When it rains, fish will appear, Andalucia part 20 hunting and balance in Spain

Door San Daniel gepubliceerd in Verhalen en Poëzie

Hunting in Spain

There is a lot of game in Spain and when we talk about game then we need to specify between big and small game. All of my friends from the village hunt, at night they walk the fields and the hills to get their boar. That is not without risk.

A lot of hunting takes place here, that is logical. We have vast areas here and only 800 000 people who live  in  our entire province, as many as the inhabitants of all of Amsterdam. Aside of that most of those people live in clusters, a few towns and many white villages that have been formed since days gone past by farmers. There are many wheat fields and that makes our area a paradise for rabbits. You have to keep them in balance, because if they multiply too fast they'll start gnawing at the bark of the trees and as a rule that is the beginning of the end of such a tree. Olive farmers and owners of orange plantations then invite a hunting group to decimate the number of rabbits.


Sometimes hunting groups are invited to shoot rabbits out of season, simply because they have too few natural enemies. It is not for nothing that the oldest known name for Spànje was "Hesperia", rabbit country.

In Spain you can not just go hunting

You first have to sit a course, which lasts a few days and ends with a test. If you pass that test you will receive a plastic card with your details and the province where you live. About the size of a master card. The course covers the 41 animals that you can hunt, from poultry and migratory birds, to rodents and game birds. In Spain, the fox is counted among both small and large game. Some animals that can not be hunted differ per province. You have to leave the gray boiledew and all the water poultry in the province of Almeria in peace, but they can be hunted again in the North. It's a course that gives you so much information in the few successive parts of the day, that you need a week to process what you have learned and disconnect.


Where am I

You learn to orientate yourself without a compass. With all the hills and valleys, far away from the villages you might get lost. The location can be determined in a number of ways. If the hunter has a wrist watch with hands then it is a piece of cake. You put the small hand on the 12 and point the 12 at the sun. the numbers 12 and 3 and 6 and 9 now indicate the points of the compass. The south is the 3, the west the 6 and so on.

In the Netherlands that is not imaginable, you'll always will see some sort of structure in the distance, but in Andalucia if you are 2 kilometers from any village, you'll find yourself devoid of any sign of civilization whatsoever. You could get lost and perish. This course does not assume that people have smartphones with GPS. What to do if there is no sun, very unlikely here, but it could occur. The North side of the trees have more moss formation, so the opposite side has to be the South.


There are many more ways, for instance the wind factor. In the Netherlands, the wind is dominantly a Western wind. That is why old farms always have a ring of trees standing in that direction to keep the wind out of the thatched roofs. There are only two dominant winds here; the Levante wind and the Poniente wind. One is a country wind and the second is a wind coming from Africa over the sea.

The African wind will be curiously always hot even though it crosses the Mediterranean. Suppose that there is little or hardly any noticable wind. In such a case, always look for flying insects. wasps, bees, hornets, who always fly, to use a sailor's term, half wind. That means that they let themselves float with their bums in the wind.


The killing must be merciful and serve a purpose

You do not kill to kill, sick people do so. you kill to eat or to protect the balance in nature. If you are not sure about your shot, obstacles or distance, you do not fire a shot. The shot must be deadly. Foxes are a nuisance but, like any other predator, they will seize the weakest, so do not just shoot a bunch of foxes, then the rabbits who are weak will not be 'tidied up', do not just shoot every rabbit you see, because the foxes will go hungry. and they will visit your coop.

Neither the rabbits nor the fox population can be let to grow rampant. Rabbits can shed every 20 days. The little ones are independent after 2 months and go their own way. A mother rabbit that you kill carries the promise of about 60 young, within a few months, you destroy that potential as a hunter. You do not only kill a rabbit, you also kill her possible offspring.


The gray boiledew, mainly feeds on insects. Their little ones can not tolerate any food other than chewed and crushed insects. If you would pick up these little birds, fallen from a nest, they would die, because the gray boildew blows the chewed insects deeply into the digestive tract of the youngsters, only after a few days, digestion is developed to such an extent that they can start swallowing and chewing. If you shoot our gray friend, who is also a migratory bird from Africa, from the Rif area, then the insect population would grow alarmingly.


The Perdiz or Partridge is a bird of which the female has a special property. If they nestle in an area, then after a few generations, which only covers a few years, their protective colors adapt to the new area. Just like the pheasant, the male is a very colorful macho, and the female is almost absorbed in the environment, because she can then more safely hatch the eggs. A partridge lays around 15 eggs of which 5 on the average come out. If you shoot a female you kill the possible offspring. Females can be recognized by their flight behavior.


They will not fly away or fly like the males, but rather run away. Why? Because she instinctively feels that she carries the eggs, no matter how small, and she does not want to disturb them by flying. As a farmer or hunter you can also predict how warm or wet a summer will become. The female "knows" from instinct whether she should lay her eggs on a high spot, so the eggs won't get flooded with heavy rainfall, or in the fields under bushages because she "knows" that it will be a hot dry summer.

Like everything in Andalucia, everything revolves around respect. My hunting friends shoot boars or slaughter them with a knife, because the boars turn over all the gardens or planted fields. A few years ago it seemed as if an avalanche was coming down my mountain in the early eve. We went outside and saw a group of about 40 boars come charging down. The next day my tomato field was destroyed. We also kill rabbits for the same reason. No farmer will shoot a 100-gram bird for his dinner.


You can only buy a rifle if you show your hunting permit to one of the few weapon outlets that our province is rich. Then you still won't get it yet. The arms dealer, sends your data to the Guardia Civil, the police, who investigates whether you have a criminal record or are involved in court cases. Here you can only buy a weapon if you are "clean". The police issue the arms license. Then your gun gets an identification, something like cars with a license plate. You now take out insurance as a hunter. During a check you must always show the identity card of yourself, your hunting license, your insurance certificate and the ID of your weapon. You may not have more than 4 cartridges with your weapon.


The weapon is not allowed to be loaded and on sharp. You can not lend your weapon to someone without making a contract and that may not be for a period longer than 15 days and a copy of that contract must first be sent to the police. In a country that came from a civil war not so long ago, these are good measures. If you meet someone, be it a neighbor farmer, or the environmental police, then your rifle is always aimed at the ground and your first act is to unload the gun, you open it and remove the cartridge before any documentation is shown. Failure to do this is seen as a threat with all the consequences that such entails.


You never hunt alone. You are just not allowed to hunt alone. There are no free hunting grounds. With friends, all of whom have the correct permits, you form a board and a hunting association. The names are passed on to the police again. The advice to wear a reflective vest is not yet binding, but it is done more and more. You go at least three hunters on the road, for a small association that is; the chairman, the secretary and the treasurer. Anyone who does not comply with this rule is seen as a poacher or a potential killer. Before you leave you inform the police, with the names of the participants, about the time and date of the hunt and the time of termination. When something happens, after that time, your group of friends are not responsible for it.


Every year the outlet where you bought a weapon checks the state of your weapon and whether or not it has been modified. For example, the barrel has been sawn off and it has now become a deadly scrap rifle for Mafia purposes. Your weapon license and your hunting license expire every five years. The gun, if you want to sell it, can only be traded by your gun shop where you bought that weapon and a transfer will take place. If you give it away and something happens, then you are responsible. The Spanish legislation is reasonably sound. You can not use an unregistered weapon.

This is a country where there is a decent gun control and where people hunt to prevent problems and not to kill for pleasure. If you shoot a boar, you eat it with your friends. This is absolutely no America or Canada where you can buy everything from caliber 22 to Rambo-like semi-automatic weapons at a department store like Simpson Sears. '

also read part 21

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16/01/2019 18:23

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