Driven hunt: hunting in complete safety

Driven hunt: hunting in complete safety

Hunting, especially driven hunting, is a sport that must be practised in complete safety.

Hunting, especially driven hunting, is a sport that must be practised in complete safety. It is therefore vital, if not compulsory, to equip yourself accordingly to guarantee maximum protection.

Safety rules

During a driven hunt, the opening meeting is essential to remind the participants of the safety rules. It also enables those in charge to check hunting permits and insurance and to present the day's proceedings.

The rules to be observed during a hunt apply not only to hunters in action but also to anyone who might be present at the hunting ground, such as motorists and hikers. For this reason, the demarcation of the hunting area is of paramount importance.

Any transporting of guns in a motorised vehicle must be carried out: with the gun unloaded and dismantled, or holstered and unloaded.

The use of a vehicle is forbidden during the course of the hunt. The exception is for people with physical mobility disabilities.

The wearing of fluorescent clothing is compulsory, depending on the county (département).

As soon as the hunter arrives at their hunting post, they must first of all identify themselves and signal their presence to their line neighbours.

Once you've located them, you need to define your 30° shooting angles. To do this, the poster takes 5 steps towards one of your line neighbours and 3 steps perpendicular to the direction of the animals' flight path. Then, he will do the same thing towards his other neighbour.

The posted gunner must also take into account any obstacles such as trees, rocks, paths, etc. that might be located within the shooting angle.

Once these elements are taken into account, the posted gunner takes up his position "belly to the woods" while waiting for the signal to start the hunt. (1 long blast of the horn)

The start of the hunt has been sounded, the hunter can then start loading their gun, once the barrel is checked. It is imperative to load the gun with the barrel facing the ground and in the safety angle.

Once the driven hunt has started, you must not leave your post before the signal is given indicating the end of the hunt.

Each shot must be accurate, at close range, and with clear identification of the game.
For greater safety, it is best to use high shooting positions such as watchtowers. Of course, all positions that result in a shot that does not hit the target are to be avoided.

If an animal is wounded as a result of a shot, the hunters posted there must not pursue it so as to avoid obscuring the tracks. The task of searching will fall to the bloodhounds at the end of the hunt.

Any movement of an animal that is subject to a hunting plan must be carried out after the bagging.

For safety reasons, the beater must be dressed in fluorescent clothing to be visible from a distance. The dogs accompanying the drive must also be collared to enable quick identification. 

The drive must be perfectly aligned. If this is not the case, the drive leader may stop the progress of the line to ensure maximum alignment.

Visibility during drives

One of the main safety issues in drive hunting is visibility.

Indeed, in order to be able to hunt while being both visible and camouflaged, Solognac developed products that meet these two objectives.

To be visible, wearing bright neon clothing is the best way to ensure you are seen.

At Solognac, some of our fluorescent products for hunting are certified according to the European Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) standard.

To obtain this certification, our PPE standard products must comply with a stringent set of specifications.
Among the many test points required by the PPE standard are the product's ergonomics, visibility, and durability.
These tests are carried out at the Decathlon research centre before being certified by an outside independent laboratory.

For the camouflage component, our product managers designed the kamo-BL range incorporating the clean forest patterns of Kamo-snow to favour visibility for humans and camouflage for animals.
These kamo-BL products are primarily meant for post hunters who require 3 things:

Visibility, camouflage, and warmth.

Protecting the beater

Being a beater entails a number of obligations to ensure one's safety. For this, they need these three characteristics:
- Visibility
- Tear resistance
- Perforation resistance

At Solognac, we have been working closely with beaters for many years, enabling them to provide the brand with expertise in the field. We thus developed a product range specially designed to meet the expectations of the beater.
Through this line of products, we guarantee resistance to the hostility of our forests thanks to ultra-resistant components, extreme tests, and constant improvements.

What outfit for the beater?

Marc Monnet - Solognac's tester for drive/beater products and presenter of Seasons.

He describes his ideal drive hunting outfit.

Marc and his fellow hunters are known for not being "soft" on the material. They wear out a minimum of 4 pairs of boots per year, per person. (please note: the Supertrack boots tested by Marc lasted 1 year of "testing" while maintaining their waterproofness.)

Therefore, whether it is boots or shoes, the priority is above all durability.

Marc prefers boots because of their ease of use with hunting trousers. He keeps a pair of hunting boots with gaiters and chaps in the boot of his car for less well-planned hunts.
Important details: gloves enable you to avoid being held back and to avoid losing the benefit of an ultra-resistant outfit: jacket + trousers + adequate boots. Solognac thus developed the Supertrack gloves based on his advice.

Let's not forget the protective glasses that are becoming more and more indispensable. This applies since Marc's team makes at least one appointment per year with the ophthalmologist due to branches or reeds hitting the eye despite the caps.