Traditional hunts, and especially that of the pigeon, are on the menu of the meeting of the hunting federation, in Vic-Fezensac this Tuesday.
This Tuesday, the meeting of the network of wood pigeon correspondents in the Gers, at the multipurpose hall of Vic-Fezensac, is organized at the same time as the general assembly of the association for the defense of traditional hunts of the wood pigeon in the Gers. This will be an opportunity to take stock of the situation, because if the pigeon season has started in the Gers since last Sunday, it is with a little tension: the opponents of traditional hunts have invited themselves into the debate.
Federation under tension
When we contact the president of the departmental federation of hunters in the Gers, Serge Castéran, the annoyance is perceptible. “We may be under a ban on net hunting, but it’s not worth talking about! At the moment there is no known attack, but we hope that it won’t move any more!” An association for the defense of the environment argues that the previous decrees on this mode of hunting are no longer valid. “The ministry did not respond to them,” says Serge Castéran. Gers hunters do not want to talk about the subject. “It’s not that we refuse to communicate, but there, attack or not attack, we don’t know where we are going, confides Jocelyn Moreau, the director of the Gers federation. Today, it’s tense. “
Net hunting tenants could count on Gers deputies. According to Jean-René Cazeneuve (Renaissance), traditional net hunting takes only a tiny quantity of birds. “Actors seek to distort the action of hunters. The current objective is to reveal the status of wood pigeon hunting in the net so that it can continue and I subscribe to this line.” It also defends hunting as an important part of rurality, having a role of positive regulation for biodiversity. David Taupiac (PS), for his part, was alerted by the hunters. “Net hunting is very marginal, it’s probably more ideological than anything else! For my part, I am completely in favor of this hunt, it does not represent 10% of wood pigeons slaughtered in the Southwest.”
This question of the net will occupy part of the discussions on Tuesday. But this meeting, as traditional as the hunt itself, will also allow other information to be communicated to hunters: statistics, figures, history… “The net is not the only subject”, specifies Serge Castéran. In the absence of an observatory, hunters have no idea of the migration to come, and of the possible effects of the summer heat wave on bird populations. “We have observations in the bordering departments, but that’s all, says Serge Castéran. We are not yet in the middle of the migration period. It is rather October, in general. But there are already birds present a little everywhere, rather sedentary.”
For the moment, on the ground, the situation remains restrained. The paloumaïres have prepared the palombières, and the ground is ready for those who hunt with nets. There are nearly 1,300 wood pigeon hunting facilities in the Gers, and this period is eagerly awaited. “The hunters, they are just waiting for that, confides Serge Castéra. There is a terrible enthusiasm for this hunt. It is a historical tradition, the grandfathers always go there, and the kids of 14 or 15, on Wednesdays , go to the palombière!”