Between September and October, deer go into heat. More sensitive to disturbance, deer must be preserved. However, each year, the opening of the hunt coincides with this slab period, to the great chagrin of nature and animal defenders, including the 30 Million Friends Foundation.
Hunted, chased, killed… in the middle of the mating season! Between September and October, deer enter the – so fragile – period of reproduction. During this slab, the “king of the forest” is therefore more sensitive to disturbance and stress, and must be preserved as best as possible so that Mother Nature’s work can be carried out.
🇧🇷 Receptive to smells, noises and movements, the slightest disturbance disrupts behavior, even animal reproductionconfirms the National Forestry Office. It takes several hours for the ceremony to take place, while a simple human presence and a smell are enough to break it. “. However, French law allows hunting on the slab, in sometimes cruel conditions.
Hunting thwarts natural selection
In fact, big game hunting is usually open – at the latest – from mid-September. Many departments even provide for the early hunting of deer, from the 1er September, like Loir-et-Cher, Manche or Savoie. 🇧🇷 It is unacceptable for hunters to approach very vulnerable deer during this period of the slab, weakened by the fact that they eat little and exhausted by fights with their opponents, by mating and by watching the herd.regrets the ASPAS🇧🇷 This hunting acts exactly the opposite of natural selection, as it eliminates the healthiest specimens, the best reproducers, impoverishing the genetic potential of the species and compromising the health of its population. 🇧🇷
Hunting with dogs, a major source of additional stress
This hunt is joined by the big hunt, which begins on the 15th of September and during which the deer are chased by teams on horseback and packs of dogs, until they are exhausted, to be killed with knives. Chased for hours, the poor deer suffers intense stress and a bloody death. If they are in principle pardoned – by virtue of a 2019 decree – in residential, commercial or craft areas, the truth is that hunting them outside their natural habitat traumatizes them… Even more so during the slab! In September 2020, a cruel scene caused a stir: that of a hunted deer, exhausted, with its tongue sticking out, collapsed on a construction site at the edge of the forest in Compiègne (60). Fortunately, he managed to escape thanks to the mobilization of local residents.
To avoid this unbearable animal suffering, the 30 Million Friends Foundation urges the Government to abolish hunting with hounds in general and definitively. A desire widely shared by public opinion: nearly 8 out of 10 French people are calling for this ancient practice to be banned (Barometer Foundation 30 Million Friends / Ifop, 2022).
Be careful in the forests
To preserve the tranquility of males in heat, the Foundation 30 Million Friends also reminds the rules of caution that are imposed on hikers. Indeed, the great state forests being particularly prized during the slab, the influx of visitors is unfortunately not without consequences for the animals. 🇧🇷 That is why, during an observation, there must be maximum discretion and respect for wildlife.remember ONF. It is not necessary to go into the heart of the forests. All around them, the cries of deer are easily heard. You will be able to take advantage of it by preserving the tranquility of the animals in an important period of their lives. 🇧🇷 🇧🇷
The National Forestry Department may even decide to block access to certain forest roads, as is often the case in Allier or Sarthe. 🇧🇷 The goal is to be as discreet as possible. “, concludes Julien Patzourenkoff, head of the Tronçais ONF territorial unit.