Woodcock hunting enthrals many hunters, whether they are young or old, experienced or not. For good reason, this specific hunting experience is one of the only ones that provides such a high level of excitement, palpitations, and emotion. Let's take a closer look at this captivating form of hunting.
Woodcock are hunted from the general start of the hunting season until the end on approximately 20 February, according to the departmental regulations in force. However, it must be said that the woodcock hunting season really gets underway once the first birds are seen, usually in mid to late October.
Woodcock hunting is subject to a maximum authorised take of 30 birds per year per hunter in France. This is referred to as the PMA. From now on, woodcock hunters can: either continue to receive their hunting logbook, or they can carry out their recording on the mobile application ChassAdapt. It should be noted that this application was designed for hunters so that they can record their takes in real time on their smartphones, follow the national quotas, and have access to their hunting history. Note, however, that in this article we will not enter into any debate "between" one or the other. Each is free to make their own choices.
In any case, the hunting logbook is now widespread in France, since the ministerial decree of 31 May 2011. However, there remain variations from one county (département) to another, particularly with regard to the authorised hunting days and the number of woodcocks that can be taken per day and per week. For this, we invite you to refer to the regulations of your county.
With the logbook, each woodcock taken must be marked with a ring provided in the logbook. At the end of the season, it is compulsory to return the logbook to the federation that issued it, otherwise you will not be able to hunt woodcock the following year.
A wide range of weapons can be used to hunt for woodcock. They need to be short enough to enable a very fast reaction. Then again, "all tastes are different". As for cartridges, small pellets are recommended and preferred by woodcock hunters. It is mainly necessary to use fibre wadding pellet ammunition, lead no. 8, 9, or 8/10, or even dispersing cartridges if you shoot at short distance. Here again, almost every hunter has a strong opinion on the question, so make your own mind up as you go out. Once you have decided on your "cartridge casing", don't change it ;-)