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Poland has long been a country often visited by foreign hunters and enjoys being continuously popular as a destination for hunting adventures.
Certainly this is due to the wonderful location of this Central European country, the hospitality of its inhabitants and, above all, forests rich in game. We would like to briefly introduce you to some general information and things to keep in mind when choosing to hunt in Poland.
Poland lies in a temperate climate zone. It is characterized by variable and various types of weather. The temperature distribution in Poland is diverse. In winter, the temperature drops even to -15° C, in the summer it often exceeds more than 30° C. In the period from September to the beginning of November, we can count on temperatures ranging between 3-20° C. In the spring temperatures varying from 5 to 20° C.
In Poland, the Polish currency is the Polish zloty. Prices are moderate compared to other European countries. If you would like to find out more about issues related to the costs of living in Poland and learn more about prices, we recommend the following page: https://www.numbeo.com which faithfully reflects the current prices of individual products.
• No hunting can be carried out without the basic document - the voucher. The document is issued by a hunting office and is obliged to be delivered to the foreign hunter. We usually send the voucher via email or by post/courier. It should be noted that this document is issued per person and includes key information such as the name, the hunting circuit in which the hunt will take place, the hunting time and its duration.
• If a hunter wants to take his dog to a hunt, he or she must remember to bring its PET Passport, with current vaccinations. The dog also needs to be chipped.
• Hunters arriving with their own weapons must have a Firearm Passport. This document must be carried with them at all times during the hunt. They must be shown to the competent authorities whenever they request it. This applies also to their ID card or passport.
• After the hunt, each hunter receives a copy of the hunting protocol, which is the basis for the legal export of trophies from Poland.
If you come from Schengen countries, it is enough to have your ID card with you. However, if you come from a country not covered by the Schengen area, you must have a valid passport as it is the document that allows you to cross the border.
Below is a list of items you should remember to bring when preparing for a hunting trip:
• Jacket – it’s good if it is waterproof, windproof and most importantly quiet, non-rustling, in masking green and brown, adapted to the current weather conditions.
• Fleece sweater - the weather in Poland can be capricious, so take a warmer element of clothing.
• Waterproof and comfortable footwear - one of the most important items of clothing. Good footwear parameters are a guarantee that we will feel comfortable in changing weather
• Thermal undergarments
• A stand can be useful if you plan hunting via stalk. It is often the equipment that determines the accuracy of the shot.
• Knife - remember to keep it sharp.
• Thermal pad - we often forget about such small elements of hunting equipment, but it becomes indispensable, for example when hunting from a nest.
• Mosquito and tick spray - it is especially useful during summer and autumn.
• Binoculars - the most universal day-night binoculars, for example 8×42, 10×50, 10×56, will certainly work perfectly well.
• Camera - it is worth taking to commemorate the exciting moments of hunting abroad.
Weapons and ammunition
When choosing to hunt in Poland, you should consider the caliber of the weapon. In our country, the most popular and also the most universal calibers for hunting big game are calibers 30-06, 308WIN, 300 WIN MAG, 8x68, 7x57, 7x65R, 8x57JRS, 9.3X62.
Hunting for big game takes place with the use of hunting guns with threaded barrels and hunting cartridges with semi-shells, which at a distance of 100 m from the barrel outlet have an energy not less than:
2 500 J when hunting elks;
2,000 J when hunting deer, fallow deer, mouflons and wild boars;
1,000 J when hunting deer, wild boars and predators.
Most of the hunters come with their own ammunition, however, it should be noted that based on the European Weapons Card, it is possible to buy ammunition in any hunting store in Poland without any problems.
Foresight devices - general information
• The only optical devices allowed in Poland are those the view of which shows game in natural light. The only highlighted element can be the rangefinder and a sighting mark
• Thermal and night vision devices are introduced in 2018 only for hunting wild boars in ASF zones
• If the hunter has a weapon with a telescope with a magnification greater than 3x, then in collective hunts or, for example, during the tracking of wounded game, he will have to dismantle it. An exception to this rule is collective hunting from high seats.
Remember that you have a deadly weapon in your hands. Alcohol weakens your senses and makes you unable to properly assess the situation in which you have found yourself. The bullet that has left the barrel will not be reversed, so you must be very attentive. Under extreme conditions, being under the influence of alcohol can lead to an unfortunate accident.
We've heard about many alcohol-related accidents that took place during hunting: killing a man, shooting, killing or shooting oneself, the lack of proper reaction during the charge of a dangerous animal. Therefore, hunting under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicants is strictly prohibited. Failure to comply with these requirements is the basis for excluding hunters from hunting.
Carrying weapons in motor vehicles - rules
When choosing to hunt in Poland, you must observe the restrictive provisions of the Hunting Law. The set of rules on the transport of weapons is only meant to provide us and others with security, which should be a priority for every hunter. What do we need to remember? First of all, if we are in a hunting circuit in which we have no authorization to carry out hunting, in the cities and settlements, the weapon must be unloaded and contained in a casing. You must remember this and abide by the rule. The police are exceptionally strict about non-compliance with this provision, and this usually ends with criminal proceedings. We do not want this, which is why we observe this rule. Since we now have a clear situation on how to store a weapon when we go through the city or a hunting circuit in which our hunting does not take place, lets see which rules prevail when we cross the built-up areas and the circuit in which our hunting takes place. The answer is simple: the weapon simply has to be unloaded. Finally, please remember that when entering the car, the barrel of the weapon is to be directed upwards or downwards. Taking a shot from the car is also forbidden.
Safety rules for collective hunting
Certainly, hunting safety should be a priority for every hunter. Collective hunting is one of the most hazardous. Belittling the rules, failure to comply with them can often turn out to be tragic. Thinking of your safety, we would like to introduce a few of the most important principles that apply to collective hunts. Please read them carefully.
Handling of weapons and ammunition
In a collective hunt, the weapon may be loaded only after taking a position before the first drive. Between hunts, the hunter must remove the cartridges from the cartridge chambers before leaving the station. Re-inserting the cartridges into the cartridge chambers may take place only after taking the position in the next drive. After finishing the last drive, before leaving the position, the hunter must unload the weapon. At the moment of crossing obstacles such as footbridges, ditches, fences or during breaks, it is necessary to remove cartridges from the chambers. During a hunting break, the weapon must be unloaded and in the hunter's view.
During a collective hunt, the hunter takes position indicated by the distributing hunter, the important thing here is that the hunter can move, no more than 3 meters to the right or left along the hunters' line. After taking post the hunter is obliged to take a sitting or standing position. In addition, you must remember to make eye contact with hunters who have been located in neighboring positions and if possible, confirm with a movement of your hand. Hunters remain on post until the signal announcing the end of the drive.
Correct shooting and aiming
When is it forbidden to take a shot?
• When there are hunters, other people, livestock, buildings, vehicles on the firing line.
• We do not aim at game located on top of hills.
• When the game is less than 200 meters from working farm machines.
• It is forbidden to shoot along the line of hunters, for such a shot is considered a shot, at which a bullet or shot pellets pass or would pass less than 10 m from the neighbor's post.
• It is forbidden to shoot from a post on the hunter's line towards flank posts and from flank posts towards the hunters' lines, if the distance between these positions or the terrain does not ensure safety.
• It is forbidden to shoot at game in a litter if the battue is at a distance of less than 150 m in the open area and less than 100 m in the forest area from the hunter.
When is it allowed to take a shot?
• A hunter after taking position can shoot at the game, provided that his neighbors have already taken positions.
• The hunter can shoot at the game at most halfway between positions.
• The hunter is allowed to shoot close to the neighbors' position after two ineffective shots or after clearly signaling that he gives up shooting or taking a second shot.
• Taking a shot at a deer in a litter can only take place with the consent of the hunt leader.
• When firing a shot, the hunter is required to take a standing position. This does not apply to shots taken from high seats.
• A shot taken at game outside the litter is allowed at a distance of no more than 100 m.
• A shot at game in the litter is allowed, with undertaking extreme caution, at a distance of no more than 40 m
Finally, remember to follow the instructions of the hunt leader who is responsible for your safety during the hunt.
Hunting traditions in Poland
Poland is a country with a very rich hunting tradition, which has been in unchanged form for a long time. We are very committed to tradition, which is also an interesting hunting experience for foreign guests. Below we will post some of the most popular traditions in force during hunts, so that you can experience Polish hunting culture even more:
Twig - is a broken twig, usually of a coniferous tree. The leader of the collective hunt first breaks the twig and puts it in the mouth of the game as "the last bite" - it is a beautiful tradition showing respect of the hunter for the hunted game, the next step is to place the other piece on the gunshot wound of the animal - this procedure is called " a seal" . The final element in honoring the shooting of big game is handing over a piece of the twig dipped in game blood to the hunter who has hunted it. The hunter attaches the twig to his head and wears it proudly until the end of the hunt. It must be added that this ceremony always takes place at the location of shooting the game, always before it is gutted.
The Swearing-in of Hunters
The Swearing-in is a very important ceremony for Polish hunters, it consists of honoring the first piece of each species of game. What does this look like? The hunter kneels on his left knee at the line of the back of the hunted game, in the left hand he holds the weapon, resting it on the ground, and the hunt leader paints a sign in game blood on the forehead of the hunter, while the others stand, holding their hats in their hands and the trumpeter plays the proper signal.
Hunting signals in a collective hunt
Hunting signals can be communication or solemn. These are short musical pieces, and their use is an inherent element of hunting and hunting ceremonies. We will take a closer look at the subject of signaling during collective hunts because the use of signals improves communication with the beaters or between hunters, but is also an element of security. It is assumed that in the place of accommodation of hunters, an hour before departure a trumpeter plays the "Wake Up" signal, before the briefing there is the "Hunters' gathering” signal, when the hunters are all present, they listen to the "Welcome" signal and after this the hunter reminds the hunters about security measures, draws the hunting outline, and explains what signals will be used during the hunt. When everything is explained, the trumpeter plays the "Call for Hunting" signal. During collective hunting, the most important communication signals are: "Front Battue", "No Shot at Litter" and "Unload the weapon". When hunters are placed on their posts, the will hear the signal "Front Battue", which is often preceded by the signal "whole", which means: the whole battues going forward. When the drive approaches the hunters at about 150 meters on the field, and about 100 meters in the forest there is a signal: "No Shot at Litter". When there is a situation when the drivers reach the line of hunters, we hear the signal: "Unload the weapon". One of the habits of collective hunting is a meal break, which is announced with the signal: "Meal". The collective hunt ends with the disposition of game, the signaling of the disposition and the end of the hunt. When the disposition is arranged according to the traditional pattern, the signal "Hunters' Gathering" is played, after the hearing of which hunters, drivers, helpers, and hunt leaders set up according to the proper pattern. The ceremony of the disposition is preceded by the signal "End of the hunt", after which the results are announced, then the game is announced with a separate signal for each species, for example: "The Lain Deer", " The Lain Wild boar". The next stage is the announcement of the King of the Hunt, this ceremony also has its own signal, i.e. the "King of the Hunt". After all these ceremonies, the end of the hunt "Darz Bór" signal is played.
The Disposition of hunted animals in a proper row
In Poland, the disposition is the culmination of the end of the hunt and has a festive character, expressing respect for the hunted game, where every element is important: from the proper, hierarchical arrangement of the game, to the hunter positioning and other members of the collective hunt. The place of the disposition should be lined with branches of conifers, on which the animals will be placed with respect in a hierarchical way, each species in a separate row:
First row: elks, European deer, sika deer, fallow deer, mouflons, wild boar, roe deer,
The second row: badgers, foxes, martens, polecats, raccoon dogs, raccoons, American mink;
Third row: hares, wild rabbits
Last row: birds
The game is always placed on its right side. Tradition commends participants of hunting not to cross the game, which is set up on a disposition. Disposition is managed by the hunt leader. The signalers stand on his right side and play the "Hunters' gathering" signal. The hunters stand with their weapons in front of the hunt leader from the side of the hunted game heads. The drivers stand on the left side of the hunt leader still in protective vests. At the beginning of the disposition the signalers play the "End of the hunt" signal. Then there is the tune of the disposition, during which the trumpeters play the signals appropriate for each of the species of hunted game. The hunt leader announces and decorates the king of the hunt and the viceroys. Trumpeters play the "King of the hunt” signal. The last element is the "Darz Bór" signal, to which participants listen without headwear.
The King of the Hunt
The King of the Hunt is the hunter, who shoots the largest amount of game highest in hierarchy, or the one that gains a male highest standing in the hierarchy, with the best antlers, tusks or horns.
Feasting together has been an integral part of many cultures for centuries, it makes us feel part of the community. It is no different in the case of hunters. In Poland during collective hunts, we announce a break for a meal, usually a bonfire or a field kitchen. It’s when hunters and drivers have time to talk, warm up with a warm meal and a breather from the thrill of hunting. The signal "Time for a Meal" is the moment that the hunters are waiting for often during the spirited winters. This tradition had its beginning already in the times of the Saxons, when meals were transported from the palaces or the royal cook came to the hunting location. Meals in the winter scenery taste special, that's for sure. Many Hunting Clubs also organize full feasts after the end of a collective hunt, when all colleagues can enjoy the carried out hunt and talk about their experiences.