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Every type of game has its own characteristics in each region and may be subject to hunting plans or protective measures. For more information about your hunting rights, refer to your local authority or hunting association.

#1 Partridge

Both the red and grey partridge are plentiful and, according to the latest counts, will be available in numbers when the season opens. But the population of red partridge varies between regions.

WHERE TO FIND THEM

The grey partridge is usually found on open plains and crop land where it can feed. These areas also need hedges, where the partridges can breed.

DISTRIBUTION OF PARTRIDGES IN FRANCE

Grey = grey partridge only
Red = red partridge only
Brown = red and grey partridge

HOW TO HUNT FOR THEM

Partridges and poults are hunted with setter dogs on the edges of fields of crops and in well maintained woods. It is also possible to hunt for grey partridge in mountains with a setter dog. Drive hunting is another good way to hunt for partridge.

Partridges and poults form companies at the start of the season. Partridge hunting is subject to quotas in many regions in order to protect these birds.

WHICH AMMUNITION?

Type 32g cartridges of n°6 lead shot are generally used.
For hunting with setters, we recommend:
1st shot – 32g grease wad, n°8 lead shot
2nd shot – 32g petal wad, n°6 lead shot

And for drive hunting, we recommend:
1st shot – 32g petal wad, n°7 lead shot
2nd shot – 32g petal wad, n°6 lead shot

#2 Pheasant

Efforts to reintroduce pheasants in a natural state are making good progress and achieving positive results, because the pheasant population has grown this year.

WHERE TO FIND THEM

The common pheasant can be found in many parts of France, thanks to its adaptability. It is often found in areas that combine woodland, meadows and crop land at altitudes below 1,000m. Most pheasants are bred.

HOW TO HUNT FOR THEM

Whether wandering with or without dogs, or drive hunting, pheasant makes excellent game that is available in high numbers at the start of the season, thanks to the numerous releases. At the start of the season, you will usually find them feeding on meadowland in the morning, and resting in undergrowth in the afternoon. Towards the end of autumn and in the winter, pheasants feed all day, as the nights become longer. When drive hunting, pheasants offer an opportunity to take technical shots with significant correction, due to the height and speed of flight of the birds.

WHICH AMMUNITION?

Like for partridge, when hunting with setters, we recommend:
1st shot – 32g grease wad, n°7 lead shot
2nd shot – 36g petal wad, n°6 lead shot

And for drive hunting, we recommend:
1st shot – 36g petal wad, n°6 lead shot
2nd shot – 36g petal wad, n°6 lead shot

#3 Dove and pigeon

The settling of the wood pigeon continues in many parts of the country. Their numbers remain stable throughout the year.

WHERE TO FIND THEM

The emblematic game in October when it migrates, doves or wood pigeons are becoming increasingly sedentary, making them ideal game for the start of the season. Wood pigeons are most common in central France and in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Gers, and Hautes-Pyrénées departments in the south-west of the country, but also in northern France.

HOW TO HUNT FOR THEM

Like ducks, at the start of the season, these birds are shot from hides on the edge of crop land in the pigeon's feeding grounds, or close to oak woods, but also on the edges of forests where the birds sleep, usually in tall pine or oak trees.

WHICH AMMUNITION?

For shooting wood pigeons in flight, we recommend:
1st shot – - 36g petal wad, n°7.5 or 6 lead shot
2nd shot – 36g petal wad, n°7.5 or 6 lead shot

#4 Quail

This species has reproduced abundantly this year and the latest observations indicate that the population has grown.

WHERE TO FIND THEM

The common quail is a highly adaptable species. It is mainly found in areas at low altitude and on cereal plains, but it occasionally ventures into mountain valleys at higher altitudes too.
The quail can be found all over France, but the population is concentrated mainly in the north-east and the centre of the country. It is also found in inland areas of the south of France.

DISTRIBUTION OF THE QUAIL IN FRANCE

HOW TO HUNT FOR THEM

Quails are hunted with setter dogs until the end of September, by which time most of them will have migrated south. They are mainly hunted in wheat fields. Quails are usually hunted while they are feeding in the morning, after which they rest in cool, sheltered places, before feeding again in the early evening.

WHICH AMMUNITION?

For quail we recommend
1st shot – - 32g grease wad, n°9 lead shot
2nd shot – 32g petal wad, n°9 lead shot

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#5 Hare

After a favourable spring, observations indicate that the numbers of hares have risen sharply. So they should be present when the season opens.

WHERE TO FIND THEM

Hares are present all over France and in Corsica too, where they were introduced by Man. They live in a variety of habitats, from plains at sea level, to mountain plateaus at about 2,000m. Their numbers vary according to the habitat, from one to three hares per km² in densely wooded or mountainous regions, up to 100 hares per km² in favourable zones containing meadows and crop land.

HOW TO HUNT FOR THEM

Hare is the game that can be hunted in the most different ways.
It can be hunted with setters on plains, or drive hunted, or with coursing hounds or even with packs of hounds. The fast and wily hare is never an easy catch.

WHICH AMMUNITION?

For hare hunting, we recommend:
1st shot - 34g grease wad n°4, 5 or 6 lead shot
2nd shot – 36g petal wad n° 4, 5 or 6 lead shot

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#6 Rabbit

Most shooters have never taken a course or read a book about shooting. You'll hear everything and its opposite. So you need to focus on yourself and your own experience, while building a solid technical foundation.

WHERE TO FIND THEM

Today, wild rabbits are present all over France, but with significant disparities between regions. Numbers are not as astronomical as in the past, mainly due to the numerous diseases that affect rabbits. But rabbits can still be hunted and are present in high numbers in certain departments.

HOW TO HUNT FOR THEM

Rabbits too can be hunted in several ways. Hunting with setter dogs and drive hunting are the most common techniques. But ferreting is also on the rise, especially in peri-urban areas, where it is too risky to use guns.

WHICH AMMUNITION?

For rabbit hunting, we recommend:
1st shot – 34g buck, n°6 or 7,5 lead shot
2nd shot – 34g grease wad, n°6 or 7.5 lead shot

In connection with this article, Solognac is offering:

DISTRIBUTION OF PARTRIDGES IN FRANCE

Grey = grey partridge only
Red = red partridge only
Brown = red and grey partridge

DISTRIBUTION OF PARTRIDGES IN FRANCE

Grey = grey partridge only
Red = red partridge only
Brown = red and grey partridge

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