In Luxembourg“Our mission? Kill as many boars as possible»
LUXEMBOURG – The hound hunting season opens this Saturday in Luxembourg. A godsend for the approximately 2,300 hunters, including a growing percentage of women.
“We have a mission: to slaughter as many wild boars as possible in order to help the peasants to guarantee their harvests”. Secretary General of the Saint-Hubert Federation of Luxembourg Hunters (FSHCL), Richard Frank prefaces the new hunting season, which opens this Saturday. “It’s about hunting hounds. It extends until mid-December, with an extension until the end of January 2023, exclusively for wild boars”, he explains.
And if there is so much talk of wild boar, it is because the swine have (too) proliferated in Luxembourg’s forests. “On the one hand, the hunt had to be closed during the pandemic, when we should have shot several hundred. On the other hand, a lot of acorns are strewn on the ground; however, they constitute pure energy for the wild boars, which have already begun to cause damage in the meadows”. Damage usually observed only from November, December.
The wild boar, therefore, is clearly in the line of fire, but what about the raccoon, whose proliferation has been worrying for many months in Luxembourg? “There, it is the squaring of the circle”, continues the hunter. “Invasive species classified as game, it must be hunted. But it is only possible to shoot them at night, and nocturnal hunting is prohibited!”. The law only authorizes it from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset. “We are asking for an extension of this schedule”, comments Richard Frank.
If the secretary of the FSHCL claims that hunting “is not a sport, but a hobby which occupies him three to four days a week in season”, he pays particular attention to safety. “The last accident dates back to the fall of 2016”, he recalls, “when by ricochet, a bullet hit a lady in the cheek in Fentange”. And if he adds that “no one is ever safe from an accident”, he notes that “improvements have been made in recent times, such as the fact for hunters to wear conspicuous jackets or to affix red ribbons at the edge of hunting grounds”. But, adds Richard Frank, “the problem is that people do not always respect the signs”.
Hunting also attracts women
This year, some 2,300 hunters are therefore preparing to practice their seasonal hobby in the coming months, a number “a slight increase compared to previous years”, notes Luc Bohler, administrative manager at the FSHCL. “Many hunters have stopped or died, but this is proof that this practice always attracts more young people,” he adds. “The natural product side, with certain traceability attracts them”, confirms Richard Frank.
And, a new phenomenon, hunting is also attracting more and more women. “We can count between 10 and 15% of women”, confirms Luc Bohler. Either, year in, year out, between 250 and 350 female representatives. Diane the huntress would she be emulated in the Grand Duchy?
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