Hunting in France | What You Need to know


The law of 2 March 1844 is still the basis of the organization of hunting as a whole. The game is then considered as an object of gathering and no one at the time thought about managing its numbers or protecting the biotopes. This legislation has largely continued since then, supplemented by various provisions adopted during the 20th century. This law defined, among other things, the legal hunting periods (according to the reproduction of the animals), the hunting license and allowed only hunting with firearms and hunting in the wild2.

The creation of specialized institutions (Higher Hunting Council, Hunters’ Federation) took place in 1941. In 1956, the former Forestry and Forest Administration instituted a contractual shooting plan in certain départements through the tender specifications hunting in state forest. At the same time, the National Association of Big Game Hunters, chaired at the time by François Sommer, launched a campaign to reflect on the principles of the use of wildlife, culminating in 1963 with the Hunting Plan Act 63-754 of 30 July 1963).


Optional initially, it took fifteen years to reach its cruising speed before being made compulsory under Article 17 of Law 78-1240 of December 29, 1978 for the exercise of hunting of deer, deer and sheep. It will be necessary to wait for a decree of July 31, 1989 so that the plan of hunting is extended to the chamois and the isard.

The structure of territories is profiled through Law 64-696 of 10 July 1964, known as “Loi Verdeille”, on the creation of approved communal and intermunicipal hunting associations. The introduction of an administrative system for compensation for damage to large game originated in 1969. The obligation to satisfy a preliminary examination for the issue of the hunting license took place in 1975. These developments in national law were accompanied design and implementation of international and community law relating to the conservation of wildlife (and particularly migratory birds).


During the 2012/2013 season, 18 people died by firearms during hunting activities. According to this very serious count 5, 15 of these victims were hunters or were directly involved in hunting activities, and 3 were completely foreign to this activity.

The ONCFS recorded 143 accidents including 16 fatalities in 2011/2012, 131 of which 18 fatalities in 2010/2011, 174 of which 19 fatalities in 2009/20106.


Safety rules must be respected at home, in the vehicle and in the field.

Hunting Safety

hunting safety

Each weapon must be regularly serviced for hunter safety.

At home the weapons must be out of reach of the children but also locked up and if possible disassembled. In a vehicle any weapon must be disassembled, in a sheath and unloaded

On the ground the guns must be directed towards the ground or towards the sky and in no case towards a man or a dog. The hunter must check his guns before any manipulation. He must also hold his gun open and unloaded in the presence of another person.

When the hunter has to cross an obstacle he must always unload and open his weapon. Obviously, he must never shoot at a dwelling or hedge.


In battle, the hunter must wear a fluorescent vest or cap in order to be seen by other hunters and it must be all the more prudent that he shoots (not lead). He must spot his neighbors stationed, only loading his weapon after the start signal which consists of a long shot of hunting horn. He must not leave his post or shoot in the direction of the stalk.

He must make his shot within the limit of an angle of 30 degrees: to visualize this angle the hunter must first place two markers placed ten meters from each other (five meters to his left and five to his right ) on an imaginary line three meters ahead of him. The shot must also be fastened (ie directed in such a way that the ball sinks into the ground) and must only be carried out after the hunted species has been recognized.

It is only at the end of the beat that the hunter can leave his post and he must unload his weapon.



Secrets of hunting a wolf on snowmobile

huntingFor most regions, the optimal hunting time for wolves with snowmobiles is January and February. But with the appropriate state of the snow cover, they are hunted in December and March. For the departure days are selected after a strong snowstorm, when the snow will heal stones, furrows, pits and hummocks. During the bad weather, hungry predators will go hunting. But during the blizzard the beast is difficult to find. Preparing for a snowmobile hunt The success of a wolf from a snowmobile largely depends on how well the area of the forthcoming hunt has been studied by the participants. It is more convenient to hunt in the area where wolves have already been shot. It is more difficult when wolves are found in undiscovered places. In any case, hunters can not do without a map, especially since it is very easy to find it for any place in our time. Orientation is necessary not only to avoid getting lost, but more to develop a strategy for the upcoming event. When planning a route, the hunters determine the distance on the map that is to be overcome. The base value is 100 km. This is how much an average snowmobile passes during the day of hunting.

huntingThe optimal number of snowmobiles to participate in the pen is usually no more than three. Using more machines is not effective and sometimes even complicates the process. In terms of mobility and consistency, the best option is two snowmobiles. With a proven tactic of action, such an escort can easily be dealt with by 5-7 wolves. It is not recommended to hunt in this way alone. There is always a risk of getting stuck, getting lost, falling into a ravine. It will be difficult to manage the situation without assistance. Usually, without a partner, a randomly encountered wolf is chased (“into the little one”), but this is already an extreme occupation. Dangerous also night hunting on snowmobiles (“from under the headlights”). Although to meet the wolf at this time is more likely.


Tracking the wolf’s track

The wolf’s track on the snowmobile The most effective method of pursuing the wolf is the tracking of the track. Search for a predator should start from the uncomfortable for its prosecution of places (reed krepi, deep ravines, etc.). Next, you need to move to wide and level sections, “squeezing” the wolf away from the natural shelters. When a trace is found, one of the hunters stands on it and the tropic at maximum speed. The partner moves as far as possible, allowing only to not lose a companion from sight. He periodically travels to the hills for a thorough examination of the surroundings with binoculars. Wolves react to the sound of the snowmobile engine already at the instinctive level and break off from the hitch long before it approaches. Therefore, the second hunter has a chance to see outgoing predators at a distance of 1-3 km and coordinate the actions of the team. To correct the actions and maneuvers when hunting for wolves, short-wave radio stations with a range of action of 30-50 km are used.

Then comes the most exciting part of the action

The pursuit of a visually perceptible animal. When the snowmobile approaches the pack, the predators rush into the rasypnoy. Slightly behind the males and the leader, trying to divert attention from the female and holding the direction toward the ravine, thickets or canes. Catching the escaping wolf, you need to keep it to the right of the snowmobile. When it remains about five meters, be level with it in speed, leave the steering wheel and shoot. When firing from the side, the lead in the half-shell is maintained. For shooting more often used canister with a diameter of 7.55 mm. Bear in mind that as the snowmobile approaches, the wolf can begin to describe the circle around the snowmobile and, following the tracks from the caterpillars, head backwards.

Tracking a wolf’s track on a snowmobile If you linger before the shot, turning the car will take a long time. With a successful shot, without stopping, pursue the next wolf. With more snowmobiles participating in the hunt, they are moving a fan, combing the terrain. The leading one in this case is the leftmost machine. Neighboring participants support visual contact. When taking a group of predators “in mites”, the individuals closest to snowmobiles are shot.