La Frapna et la LPO Isère réagissent après l'accident de chasse du 10 octobre. © Chasseur de France

Sunday will remain the preserve of the hunters in Isère

Sunday will remain the preserve of the hunters in Isère

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DECRYPTION – By establishing areas prohibited to hunters or closed to hunting on Sunday afternoon, the Haute-Savoie has she shown the way ? Isère will not follow the same path. There will be no second no-hunting day in the department. A small consolation prize for associations and the increasing number of participants, who demand a Sunday truce : hunt leaders must be trained by 2018, and signage will be placed at particularly frequented sites. 




Friday is the only no-hunting day in Isère, but thinking ahead... slowly. © Gest/Federation of hunting in Isère

Friday is the only no-hun­ting day in Isère, but thin­king ahead… slowly. © Gest/Federation of hun­ting in Isère

There will be no ban on Sunday hun­ting in Isère. With the new sea­son ope­ning today, and las­ting for six months, the pos­si­bi­lity of a second no-hun­ting day in the depart­ment seems to have vani­shed into thin air.


Friday remains the only no-hun­ting day across the depart­ment, des­pite repea­ted requests from asso­cia­tions in defense of the envi­ron­ment and the repre­sen­ta­tives of users, even though eight out of ten French people have deman­ded that Sunday hun­ting be stop­ped, and des­pite the 300,000 signa­tures col­lec­ted in a peti­tion laun­ched by the Aspas .


Whilst in Haute-Savoie, hun­ting bans or regu­la­ted areas (hun­ting pro­hi­bi­ted after 11:30 on Sunday) have been intro­du­ced, nothing to report in Isère. The two depart­ments have one thing in com­mon : both recor­ded a fatal acci­dent in 2015, a wal­ker in Haute-Savoie and a young hiker in Isère.


But, the pre­fects of the two depart­ments did not have the same ans­wer, because in France, there are no legis­la­tive or regu­la­tory schemes to regu­late hunting.

Each Department does pretty much as it likes, mea­ning that nobody really knows what they are doing…


In theory, in the Hexagon, there is nothing to say that hun­ting can­not take place seven days a week. Indeed, throu­ghout the 96 depart­ments, only six have imple­men­ted one or two no-hun­ting days per week. In Isère and the Hautes-Alpes, it’s Friday ; in Jura, it’s Tuesday ; in the Haute-Marne, Wednesday ; in Savoie, Tuesday and Friday, and in the Haute-Savoie, on Wednesday and Friday – not Sunday for the lat­ter, depen­ding on the areas this year.




“We don’t want a ban”



Complicated ? Even more so, when we look at the map. Hunting asso­cia­tions are not allo­wed to hunt on cer­tain days, gene­rally due to the over-fre­quen­ta­tion of cer­tain areas. Private hun­ting at Père Gras à la Bastille takes a break on Sunday. At Saint-Martin-le-Vinoux, wee­kends are usually rather quiet.


Additionally, hun­ting may be open or clo­sed, depen­ding on alti­tude. In Revel, for example, in addi­tion to Friday, hun­ters don’t get out their rifles on Monday and Wednesday, except above 1,800 meters, to track chamois.


La Frapna et la LPO Isère réagissent après l'accident de chasse du 10 octobre. © Chasseur de France

© Chasseur de France (French Hunter)


The fact remains that not hun­ting on Sunday is, for the moment, an excep­tion. Nothing says that the ini­tia­tive of the haut-savoyard pre­fect is emu­la­ted. In the depart­ment, the ques­tion is even trou­bling the pre­sident of the depart­men­tal fede­ra­tion of Isere hun­ting : “We don’t want a ban!”, says Jean-Louis Dufresne.


The issue was qui­ckly swept under the car­pet during dis­cus­sions within the reflec­tion group “Hunter safety” * esta­bli­shed by the pre­fect of Isère after the fatal acci­dent, which occur­red in October, 2015, in Revel. The Frapna (Rhône-Alpes fede­ra­tion for the pro­tec­tion of nature), were the only asso­cia­tion to defend no-hun­ting Sunday within the group, and visi­bly held no weight.


"TheIt is, never­the­less, not the only one to ques­tion the public autho­ri­ties on this mat­ter. The bird pro­tec­tion League, Mountain Wilderness, the regio­nal Committee of the French Alpine Club and moun­tain fede­ra­tion, as well as the French Alpine Club Grenoble-Oisans have all already split in a let­ter to the prefect.


But, it’s the Committee of the French hiking fede­ra­tion that the repre­sen­ta­tive of the State has cho­sen to represent users in the reflec­tion group.


Coincidence ? The lat­ter is on rather good terms with hun­ters and is hardly defen­ding the idea of a second no-hun­ting day***. Were the dice loa­ded from the start ? When soli­ci­ted, the pre­fec­ture of Isere did not reply to our inter­view requests.


What weight do hikers, bikers, riders, or even simple wal­kers and fami­lies hold, when faced with hun­ters ? The first are more likely to aspire to taking in the air, while hun­ters – whose num­bers decline from year to year – represent no more than 1.6 % of the French.


A weight they will look for elsew­here ; in the Senate, the hun­ting and fishing research group has 86 mem­bers, the tou­rism and lei­sure group, 24. At the National Assembly, the hun­ting and ter­ri­to­ries group includes 116 mem­bers, the moun­tain group 39…


Should coha­bi­ta­tion be stop­ped ? Partitioning of the public ? How can the space be sha­red safely ?


Lacking no-hun­ting Sunday, and wai­ting to find (ano­ther) solu­tion, public power and hun­ters intend to play the infor­ma­tion card in awa­re­ness and accoun­ta­bi­lity. Fingers crossed…


The season opens on Sunday. Friday is the only no-hunting day in Isère, but thinking ahead... slowly. width=Thus, signage will be imple­men­ted at the end of September, at six highly fre­quen­ted pilot sites ** in Isère. The idea is to edu­cate users about the hun­ting days, and also remind them to res­pect the secu­rity ins­truc­tions. Like not lea­ving paths.

In Revel, on 10th October 2015, it was on a forest trail that a young student from Grenoble, was mis­ta­ken for a deer ; he was fatally injured.


In such cases, the signs do nothing ; no more than the day-glo orange vests, which must be worn by hun­ters, also one of the mea­sures of the Isère reflec­tion group. The neon out­fit was already com­pul­sory, but not neces­sa­rily orange… The asso­cia­tions would appre­ciate atten­tion to detail.


For wal­kers, it won’t change much. For hun­ters, yes, because shots without iden­ti­fi­ca­tion are the main cause of fatal acci­dents, and the vic­tims, in 85 % of cases, are hunters.


However, there is no requi­re­ment for hun­ters to have trai­ning. Only the fede­ra­tions are under the obli­ga­tion to do so. A casual­ness that astounds asso­cia­tions. “When we arm someone, we should at least train them!”, points out Fredi Meignan, pre­sident of Mountain Wilderness. “A car can be dan­ge­rous, but there is the dri­ving license!”



© Flickr

Jean-Louis Dufresne, counts on the accoun­ta­bi­lity of his troops. Each year, his fede­ra­tion trains 350 to 400 hun­ters. But, they are satu­ra­ted ; “This year, we have done 24 trai­ning courses and there are more and more appli­ca­tions.” Today, 10,000 out of the department’s 18,000 hun­ters will be trained.


At this rate, all of the hun­ters will be ready in… twenty years. This is without going through the recy­cling bin, as the asso­cia­tions claim, and with no control from the State on health either.


The only mea­sure made com­pul­sory this year by the pre­fect of Isère : the trai­ning of heads of hunt. By 2018, all lea­ders of col­lec­tive hun­ting must have been trai­ned ; 800 to 900 per year.

Measures hai­led by asso­cia­tions, but far from suf­fi­cient. “2018 is too late”, high­lights Sophie D’Herbomez-Provost, Vice President of Frapna Isère. “We had hoped for 2017… ”


“It is far from a mini­mum ser­vice!”, conti­nues Fredi Meignan, pre­sident of Mountain Wilderness. “We can’t stick to not sha­ring the ter­ri­tory. It doesn’t mean rising against each other. It’s in the gene­ral interest.”


Around the table, Frapna says it is ready to take a step : to draw a line through the extra no-hun­ting day and replace it with two half days, with the Sunday after­noon (still) in the firing line.


On their side, hun­ters are stu­dying the fea­si­bi­lity of a web appli­ca­tion that would iden­tify, and espe­cially make public, the day and ope­ning of hun­ting areas, as well as the hun­ting zones. The asso­cia­tions have high expec­ta­tions of the inves­ti­ga­tion to be conduc­ted into hun­ting prac­tices, with the goal being to learn about the sec­tors and per­iods where coha­bi­ta­tion may be problematic.


Meanwhile, the pre­fect of Isère is split over one point of order : it is for­bid­den to shoot above the roads…



Patricia Cerinsek



* The reflec­tion group consists of the Department of ter­ri­to­ries, the Federation of hun­ters of Isère, the natio­nal hun­ting and wild­life office, the natio­nal fores­try Office, the County Council, a repre­sen­ta­tive of the mayors of the French Hiking Federation and the Rhône-Alpes Federation for the pro­tec­tion of nature.


** Six pilot sites in Isère : Revel (Freydières), Lavars / Treffort (Ebron), Lans-en-Vercors (Les Allières), Roybon (Digonne), Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse (Charmant Som), Saint-Ismier et Le Versoud (French woods).


*** When contac­ted, the FFRP of Isère, whose pre­sident resi­gned, did not wish to speak.





The Freydières sec­tor in the town of Revel is one of the busiest cor­ners of the Isère. It was here on 10th October, 2015, that a young French student was fatally inju­red by a hun­ter. But, the inten­ded shock wave did not take effect for some after­wards. Here, Sunday remains a day of hun­ting, like eve­ryw­here else in Isère.


Le chemin forestier sur lequel a été tué un jeune randonneur à Revel, le 10 octobre 2015. © Xavier Schmidt - France 3 Alpes

The forest path, on which a young back­pa­cker was killed, in Revel, 10th October, 2015. © Xavier Schmidt – France 3 Alpes

Ban hun­ting on Sunday ? “You don’t want to go into the divi­sions”, abounds Bernard Michon. For the Mayor of this small town, at the gates of the mas­sif of Belledonne, there is no ques­tion of par­ti­tio­ning off the public. He speaks of trai­ning, accoun­ta­bi­lity and information.


In late September, edu­ca­tio­nal panels will be ins­tal­led to raise awa­re­ness about hun­ting, and also about the forest envi­ron­ment. “We want to streng­then coha­bi­ta­tion. What is impor­tant is the evo­lu­tion of conscious­ness and dia­logue.” The trai­ning of hun­ters will be streng­the­ned. Above all, the over-fre­quen­ted Freydières forest road, is now part of the hun­ting reserve. On this sec­tor, which runs up to the Crozet Lake, hun­ting is now prohibited.







With an ave­rage of 150 hun­ting acci­dents repor­ted each year, France holds the European record. Even if the trend is moving in a down­ward direc­tion, over twenty sea­sons, more than 600 deaths have been recor­ded by the Hexagon.


On a final note, France is it also, because of the num­ber hun­ting days. In fact, it is the only coun­try where hun­ting takes place every day of the week. In the nor­thern half of Europe, the United Kingdom, Denmark and Germany, hun­ting is pro­hi­bi­ted on Sunday. In the sou­thern half, in Italy, Spain and Portugal, hun­ting is allo­wed on Sunday, but pro­hi­bi­ted on seve­ral week days.




Traduction from Speak English Center

Phone : +33 4 76 50 39 79

1 ave­nue du Vercors, 38600 Fontaine FRANCE


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