Many dog owners in the Algarve give their dog the name of Diana, the patron saint of the hunters. Hunting is an ancient tradition in Portugal and today still practised by many men and a few women. The shooting of birds and game was always a welcome opportunity to feed the family with something else than pork or chicken. Nowadays, rules are more strict and nature preservation is high on the agenda. The organisation of a hunt is taken very seriously.
Hunting may be an annoiance to many, but for the caçadores, hunting also means enjoying nature, walking across the countryside and besides that, it is a very social happening. After the morning hunt, there usually is a lunch in the club house or in a local restaurant, where the hunters meet, eat, drink and talk about their experiences.
The hunting season runs from 15 August till 28 February. The hunters are in general active on Thursdays, Sundays and there will be hunting on public holidays.
To hunt in Portugal you need to pass a theory exam and acquire an arm´s license from the PSP police. For the Algarve the authority is the Federação de Caçadores do Algarve (www.fcalgarve.pt). The liçense does not come easy and there are quite a lot of obligations en fees for the hunters.
It clearly states in the law that hunting is NOT allowed within:
• 100 metres of highways, national roads (EN) and railway tracks
• 250 metres of garden walls, barns, roads and houses
• 500 metres (increased from 250 metres) of Beaches; Schools; Hospitals; Prisons; Orphanages; Retirement homes; Military Installations; Nursing Homes (kindergarten); Electric facilities; Lighthouses; River Harbours; Airports; Tourist complexes; Camp sites; Sports halls; Industrial Complexes and Animal Shelters.
If there are occasional hunters that do not stick to the law, you are entitled to call upon the GNR for assistance.
If you own a large rural property and wish to keep hunters off your land completely, then you can apply for a licence to put “no hunting” signs on the borders of your land. Ask for more information at your local Camara.
If you walk through the countryside you will certainly notice the red and white signs. This is what they mean:
Designated hunting area
No hunting without consent of owners
Posted by Marianne Hoesen. Posted In : way of life