HUNTING IN FRANCE
of woodpigeons passing the Pyrenees in October.
Hunting woodpigeon in France -
We are offering here to attend the traditional hunts on migration roads (read the description below). Otherwise, pigeons are currently found everywhere in the north of France during the winter, and often complement the bag of any upland day.
Palombe WoodpigeonExample of offer...
2 nights - 2 days shooting
Based on 2 hunters sharing a room
Starting around 600 euros per hunter including, license, 2 hotel nights at a selected mountain hotel, all meals, 2 days shooting at the pass. Not included, transportation, drinks & cartridges. No guarantee of bag or presence. The flocks are leaving northern Europe in Oct/Nov and we only bet and hope to meet them in the Pyrenees during their trip !
Small luxury country hotels also available on request...
Read about - The traditional Basque woodpigeon hunt...
From an article published in The Gourmetfly Newsletter of September 1999 - some pictures are placed below.
Saint Luke in the Basque Land - October 18th is Saint
Luc, and the old saying goes: "à la Saint Luc... le grand
truc !" it is only a saying among palombe hunters in the
South-West of France. At Saint Luke, The big thing ! It is supposed to
be the migration peak of this more than appreciated pigeon. The bird
causing serious fever to the south-westerner hunters. Many of them take
a month holiday just to wait for the mythical flocks. There are many
ways to hunt them but what is done by the Basques on top of the
Pyrenees is unique in the world. Let me try to explain.
Then they get close to the net, they are still very high in
the sky. So the Basques have built towers on top of the mountains. And
it is a high mountain. The towers are still very low compared to the
flock. Now comes the invention of the monk: The guy on the tower called
abatari, very strong and skilled man, starts throwing
sorts of wooden battledores painted white with chalk. This produces a
pretty good imitation of a hawk's attack and with luck the flight
should dive to the small net in the center of the pass. Maybe I'm not
explaining well, but believe me, this is something very impressive and
means a lot of skills and efforts to succeed.
Pictures below courtesy of Ian and Jess MacLean
One of the towers for the Abatari
Café at the pass in front of the now closed Guardia Civil check point
Is this man really opening a bottle of coffee ?
A rustique but wife endorsed holiday
The abatari and the tools of his trade
For more pictures of the region open also Béarn
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