Hunting in South Tyrol
In the dense forests of South Tyrol you may meet not only hikers and mushroom pickers; also bouncing fellows and jaunty ladies with green cloths and loaded guns are sneaking through the coppice and sidling up to small and big prey animals.
In the majority of the case South Tyrolean hunters and huntresses chase hoofed game, local cloven-hoofed animals such as roes and harts, then also chamois, boars and moufflons. A second hunting field is small game, including for example foxes, hares and rabbits. In the South Tyrolean valleys fowling has also quite a long tradition.
But even the most skilled and unerring ones among the about 6,000 hunters in South Tyrol must not go deerstalking whenever and wherever they want to. Finally hunting means not only success and prestige for the hunter, but first and foremost preservation of the balance between wildlife stock and environment.
Hunting season from 1st May to 15th December
Today the territory of many animals becomes smaller and smaller; thus is an important assignment for huntsmen to maintain the diversity of game species and to protect the habitat. Therefore it is strictly defined, which and how many animals may be hunted in a specified period of time.
Generally the hunting season for roe deer and red deer lasts from 1st May to 15th December, for all other animals are valid restricted periods. Hoofed game may be chased every day, small game at most three times per week – and that from one hour before sunrise till one hour after sunset.
Who may hunt?
In South Tyrol there is valid a so called social district hunting system with 8 hunting regions and 145 districts. In general everybody can go hunting in his municipality – provided that he pays the registration fee for the district and that he has a certification of hunting competence and a gun license, both achievable with a passed hunter exam.
At the very end a tip for all hunters and other interested people: Wolfsthurn Castle in Mareit/Ratschings houses the exciting Museum of Hunting and Fishing.