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Hunting is a popular sport and profession in Germany and is performed all over the country. From deer to wild boar and shotguns to falconry, hunting is a widespread activity with strict-but-fair legislation established with respect to the environment and wildlife. There is just over 300,000 Km² of huntable area in the country, with almost 350,000 recorded hunters from a population of almost 90 million. The main authorities overseeing hunting and hunters are:
The DJV (German Hunting Association) represents 84 percent of all hunters in Germany. It groups together 16 regional hunting associations, co-ordinates public relations work and produces a number of publications for hunters and the general public.
Hunting is allowed throughout Germany provided certain conditions are met. Firstly, a hunting licence is required to hunt anywhere in the country. Then a hunting permit is needed for a specific type of hunting or a set period. Although a hunting licence issued outside Germany may sometimes be sufficient to obtain a hunting permit, if this is not the case, the full German licence is needed.
The national hunting examination as specified under German federal hunting law must be taken and passed to qualify for a hunting licence. The exam includes a written and an oral test as well as a shooting test. The main areas covered are:
Note: Hunting and falconer examinations, organised by the Hunting Authority (Jagdbehörde), are held once a year in Berlin between February and April. Applicants must be over 18 years old and should apply through the Land Office of Criminal Investigation (Landeskriminalamt, LKA).
The completed form must be submitted by hand to the local firearms authority/police representative. Additional documents required are:
On completing the hunting examination successfully, hunting permits can be obtained through the LKA.
Permits are only issued on proof of a valid hunting licence and a Civil Liability Insurance for Hunting. A General Hunting Accident Insurance is also recommended. There are several types of hunting permit:
Permission is required to hunt in Germany and the rights to hunting always belong to the landowner. Hunting areas may be privately owned or part of a hunting co-operative (Jagdgenossenschaft) and differ slightly bureaucratically depending on their size and location. Hunting rights may also be leased to a third party. A person must have held a German yearly permit for a minimum of three years before qualifying for a hunting lease. There are two types of hunting:
Hunting methods fall under three categories in Germany:
There are no calibre restrictions for shooting although 12, 16 and 20 bore shot are the norm. Automatic or semi-automatic weapons with space for more than two cartridges in the magazine are not permitted for hunting in Germany.
It is best to ask the landowner which animals are in season when hunting in Germany as they differ from state to state.
The following table provides seasonal hunting information for Berlin and Brandenburg:
|Wild boar||Shoats||All year round|
|Male adults and non-dominant females||16 June to 31 January|
|Dominant females||1 October to 31 January|
|Deer||Fawns||1 September to 28 February|
|Young does and does||1 May to 31 January|
|Bucks||1 May to 15 October|
|Foxes||All year round|
|Partridge||1 January to 15 December|
|Mallard||1 September to 15 December|
|Pigeon||1 July to 20 April|
Berlin currently has:
State-owned forests located within these hunting areas fall under the administration of the Federal forestry commission.
Hunters visiting from European Member States may bring up to three hunting firearms and the required ammunition into the country, provided they are recorded in an accompanying European Firearms Pass. Travelling with firearms must also be justified by a hunting invitation, for example.