French English Back Back

Hunting Frenzy in the Southwest of France


Franco Zecchin

France is the country of hunting (2 times more hunters than in the UK), and the southwest is its paradise. From the 25th of October until the 15th of November, from Bordeaux to Toulouse, a large part of the adult male population is all over the Pyrenees mountains, hunting the "palombe bleue", the king of birds. The migratory wood pigeon (ring dove) flies above the mountains during its annual migration from the north to the south of Europe. On the ground, thousands of hunters are waiting. As many as 1,8 million of these birds are killed each year in the southwest of France, by more than 100000 hunters. This report has been made in the three best " spots " of the region: - A "palombiere" in Doumy, Bearn, near Pau. It is a wooden cabin build on the top of an old oak tree. The migratory birds are attracted to the tree by live animals tied to the branches, driven by a secret mechanism from inside the cabin. - A "chasse au filet" (hunting net) in Lanne-en-Baretous, French Basque country, where birds are caught by hundreds without a gun, with giant nets hung at a col. This traditional hunting is now forbidden except in 10 villages. Lanne-en-Baretous is one of them. - A "war type" hunting in col d'Iraty, Basque country, where hundreds of wooden shacks are lined at the cols, on the french-spanish border, with hunters hidden and ready to fire the birds when they are above their heads. Men from all over the southwest gather there during whole weeks in October and November. In the evening, they sing and eat and drink. One of the cols is occupied by opponents to hunting, from the NGO Organbidexka Col Libre (OCL). They spend their days counting all the migratory birds with their binoculars, and their nights in a wooden cabin lit with candles. Sometimes they fight with the hunters. The ecologists say that the migratory wooden doves are in danger, because of too much hunting. In the 1980s, more than 8 million birds flew over the Pyrenees, now less than 2 million.


 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184348

Palombiere de Doumy, Bearn. Bernard Cessat, a retired pilot, ties the captive birds to the branches in order to attract the migratory wood pigeons.

Bearn, Pyrenees-Atlantique, France - 00/00/2002

 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184353

Palombiere of Doumy, Bearn. At dawn, live birds are tied to branches to attract the migratory wood pigeons.

Bearn, Pyrenees-Atlantique, France - 00/00/2002

 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184358

Palombiere of Doumy, Bearn. At dawn, live birds are tied to branches to attract the migratory wood pigeons.

Bearn, Pyrenees-Atlantique, France - 00/00/2002

 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184363

Palombiere de Doumy, Bearn. Bernard Cessat, a retired pilot, kisses his captive pigeons before tying them to the branches of the tree in order to attract the migratory wood pigeons.

Bearn, Pyrenees-Atlantique, France - 00/00/2002

 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184375

Palombiere de Doumy, Bearn. A hunter climbs the ladder to the wood cabin where he will spend the day waiting for the migratory wood pigeons.

Bearn, Pyrenees-Atlantique, France - 00/00/2002

 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184378

Palombiere de Doumy, Bearn. On top of the tree, the captive pigeons are tied to the branches, in order to attract the migratory wood pigeons.

Bearn, Pyrenees-Atlantique, France - 00/00/2002

 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184386

Palombiere de Doumy, Bearn. The wood cabin, in which the hunters are hidden, is perched on top of a big tree.

Bearn, Pyrenees-Atlantique, France - 00/00/2002

 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184387

Palombiere of Doumy, Bearn. The hunter shoots from the wooden cabin hidden on top of an oak tree.

Bearn, Pyrenees-Atlantique, France - 00/00/2002

 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184392

Palombiere of Doumy, Bearn. The hunter looks at the feathers of the wood pigeon he just shot.

Bearn, Pyrenees-Atlantique, France - 00/00/2002

 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184403

Palombiere de Doumy, Bearn. Two captive wood pigeons and two migratory dead ones.

Bearn, Pyrenees-Atlantique, France - 00/00/2002

 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184420

Migratory birds flying above the col d'Iraty, French Basque country.

Iraty, Pyrenees-Atlantique, France - 00/00/2002

 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184435

Col d'Iraty, French Basque country. Hunters waiting for the migratory wood pigeons.

Iraty, French Basque Country, France - 00/00/2002

 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184411

Col d'Iraty, French Basque country. Hunters waiting for the migratory wood pigeons.

Iraty, French Basque Country, France - 00/00/2002

 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184429

Col d'Iraty, French Basque country. Hunters waiting for the migratory wood pigeons.

Iraty, French Basque Country, France - 00/00/2002

 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184437

Col d'Iraty, French Basque country. Hunters waiting for the migratory wood pigeons.

Iraty, French Basque Country, France - 00/00/2002

 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184442

Col d'Iraty, French Basque country. Hunter shooting at a migratory wood pigeon.

Iraty, French Basque Country, France - 00/00/2002

 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184444

Col d'Iraty, French Basque country. Hunter shooting at a migratory wood pigeon.

Iraty, French Basque Country, France - 00/00/2002

 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184446

Col d'Iraty, French Basque country. Hunter shooting at a migratory wood pigeon.

Iraty, French Basque Country, France - 00/00/2002

 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184450

Col d'Iraty, French Basque country. Dead wood pigeons.

Iraty, French Basque Country, France - 00/00/2002

 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184451

Col d'Iraty, French Basque country. Dinner at the col, lots of wine and singing. Menu: roasted wood pigeon with boletus.

Iraty, French Basque Country, France - 00/00/2002

 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184462

Col d'Organbidexka, French Basque country. Ecologists from the NGO OCL counting migratory birds with their binoculars.

Col d'Organbidexka, French Basque Country, France - 00/00/2002

 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184465

Col d'Organbidexka, French Basque country. Ecologists from the NGO OCL counting migratory birds with their binoculars.

Col d'Organbidexka, French Basque Country, France - 00/00/2002

 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184466

Col d'Organbidexka, French Basque country. Ecologists from the NGO OCL counting migratory birds with their binoculars.

Col d'Organbidexka, French Basque Country, France - 00/00/2002

 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184468

Col de Lindux, French Basque country. Ecologists from the NGO OCL counting migratory birds with their binoculars.

Col de Lindux, French Basque Country, France - 00/00/2002

 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184470

Col d'Organbidexka, French Basque country. Inside the ecologist1s cabin.

Col d'Organbidexka, French Basque Country, France - 00/00/2002

 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184472

Lanne-en-Baretous, French Basque country. Traditional hunting of wood pigeons with nets and without guns.

Lanne-en-Baretous, French Basque Country, France - 00/00/2002

 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184476

Lanne-en-Baretous, French Basque country. Installation of the nets at dawn.

Lanne-en-Baretous, French Basque Country, France - 00/00/2002

 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184664

Lanne-en-Baretous, Bearn. At sunrise, the hunters prepair the nets to capture the migratory wood pigeons.

Lanne-en-Baretous, France - 00/00/2002

 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184665

Lanne-en-Baretous, Bearn. The wood cabin, in which the hunters are hidden, is perched on top of a big tree.

Lanne-en-Baretous, Pyrenees-Atlantique, France - 00/00/2002

 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184666

Lanne-en-Baretous, Bearn. The hunter frightens the migratory wood pigeons with his stick, in order to attract them into the nets where they will be caught alive.

Lanne-en-Baretous, Pyrenees-Atlantique, France - 00/00/2002

 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184667

Lanne-en-Baretous, Bearn. The hunters run under the nets to capture the wood pigeons.

Lanne-en-Baretous, Pyrenees-Atlantique, France - 00/00/2002

 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184668

Lanne-en-Baretous, Bearn. The hunters run under the nets to capture the wood pigeons.

Lanne-en-Baretous, Pyrenees-Atlantique, France - 00/00/2002

 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184669

Lanne-en-Baretous, Bearn. The hunters run under the nets to capture the wood pigeons.

Lanne-en-Baretous, Pyrenees-Atlantique, France - 00/00/2002

 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184681

Lanne-en-Baretous, Bearn. The hunters run under the nets to capture the wood pigeons.

Lanne-en-Baretous, Pyrenees-Atlantique, France - 00/00/2002

 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184682

Nature reserve of Platier d'Oye, Pas-de-Calais. Ecologist protest against illegal hunting inside the nature reserve.

Platier d'Oye, Pas-de-Calais, France - 00/00/2002

 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184683

Nature reserve of Platier d'Oye, Pas-de-Calais. 500 ecologist protest against illegal hunting inside the nature reserve.

Platier d'Oye, Pas-de-Calais, France - 00/00/2002

 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184686

Nature reserve of Platier d'Oye, Pas-de-Calais. 500 ecologist protest against illegal hunting inside the nature reserve.

Platier d'Oye, Pas-de-Calais, France - 00/00/2002

 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184692

Nature reserve of Platier d'Oye, Pas-de-Calais. The hunters come out of their huts to see the protesters.

Platier d'Oye, Pas-de-Calais, France - 00/00/2002

 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184693

Nature reserve of Platier d'Oye, Pas-de-Calais. Ecologist protest against illegal hunting inside the nature reserve. More than 100 policemen prevent the protesters from getting close to the hunters.

Platier d'Oye, Pas-de-Calais, France - 00/00/2002

 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184694

Nature reserve of Platier d'Oye, Pas-de-Calais. Policemen watch a hunting hut.

Platier d'Oye, Pas-de-Calais, France - 00/00/2002

 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184695

Nature reserve of Platier d'Oye, Pas-de-Calais. Policemen prevent the hunters from getting close to the ecologists.

Platier d'Oye, Pas-de-Calais, France - 00/00/2002

 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184696

Nature reserve of Platier d'Oye, Pas-de-Calais. Policemen prevent the hunters from getting close to the ecologists.

Platier d'Oye, Pas-de-Calais, France - 00/00/2002

 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184697

Nature reserve of Platier d'Oye, Pas-de-Calais. A young ecologist. On her coat : "hunter= killer".

Platier d'Oye, Pas-de-Calais, France - 00/00/2002

 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184698

Nature reserve of Platier d'Oye, Pas-de-Calais. A protester who wants to attack the hunters is arrested by the police.

Platier d'Oye, Pas-de-Calais, France - 00/00/2002

 

Franco Zecchin / Picturetank ZEF0184702

Nature reserve of Platier d'Oye, Pas-de-Calais. Policemen protect Patrice Bonay, ecologist from North Nature, while he tags the entrance of an illegal hut.

Platier d'Oye, Pas-de-Calais, France - 00/00/2002



top