Hunting


in Czech Republic and Slovakia

 

Hunting has an undisputed role in the history of this part of Central Europe. The first mention of hunters in the Bohemia dates to the 11th century where, at hunts, rulers and nobles were surrounded by large groups of skilled huntsmen. Initially, hunting was tied to the land of rulers, nobles, monasteries and royal cities and special hunting castles while lodges were built to accommodate for its popularity with the elites. When serfdom was abolished in 1848, the first imperial gamekeeper law came into effect meaning that hunting became available to not just the nobles but also to common people and hunting rights were granted by the owner of the land.

 

Who can go hunting?

Nowadays, since the hunting is governed by a legal code and gamekeeping associations are individual legal entities, hunting become an accessible hobby (and responsibility) for almost anyone. In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, most hunters belong to gamekeeper associations which usually rent the land they hunt on. All hunters must have a valid hunting license (issued for an indefinite period after having passed the gamekeeper license exam) as well as a hunting permit granted by the owner of the land. For foreigners, a hunting license can be issued for a period of 1/5/30 days or 6/12 months. Any applicant must prove that he/she does not have a criminal record as well as meet the minimum age, etc. Alternatively, one can be a host to a gamekeeper association or to someone’s private property. However, there is always the need to have a valid hunting license and hunting permit. When one is shooting a rifle, he/she must also have a valid gun license (License group C).

 

What can be hunted and when?

The hunting season is also set by law. The dates when hunters can hunt certain animals are clearly specified and need to be followed. The number of animals that can be hunted is determined on a yearly basis based on the local populations (rules also stipulated by law). If they are too many in number, their numbers must be controlled and if they are too few, they are protected. The key is to ensure equilibrium in the population levels.

The animals which can be legally hunted are classified into two groups: furred and feathered game. Some hunting methods used in other countries are not allowed. For example, using a crossbow or bow is prohibited. Falconry is allowed, but only at certain times of the year and only for certain types of animals. Here are the types of animals one can hunt and dates that they can be hunted in:

 

Furred game seasons

Deer, doe and fawn of the Red Deer 1.8.–15.1
Deer, doe and fawn of the Manchurian Sika Deer 16.8.–31.12
Deer, doe and fawn of the Japanese Sika Deer 1.8.–15.1
Fallow deer, doe, dance 16.8.–31.12
Deer, doe and fawn of White-tailed Deer 1.9–31.12
Doe deer 16.5–30.9
Doe, roe 1. 9.–31.12
Mouflon (male, female, offspring) 1.8–31.12
Wild boar and sow of wild boar 1.8–31.12
Pig and wild boar yearling 1. 1. – 31. 12
Buck, goat and kid of the Bezoar Goat 1.9–31.12
Chamois (male, female, offspring) 1.10.–30.11
Hare 1.11–31.12
Hare (capture only) 1.1–31.1
Hare (only birds of prey) 1.9–31.12
Rabbit 1.11–31.12
Badger 1.10. –30.11
Red Fox 1.1– 31.12
Pine Marten and Beech Marten 1.11–28.2
Muskrat 1.11–29.2

Feathered game seasons

Pheasant-cock 16.10.–31.12
Pheasant-cock and hen pheasant only in pheasantries 16.10–31.1
Pheasant-cock and hen (capture only) 1.1–31.3
Pheasant-cock and hen (capture only in pheasantries) 1.2–31.3
Pheasant-cock and hen (only birds of prey) 1.9–31.12
Reeves’s Pheasant – cock 16.10–15.3
Reeves’s Pheasant – hens (only in pheasantries) 16.10–31.12
Wild Turkey – cock 15.3–15.4
Wild Turkey and turkey 1.10–31.12
Bean Goose, Greylag Goose, Greater White-fronted Goose 16.8–15.1
Mallard, Pochard, Tufted Duck 1.9–30.11
Eurasian Coot 1.9–30.11
Helmeted Guineafowl 16.10–31.12
Common Wood Pigeon 1.8–31.10
Collared Dove 16.10–15.2
Magpie 1.7–28.2
Carrion Crow 1.7–28.2

 

What happens to the animals?

What happens to the animals that were hunted down? Usually, these animals are consumed either by the hunters and their families or sometimes, their parts used as decorative trophies. Many of the wild boars, deer and doe deer end up on our plates. The demand for venison is considerable and forms an indispensable component to many classical Czech and Slovak food variations, including but not limited to gulαš, svνθkovα, and others. Many of the gamekeeper associations sell the meat they do not need themselves to various distribution companies, which are then responsible for its distribution to restaurants and other outlets. Since most of the meat from wild animals is subjected to more parasites and possible disease, veterinary testing of the meat takes place prior to human consumption.

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