The National Federation of Hunters and the National Alliance for Nature Sports and Leisure have just arranged the first meeting with the main national federations for outdoor and nature activities (French Federation for Hiking, Cycling, Orienteering, Horse Riding, Athletics, Mountain Biking, Mountain) and Climbing), to discuss peacefully and honestly the coexistence between the various users of nature and the safety associated with the actions of the hunt.
It was a commitment from the hunting world after the two dramatic accidents that hit non-hunters and shaped public opinion. It must be acknowledged that an unprecedented media mobilization took place every time. The challenge of this constructive dialogue between nature enthusiasts is to make concrete progress on the issue of “living together” in all nature, agricultural and forest territories with concrete measures adapted to the region, the ways of using nature and hunting practices. Everyone recognizes that the “nature” trend that prevails today will be intensified and that more and more nature leisure activities will develop in our landscape. The federations present agreed on the crucial need to exchange information on hunting practices and other “nature activities”. This comprehensive information project, which is intended to address the general public, is “better information to be better understood”, to permit holders as well as hikers. This is one of the lines of work that has been initiated so that all users of nature know the rights and duties of each one, area by area. It must be remembered that these activities are already regulated and monitored. Hunting is even more than any other due to the use of firearms. While acknowledging that coexistence between the various activities generally takes place in a peaceful manner, especially following partnerships and agreements signed between the Federations of Hunters and the Federations of Hiking, Cycling and Riding, all participants reminded of the need to bring existing conventions to life. extend their reach to more disciplines and territories, while dealing with the few difficulties encountered.
All participants expressed their wish that through this dialogue, the implementation of concrete measures designed together in the field would lead to peaceful relations and compromises in relation to the hunting areas and the use of nature lovers. All the unions present agree to be proactive by launching thematic workshops in September to consider all the solutions. The leaders of the main unions have also made a detailed point with the FNC about the reality of hunting accidents over the last 20 years.
Despite a marked increase in the number of shots fired (92%) due to the increase in big game, the finding of a drastic decrease in accidents is significant with 80% fewer fatal accidents. These results are the result of a general mobilization of hunting associations, which trains all hunters and all hunters for safe practice. For Pascal Grizot, President of the Alliance des Sports et Loisirs de Nature, “it is important to analyze practices and imagine pragmatic and lasting solutions, far from any media pressure and without hypocrisy. All players must measure the progress that the world of hunting has made for to achieve a drastic reduction in the number of accidents each year through training and supervision of all practitioners. “For Brigitte Soulary, President of the French Hiking Association,” it is imperative to take into account the lack of knowledge of the majority of users about the Hunting practices and methods.
Better knowledge of each practice, tolerance, mutual respect, will help to further improve the safety of all users of nature. It is by working together that we will be able to share this wealth that makes up nature and the trails, while ensuring the safety of all. Although the risk of accidents is very low and the number of hunting days is limited, as shown by the statistics presented, there is a feeling of fear of going into nature during the hunting period for a certain number of our fellow citizens, which i.a. regrettable, because cohabitation is easily possible at the same time and everywhere ”.
For Jean-Philippe Stefanini, President of the French Orienteering Federation, “this meeting is a clear signal of the desire for dialogue that drives all federations to allow shared access to the natural spaces where all our activities must find their place. For Willy Schraen, President of the National Federation of Hunters, “hunting need not be defended, but above all be explained. I refuse to accept this climate of tension, which I unfortunately observe. We want to work together so that there are more hello than names of birds on the ground between the practitioners of the various sports and outdoor activities ”.