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Hunters - "rights" of access to land


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Does anybody know what "rights" hunters have to be on private land (either hunting or following prey)?

Is it a case of unless they have permission they can't go onto the land?

Or does one need to post "no hunting", "no access" signs (in french of course!)

Most of my land is well bordered by mature hedgerow and fencing, but there are some gaps over in the far fields - do I need to take precautions to keep these people off my land?

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Hi Chris

As I've already lost a goat to the hunting dogs I'm interested in the answer to this, I'm in the Charente and my land is posted with 'no hunting' signs.  No one has yet set foot on the land but their dogs have, where can I find out more about the legalities of this?

Thanks

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Panda, this is the text that applies in your situation.

Le passage des chiens courants sur des territoires bénéficiant du statut de réserve ou d'opposition au titre des 3o et 5o de l'article L. 422-10 ne peut être considéré comme chasse sur réserve ou chasse sur autrui, sauf si le chasseur a poussé les chiens à le faire.

So, very simply you can not stop the hunters dogs going on your land as long as they are not being encouraged.

Now, this is quite interesting because in the Charente (16) all you need to do to prevent hunting on your land is to post signs every 50 metres and as a courtesy notify your Mairie and any local hunting association.

But in Haute Vienne (87) it's a very different matter, as follows.

Should you wish to take your land out of “la chasse” you will need to complete a simple form. You will require the date of creation of your local ACCA and the name and address of its President; in theory your Mairie should supply this information, but they can be unhelpful, in which case you have to get it from the Prefecture.

You will need plans showing your plots with their numbers and their relationship to the immediate surroundings.

You will need copies of the purchase (title deeds) of your property which proves ownership.

 

As the contract that an ACCA or ACA has with a commune has a duration of five years, anyone using this procedure will not have their request finalised until the next five yearly renewal for their local association, based on five yearly periods from the date of its creation.

 

All of this once completed must be lodged with your Prefecture, making absolutely sure that you get an “Accuse de Reception” a minimum of six months before the next five yearly “birthday” for your ACCA.

 

This can however be objected to and refused, although this is unlikely, if this happens it can be appealed to the departmental tribunal, who will almost certainly approve it. 

To make life easier and have someone to help overcome any of these obstacles, I would always recommend using ASPAS, an association that will not only deal with obstructions in getting it done in the first place but will also provide legal assistance if there are any infractions once you have your “Chasse Interdite” in place. The only other thing that you would then have to do is put up signs on the perimeter placed every 50 metres, these can be obtained quite cheaply

Any help?

Chris

 

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Hi Chris

It is helpful, thanks.  We do have signs posted every 50 metres so that's fine, I will still chase off any dogs that come on my land, I feel I have the right to protect my livestock.   The hunt was close this weekend and they were blowing horns in the field behind our house, I went out and stood on the boundary and watched and I noticed a number of the huntsmen raising an arm in my direction and then they all moved on about 500 metres.  If they had used a gun in that field that would have been close to my house as it's right on the boundary on that side so I'm not sure if they were acknowledging that or just moving on anyway.  I realise that news such as a livestock kill will have been spread among the hunt so perhaps they are being a little sensitive to my situation,  hmm probbably not!

Incidentally is it deer they are after when a lot of horn blowing goes on do you know?

Panda

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"Incidentally is it deer they are after when a lot of horn blowing goes on do you know?"

Could be any number of species, usually deer, sanglier or fox, these hunts involve several people and it's partly to let each other know where they are. If there are any hunters looking in they will be able to give a more concise answer.

Don't forget that they can not hunt or have a loaded weapon if they are less than 150 metres from a house, that's the National law, in some departements it's 200 metres.

Chris

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Thats interesting (loaded weapon less than 150 metres from a house).

Would this then apply to my neighbour's somewhat wayward son who frequently shoots pigeons very close to our house?    The main issue I have is that he is a truly appalling shot, and on at least 5 occasions a 'bullet' has richoched (sp?) off a boundary tree and shot past our heads, not to mention scaring the life out of the dog (easily done) on one occasion.

I have considered having a calm word with them about this if it happens again.

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The 150 metre law applies everywhere in France with one small exception..

It is illegal to fire or have a loaded weapon less than 150 metres from a residence or any building that is attached to a residence, whether occupied or not. The only exception is when a building is entirely contained within land that is private hunting and is more than 150 metres from a building that is outside of the private hunt.

The other week when I got shot it was the first question the Gendarmes asked, "Was it less than 150 metres?"

Hope that's clear, Chris

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I'm fine, I just got a load of "bird shot" full on at about 40 metres, it all bounced of my clothing, one piece bounced of my glasses and one piece wanged my hand. I was in full view in the open, full sunlight at 10.30 in the morning, problem was the idiot with the gun wasn't looking where he was shooting. My statement has gone to the procureur, but as the person concerned fled I don't expect anything to actually come of it, but at least it's on official record.

Chris

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Hi Chris

how awful that you got shot - lucky it missed your eye!

This 150 metre rule - does that just apply to hunters?  What about farmers?  I don't think you can get them now ... but up until a year or so ago I believe anybody who wanted one could go and buy a "garden gun" .. for shooting rats etc.  Is this allowed by farmers, etc.?

 

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Sorry, I've only just noticed this. The 150 metres rule applies to everyone, even the President.[:D] and a permis de chasse is also required by anyone who is shooting, (or using a spear, bow and arrow or what ever) to kill animals or birds. This obviously doesn't apply to mouse traps, but other traps are regulated.

Chris

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  • 4 weeks later...

Oh dear, my other half has just had a similar incident to Chris - he was out feeding the animals and he got a load of shot raining down on him - luckily it has lost its oomf but, as he said, if he had been just a few yards further on and happened to look up it could have gone in his eye and caused damage ...... anyway, this is the 3rd time we have had shot rain on us on our land and also every year we have ewes with damaged legs which we are sure is from running away from hunters dogs - one year a ewe died after having her throat ripped out, again more than likely hunters dogs.  All our hedges have great big chunks bashed down in them which we have to repair - we have even put a gate on one its so big - our sheep escaped into the road recently.  Our land is sort of longish in shape - our house is at the far end, then  our farm complex spreads west from the house, the last of the outbuildings being 100m from the house.  We have measured the distance that the hunters tend to frequent on our land and it is over 150m from the house, but only 50m from the last outbuilding and also only 50m from where we keep our poultry and rabbits and therefore we are always around there ......

Anyway I am rambling, but we have kept quiet and never said a word since we bought the place 6 years ago, not wanting to appear as English coming in and upsetting things and not understanding the local ways, but to be honest we feel now that they are showing us disrespect and we have never even had as much as one rabbit left on our doorstep as a thanks ....

So, back to the shot incident, my other half flipped and stormed over to the man with the gun and went balistic - he totally lost his temper and, believe me, when he goes, he goes ..... so now we know they now we dont like it!   We are going to go up to the Chasse head and explain that they must stay further away from our buildings.  We have a 4yr old son and my mentally handicapped brother lives with us - we are not prepared to put their lives at risk.

Just didnt want it to get to this.

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Are hunters allowed near public cycle paths? 

Three of my children were out on their bikes when they heard dogs with bells on and then shots.  A young deer (they called it Bambi) shot across the path and splashed into marshland.  I don't know whether it is safe for them to go out again.

Also, when does the hunting season start and finish?

 

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This whole question of hunting raises the 'for' and 'against' camps and has the potential for some fairly hostile response from the locals.

In my own situation, I dislike hunting but accept it happening (it was here long before we were).

We had a situation some years ago when hunters were on my land shooting at sanglier that are regularly found in my wood. A heated altercation followed and I was the talk of the village for quite a while after the event.

What I did, at the invitation of a member of our local 'chasse', was attend a meeting with the president and put my views and concerns forward. It was all very amicable and he agreed to avoid my land when hunting in the future. In the three years following that meeting I have had no hunters on my land and, more importantly, they have shown no hostility towards me. Indeed we have a couple of  friends who are members of the local 'chasse'.

The point I'm trying to make (rather longwindedly) is if you have a problem or concern, talk to them. They are strictly regulated by the police and it's not in their interest to find themselves in a conflict situation.

Gary..

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To be honest Gary they are not strictly regulated, they should be in theory but the reality is somewhat different. The Gendarmes do not consider it their business, don't know the laws and often have "friends" that hunt. Then there is a Garde de Chasse who is one of the hunters and has no legal status, at best dishes out a verbal warning. Then there is the ONCFS who are the "real" police for the chasse in France and have legal powers. Unfortunately this is only one of the responsibilities of the ONCFS and their numbers are being cut back all the time, almost no chance of doing anything other than responding to a situation after it has happened.

Sure, it's always best if you can reach an amicable agreement, but, and this is important, the President really only has influence with a few people within their circle, it doesn't mean anything to all the people who go hunting on their own or in a group of three or four.

Reaction in the community isn't an issue as the vast majority of French people are either against hunting or consider them to be "con".

To answer the question, it's perfectly legal to fire a gun near a public chemin, but not towards it, on it or across it.

Chris

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To be honest Chris, the chasse are regulated and restrictions are already in force. Get yourself a copy of the Federation de la Chasse handbook and have a read.

My neighbour and friend is also a highish ranking gendarme who has particular responsibilities regarding the chasse. He is also a member of the local group. What he tells me, I tend to believe, as he clearly knows his subject.

"Reaction in the community isn't an issue"? , maybe not in your bit, but it is elsewhere.

What action was taken when you were shot or were you a victim of falling buckshot ?

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Thats interesting that they are not allowed to fire across a public chemin - the shot falling on our land was from the man who was standing in an adjacent field, with a chemin between the two fields, and was about 100m into our land from where he was standing - so therefore he clearly fired from where he was, across the lane and over into our land.

Thanks.

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Not necessarily so, think of a guy pigeon shooting, using 5 or 6 shot size, nice high crossing bird above and in front of him away from path.   The pellets although going upwards and away from path could easily in a strong wind come back over his head and path and on to your land.   Depends on a number of points but something an informed shot would take into account when shooting.
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