Hunting in Europe
Whether you hunt ibex in Spain, chamois in Austria, grouse in Scotland, or wild boars in Romania, hunting in Europe is a fascinating and rewarding experience. Hunting in Europe is inextricably intertwined with the continent’s rich history, and the customs and traditions that have been passed down through the generations are an important part of the adventure. European countries are known for their intensive scientific game management, which has led to excellent trophy quality for many species. Hunting in Europe is also a great choice for a hunter who wishes to combine a few days of hunting with a family vacation or business trip. Hunts in Europe tend to be well-organized, sophisticated operations. A variety of hunting techniques are utilized, depending on the country and the species. Driven hunts for big game are common in many areas, but spot-and-stalk as well as hunting from stands or “high seats” are common techniques as well. Europe’s big-game animals include chamois, several types of ibex, mouflon, red deer, moose, reindeer, wild boar, sika deer, wolves, and Eurasian brown bears. Game birds are also plentiful, including black, red, and willow grouse, ptarmigan, geese, ducks, woodcock, snipe, red-legged partridge, and pheasant. Europe Hunts are something that should not be left out of your hunting agenda!
There are 26 countries in Europe that cater to hunters. Below are some of them with the animals that are available.:
Austria, proud of its centuries-old hunting tradition, is one of the most welcoming countries in Europe for the hunter. You can expect high-quality hunting services and a strong sense of hospitality toward hunters. Hunting is deeply rooted in Austrian society and hunters are regarded as role models because of their ethical values and understanding of and identification with nature. Hunting in Austria will give you insight into how this century-old tradition developed and why it continues to this day. A great variety of magnificent natural landscapes await the hunter. Experience the Northern Alpine Foreland, which includes the breathtaking Danube Valley; the lowlands and hilly regions in northeastern and eastern Austria, with its high density of forests and fields; and the rolling hills and lowlands of the Southeastern Alpine Foreland to the west, dominated by the impressive, soaring peaks of the Alps.
Why hunting in Belarus is famous and so popular? The answer is simple: Belarus is well-known for its pure nature and the great variety of species. Hunting trips to Belarus can combine both hunting and leisure time. Belarus is known for its pristine wilderness, forests, and marshes. This country always attracted hunters from all over the world. Hunting in Belarus is affordable for hunters of all classes, but the low price doesn’t mean low quality and less pleasure.You can choose a trip that will satisfy you fully. Hunting in Belarus gives you the opportunity to hunt such animals as aurochs, elks, red deer, roe, boar wolf, fox, beaver, hare, marten, otter, and muskrat. Among birds, it’s possible to hunt capercaillie, blackcock, grouse, partridge, snipe, and woodcock. As you can see, the variety of hunting in Belarus is great, everyone can find a trip according to their interest. In Belarus, you have a chance to hunt according to centuries-old traditions. The unique nature of Belarus’s variety of animals, and experienced guides will make your tour to Belarus an unforgettable experience! Don’t miss the opportunity!
Bulgaria, located in the eastern part of the Balkan Peninsula, is famous for its game-rich wilderness areas and mountains. Two large mountain ranges divide the country into distinctive regions, and a third of the country is forested. Hunting opportunities are provided on some 30 state-owned hunting grounds, as well as many hunting clubs and private estates. They offer excellent trophy-quality red stags, Alpine chamois, Balkan chamois, fallow deer, roe deer, mouflon, and wild boar, as well as wolf and lynx. Bird shooting is excellent for pheasant, partridge, ducks, and geese.
Hunting has a long and rich tradition in the lands that are now part of the Czech Republic. At least as far back as the 11th century, nobles rode out in groups to hunt deer and wild boar, special hunting castles were built to accommodate the hunters, and gamekeepers were employed and trained on most landholdings. To this day, the Czech Republic holds excellent populations of alpine chamois, red deer, fallow deer, roe deer, mouflon, and wild boar. The country is especially known for mouflon, which grows to impressive size here. Introduced from Corsica by Count Forgach in 1868, mouflon has thrived in the high hills of the Czech Republic ever since, and seven out of ten of the largest mouflon heads in the world have been taken in this region. The countryside features large forested areas and broad, sparsely populated agricultural lands, and there are numerous hunting lodges and hotels to cater to the traveling hunter. Hunt prices here remain relatively modest despite the high quality of the experience.
One of the Baltic States (along with Latvia and Lithuania), Estonia lies along the Baltic Sea bordered by Poland and Russia. Moose and lynx are the major draws for hunters, although Estonia boasts a wide variety of wildlife (brown bear, roe deer, red deer, etc.). Estonia is a beautiful country very rich in natural landscapes and with an interesting history. Prices are low, which makes it a great value for hunters. The main tourist attraction is Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, a beautiful old town worth exploring.
The hunting tradition in France goes back at least two thousand years, and probably more. Cave paintings depicting hunting scenes have been found here that date to prehistoric times, and in more recent history, la chasse was one of the major pastimes of royalty. Today, hunting in France can be enjoyed by sportsmen from around the world. One of the largest countries in Europe, France still has sprawling forested areas, fields, and mountain ranges that are home to red deer, fallow deer, roe deer, wild boar, mouflon, alpine chamois, and Pyrenean chamois. As in much of Europe, the game is managed by professional gamekeepers, primarily on private estates. In addition to big game, driven pheasant shoots as well as walk-up hunts for pigeon, partridge, and duck are popular. Good management and habitat improvement has led to an increase in most of France’s game populations in recent years. France is Europe’s primary tourist destination, with plenty to offer in the way of food and wine as well as art and culture, so a hunt in France can easily be combined with a family vacation, wine tasting, or sightseeing.
Hungary is a country where almost anyone can find the perfect hunt. Whether you are looking for the trophy of a lifetime or simply a representative animal and a memorable experience, Hungary is a great choice. You can hunt red deer, fallow deer, roe deer, mouflon, and wild boar as well as waterfowl, pheasant, partridge, and hares. Hungarians use a variety of hunting methods, but the most common are stalking and hunting from a stand or “high seat.” Organized driven hunts are also available, usually for wild boar or pheasant. Some hunters prefer to hunt roebuck during the rutting season, which occurs at the end of July and the beginning of August. Whether you prefer to hunt early or late in the season, roebuck hunting is a rewarding and unique experience. The main hunting season starts in September when the red stag and mouflon seasons open. You can also hunt ducks during this time. In October, you can add fallow deer to the list. October also marks the opening of the small-game season. Driven hunts for wild boar are typically conducted from November to January. However, you can hunt wild boar all year round. Boar hunts can be especially productive during the summer when most hunting is conducted on agricultural lands but stalking and stand hunting can be good in the fall as well. Hungary is a small country, but it contains a variety of habitats. There are forested mountains, sweeping plains, large rivers, and many lakes. The natural beauty of the countryside, together with the comfortable lodges, hotels, and spas, as well as the amazing Hungarian cuisine and wine, will make your hunting trip to Hungary a memorable one. Hungary is a great place to take your family along; you can easily arrange a family vacation/hunting combo. Hungary is proud to be home to the headquarters of the C.I.C. (International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation), an international organization dedicated to sustainable and ethical hunting and the scientific ideals of wildlife conservation.
The Emerald Isle’s mountains, lakes, and stunning Atlantic seashores offer a beautiful setting in which to pursue red deer, sika deer, fallow deer, and several varieties of feral sheep and goats in acres of wild and windswept countryside. Ireland has one of the densest populations of sika deer in Europe and stalking these elusive animals in the ancient forests and green hills of the Irish countryside makes for a true challenge. Bird hunting in Ireland is outstanding, with some twenty species of game birds including excellent high-volume shooting for wood pigeons. The Irish are well known for their excellent hospitality and welcome visiting hunters. Opportunities for post-hunt sightseeing, hiking, and touring abound.
With its storied gun-making tradition and the presence of some of the world’s oldest gun companies, including Beretta, it stands to reason that Italy would be home to an enthusiastic hunting community. Whether you choose one of the many walk-up wing shooting opportunities for the country’s abundant pheasants, partridge, and quail, take part in a driven shoot for wild boar, or stalk roe deer, you’ll enjoy the unique experience of hunting in the Italian countryside. Most hunting is conducted in the northern regions of the country, with Tuscany, Umbria, and Sardinia being the most popular. Hunting in Italy is highly regulated, with hunting areas, quotas, and permits subject to a yearly authorization process.
The largest country in Eastern Europe, Poland has large forested areas and plenty of agricultural lands, making it an ideal habitat for roe deer, red deer, fallow deer, European mouflon, European bison, and wild boar. Red stag hunting here rarely produces enormous trophies but is more reasonably priced than in many other countries and provides an excellent hunting experience. Poland has some of the largest herds of European bison outside of Russia and is still home to wolves in the Carpathian Mountains. Roebuck hunting here is outstanding, and driven deer and boar hunts are extremely popular and successful.
Romania is one of the few countries in Europe that still retains its true wilderness character. Wolves, brown bears, and wild boars inhabit the primeval forests, and roe deer, red stags, fallow deer, and chamois are also abundant. The country offers a wide variety of hunting experiences, from rustic hunts by carriage for roe deer to classic hunts for a red stag in sprawling forests, to hunts in the dead of winter for wild boars and wolves. It has one of the largest areas of undisturbed forest in Europe, covering almost 27 percent of the country. Romania’s hunting culture goes back centuries, and today the country is known for its excellent game management. It has the largest populations of both Eurasian brown bears and wolves in Europe; by one estimate, the country contains almost 70 percent of the total population of Eurasian brown bears, and most hunters see multiple bears during their hunt. These are huge bears, often exceeding 800 pounds. Bears are hunted in both fall and spring and may be taken by stalking, over bait, or on a drive with beaters. The largest subspecies of chamois in the world, the Carpathian chamois, is native to the Carpathian Mountains. The CIC world record for a chamois, as well as eight of the top ten heads, come from Romania. Chamois hunts involve a great deal of walking and climbing, rewarding the hunter with breathtaking views. The red stags of the remote Carpathian Mountains grow larger, on average than red stags in Western Europe, and Romania has produced some of the largest stags ever taken. These stags are free-ranging and are hunted by stalking or in some cases by using horses. Wolf populations are strong in Romania and can be hunted during the fall and winter by tracking, stalking, calling, or driving with beaters. Romania is also a wing shooter’s paradise. The Danube delta region near the Black Sea is home to vast numbers of geese, woodcock, ducks, quail, and many other game birds.
Russia, the largest country in the world in terms of land area, spans eleven time zones and two continents, covering the major part of Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It contains the largest freshwater lake in the world, the Baikal, and Europe's tallest peak, Mount Elbrus. A variety of climate zones and topography, ranging from broad plains and low hills west of the Urals to vast areas of coniferous forest and tundra in Siberia to the upland and mountain habitat along the southern border regions, means hunters have a tremendous variety of game and hunting experiences to choose from. Hunting in Russia is as varied as the terrain, ranging from lodge-based deer and upland bird hunts, to bear hunts using snowmobiles, to rugged hike-in snow sheep hunts in the high mountains. Russia has five varieties of snow sheep: Kamchatka, Koryak, Okhotsk, Kolyma, and Yakutia; five varieties of brown bears: East Siberian, Amur, Siberian, European, and Caucasian; and three varieties of moose: Kamchatka, Yakutia, and European. The country also offers excellent hunting for Siberian roebuck, maral stag, wolf, lynx, capercaillie, blackcock, and woodcock. Inexpensive hunts for species as diverse as capercaillie and bears abound, and prices are still comparatively low even for combined hunts in Kamchatka and the Far East for snow sheep and moose.
Serbia is located in southeastern Europe, covering an area of the Balkans and part of central Europe. Serbia is not widely known as a hunting destination, but the country is home to first-class trophies of a wide variety of European species, and its hunting grounds are vast, stretching from the flat, agricultural plains of Vojvodina in the north to the unspoiled mountainous regions. Serbia’s hunting areas, which consist of both free-range and fenced estates, are overseen by hunting associations, and the wildlife is carefully managed by biologists and gamekeepers under the auspices of state-owned companies, as well as local hunting associations. Roebuck grow large in Serbia, and populations are dense, with as many as 50 to 100 deer seen per day, particularly during the rut in May. Boar hunting is excellent, and there are also red deer, fallow deer, and mouflon. Bird hunting in this country may be one of the world’s best-kept hunting secrets. Wild quail, pigeon, pheasant, duck, and geese are all available. Hunting tourism in Serbia has strict rules, and there is some bureaucracy to contend with, but the Serbians are friendly, and the country is trying to encourage more hunters to visit.
Spain is blessed with a mild Mediterranean climate and a variety of terrain. With mountains in the north, southcentral, and west of the country, as well as rolling hills, forests, and farmland, Spain offers a long list of game animals, many of which are unique to the Iberian Peninsula. The quality of guiding, lodging, food, and other amenities is outstanding in Spain. Spain is also a leader in progressive wildlife management, and its wildlife populations are stable and produce excellent trophies. Spain is famous for its four varieties of ibex, each of which occupies four disparate geographical regions. The Spanish ibex (Capra pyrenaica) has four subspecies: Gredos, found in the Gredos Mountains near Madrid; Beceite, in the mountains of Valencia; and the Southeastern and Ronda ibex, both of which are found in the coastal mountains of Andalusia. Spain is also home to two subspecies of chamois: the Pyrenean chamois of the Pyrenean mountains, which separate Spain from France, and the Cantabrian chamois from the Cantabrian mountains of the north coast. Both chamois hunts and ibex hunts take place in scenic mountain country. Other available game includes red stag, Iberian wolf, Barbary sheep, Iberian mouflon, Balearian boc, roebuck, fallow deer, and wild boar. In medieval times, a royal-driven hunt in the Montero Hills gave rise to the famously driven hunt called the Monteria. This traditional way of hunting big game entails hunters at stands approximately 300 yards apart. The hunting area is normally very thick and brush-covered, so hounds are used to drive game to where the hunters are located. Species hunted in a Monteria typically include red deer, roe deer, and wild boar. If bird shooting is your game, Spain is also famous for its red-legged partridge. The red-legged partridge is indigenous to Spain and considered one of the world's fastest and most challenging game birds, with a rapid and irregular flight pattern. Driven partridge shooting, known as Ojeo, is a style of hunting typical in Spain, where the hunter waits at his station for the partridge to fly over. During a day´s shooting, a line of six or eight shooters may bag as many as 1,000 partridge.