality.


Rural Living in France

Rural Living in France (Rural Living in France: A Survival Handbook)
Rural Living in France (Rural Living in France: A Survival Handbook)

"It contains comprehensive advice and information about all aspects of living in the country including buying a home and land; buying and keeping livestock; growing fruit and vegetables; equipment and plant; selling produce; hunting, fishing and other rural pursuits; a comprehensive glossary; and more."

 

A Hunting Day, My First Experience Hunting.


A few days ago I had my first hunting experience. I was informed that the hunting day was starting with breakfast at 7am. As usual I thought this meant croissants, baguettes and coffee so I was astonished when I arrived and realized that this time breakfast meant wine, cold meats, cheeses, coffee and eau de vie. A shock to my system at such early hours. In fact, I was the only one sitting at the top of the table just sipping a coffee and eating a mandarin, while the men and the only other girl present, were indulging like savages in big chunks of cold meats and wine served in cups! The only thing I dared to try was the eau de vie which I had after my coffee on a sugar cube.


The others must have realized my surprise because they told me jokingly that lunch was even bigger. They had planned a wild boar stew with potato soufflé, again more cheeses and wine and some hearty desserts; all of these after the regulatory aperitif of course. One of my biggest surprises was to see everyone coming to the table with their own knife and seeing them eating like in times gone by. Drinking was no less of a shock when I saw that they were using the same glass or shall I say mug, for all the different wines, coffee and eau de vie! In a way it felt like sitting at a medieval table where meats were handled in big chunks and the only piece of cutlery was hunter’s pocket knives.

By the time we finished breakfast, prepared the dogs and loaded the guns it was already 9am. A group had already gone before breakfast to leave cages with food to attract the game. Now it was the right time to go and see what the cages had attracted.


Preparing For The Hunt

Preparing For The Hunt
Preparing For The Hunt | Source


After a good profitable morning in the fields, at midday we stopped for a hearty lunch. They hadn’t joked about the wild boar stew, potatoes, pheasant, local cheeses and wine. There was more food on the table than what we could eat in two days but amazingly enough, most of it disappeared and even left room for some freshly baked apple tarts!


On The Way To Hunt

Source
Source

Shooting

practicing
practicing | Source
My first shoot
My first shoot | Source
Auchhh!!!! That was sore!
Auchhh!!!! That was sore! | Source

After Lunch...


After a short “siesta” (ok, I was the only one napping on a sofa after such an exhausting morning) we headed out to the fields again. Our late afternoon hunt was interrupted by a squeaky noise and a shadow crossing the skies, it was a big crowd of crane flying low, emigrating towards milder climates for the winter. At the rate they were going, they were expected to spend the night at the Natural park of Brenne. Thankfully, they are classed as protected species, so they made it up north safely.



Ready to Hunt

photo by Wendy Iturrizaga all rights reserved
photo by Wendy Iturrizaga all rights reserved

mushrooms

Source

Mushrooms


The afternoon, along with the other girl, we just followed the hunters for the pleasure of the walk. We picked up mushrooms, nuts and apples on the way. Like always, me being so prone to accidents, I managed to get stuck in the only square meter of deep mud in the 90 hectares where we were hunting!



Still, even with mud up to my knees, I enjoyed the day. It was much better than what I had imagined. Originally against all hunting sports, I came to be more tolerant about proper hunting. Maybe because it was a fair game where the hunted had a chance to escape; maybe because the hunters were so accurate that their prey didn’t suffer unnecessarily or maybe because the hunting was done for feeding and I had really enjoyed the game we had eaten at lunch time, at least enough to go and search for more for the weeks coming.


During the following days, we have been invited to try the culinary delicacies cooked with the hunted partridge, ducks and pheasants. I am sure I’ll be surprised with the menus!

After yet another hearty dinner – I must have put at least two kilos on that day- we finished the evening with a firework display shown in one of the nearest castles. It was the perfect end under a full moon for a glorious day in Autumn.


France-Indre Department

A markerIndre, 36200 tendu -
Tendu, France
[get directions]

The CHASSE ACCOMPAGNEE

The Chasse accompagnée or accompanied hunting authorisation allows the use of one gun for two hunters. To obtain an accompanied hunting authorisation you must be at least 15 years of age and have a “Godfather” or mentor with a valid hunting permit for at least 5 years and valid for the current year. It is an authorisation given free of charge for those who want to discover hunting before they engage in a course to pass their own permit exam. You can request this permit from the Office National de la Chasse et de la Faune Sauvage



If You Think Hunting Is Cruel...

The Wildlife Habitats Foundation


The Wildlife Habitats Foundation or Fondation pour la Protection des Habitats de la Faune Sauvage, is mainly financed by hunters and it aims to buy and administer natural areas in danger of extinction. In this way, the hunters protect not only the natural spaces but also the habitants of those spaces. To achieve this, the hunters buy the land and work to restore the natural balance in the area. Nowadays, the foundation owns around 4.000 hectares spread over 43 departements.


Obtain a Permission to Hunt


See here if your French is good enough to sit the exam to obtain a permission to hunt:

You must obtain at least 16 good answers out of 21 questions chosen from a pool of 390 questions

For more information about the rules and regulations, you can check the main rules that are to be observed while hunting in France at the Syndicat National des Chasseurs de France.



Hunting our Dinner

More by this Author


Comments 11 comments

Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

Fantastic Hub, Princessa. I love hunting and fishing but am extremely conservation conscious and it is good to see this is catered to in France - even though some of the red tape may be a little bit excessive...

I hope you continue to enjoy your hunting experiences and especially the delicious meals which they can provide! :)


Princessa profile image

Princessa 5 years ago from France Author

Gordon: Thanks! You are right, they do cater about conservation in here, I think that is what converted me to trying this new experience. To know that hunters worry about wildlife and nature's conservation is a big motivation.


Les Trois Chenes profile image

Les Trois Chenes 5 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France

It's so interesting to have a first hand account of hunting in France. We see them frequently in the fields around us, and I've thought about writing about it but decided it's too contraversial for a B&B owner. I've experienced the early am breakfast, but with red wine, not eau de vie! Lunch sound marvellous. Many thanks for this little insight.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

Amazing hub which I vote up up and away for this one.

Take care and enjoy your day.

Eddy.


Princessa profile image

Princessa 5 years ago from France Author

Les Trois Chenes: It has been a new experience for me and I enjoyed it more than what I expected. The "party" ambiance surrounding the hunting makes a big difference on how you perceive hunting. I have been back hunting last weekend and it has been even better than the first time as i am growing more confident with the whole thing.

Eiddwen: Thanks for the votes up!


katyzzz profile image

katyzzz 4 years ago from Sydney, Australia

What a lot of followers you have Princessa, and France is one of my favourite countries, my youngest daughter is married to a Frenchman and they lived in France for years, they now reside in India. Not my choice, but theirs, a need to get away from Paris they said, but I have my doubts


prasadjain profile image

prasadjain 3 years ago from Tumkur

A good hub based on experience.


Princessa profile image

Princessa 3 years ago from France Author

prasadjain: I must admit that although I was against hunting at the start it was an overall very good experience that allowed me to discover the "other side" of the story.


Lily 20 months ago

What a wonderful experience


Princessa profile image

Princessa 20 months ago from France Author

Lily, yes it was a really good experience.


andy 4 months ago

i could never hunt for fun but maybe i could for food

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working