Is France really falling out of love with hunting?

So BBC News is running an article today on how France is falling out of love with hunting

Is this true or is it because there are fewer animals to shoot? In my village in Herault the hunters are out every weds and sunday but I don’t think they are finding much to bring home. There are hardly any hares or grouse about this year near us - possibly to the very dry hot Summer?

I haven’t seen a single boar this year either whereas normally I would have seen at least a family or two on my travels.

So what is happening near you?

1 Like

I don’t think it has much to do with hunting, it’s more to do with changing lifestyles all round. Things change much quicker now than ever before. If numbers drop and the châsse is unable to manage the wildlife in the countryside in the future what will take its place? Official culling paid for by the taxpayer. The hunters don’t go on an uncontrolled, free for all blood fest twice a week, despite the nay sayers point of view it is organised.
I have seen more deer in the last ten days than I can remember seeing ever before, I’ve only ever seen a couple of hares in France whereas they were a common sight in German fields.

Not in this part of the world, I know loads of chasseurs and they’re all still at it, went out riding with a few the other day and there’s certainly no sign of them giving up. For many, it’s just as much a social thing as actually hunting. As for Sunday mornings when I drive in to open the tabac - they’re always out in force!

No sign of things slowing down in my area - it was like ‘How The West Was Wone’ around here this morning - no doubt the same tomorrow only with more eau de vie!!

1 Like

I noticed enough to brong the cats in Wednesday, that the hunters were out, in droves, close to home, and very excited “Allez cookie, suis, suis, suis, bien, bien, go, Cookie, saut, attaque”. I wouldn’t normally bring the cats in, but I read an alraming article in the Dauphiné last week, about a lady that had her cat put down, because it had been shot, multiple times in the face, point blank, and the vet was cited as saying that he knew it was a practice of hunters, to just shoot, with the adrenaline, and excitement…
that, plus, the article about the horse that was mistaken for… game… in the Bauges, last week,

As for wildlife, I know there are heaps of foxes about, I see them every night as I race back to close the chicken coop before they brave the doorway, but boar, no, there are no boar round here anymore, and as a biker, I have trained myself to look out for boar on the roads. This year, I’ve seen zero.
was driving to Annecy last week on a hunt day, and saw cars everywhere, boots open, with crammed dog cages in them, hillbilly lookin guys with roadside worker’s vests on, and shotguns slung over their backs. who wants to eat a pheasant peppered with buckshot?

1 Like

Unfortunately it is not declining fast enough in my opinion!

Here in Charente it is still pretty obvious it goes on and it is always big groups of men, getting their kicks out of killing defenceless animals. It’s a sad indictment of France as a nation if you ask me and one of the very worst things about living here. I realise hunting goes on in many other countries (including the UK), but here in rural France it appears to be so ingrained in the way of life. Just control the animals by allowing top chain predators to flourish in the wilder areas and carry out state funded professional culling in other areas as required. Don’t allow groups of unprofessional, drunken idiots to terrorise the countryside twice a week in the winter months! The deaths and accidents from hunting are widespread and well documented. Time for France to move on!


Ingrained in the way of life? Yes a tradition that is used now to help maintain the countryside.

1 Like

I’m sorry David but tradition should no longer come come into it. I know a thing or too about Countryside Management having studied for a degree in the subject and worked in the sector for many years. There is simply no need for amateur hunters to be involved. There are many accidents each and every year (check the statistics) and these people even manage to kill or maim some of their own!

France has many wild (ish) and rugged areas (Cevennes, Auvergne, Lozere, Pyrenees, Vosges to name but a few) and in these areas re-wilding should be taking place and that includes the re-introduction of top chain predators that used to predate on the animals that the chasse now go after, thus keeping things in a natural balance. Initially a cull may need to be carried out to significantly reduce numbers of certain species.

In other areas the French government should employ professional trained hunters to control numbers and a huge chunk of the taxpayers bill should be handed to farmers who graze the land with species that are not natural to the area.

I have read a great deal of horror stories about the chasse and not very much positive press. Maybe I am biased, but the young French guy who lives in our hamlet, is the worst advert for the chasse. He is a member of the local one and he is ignorant, barely educated, treats his dogs appallingly…need I go on. Add alcohol and powerful guns and you have a recipe for disaster!! If the chasse is a social event, why don’t all the men get together and do some community gardening instead? This is the 21st century after all!

Hunting animals as a rite of passage for men in the countryside is an anachronism! But hey, some people think fox hunting is a noble “sport”. What is it Oscar Wilde said? " The unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible"

1 Like

I am pleased that you write with such authority. You normal posts are so out of touch with the way France operates and the French live it surprises me that you ever committed to crossing the channel.

1 Like

Just because I live here doesn’t mean I have to accept everything the French rural way of life entails. Hunting animals for fun is a vile activity, wherever it takes place in the world and is generally carried out by emotionally and intellectually challenged individuals! Whether it is France, America, Italy, Germany, the UK or wherever, hunting for fun is a disgusting activity and we should be working towards eradicating these “traditions”, not hanging onto them

Killing animals for fun and entertainment? It’s like those twats you see on Facebook posing with a dead Lion or some other unfortunate beast! It’s beyond deplorable! This is the 21st century not the Dark Ages!!


I would be interested to know if any of the folk posting on this thread have actually passed the exam to obtain a Permis de Chasser and/or if any of the folk are members of a local Chasse group.

Stella it would probably help if you explained why you’re interested… without that your post sounds ever so slightly ‘loaded’. :wink:

1 Like

I really don’t think that you understand the situation. Comme habitude.

1 Like

Sorry Simon, it’s just that some of the comments here are very different from what my experiences of what actually happens in my part of France, hence my enquiry…

Hunting is, in fact, a highly regulated activity. Its aim is to sustain the natural resources. To do this the hunter needs to fully understand both the species and its habitat. (It is not simply a case of shooting everything in sight.) Rules are in place to ensure that neither the animals nor the countryside are abused.

It is necessary to gain a Pass in the intensive examination before a Permis de Chasser is provided. (without the Permis, no hunting is allowed.)

If anyone has a complaint against a local Chasse or Chasseur they should contact the association: Les Lieutenants de Louveterie. These “Hunt Police” will look into the matter. They withdraw permits and confiscate firearms etc, if someone is found in breach of their strict code of conduct. In a serious breach the Gendarmes may also become involved, bringing with them the full force of the Law.


Our farm is surrounded by dense woods in which the Chasse hunt on a regular basis and I have to say that they have always behaved impeccably. They only seem to shoot when there is actually something to shoot at, some days when they are hunting we never hear a single shot. They have all the signs out well before the hunt starts, they all wear high vis jackets, they all stand at marked points outside the woods and they have never fired across our land or at our llamas. They have always been courteous whenever we have spoken with any of them. I am not pro hunting but I am not totally against hunting, I do however fail to understand why some hunters enjoy killing animals so much but accept that we are all different and that is their choice. We know that they do have a drink but it has always been after the hunt has wrapped up and they all have a get together. But remember that I am only talking about the Chasse that hunts the woods surrounding us…

Between Belvès and Monpazier our very local hunt was also courteous etc as described by Mike Longhurst. Older farmers in beat up vans for the most part. They didn’t have a licence to shoot boar. The boar hunters came from a neighbouring hunt and were a different kettle of fish - 4x4 drivers flying along the lanes kicking up the dust and refusing to slow down when requested. The hunt do share the meat caught between themselves and landowners (on occasion) and I think that the maintenance of a rural community spirit is very necessary for these old and not so old guys and their families who otherwise would have no reason to meet.
I’m not particularly pro-hunt and I would like to get out into the woods at weekends.

There are plenty contre hunting people here - see this link after the death of a young man in the area.
However I was horrified to see the stupidity of the comments in ‘Sud-Ouest’ concerning the treatment of animals in abbatoirs - or more pertinently the crass comments regarding the activists who are raising the issue (actually I think the most stupid comments have been zapped by the moderator looking through them now°.

So sad to learn of that young man’s death. The Hunt Police etc are investigating and, as yet, no further details are available to explain just how this happened. It is good to know that alcohol and drug tests proved negative.

I have fallen out with people that love to hunt. I never have cared for hunting anyway, but on Wednesday as I was driving on a main road, a terrified stag jumped out and landed on my windscreen. I could see him plainly, his poor, terrified face and his antlers. The stag - disappeared but most probably badly injured. The damage to my car - the roof is dented, the windscreen shattered and bent inwards, bonnet scratched, wing mirror ripped off and the driver’s door scratched too. Me - deeply shocked, too scared to drive again and sad for the animal I harmed. I was very lucky not to die, my time was obviously not up. Sincere thanks go to the Gendarmes that helped me with the car insurer and arranging pickup of my car and also for the cup of tea. I hope hunting is on its way out, it can’t come too soon for me!