EXTRACTS FROM THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT REGULATION
as of 23 March 2005
regarding detailed conditions of hunting
On the basis of art. 43 section 3 of the Act of 13 October 1995 – Hunting Law (Dz. U. (Journal of Laws) of 2002, no. 43, item 372 as amended 2)) the following shall be complied with:
§ 2. The following terms used in this Regulation shall have the respective meanings set forth below:
1) high seat – means a ground hunting stand-place used by hunters waiting for game during the hunt;
2) loaded firearm- means firearm with minimum one cartridge placed in the cartridge chamber or the magazine;
3) herd – means a herd of elk, deer or fallow deer;
4) flank – means a flank of hunters line deployed towards the approaching battue;
5) leading hind – means a hind leading and caring about the herd;
6) beat – means a defined area of field or forest, located between the battue and the hunters, from which game is scared out;
7) hunter – means a natural person authorised to perform hunting;
8) battue – means one driver or a group of drivers cooperating with each other;
9) offal – edible inner organs of big game, such as lungs, heart, liver and kidneys;
10) beater – means participant of the hunt whose task is to drive game;
11) night – means a period starting an hour after the sunset and ending an hour before the sunrise;
12) lead – shall be understood as a cord on which a dog is lead;
13) round-up – means driving the game by the battue towards a line of hunters standing in their stand-places;
14) rushing hunter with a dog – means a hunter driving the game with a dog or dogs in the beat;
15) wounded game – means game wounded in a shot;
16) accelerator – means a device that reduces the resistance of the trigger when taking a shot;
17) verification of weapons – means regulating aiming devices and, subsequently, checking the accuracy of shooting at the shooting range;
18) stand-place – means the place where a hunter waits for game during a hunt.
Terms and conditions of hunting
§ 3.1. The only firearm that may be used for hunting is shotgun from which maximum six single shots can be made after a maximum loading; semi-automatic firearm’s magazine may contain maximum two cartridges.
2. Subject to section 3, hunting for big game takes place exclusively with the use of shotgun of rifled barrel and min. 5.6 mm calibre and hunting cartridges with semi- jacketed bullets which within the distance of 100m from the muzzle, generate energy not smaller than:
1) 2500 J in case of elk hunt;
2) 2000 J in case of deer, fallow deer, mouflon and wild boar hunts;
3) 1000 J in case of roe deer and wild squeaker boar hunts;
4) 500 J in case of hunting for beasts of prey.
3. The firearms that can be used in case of hunting for game as referred to in section 2, except elk and deer buck, have smoothbore barrel with hunting bullets.
4. In case of small game hunts, the only cartridges that can be used are shot cartridges with a shot up to 4.5 mm in diameter, subject to section 5.
5. Predators are hunted with the use of hunting bullets set forth in section 2 and 3, hunting shot set forth in section 4 or hunting full-jacketed bullets.
§ 4.1. For hunting it is allowed to use exclusively optical devices that allow to perceive targets in natural light.
2. It is admissible to approach the wounded game with the use of artificial light.
§ 5 1. The following facts are to be taken into account when hunting:
1) hunting with dogs or battue (persons scaring game out) may take place between 1 October and 15 January; this limitation does not regard hunting for birds of prey with dogs, hunting for fox with dogs and battue and looking for a wounded game with a dog on a lead;
2) looking for a wounded big game in a hunting district in which a hunter is not entitled to hunt may take place on condition that the leaseholder or administrator of the hunting district is informed about it within 24 hours from commencement of search; the person looking for the wounded game may be assisted by a beater or another hunter or it may search for the wounded gamer with a dog on a lead;
3) a hunter should seek, approach and kill the wounded game as soon as possible and in a way preventing it from unnecessary suffering;
4) it is permissible to lift small game that fell in an alien hunting district after the shot, within the field of vision from the border of the said district;
5) bird hunt may take place on condition that the hunt takes place with a dog, save that one dog is used by not more than three hunters;
6) big game hunts may take place on condition that a dog takes part in searching for the wounded game.
2. In case 1 October is a day following a non-working day, the period of hunting with dogs or battue referred to in section 1 point 1 commences from the first non-working day preceding 1 October.
3. In case 15 January is the day preceding a non-working day, the period of hunting with dogs or battue referred to in section 1 point 1 ends on the last non-working day following 15 January.
4. As regards defining the commencement and finish of the period of hunting with dogs or battue as referred to in section 1 point 1, it is assumed that a non-working day is a Saturday, Sunday or a public holiday defined in separate provisions regarding non-working days.
§ 6 During a hunt one may not shoot at:
1) a hind leading a herd of deer;
2) game near pasturages, salines, buffer strips and nutrition points, except hunting for foxes and predators near bait stations;
3) hunting for game from mechanic vehicles and horses as well as boats with mechanic drive with operating engine;
4) game on fenced feeding grounds in the vegetation period of plants harvested and when the game is provided with plants;
5) birds that are in flight, except hazel-grouse, goose and coot;
6) hares at a standstill in the field;
7) unrecognised targets.
§ 7. 1. The following animals can be hunted at night:
1) wild boars, muskrat and predators – by a hunter equipped with a shotgun with an assembled optical aiming device set forth in § 4 section 1 and with a torch.
2) geese and ducks – in flight.
2. A hunter that hunts at night is obliged to take special safety measures, in particular the hunter should comply with the following regulations:
1) he should know the hunting area well;
2) he may not shoot towards settlements and public roads;
3) in the event set forth in section 1 point 1, before taking a shot he should personally recognise the target and area on the line of shoot with the use of binoculars;
4) in case that a shot is taken and the game is not lifted at night, the hunter should check the shot’s result at the daylight.
Regulations with regard to keeping security during hunts
§ 8 The hunter shall ensure that firearms and ammunition are used in a safe way and the principles listed below are followed:
1)shotgun must be in good working order;
2) the gun must be used minimum once per year;
3) the hunter should ensure that barrels are not blocked each time before loading the gun;
4) the gun should be always held with the barrels directed upwards or downwards: during loading and unloading of guns, moving in the area, during breaks in hunting, entering or leaving the vehicle as well as in other, similar circumstances, regardless of the fact whether the gun is loaded or unloaded.
§ 9.1. When walking, driving through, or staying in a hunting district in which the hunter is not entitled to hunt, when using public means of transportation, as well as during a stay in cities/towns and residential areas, the hunter’s weapon must be unloaded and placed in a case.
2. When walking or driving across built-up area or driving in a district in which a hunter hunts, the firearms should be unloaded.
§ 10.1. During a collective hunt the firearms may be loaded only after the stand-places have been occupied before the first drive.
2. During a collective hunt between drives a hunter must remove cartridges from cartridge chambers before leaving the stand-place. The cartridges may be placed in cartridge chambers again only after occupying the stand-post in another drive.
3. After the last drive is over, the hunter must unload the firearms before leaving the stand-place.
4. During hunting breaks the leader of the hunting should check at random whether or not the hunters have removed cartridges from the cartridge chambers and when the hunting is over, whether or not they have unloaded the firearms.
5. During a collective hunt the optical aiming devices may be used upon the leader’s prior consent, provided that the sighting telescope’s set multiplicity does not exceed three.
§ 11.1. While going over obstacles, including without limitations ditches, foot-bridges, fences as well as while getting on and down the high seat and during hunting breaks when firearms are not placed aside, the hunter must remove cartridges from cartridge chambers.
2. While moving along uneven, bushy, slushy, slippery area, area covered with deep snow, when rebuking a dog, when a dog is apporting, the firearms must be protected against shooting.
3. Firearms placed aside during hunting breaks must be unloaded, put near the hunter and within his field of vision and protected against falling.
§ 12. One may not aim or shoot at the game in the following cases:
1) hunters or other persons or domestic animals, buildings or vehicles are on the shooting line within a distance that does not guarantee safe shooting conditions;
2) the game is on the top of a slope;
3) the game is at the distance smaller than 200 meters from operating agricultural machines.
§ 13.1. It is permissible to aim at the game and to shoot it only after the game was recognised by the hunter himself and in conditions that guarantee effectiveness of the shot, a possibility of lifting the shot game and safety of the surroundings.
2. The hunter may take a shot of game being at the distance not exceeding:
1) 40 m – in case of shooting from shot cartridge or bullet from smoothbore barrelled weapon;
2) 100 m – in case of shooting from rifled barrelled weapon, with the use of open aiming devices;
3) 200 m – in case of shooting from rifled barrelled weapon, with the use of optical aiming devices;
§ 14. An accelerator can be used only during an individual hunt, save that it may be stretched only after the game has been well recognised and the hunter has taken a shooting position; if the shot did not take place, the firearm should be protected against shooting and the accelerator should be released.
§ 15.1. The hunter may not hunt after having drunk alcohol or taken drugs.
2. The persons that do not comply with the principles set forth in section 1 during a collective hunt shall be expelled from the hunt.
§ 16.1. The hunter shall use the gun with special care and attention in the following cases:
1) in area of limited visibility or in conditions reducing visibility;
2) during intensive field works, maintenance works in the forest, while picking up groundcover.
2. In the event that a hunter is accompanied by a person that is not eligible to hunt, the hunter is obliged to inform the said person as regards procedures to be followed during a hunt.
§ 17. During a collective hunt:
1) one may not hunt along the line of hunters; a shot along the line of hunters is deemed to be a shot during which bullet or shots move or would move at the distance shorter than 10 m from the neighbour’s stand-place;
2) it is not allowed to shoot from a stand-place on the hunters’ line towards stand-places on flanks and from stand-places on flanks towards the hunters’ line if the distance between the afore-mentioned stand-places or lay of the land does not guarantee safety;
3) one may not occupy any stand-places in ditches, trenches and hollows;
4) after occupying a stand-place, a hunter is obliged to take a sitting or standing position;
5) shot can be taken only from a standing position; this restriction does not regard shots taken from high seats;
6) a shot with a bullet towards game that is beyond the beat (the area from which the game is scared out) is permissible at the distance not exceeding 100m;
7) a shot with a bullet towards game that is in the beat is permissible provided that the hunter takes special safety measures, at the distance not exceeding 40 m;
8) taking a shot towards deer in the beat may take place only on condition that the leader of the hunting gave consent to it and under conditions that guarantee safety;
9) one may not shoot at game being in the beat if the battue is at the distance shorter than 150 meters from the hunter in the open area and at the distance shorter than 100 meters in forest;
10) it is allowed to shoot at birds in flight towards battue or towards other hunters provided that the shot is taken upwards at the angle not smaller than 60° and there are no branches/twigs or other obstacles within the line of shot;
11) taking a shot between particular round-ups is possible exclusively upon the consent of the leader of the hunting, only to wounded or sick game.
§ 18. While hunting from a boat, only one hunter may shoot at the game at a time, taking a shot in a direction other than towards persons on the boat.
§ 19. In case of an accident on a collective hunt, the leader of the hunting shall stop the hunting in order to immediately help the casualty, and next:
1) the leader of the hunting administers first aid to the injured;
2) organises transport of the casualty to the hospital or calls the doctor;
3) secures the accident place and traces;
4) reconstructs circumstances under which the accident happened, establishes witnesses and draws up a hand-made situation sketch, if possible;
5) draws up a protocol.
§ 20.1. In the event that an accident took place during a collective hunt owing to use of firearms, the leader of the hunting, apart from obligations referred to in § 19 shall be also obliged to:
1) take and secure the guilty hunter’s and casualty’s firearms;
2) immediately notify the nearest police station about the accident;
3) establish the numbers of stand-places occupied by the hunters at the moment of accident and secure cards with numbers of stand-places.
2. The protocol set forth in § 19 point 5 shall be drawn in three copies, signed by the leader of the hunting and witnesses of the accident.
3. The protocols shall be delivered to the leaseholder or administrator of the hunting order set forth in section 1 as well as to the police.
Collective hunt (driven hunting)
§ 25.1. A collective hunt is a hunting performed by minimum two hunters cooperating with each other or a hunter and a beater organised by a leaseholder or administrator of a hunting district and run by a hunter designated by a leaseholder or administrator of a hunting district referred to as the “leader of the hunting’, subject to § 5 section 1 point 2.
2. A collective hunt may be performed both with the use of battue and dogs.
3. The first round-up may take place at sunrise at the earliest, whereas the last round-up may take place at sunset at the latest.
§ 26.1. The leader of the hunting is responsible for performing it in compliance with provisions in force as well as in conditions that guarantee safety to the participants and surroundings.
§ 27.1. During a collective hunt all participants are obliged to obey the commands given by the leader of the hunting.
2. If the commands issued by the leader of the collective hunt or the way of running the hunt are not in compliance with the regulations in force or may endanger the safety of the surroundings, the hunter may withdraw form the hunt, informing the leader of the hunting about his resignation.
§ 30.1. The leader of the hunting is responsible for drawing up a list of hunters before the briefing starts.
2. The hunting starts from the moment the hunters take part in the briefing.
§ 31.1. During the briefing the leader of the hunting should:
1) inform the hunter what game and in what quantities is intended for shooting;
2) inform the hunters who is responsible for the first aid kit;
3) discuss agreed upon signals and safety regulations, taking into account current area and weather conditions as well as provide the hunters with all other remarks concerning the hunt;
4) show to the hunters taking part in the hunt all the dogs that can take part in the particular hunt;
5) check the hunters’ documents entitling them to take part in the hunting.
2. After the briefing, lots with stand-places are drawn.
§ 32.1. 1. The sound signals used during the hunt have the following meanings:
1) beaters moving;
2) prohibition to shoot towards the beat;
3) end of driving and an obligation to remove cartridges from cartridge chambers.
2. The leader of the hunting:
1) sets the kind of signals meaning the activities as referred to in section 1;
2) may decide that the first and second signal will be omitted as unnecessary signal or signals that might mislead the participants of the hunt; in such a case, the battue moves at the time set by the leader of the hunting and conditions of taking a shot are established on the basis of § 17;
3) is obliged to inform all participants of the hunt about the changes referred to in point 2 as well as about the meaning of each signal;
4) is responsible for taking the hunters into their stand-places;
5) should show to the hunters the place or direction of meeting after the hunt – this obligation should be fulfilled each time before the hunters are taken to their stand-places.
§ 33. During a collective hunt:
1) a hunter shall occupy his stand-place designated by the leader of the hunting, save that he may move not more than three meters to the right or to the left along the line of hunters;
2) while taking hunters’ stand-places and while being on then stand-place hunters are obliged to behave quietly and calmly;
3) after taking a stand-point a hunter must be in eye contact with hunters occupying neighbouring stand-places and, if possible, confirm it with a clear movement of his hand;
4) the hunter shall stay on his stand-place until he hears the signal meaning the end of round-up, subject to point 5;
5) in a situation of emergency, when help has to be administered to other people, the hunter leaving his stand-place should, if possible, inform neighbouring hunters and unload the firearm, subject to point 6;
6) leaving the stand-place with loaded firearm is permissible exclusively in case help is to be administered to a person attacked by the game.
§ 35.1. In hare hunts minimum six hunters take part; other conditions that have to be fulfilled are as follows:
1) no dogs take part in the round-up;
2) hunters are placed along one side of the beat and on the flank and the beaters are standing opposite the line;
3) no more than two hunters may be on the flank.
§ 36.1. After taking his stand-place a hunter may shoot at the appearing game provided that his neighbours have already taken their stand-places.
2. A hunter may shoot at the game being in mid-distance between the stand-places, subject to section 3.
3. A hunter may shoot at the game being nearer the stand-place of his neighbour only after having taken two ineffective shots or upon his explicit signal that he has resigned from taking shots or the second shot.
§ 37. In case of small distances between the stand-places occupied by the hunters, the leader of the hunting may order the hunters to shoot only to the left; this provision does not concern the hunter standing on the right flank.
§ 38. The leader of the hunting may order the hunters to take the first shot to a particular species of the game or decide that in a particular round-up shots will be taken only to a particular species of game.
§ 39. A hunter may take a dog to his stand-place upon the leader’s consent. In the afore-mentioned case:
1) the dog should be kept on a lead;
2) the hunter may use the dog for approaching the wounded game only after the round-up is over and upon the leader’s prior consent.
§ 40.1 The wounded game has to be approached and shot dead by the hunter that shot it.
2. The leader of the hunting is obliged to ensure that the obligation referred to in section 1 is fulfilled.
3. The leader of the hunting should, at the request of a hunter, assist him while approaching the wounded big game.
4. The hunter approaching the wounded game may not demand that the hunting be stopped.
5. The hunter coming back after having searched for the wounded game is obliged to stop in a secure place; he may continue hunting after the round-up is over and after having reported to the leader of the hunting that he is coming back to the hunt.
§ 41.1. The hunter that was late for the hunting may take part in the hunting upon the leader’s consent, not sooner than after the begun round-up is over; he may not demand that the lots with stand-places be drawn again and must take the stand-place in compliance with the leader’s instructions.
2. The hunting participant may leave the hunting before its end during a break between round-ups and after having informed the leader of the hunting about this fact.
3. The obligations of the leader of the hunting include informing all hunting participants that a hunter has joined them or withdrawn from the hunt.
§ 42.1. A collective hunt is considered to be over when the leader of the hunting announces the end of the hunt.