La Chasse - are they really a law unto themselves?

My partner and I had a trip all booked to view properties in the Charentes area in March with a view to moving over to France before the UK exits the EU, but our plans were scuppered by COVID-19 and all we can do now is keep our fingers crossed that the transition period is extended to give us more time. More recently we have read of some ex-pats negative experiences with “La Chasse”, especially in the countryside and wondered how it affects others who live in France. We are worried about stories of pets (and people) being killed with little back up from the police. Are they really a law unto themselves? It would help us know whether to avoid the really rural areas and perhaps stick to the small towns and villages. Thanks.

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Hi Steve and welcome. Firstly, most of us here are immigrants, not ex-pats. Regarding the chasse, every one is different in the way they behave, but generally they are quite respectful of private land, property etc. But you have to realise that things don’t always go to plan - the dogs don’t know where boundaries are, and although it’s quite rare that pets are killed it can happen. Similarly, people can get killed but it’s usually other hunters.

Don’t let it put you off living in a rural area, just take a few precautions on hunt days. We’ve lived in a very rural area for nearly 20 years, in all that time we’ve lost 2 hens to the hunt, and were compensated. They are also fairly well policed, in our experience.


The chasse in my area are visible but has never impacted on my life. They appear to be highly organised. I too have read the horror stories but I think that you would have to be incredibly unlucky to find that the chasse interferes with your pets or with walking or cycling near your home.


We live in a tiny hamlet surrounded by forests used for hunting. I can’t say I’m hugely in favour of hunting as a concept but we live with it quite amicably. We know most of the local hunters, and they will tell us where they plan to hunt so we can walk our dog elsewhere that day - but we have a gilet jaune for hime just in case. And we get some of the carcasses to cook up for him too. Sometimes things go a bit awry, and we have the hunting dogs careering round the village chasing a boar, but not often.

The one thing to watch for is not to buy a house close to anyone with hunting dogs as they can bark non-stop night and day. So questions about the neighbours are quite important.

And I’m an immigrant too.


I don’t know the distinction. Could someone please enlighten me?

We’re in the same boat. Our trip was booked for next month. I’m not sure when we will be able to travel. We too are hoping for an extension but knowing the idiots in charge here I am sceptical.


Short answer to the question is - yes they can be.

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Ex-pats are often defined as being resident in another country on a temporary basis, ie having been expatriated (and the phrase harks back to colonial times too). An immigrant is usually defined as someone who has moved permanently and made another country their home.


Hi Steve and welcome to the forum.

Firstly… if you really hate the thought of “hunting”… then steer clear of such rural areas.

However, if you can consider hunting as part and parcel of country life… even if you do not want to actively embrace it… then you should be OK in the French countryside.

Hunting has its strict rules and these are , in the main, adhered to. As with anything at all… there will always be the exceptions… the folk who do not want to conform, but these are the minority.

Hunting has its own “police force” which are backed up by the national forces of law and order.

There are incidents/accidents… but this is not the norm.

Do you want to be “really rural” or to have some contact… ie edge of small village.?

I know Brits who have fallen in love with the idea of “gorgeous property and so much land… for our money…” only to find themselves cut off from human contact… They never see a soul unless they travel… and now they wish they had a small village/hamlet… within a brisk walk.


Stella, would you concede that ‘la chasse’ are a powerful lobby group who tend to get their own way?

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lobbying for what Tim ???

Something that many people don’t seem to appreciate is that the countryside has to be managed and maintained. La chasse is a controlled part of that process.


I’m sorry if my using the term ex-pat ruffled a few feathers, that was not my intention and I shall be mindful to use ‘immigrant’ in future. But many thanks to those who have commented and shed light on La Chasse. It has given me a much greater insight into French country life and where we, given the opportunity, might chose to live post COVID-19.

you’ve no need to apologise
:rofl: :rofl: A few ruffled feathers… :wink: :wink: the last time the “distinction” was discussed… it did much, much more than just ruffle… more like plucked, drawn, stuffed and roasted… :face_with_hand_over_mouth:


Can’t get much more powerful than Brigitte Macron after all can you! Whether hubby is doing it to calm gilet jaunes, or for other reasons, he’s very much pro.

La chasse is part of the rights of the French citizen. It recognizes that it’s not only the “mossieu” of the ancien régime that can hunt but also Pierrot, be he butcher baker or candlestick maker. It’s ordinary country people who hunt and not a load of hooray Henrys shooting tame partridge and pheasant. Our local chasse is very well organised with clear perimeters manned by chasse members, warning signs are posted on any road across which quarry may cross . If you live in the country you’ll find that the chasse is usually only out one or two days per week in the season and you can always ask where they will be hunting. Believe me they are infinitely preferable to the unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable you’ll find in the former United Kingdom.


The deaths and injuries from hunting here paint a different picture to David’s rosy one and I presume his observations of UK shoots are based on personal experience.

I dont know about the laws of Hunting in France, but I hold a “Jagdschein” for Germany and the necessary permits for the shotgun. The theoretical studying and examinations are considerable even down to psychological evaluations. Accident do happen but due to the stringent regulations and the enforcement of such, they are really very few and between. As has been mentioned the hunting fraternity do help the ecological structure of the landscape even though a lot of people dont think so. Having observed the odd UK hunt, i am not impressed. But in France it does seem that they have certain rights which we as immigrants not used to them find it hard to comprehend.


something to think on…

Are vehicle drivers a law unto themselves…??? (do they really think they are??)

One takes training, passes a test… and off one goes.

After that, the gloves come off. eg more and more folk reckon it is their right to go as fast as they wish… regardless of the govt speed controls…

Alcohol limits… they are regularly abused… often with ghastly consequences…

Deaths on the roads are appalling… some are genuine “accidents”… more are due to excessive speed and/or stimulants…

:zipper_mouth_face: :zipper_mouth_face: :zipper_mouth_face:

In the wrong hands almost anything can become a deadly weapon… it’s not just guns.


you forgot the “dumb stupidity” :wink:

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