German exam makes cross-border hunt easier

STRASBOURG – Although French and German hunters in the region of Alsace and Baden are carefully setting up cross-border cooperation, many practical obstacles remain. One is the hunting license for the other side of the border, which is easy to obtain for the Germans, but not for the French. This hindrance is about to be made much more passable.

Anouk Mentink

If a German wants to hunt in France, he or she can get a three day permit straight away, based on their existing license. When French hunters plan to cross the border, they need to take an exam in Germany in order to receive their hunting permit. The main reason for that inequality is that the German hunting test requires more skills than the French exam.

German hunting exam on French soil

French hunting associations can’t change German policy making. But they can make some parts of it a lot easier. That is why the Hunting Association of Bas-Rhin(FDC) is building an outdoor centre next to its indoor shooting centre Cyné’tir in Geudertheim, in the countryside surrounding Strasbourg. When ready, French hunters who want to obtain a German license can come to this place to practice and finally, take the exam.

Gerard Lang points at the outdoor shooting centre where hunters have to aim at to practise with their pistol

“There is a high demand to get this German license in France,” says FDC-president Gerard Lang, while he walks towards an iron sentry box on the site of the outdoor centre. “Especially from the people who live far away from the border. Usually, they don’t have the time to travel into Germany to do the test. From May, when the centre will be opened, they are able to do the German hunting test on French soil.”

Jonathan Fischbach, who is the technician of the FDC,  explains what it takes to get a German permit. “You need to be able to shoot with a pistol, as well as a gun. For the purpose that you can take out a wild boar quickly, in case it’s still alive. If you are not sure it’s dead, those animals can be dangerous. Apart from that, for the German permit you need to be able to shoot at a target from a distance of hundred meters. Whereas in France we are less focused on the shooting results, but more on security.”

Jonathan Fischbach shows how shooting in the indoor centre works:

A large part of the French exam is based on security handling. “For example, the hunters have to carry and use their weapons in a secure way, otherwise they don’t get their permit. Of course they will have to learn how to shoot and hit the target with precision. But in France hunters do that part after the exam, by themselves,” says Fischbach.

He points at a rail, which is hidden in the grass. “When people are practising here, they have to wait for the fake wild boar which moves from the left to the right on the rail. And shoot it at the right spot of course.”

The outdoor shooting centre cost the FDC 50.000 euro and it will be opened at the end of May. The first German hunting exam will be taken in September this year.

Want to learn more about shooting for hunt and shooting centre Cyné’tir? Check out the SOUNDSLIDE:

Want to learn more about cooperation between German and French hunting associations? Click HERE.

About Anouk Mentink