THE BEST DUCK HUNTING IN EUROPE

Where to find it, the seasons, and what you should know if you plan a hunt on the Continent
February 06, 1956

Italy

Nonresident hunters must have a temporary arms permit in order to secure a license to hunt. Negotiations for this may be started through the nearest Italian consulate, allowing time for clearance of the application. Guns should be declared, along with ammunition, at the border upon entering Italy. The temporary arms permit should be presented with passport at the local police office in the area in which the hunter wishes to hunt. It is necessary that the visitor first have an invitation from the owner or tenant of a hunting site. Costs vary according to accommodations available. They can range from no cost at all, to just room and board in a nearby hotel, to complete share of the cost of renting the shooting site. There are no shooting regulations as to bag, hours, etc. Although the hunter may kill as many birds as he can hit, many sportsmen impose a self-limit of around one dozen.

SEASONS: From mid-August to mid-April. The best hunting is from the end of October through December and from early February through April, coinciding with the times of migration.

BEST HUNTING AREAS: The marshy swamps along coasts; inland lakes and rivers. Particularly good are areas between the Po and Tagliamento rivers; Apulia (in the south); Tuscany; Piedmont. Most shooting grounds are private, except in Apulia, where much of the land is public shooting area.

Germany

Visiting sportsmen may hunt on either private lands at the invitation of the owner or tenant, or on public lands by applying to the local authorities. If without a contact in Germany, apply in writing to any of the following for invitations or permission to hunt: Major Jans Krempel, Civil Affairs Office, U.S. Army Headquarters, Heidelberg; Herr Ulrich Scherping, Deutscher Jagdschützverband, 3 Drachenfelsstrasse, Bonn; Bayerischer Jagdschützen und Jägerverband, Luisenstrasse 25, Munich. Either a five-day permit or a one-year permit may be obtained, which in conjunction with a firearms permit (required for each weapon carried) and hunter's liability insurance, will permit hunting in any part of the country. There are no special regulations as to bag limits, hours of shooting, etc. Custom is to shoot at relatively close ranges, with jump shooting preferred to decoy hunting. Concealed stands, permanent blinds, boats and foot hunting are all popular. Decoys are rarely used.

SEASONS: From August 1 to January 31. The best time is fall.

Best hunting areas include the state of Schleswig-Holstein (bordering on Denmark); northern part of Lower Saxony (bordering on Holland); Baltic and North Sea coasts; valleys of Rhine, Weser, Inn, Elbe and Danube rivers; scattered lakes across country. Duck hunting grounds are predominantly private; those state-owned grounds which exist are in poor hunting areas and very small. Permission of local authorities is required to hunt on state-owned lands.

Holland

To secure a hunting license visiting hunters must submit an invitation to hunt in Holland to the Police Commissioner, The Hague. Detailed information as to serial number and caliber of weapons expected to be taken into the country must also be supplied. The license with this information on it will serve as a gun pass for crossing border.

Professional hunters can sometimes arrange invitations and are available through the hunting section of the Ministry of Agriculture for about $6.50 a day. There are no bag limits but night hunting is illegal and no gun larger than 10 gauge or holding more than five shells is permitted.

SEASONS: July 25 to January 31.

BEST HUNTING AREAS: Northern Wadden coast around Ijsselmeer (old Zuider Zee) and in Zeeland waterways.

France

Anyone over 18 years of age may hunt in France, after first securing hunter's liability insurance which must then be presented with an application for a license at the local prefect of police in the area to be hunted. The license (national hunting permit) is good anywhere in the country for one year, and costs approximately $4.40 per year. Hunting guns can be rented from sports shops or hunt clubs, but may also be brought into France after posting a bond at the point of entry. (Bond is returnable at any point of exit.) Ammunition may not be brought into France, and hunters should check what is available for their particular weapons before arrival. Other than the seasonal limits, there are no specific hunting regulations. Visitors may hunt day or night, shoot ducks on water or in flight, use live decoys and shoot an unlimited bag. Tame ducks are frequently used as lures for wild ones. Be warned: a hunter must pay a fine to the owner if he mistakes a tame duck for a wild one and kills it.

SEASONS: From July 14 to March 31. Best hunting is in October, November, December and March.

BEST HUNTING AREAS: Bays and estuaries along coastline; inland lakes and rivers. Recommended are Dombes (in Ain) and La Camargue marshlands (south coast near Marseille); Bordeaux; Loire-Inférieure (near Nantes); the chateau region; Sologne; the bays of the Somme and Seine rivers; and the island of Corsica. Only the coastal hunting grounds are open to the public. All inland territory is privately owned, but visiting sportsmen can hunt in any village along the coast and find good sport.

Spain

Here again a personal invitation from a landowner or lessee of one of the public shooting areas is generally needed to hunt. A hunting license and a police permit to possess dangerous weapons are technically required but not strictly necessary if you are duly accredited by your host and properly identified otherwise. Most hunters in Spain are equipped with ample firearms supplies and can usually supply their guests with guns.

Hunters without contacts may obtain assistance through Max Borrell, Technical Advisor on Sport, Medinaceli 2, Madrid.

SEASONS: In general, October through February.

Best hunting areas are the rice-rich Valencia area and along rivers. Public preserves are at Laguna de la Albufera, near Valencia; Laguna del Mar Menor (near Murcia); and San Simon Bay (off Vigo).

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)