Hunting turns out to be the 3rd most practiced leisure activity in France.
In France 5 million people hold a hunting license with more than 1.1 million active hunters.
There are three main types of game on our territory with 83 huntable species:
Big game is the most hunted animal with a share of 32% followed closely by small sedentary game with 31% of hunted species.
With this wide range of game present on our land, there are a large number of hunting methods from the most traditional with glue hunting for example, to the most common with shooting.
This hunting technique is characterized by discreet and silent tracking of game.
It is carried out by a solitary hunter, evolving on a territory on foot. It requires a long discrete approach phase, a certain identification of the game in order to apply a precise shot by means of a rifled barrel rifle equipped with a riflescope with a relatively high magnification.
This practice aims to regulate large game populations in areas that are not compatible with driven hunting. This method of hunting is reputed to cause no stress in the hunted game.
Quite similar to approach, stalking is however distinguished by its static nature.
It is practiced by a solitary hunter waiting on the ground or from a high point such as a watchtower for the passage of big game.
This method of hunting requires a good knowledge of the territory, in order to stand in front of known passage points for game. This hunting technique requires the use of a long-range hunting rifle with a rifled barrel, equipped with an optic with a magnification allowing medium and long distance shots.
A hunting discipline that is practiced in groups, and concerns both small game and big game.
Driven hunting requires special organization and discipline due to the large number of participants.
It takes place on a determined territory, where two groups of hunters will evolve. The “Trackers” accompanied by packs of hounds, have the role of flushing out the game and pushing it back, by means of cries and hunting horns, towards the second group of hunters in post: “The shooters”. This second group, posted online, awaits the passage of the repressed game. The shooting distances being very short, and the game proving to be very mobile, the shots require rapid and safe aiming in order to wait for their target.
For the beat, several types of hunting weapons can be used. Using metal ammunition, big game rifles have various operating modes (Semi-automatic, linear rearmament, manual rearmament). Express rifles are widely used for driven hunting. Based on the mechanics of a classic shotgun, they feature two barrels either juxtaposed or stacked, chambered in a hunting caliber such as the 300 Win Mag, the 30R Blaser, the 8x57 or the 30-06 Springfield.
Finally, it can also be used on the hunt, special “Slug” type shotguns. Identical to a plain rifle, it is distinguished by the size of its ultra-compact barrels for increased maneuverability and responsiveness, in front of a boar company.
Waterfowl hunting at the hut is practiced from a fixed installation which can be placed at the edge of a body of water or floating.
The hut (Northern Picardy) also called "gabion" (Normandy) or the "tonne" (south-west), must be perfectly camouflaged so as not to frighten game such as ducks or geese.
In order to attract game birds, the hunter uses live or artificial decoys that he places on the water. The duck or the goose which would then fly over the pond, attracted by the calls of its congeners, would come to rest there. Stealth hunting is practiced at night, due to the more often nocturnal activity of birds.
A lowland hunting technique particularly practiced in France.
The hunter, accompanied by his pointer or game retriever, evolves on diverse and varied hunting grounds. In addition to a dynamic dimension, hunting in front of either requires knowledge of the game and its environment and requires an approach phase.
The complicity with his dog and the understanding of his actions, brings a very particular satisfaction in the action of hunting.
The hunt in front of you is generally practiced with a 12 gauge plain rifle, equipped with 71 cm barrels for better versatility, with sufficient length for range, and a certain compactness, for dynamic and reactive shots. The rifle can be semi-automatic, superimposed or juxtaposed.
A traditional hunting discipline, "venery" otherwise known as "hunting" or "hunting with hounds, horns and cries" consists of the pursuit of game by means of a pack of hounds led by a hunter on horseback.
This 2 millennia-old practice requires first of all a preparation called “Faire le pied” or “Faire le bois”. Very early in the morning, the presence of animals in the forest is tracked. For this, he is used a bloodhound, a dog on a leash with great experience, and from a fine-nosed breed with excellent flair.
Once the presence of game has been detected, and the hunting territory has been defined, the pack is responsible for flushing out the animal.
As soon as the game is spotted, the pack proceeds to “attack” and the hunted animal flees, it is time to “throw”.
It follows the pursuit of the prey, where then settles cunning and balance of power, between the pack and the hunted animal.
Three times out of four the prey manages to escape its pursuers, thanks to its natural instincts of cunning. In particular, he can cross a stream in order to eliminate his smell or lose the dogs, or even put the pack on the trail of his congeners in order to deceive him.
When the dogs manage to apprehend the game, the moment of the “quarantine” takes place. The meat of the animal is then given to the pack in order to reward it for the success of the hunt.
France has more than 390 hunting crews, 110,000 huntsmen, 7,000 hunting horses and 30,000 hunting dogs.
A true purist discipline, it goes back to the fundamentals of ancestral hunting, while using ultra-modern equipment.
Practiced in beat or approach, bow hunting requires a real strategy, an in-depth analysis of tracks and territory, and total discretion of movement in order to approach game.
With much shorter shooting distances than with a firearm, a lower arrow speed compared to a bullet, the balance of power with the animal is evened out. The shooter must get as close as possible to the prey, not be detected, take aim while anticipating the movements of the game. In order to maximize the chances of hitting the target, the archer should shoot an unstressed, or watchful, animal that is likely to have a sudden reaction to impair the accuracy of the arrow.
What are the benefits of bowhunting? In addition to the nobility of the discipline, the difficulty in reaching its target compared to hunting with a rifle, brings great satisfaction to the hunter. In terms of security, the range of arrows is greatly reduced compared to a bullet. This discipline is practiced in silence especially when the arrow is released, resulting in a stronger cohesion with nature. Finally, it is possible to train at home with target shooting to improve your accuracy.
Which bow to choose for hunting? Two choices are available to the shooter between a traditional bow or a compound bow. The recurve bow will require a much longer learning period than the compound.
In France, in order to practice bow hunting, it is necessary to have a hunting license, and to have followed a "Compulsory Training Day" (JFO) in order to obtain a "Certificate of participation in a training session". bowhunting training. Strictly regulated, the equipment used must comply with certain rules regarding the bow or the arrowheads which must only be typed "Hunting".