Roe Deer Hunting on Horseback Popular in France

Roe Deer Hunting on Horseback Popular in France
A participant on horseback attends a roe dear hunt with hounds in the Chantilly royal estate forest, north of Paris, France. (Reuters/Jacky Naegelen photo)

Reports have shown consumers in France increasingly prefer lifestyle experiences, such as hunting, rather than buying luxury items, such as jewelry

PARIS (Reuters) - Banned in much of Europe, roe-deer hunting on horseback with hounds is enjoying such renewed interest in France that some companies are marketing one-off outings to non-specialists, some riding in carriages.

Affluent consumers increasingly prefer spending on such lifestyle experiences as hunting, travel and pricy meals rather than on luxury "stuff" like handbags and jewelry, analysts say, and the trend shows no sign of abating.

"In a society turning vegetarian, influenced by grisly reports about animal slaughtering, paradoxically the sport has never been doing so well as in France," said Pierre de Boisguilbert, head of France's Hunting with Hounds Association.

The number of hunters with hounds has more than doubled in the past 40 years to around 10,000 in France, and the number of followers on foot and bicycles has risen to 150,000, he said.


As opposed to other forms of hunting involving arrows, birds of prey or firearms, it is not the hunter who kills the animal but the hounds, who in turn feed on it as a reward in a tightly regimented ceremony.


French enthusiasm for this form of hunting dates to the 16th century under King Francis I, who ordered circles cut out in forests with paths crisscrossing through the middle of them to help hunters pinpoint animals being chased and hounds to trap them.


France is the only country in the world with such patterns hewed into its woodland, and it hosts around 390 officially registered hunts, nearly half of them focused on roe deer.

There are around 340 in Britain. Though such hunts were banned in 2004 after protracted parliamentary debate, they have continued thanks to legal loopholes. The practice has been prohibited in Germany since 1934 under then-Nazi rule.

French companies such as "Gourmet Fly" or "A cheval chez les Princes," (Horse-Riding among Princes) now offer people the chance to join hunts with dogs, either on a horse or following it in a carriage.


"It started three years ago with a couple of friends and as demand grew, I created my company," said Maité Boyer of A cheval chez les Princes, which organizes roe-deer hunts in the historic Chantilly forest near Paris for several hundreds euros a day.

France has more than 1 million registered hunters, the most in Europe, and they comprise its second biggest lobby group after farmers.

(Reporting by Astrid Wendlandt; editing by Mark Heinrich)


Recommended for You

When all else fails, here's what these pros tie on. Bass

MLF Pros: What's Your Go-To Lure?

G&F Online Staff - May 20, 2019

When all else fails, here's what these pros tie on.

Our picks for stuffable protection against any weather.

Field Tested: Lightweight Raingear

David Draper - May 30, 2019

Our picks for stuffable protection against any weather.

Try these tips to improve your wild boar hunting skill set. Hogs

Quick Tips: How to Spot and Stalk a Hog

Ian Nance - May 28, 2019

Try these tips to improve your wild boar hunting skill set.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Mustad

Mustad's Inkvader Octopus Live Jig

From big fish to small, just about any saltwater game fish out there will love the new Mustad Inkvader Octopus Live Jig that Mustad's Russ Whisler shows to OSG's Lynn Burkhead.

MLF Pro Tips: Go-To Baits for the Spawn

MLF Pro Tips: Go-To Baits for the Spawn

Major League Fishing pros talk about the first lure they choose when targeting spawning bass.

BPT Points Champ Edwin Evers Talks New Berkley Baits

BPT Points Champ Edwin Evers Talks New Berkley Baits

After making the switch to Berkley products heading into the inaugural BPT season, Edwin Evers tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead why Berkley baits played such a key role in his recent angling success.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Who needs live bait when the big 'gills are so eager to strike these lures? Other Freshwater

5 Great Lures For Bluegills

Stephen D. Carpenteri - March 10, 2011

Who needs live bait when the big 'gills are so eager to strike these lures?

North Dakota Game & Fish Department said the 16-9 walleye doesn't qualify for record. Walleye

Record-Sized Walleye Was Foul-Hooked, Agency Says

G&F Online Staff

North Dakota Game & Fish Department said the 16-9 walleye doesn't qualify for record.

Dozens of different bait types are commonly used for catfish, including these great options. Catfish

12 Great Catfish Baits

Jeff Samsel

Dozens of different bait types are commonly used for catfish, including these great options.

See More Stories

More Stories

How a humble Virginia hunter bagged the biggest non-typical whitetail a bowhunter has ever seen. Whitetail

The Story Behind Brewster's World-Record Buck

Lynn Burkhead - October 17, 2019

How a humble Virginia hunter bagged the biggest non-typical whitetail a bowhunter has ever...

 Brian Meyer likes to have coyotes within 20 yards! He uses an SKB shotgun for his coyote killing Stories

Coyote Calling Tips for Hunting at Close Range

Tim Lilley - January 09, 2014

Brian Meyer likes to have coyotes within 20 yards! He uses an SKB shotgun for his coyote...

Once considered a denizen of the Western wilds, the coyote has learned to adapt to human Stories

Coyotes In Suburbia

Stephen D. Carpenteri - November 30, 2016

Once considered a denizen of the Western wilds, the coyote has learned to adapt to human

See More Stories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×