“I cannot say that such an accident cannot happen in Luxembourg”, launches Richard Frank, secretary general of the Saint-Hubert Federation of Hunters of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (FSHCL) a few days after the new and terrible accident. hunt that occurred in France last weekend. As a reminder, the shooting of a young 17-year-old hunter fatally hit a 24-year-old hiker in Cantal in France.
But Richard Frank nevertheless specifies that “Luxembourg has regulations governing the practice of hunting which are among the strictest, if not the strictest, in Europe”.
In Luxembourg, the hunting season begins in mid-October and ends at the end of January. “It’s the shortest period in Europe,” says Richard Frank. The drives must be announced 15 days before, to the Administration of Nature and Forests. The general public can find out the dates and locations of the hunts on the Geoportail site, but also from the municipality where the hunt takes place. Moreover, the FSHCL invites hikers, especially during the hunting season, to do so to keep themselves informed and perhaps adapt their outing accordingly.
You don’t get your hunting license in six evenings of training like in France.
In addition to the administrative aspects, the beats are also reported on the ground. “The forest must be framed and signs must announce the hunt. The panels must indicate the date of the hunt and they must be placed at best the day before the hunt or at worst the same day”, indicates the secretary general of the FSHCL. “The forest is not forbidden to hikers, however, and sometimes, some can’t help but take a path where the beat takes place. In this case, hunters must exercise caution and they are equipped with means of communication to signal the presence of hikers to other hunters on a specific frequency,” explains Richard Frank.
An expensive and time-consuming license to obtain
In Luxembourg, the hunting permit costs 230 euros per year (for 46 euros in France, between 35 and 112 euros in Germany and 223 euros in Belgium) and is issued by the Ministry of the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development. The country currently has around 2,200 hunters. To obtain this permit, you must be at least 16 years old, with no criminal record. It is necessary to count simultaneously one between the request, the various tests, the examinations and the success of the safety course. “You don’t get your hunting license in six evenings of training like in France,” says Richard Frank. “The Luxembourg hunting license is expensive and it is among the most difficult in Europe. The training begins in May, the aspirant to the permit must make 24 outings with a ‘training boss’, in addition to the courses given by the hunting federation and the administration of nature and forests.
In all cases, the hunter is responsible for his shot.
Classes run from mid-September to mid-February. There is also a written exam and oral tests to take, shooting training and, finally, a safety course which is eliminatory”, explains Richard Frank, himself a hunter.
“The hunter is solely responsible for his shot. A shot that must be 100% sticky (towards the ground, editor’s note) while respecting the safety angles. The shooter must also respect a safe distance and avoid shooting towards rocks in order to avoid ricochets. A ricochet can go in all directions and there is not much you can do except watch the lay of the land, i.e. avoid stones, rocks, asphalt, etc. To be certain that the ball will end up buried. Because even if the bullet hits an animal, we cannot be sure that it will not ricochet if it hits a bone. But again, in any case, the hunter is responsible for his shot,” assures Richard Frank.
A fatal hunting accident in 2013
The FSCHL is also showing great vigilance
in compliance with safety rules
respecting good practices such as leaving the weapon open when moving or putting the weapon’s safety skull in place.
“We actually monitor good practices and if a hunter does not respect them, we point it out to him. But we cannot withdraw a hunting license since we do not issue it”, concludes Richard Frank.
The last hunting accident in Luxembourg dates back to September 24, 2016 when a hunter, 51 years old, wanting to shoot a wild boar seriously injured a woman in the face installed on the terrace of a residence in Fentange. The last hunting accident with fatal consequences dates back to Luxembourg on Thursday, November 7, 2013. A hunter had accidentally hit himself while trying to pass under a fence. It was then the first time in 20 years that such an accident was deplored.