Waterfowl hunting

April 5, 2018

Waterfowl hunting in France comprises an array of hunting techniques practiced by avid hunters able to spend a large share of their free time pursuing their passion. They often devote a significant budget to it too!

Ponds for waterfowl hunting can be acquired all over France. Some places are more sought-after, however: for example, being close to the sea is a bonus when hunting from a blind.

Thus, Loire-Atlantique, Brittany, Maine-et-Loire, Sarthe and Vendée are good spots for this kind of hunting.

Ponds can be found for sale all around the country.

Sales of such properties are frequent. A myriad of birds are hunted: the black-tailed godwit, bar-tailed godwit, sanderling, common snipe, gadwall, mallard, Eurasian curlew, Eurasian oystercatcher, Taiga bean goose, greater white-fronted goose, the moorhen, and more.

Hunting from a blind

This kind of hunting is called ‘chasse à la hutte’ in the north and Picardy, ‘chasse au gabion’ in Normandy, and ‘chasse à la tonne’ in the southwest.  It is common in wetlands where bodies of water form: bays, estuaries, rivers, streams, marshes, lakes, ponds, floodplains and peatbogs.

The ‘blind’ is a hut in which the hunters can hide while they wait for their game to land, drawn by decoys (living or artificial). There are more than 14,000 such installations in France, 12,000 of which are on private properties, so there are some great opportunities to purchase a pond to enjoy waterfowl hunting.



Pond sales for pass shooting

This is mainly about ducks. It is practiced along rivers or by a pond as you need to be within 30 meters of a body of water. Pass shooting takes place two hours before sunrise and ends two hours after sunset. The hunter hides in the reeds until a bird enters their firing line. Some hunters take along a retriever dog to recover the game. Ponds for waterfowl hunting are highly sought-after, as this pastime is a great way to enjoy hunting while admiring some wonderful scenery.


Walked-up shooting

This is quite an athletic form of hunting as you need to walk through the wetlands to hunt down the birds. Hunters walk along rivers until they find a bird – such as the common snipe – in their range, then fire. Pond sales are popular among people who enjoy this kind of hunting but also those who take part in the beat. In that case, the game is driven toward a firing line by people in boats (without engines).



Economic view

Pond sales are very frequent in France. To avoid unpleasant surprises, you will need to pay close attention to the legislation and regulations on the various structures (see the Ponds link).

Prices range from €15,000 per hectare of water to more than €50,000. The sale of ponds for waterfowl hunting in France does not follow any rules: only the market price matters.

The surrounding landscape and the peacefulness of the pond will be decisive in its sales value. The range of waterfowl hunting techniques means that there is something for everyone.

Forêt Investissement is an agency specialized in rural properties, ponds, forests, and prestigious properties and land. It is a member of the French Chamber of property experts (CEIF FNIAM).

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