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La Chasse (things you may not know)

Hunting season is upon us here in France and as usual there are many discussions and arguments already arising about this divisive subject.

I am not intending to start any arguments on my page, but I would like to outline to you some information about the Chasse that many people don't know or realise.

Its a bit of a lengthy read, but i've tried to condense it into information I think is important to note, such as the rules and regulations the chasse must abide to, to the other areas of their work.

The following infromation was taken and translated from the federation national de chasseurs website This website is extremely informative and interesting and if you want to know more about what La Chasse actually do for our countryside then go and have a good look.

Contrary to popular belief, hunting is not limited to the taking of game. Hunting associations and hunters are present on a daily basis in the rural areas of our country. They are a complete network of observers of the state of the natural environment.

Hunters were among the first citizens to observe and deplore the destruction of natural environments, the degradation of wetlands, the decline of birds and insects, etc. Therefore, at their level of intervention, hunters have invested in the implementation of actions for the restoration and conservation of natural environments. A recent study by BIPE (a consultancy firm specialising in strategic analysis and economic forecasting - approved by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research) estimates that hunters volunteer 78 million hours per year, the equivalent of 57,000 full-time jobs. A significant proportion of this volunteer work is devoted to wildlife and biodiversity conservation.

All natural environments and groups of fauna and flora species are concerned, not exclusively huntable species, but also protected species and invasive alien species.

Hunting has evolved over the centuries, it is rich in codes which often reflect the degree of civilisation of the ages concerned. In France, at the end of the Middle Ages, an attempt was made to limit the practice of hunting and to reserve it for the royal power and the nobility. It was not until the French Revolution that the legislator intervened in favour of hunting for all, while at the same time increasingly regulating its practice. And it was at the end of the 20th century, known as the golden age of hunting, that its practice was challenged and its legitimacy questioned.

However, hunters have never been so involved in the management of nature and wildlife, which can be explained, in part, by the transition from a rural society to an urban society that is totally disconnected from the rhythms and uses of nature... a diversified nature and abundant wildlife, which guarantee sustainable hunting.

The strong concept of property rights was the basis of hunting practice, in order to reserve the appropriation of game to royalty and then to the nobility. This concept was relaxed in the course of history to make way for popular hunting, but this democratisation of hunting gradually undermined the once abundant game. The legal framework for hunting became necessary, and hunters gradually became concerned with the "management" of game. The hunting of game gave way to a reasoned approach to hunting that integrated the need to manage not only the game but also its habitats. Today's hunting largely integrates these two aspects.

Nature is in the hunters' DNA, and they have set up collaborative programmes to act in the service of the environment, quantify their actions, make them known and benefit from an exchange of experience.