Sunflower time - bird hunting time

Obviously the hunters would like to ensure that the sunflowers will remain the farmers' crops by getting stuck into the pigeons early in the morning with their shotguns. However, pleasure also requires responsibility. The responsibility in this case is to make sure that we abide by the law at all times. What is prescribed in terms of legislation?

For the purpose of this specific article, let's look at what Nature Conservation says about hunting pigeons and other birds. All licensed gun owners know the Firearm Act. But what about the other conditions when it comes to hunting? Let's look at the most important regulations which we need to bear in mind.

According to Nature Conservation there is ordinary game as well as animals which cause damage. Animals which cause damage are the easy one as far as legislation is concerned. These animals may be hunted throughout the year. All you need is written permission from or the presence of the farm owner when you hunt these animals. Obviously we may not use hunting dogs on a farm without the written consent of the owner of the farm.

Even with the written consent of the owner of the farm, hunting dogs may not be used for hunting purposes. Dogs may only be used to fetch hunted birds or to point out other birds to the hunter. Should any of these regulations not be adhered to, fines can be imposed by Nature Conservation.

Ordinary game has a specific season within which it may be hunted. Each province has its own ordinance. The hunting season in most provinces starts on 1 May and ends on 31 August. During the hunting season a number of other conditions also have to be met. A hunter of ordinary game has to have a hunting license in his name. There are a number of other conditions, but these vary from province to province. Contact your nearest Nature Conservation office for the latest ordinance and study it.

As far as the crop is concerned, the following applies. Pigeons are regarded as animals which cause damage. For this reason any shot may hunt pigeons during the day (30 minutes before sunrise until 30 minutes after sunset), on any farm, with the permission of the farm owner. Dogs may only be used to fetch hunted birds.

But what happens when you see a guinea-fowl or pheasant while you hunt? Well, guinea-fowl and most other hunting birds are normal game according to Nature Conservation. For this reason they may only be hunted once the hunting season opens. You have to have a hunting license, as well as written permission to hunt on the farm. Only a specific number of birds may be hunted per day.

Enjoy hunting the pigeons amongst the sunflowers, but leave the guinea-fowl until May. And remember to act in a safe and responsible manner in the hunting field at all times.