Hunting in Spain

Season after season Spain attracts hunters from abroad because it has one of the largest amounts of big game which offers different forms of hunting and unique trophies. However, new hunting laws throughout Spain are now regulating and limiting activities of hunting in Spain.

Spain is a hunting paradise due to the variety of climates and different ecosystems. The provinces of Andalusia and Castilla- La Mancha are both popular hunting areas amongst seasoned hunters.

Spain is a unique destination because it is a country where people take seriously the pleasures of life, the sporting life and the country ways of Spain which is something to be experienced at least once in a lifetime.

Hunting – For a day out in nature

A day out in nature, taking in the beauty of the flora and fauna in Spain leaves one with the feeling of hope and calm, which remains elusive in today’s harsh and hurried world.

There are the friendly faces of the countryside people offering advice, food and good humour along the way.

The great outdoors of Spain are lush and full of life, imagine yourself and your group of friends in the midst of a grove of centuries old olive trees just listening to the tranquillity and harmony of nature…..not a bad way to pass the day.

For individuals seeking to stalk big game, Spain offers a huge variety of different animals.

Shooting in Spain remains a great classic and the Spanish deer along with the wild boar remains the quarry most sought after.

Chamois, mouflons and goats are large game that are commonly hunted as well.

Abundant are the famous and noble Spanish Ibex (capra hispánica, Cabra Montes, or Macho Montes) which has 5 subspecies slightly different from one sierra to another.

The Spanish Ibex is a species unique in the world and high in the ranking of hunters’ trophies. Roe-Deer and red deer are also plentiful, especially in Sierra Morena and Fallow Deer in Doñana in La Almoraima and the Sierras of Cazorla and Segura.

Roebuck is found in some parts of the Sierra Morena, Serania de Ronda, as well as in the hills of Jerez and in La Almoraima.

Barbary sheep, the Cantabrian or Pyrenean chamois, mouflon and arruits are found in lesser quantities, in contrast with the abundance of boar which is on the increase due today´s fewer natural enemies.

Readily found are fox and rabbit and, to a lesser degree, hare which is generally found in the fertile lowlands of Seville and Córdoba.

Bird hunting in Spain

Spain has a reputation for challenging birds which include small game partridge, with the famous Spanish Red-leg Partridge (perdiz brava (brave) or patiroja) being the most popularly hunted bird.

There are also plenty of Turtledove, Wood Pigeon, Quail, Duck, Pheasant, Thrush and Starling, as well as many water birds.

There are a variety of hunting methods, each differing from one another but each with its own following of hunters.

The different methods fall under the categories of: Hunts, Stalking & Watching and Lancing.

For those who are a bit faint of heart and just wish to take part in some of the fun, then clay pigeon shooting is the way to go.

Hunts are generally organised on private estates in situations that require a lot of preparation. Hunters wait for the moment when the dogs are set loose. The dogs will aim at any game and then the hunt begins.

Stalking and watching are quite different, in this case the hunter is alone, hidden, waiting for the animal to pass nearby in search of water or food. Turtledove, wood pigeon and thrush are stalked by hiding in places where it is easy to see them fly over. Decoys are also used, even for some water birds.

Lancing from horseback is an old method used on flat open land. The rider rides alongside a boar, and then lances it. Skill and dexterity are crucial in this ancient method of hunting.

Clay Pigeon Shooting is for those who want the fun of shooting, but don’t want to ‘go live’. This is when decoys are flung high in the air with the shooter attempting to obliterated it.

Hunting laws in Spain

Spain controls hunting through laws that aim to protect wild fauna while permitting the hunting of certain species in designated geographic areas and seasons, providing that the hunter has the corresponding hunting licence and weapon permit.

The hunting season officially begins early October and runs to the first Sunday in February.

Occasionally, shoots can be arranged in August and September (media veda –literally translated as “half season”).

Each province is responsible for issuing hunting licences (since regulations differ from one region to another).

They publish, usually in August, a calendar of the hunting seasons that indicates the zones and time periods hunting is permitted for specific species in their respective territories.

Weapon licences can be obtained at any police station.

For general information, refer to ICON (Madrid – (91) 347 5956), the organisation that regulates legal and environmental aspects of recreational hunting in Spain or Federacion Española de Caza (Spanish Hunting Federation) Avenida Reina Victoria, 72 28003 Madrid Tel: (91) 5539017 or 5538867.

Anyone who wants to bring a shotgun to Spain from Britain for example can do so as long as they have an international permit extension to their UK shotgun certificate.

This can be obtained simply by contacting the issuing police authority. If you wish to travel across borders with a shotgun, contact the carrying airline.

If travelling by car, contact Customs for details of the necessary paperwork.

Many people choose to arrange their hunts with hunting clubs which are located in the more popular hunting areas of Spain.

These clubs provide give access the different types of hunting. These can be expensive, but they do provide convenience.

They provide hunting and weapon licences, weapons, transportation and guidance as well as meals along the way.

But for seasoned hunters with their own equipment, hunting in Spain is very accessible and enjoyable.

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