Ok, so we had 5 cats, lost 4 of them within 2 years of moving here. We have 40 acres, and are very rural, we’ve fenced off the back yard for the dog, and tried to build hedges where we want to keep some security. The hunt usually ramble across our scrub land, and this we can handle. Often when it’s just the odd hunter on his own we don’t take offence, or when it’s a big hunt set up by the neighbouring farm to catch the “FOX”(because it’s out of season), which usually turns out to be a few boar.

But every now and then they take liberties, and just smash there way across which ever part of our land they wish.

We don’t keep animals, because we can never keep a fence up long enough, our chickens are all gone now, most have fallen foul to the jaws of a dog(oddly never once a fox).

When we confront them they ignore us or tell us they have rights, and just continue, most of time they just blank us as we chase after them.

Today as they chased across our horse paddock(10 men 30 dogs), they said the guns aren’t loaded so they can come onto our land.

I have an ortistic brother who does not handle confrontation well, and is quite scared of men with guns.

Not to mention again, that I’ve lost 4 cats…

Do I have any rights? the NON hunting signs don’t seem to have an effect, and talking to them just results in lots of shouting and being told to go away.

Is it just a piece of french culture I should get used to or is their help?

I live in Les landes(40) where everything is very rural, and traditional. When I speak to the younger generation it does seem that hunting has lost popularity. I don’t want to change anything about tradition or culture, just feel safe in my home.

Thanks for any help you might have, Tim.

Why not put up signs to tell people that YOUR land is liberally peppered with animal traps and that it wouldn’t be a good idea to gallop across it with dogs and horses?

Boar hunting is allowed all year now because of an over population I'm afraid.

Sorry but I will never get used to fearing for the safety of my 8 year old son - this is not Afghanistan.

We are in the High Corbieres and the hunt is all over our land.
Although personally I won’t have a gun in the house and find the idea of killing for pleasure an abomination, I don’t feel I have the right to ‘impose’ that on the local peasants who have been hunting our hills for generations, and will continue to do so way after we have gone.

The way we dealt with it was as follows.

One morning my partner bumped into them hacking away at a tree on our drive, so the could hang a shooting place number. While one of them even refused to sake her hand she kept talking to them about how the hunt was going, what we were doing etc and finally she said, look as your hunting our land it might be a good idea to get to meet us, and our dogs so why don’t you all come up one lunchtime for an apperro. With a few positive sounding grunts they lumbered off. after a month of phone calls to the Chef du Chasse, who had to pass it by the President du Chasse, who then had to put it to a meeting of the Chasse- God how they love their bureaucracy even in civil society- they finally agreed a date.

We also invited their partners(which really worked as they were on their best behaviour in front of the Mrs), the two Mayors and council members of the communes our land straddles and a load of French friends from our previous village, one of whom had been the local teacher and was a well know wild animal butcherer himself.

In the end about 70 people turned up, drank a pastis, eat our food- then, because they were responsible hunters, stopped on the ‘alcohol’ and positively vacumed up litre upon litre of wine wine. Dead on 2 they swayed off leaving the Elues and our friends to settle down for a long lunch.

They gave Caroline a huge bunch of flowers, a bottle of Armagnac for me, and a week after they dropped off a whole baby boar. Ever since we have had visits from individual hunters plying their wares or just dropping by for coffee when out exercising their dogs.

We have now being doing the appero for four years. We still have problems, mainly with out of area hunters- from Toulouse and the Minervois, and a couple of local FNers- but as the new Chef du Chasse says, the out of towners are pigs even to their fellow hunters, looking down on the local peasants but they bring in much needed cash as they pay four times the fee that local hunters do, and the insurance costs of the hunt are going up and up.

It ain’t perfect, but the wild boar population does need ‘controlling’ now they have mixed with domestic pigs and are having litters of 4-8 little ones rather than their pure bred ancestors who had 1-2. And as Caroline says if you are going to have half pissed armed men, and women, stumbling across your land better they like you than not.

Thats a good read Stu!

What is your business?

I’d never thought for a moment that it could perhaps be “pleasure hunting” for groups of outsiders, I’d allways assumed that it was just the local chasse doing their bit to protect the forest from overpopulation, but the lack of respect they show does make me wonder weather they’re paying for the privaledge to run through the countryside not giving a hoot who’s property or livestock gets damaged.

The local “1 man and his dog” don’t seem to be much of a problem, and when confronted often wriggle out of the situation with a half apology. But the large group events, where everyone dons their orange cap and chases a pack of 40 dogs across the landscape is the gripe for me.

We often ask for papers, and get a look of disgust before they jump in their 4x4’s and race off.

The lane, which is, as far as I know, restricted for residents and the pompiers, becomes cluttered with vehicles and even the foresters seem to struggle to get through.

Once we did have friendly words with a guy who shot a Snipe in our back yard, he told us if he found it we could keep it as way of apology. Once the dog found it he told us all about how to cook it, then stuck it in his pouch and off he went. We were a little confused. That said 1 snipe wouldn’t feed the cat.

We sometimes get a call from the farm next door(1/2km) telling us that there will be an organised hunt comming through our land on the weekend, as they have a fox problem. You can hear in their voice that they’ve been ranted to by the chasse about our interference. It’s far more acceptable when we do get a call, because at least we feel like we’re being acknowledged, even if you do see them loading a couple of Boar into their van and not a fox in sight, (during the middle of june!,our season should end now).

Once they learn to respect other peoples rights and opinions then the problem will ease. One of the first comments I got back on this discussion, was that we should respect they’re tradition and culture because it’s their country and they’ve lived here longer. Talk to them calmly, and don’t lose your cool. Especially as you don’t want to piss off men with guns!

Well that in itself show’s the level of the problem, how can it ever be good a thing if your motive for being cool is because the other man has a gun!

Bloody welll put. At the end of the day, as was said earlier on this discussion, its not about being for or againt hunters, its about being “for” decent respect - seemples.

Its a sport that lots of people enjoy, like any other sport or pastime, however you would not expect a group of cyclists to come crashing through your fences and cycling all around your property, that would be seen to be wrong, so why isnt it the same for hunters who at the end of the day are carrying a lethal weapon!?

Remind me Steve, where are you from.

Sorry I did,nt report it to anybody,Did,nt want to cause a fuss as I,m looking for employment & did,nt want to make any enemies…

get the biggest loudest music system you can lay your hands on take it outside and on hunt days give them hell if its loud enough the animals they are hunting will be miles away so will the hunt dogs they cant complain its your land so play it loud and proud and forget the respect their culture crap as they my old mum would tell you respect is earned its not an automatic right they don’t respect you so sod them, and if all else fails beat the crap out of the ringleader one,the rest wont come near…

Thanks for the support Gaby.
Barb wire is the last thing I want. We took lots down and using the debris from the hurricaine(tree tops, branches etc) built hedgerows along our borders. Sadly they seem to have found a way over these.
They don’t even come round and explain what they’re doing or ask if they can cross our land. They just do it and then have the cheek to tell us it doesn’t belong to us when we ask them not too come too close to our house.
It’s really the lack of respect that they show that is causing the most damage.

By law we’re supposed to be able to ask to see they’re hunting liscence if they are on our property, buthey just ignore us and shrug.

I think I’ll research this “Porte Plainte”.

Thanks Tim

Hi Tim,

I live in les landes as well, and I can see why you’re upset!!! I’m French, and I must admit that the way these hunters act sometimes are just unbearable! They think they can do just everything they like! Maybe I’m wrong, but it’s a simple fact. They are trespassing, and you can go to your gendarmerie and file a complain (porter plainte). It is your land and it is your right. I’m driving passed this property everyday, where the owner fenced his whole land with barbwire and huge “no entry” signs, it’s not nice at all, but it looks dangerous enough not to trespass… no need to reach this extreme, but just make sure you “porte plainte” every time they invade your garden. Take some pictures as well, they’ll love it! :slight_smile: You can also get some nice big dogs to keep your property safe… Do not let them rule your life!!! It is your land!

take care,


It seems to be a very difficult area. My mum is on to the head of the chasse to have a meeting. But still nothing. It’s the total lack of respect for other peoples property. Once we were talking outside our gates asking them not to come on our land around the house, they shrugged and said they didn’t come on they property then 40 dogs ran straight behind us across our garden. They shrugged again and walked off. There is just a total lack of respesct and sadly I know that they do get to me, and I do lose patience.

If I thought the law would come to my aid I’d be on the phone to the police instead, but alas I dare say they will just drive me out of my home instead!

Respect is a 2 way deal, and they don’t seem to oblige.

That’s outrageous! Did you report the incident to the Mairie?

I, m not too keen either,a few weeks ago the chass shot & killed one of my cockralls ,it was only 4 metres away from the house,our two kids were very upset. When I confronted the chass ,they didnt care,& still come near my house since.I think some of the chass have got a blood lust & just shoot anything they see to satisfy there need for killing.

Hi Tim, I totally sympathise with you - we have a similar problem on our land. We have sat back and observed, not wanting to upset our integration into local life and disrespect traditions etc. However, after 10 years, I say sod that - we have been shown a total lack of respect by some of the hunters (and I say some, not all) and they are constantly tramping all over our place, far too close to the house and we even had one chap totally sozzled one sunday after lunch fire right underneath our kitchen windown. We have lost various livestock too - sheep with bite wounds and one had its throat ripped out. Anyway, long story short, you need to find out if your department is under the Loi Verdeille which if, like ours, it is, it is up to you to declare your desire to make your land “chasse interdite”. This can only be done once every 5 years when the local ACCA hunt group renew their hunting areas. There is a group that will help you do it and the process is explained on their website. If your dept is not under the Verdeille law, then I believe (but stand to be corrected) that you can just put up the signs and they should by law respect this. However, as has been discussed, you run the risk of upsetting the hunters but what about your feelings - are you not upset at what has happened at your house. Do you think they would like you to appear in their garden with a loaded rifle and bash down their newly erected fence - I think not.
We are still not sure we want to take that step and this year we posted up polite notices at 150m to the house saying that children and animals used the areas beyond there and I have to say we have not had such a bad season this year so … fingers crossed.
Interestingly, we had dinner with some French friends the other week and I mentioned the issues we had had and they were adamant that this is not acceptable and that we must not just put up with it - the fact that we are English has nothing whatsoever to do with anything - the hunters are showing us total disrespect and we cannot be seen to just accept it as it makes us look weak to do so!

Thanks for the advice, We’ve been trying to contact the head of the hunt for a while now, to discuss our issues but they don’t seem to be available very much. In regards to the hunting signs, we’ve not actually got them back up after Claus bought our tree’s down, maybe I’ll keep our new ones in their packets?
Fiona, your probably right about my English attitude to hunting, and the best advice is probably to sell up. Not to move back to England, no, no ,no, I love the sunshine and wine too much, but maybe I’d be better off with less land. We have made large parts of it accessible to them as we know that we need to respect their culture’s, it’s just that they’re encroaching too close to the house for comfort now. I do get a little ratty as to their lack of respect for my wishes, even though I must respect theirs, they seem to have an “Above the law” attitude.
We’re surrounded by Maize fields, and ours is the main woodland for animals in a 200 hectaire area I’d guess, I think we probably house most of the wildlife in the commune, Not that I feel they have the right to use my garden as hunting ground.

Thanks for the advive, I think next time I’ll take a calming cup of tea before speaking to them.

Hi Tim,
I sympathise with your problem because I’ve heard how difficult it is to stop hunters invading private land and nobody seems to be able to do anything about it, especially if they have been invading it for so long it has become their right of way. All I can suggest to you is to consult your local mairie and ask for their advice. It’s a sensitive subject and the fact that you own so much land makes it even more complicated - especially if the Maire or members of the Conseille are hunters. Around here we have certain crop fields that have notices saying “Chasse interdit”. Maybe it would be worthwhile consulting your local farmers. They may just have the right solution - or at least an acceptable compromise. Explain to them the problems you have with your brother and they may be more understanding. I do hope you get things sorted, for everybody’s sake.

Dear Tim

I sorry I can’t offer any help, but I did read a book by George West, who describes his experiences of living in rural Normandy. As far as I recall, he invited them all around for drinks and explained the problems they were causing.

Very best of luck.