Stalking is a method of hunting that used to be practised solely for the purpose of regulation or observation.Today, this atypical form of hunting, known as "silent hunting", is becoming a perfect complement to driven hunting. It is less stressful for the animals and for the fauna of the hunting grounds. As this hunt is different from driven hunting, it follows other rules.
Stalking season takes place during three main periods between the 1st of June and the 28th of February. During the first part of the season, i.e. between 1 June and the general start of the season, only roe deer and wild boar may be hunted. As these animals are subject to hunting plans, stalking is only possible with the agreement of the hunting plan custodians. Each hunter must be in possession of the hunting plan or a certified copy of the prefectoral decree allocating the plan.
In the second part of the season, from 1st September to the general opening, the stag is added to the list of huntable species under the same conditions as for the wild boar and the roe deer. Then, in the third part of the season, from the opening to the closing, all three species are huntable under the same conditions.
This hunting method is governed by specific rules, of which there are five:
1. Stalking is carried out alone, i.e. without a driver.
2. Hunting is carried out during the day, one hour after sunrise and one hour before sunset.
3. If there are several hunters at the same hunting ground, they must stay at least 500m apart. They are required to hunt independently, without driving the game.
4. The hunter is obliged to carry the decree or a certified copy.
5. Between the 1st of June and the start of the hunting season, any animal taken may only be transported to the shooter's place of residence.
The marketing of the hunted game is limited to authorised companies after a sanitary control.
Originally and for the purists, these stalking and hide practices were a favoured means of controlling game populations, both quantitatively in terms of counting and qualitatively in terms of regulating sickly or deficient animals. It is still appropriate today to carry out primarily so-called "sanitary" shooting.
There is one basic principle that cannot be ignored in stalking: THE CLEAN BULLET.~
The three conditions to be fulfilled to shoot a clean bullet: the animal must be stopped; it must be facing sideways, and there must be no obstacle between the animal and the hunter.
The hunter must, above all, respect the rules of safety. The hunter must therefore make sure beforehand that it is safe to shoot.~
Shooting should also be done from a support such as a shooting stick for the approach, or the edge of the lookout for the hide.
1. The hunter must only shoot an animal that has been clearly identified and selected beforehand.
2. The shot should be made without haste.
3. The hunter must aim at an area known to be lethal, such as the neck or heart.
4. The shot must be taken at a reasonable distance of about one hundred metres.
5. Shooting will therefore be prohibited in the following circumstances: doubts as to safety, moving animals, presence of an obstacle, absence of any support, prohibition of shooting with a free arm or shooting at too great a distance.
After the shooting, there are two hypotheses:
if the animal is hit and remains on the spot, the hunter must take the following measures: fitting of a marking bracelet, presentation of honours, and immediate evisceration.
If the animal runs away, the hunter must do the following:
1. Careful observation of the animal's behaviour and identification of its line of flight.
2. Wait 4-5 minutes, check the anschuss - the place where the game was when the bullet hit it, and look for evidence such as blood, hair, and bones.
3. If evidence is present, mark it visibly.
4. No crossing over of the line of flight.
5. Call a licensed bloodhound handler after properly marking the evidence.
During stalking, you can use a hunting rifle, i.e. a rifled gun with a finely tuned scope that we advise you to calibrate at the beginning of the season.~
Adapt the calibre of this gun to the species you are hunting, generally at least 6mm for roe deer and 7mm for stags and wild boars.
You can also use a hunting bow. Whether it is a traditional or a compound bow, we advise you to adjust certain parts according to the hunter's morphology: length, power, etc.
To complement the rifle, the hunter should carry a shooting stick or a support stick. The hunter should also carry a pair of binoculars, in order to be able to identify the game without using the rifle scope. The shooter can also equip themselves with a rangefinder to best evaluate the distance between their position and the animal.
NB: If more than one person is hunting, at least one fluorescent piece of clothing should be worn for safety.