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Placed on: 2006-11-13 16:41   Updated on: 2009-08-19 12:54   Comments: 0   Views from 2009-08-25: 0

Hunting Grounds in Lithuania
2006-11-13 16:40

Hunting is one of the oldest means of communication of a man and nature. It has deep traditions in Lithuania, it has references in different stories and legends. Hunting rituals used to be grand and long-lasting. They always used to finish in roaring feasts. Special estates were being established for shooting.

Besides, there were organisational services that were engaged in organising a shooting, in looking after forests and other hunting grounds, as well as in breeding retrievers and hunter birds. They also had to tame them. Later, as the state was becoming weaker and weaker, it was bewailed for the extinction of savage horses, aurochs, bisons, royal stags, rufous bears, gluttons, forest cats, and even beavers. Nowadays people became worried about preservation of nature, they started saving fauna and counting its resources.

Hunting economy in Lithuania is managed following the Law on hunting of the Republic of Lithuania No. IX-901 passed on May 23, 2002. This law determined social terms that are related with the protection of game, which is in the territory of the Republic of Lithuania, and its rational operation. The list of game breeds, hunting terms, methods, and safety requirements in hunting are indicated in the instructions of the Shootings in the Territory of the Republic of Lithuania.

Hunting grounds are comprised of private and state lands. Hunters who belong to clubs, circles, or as private persons can hunt there. The biggest part of hunters belong to public organisations, which have been established in order to satisfy and realise general needs and objectives of the members, connected with hunting.

During the hunting season of 2002-2003 the following were hunted: 504 elks, 1,288 royal stags, 23 fallow-deer, 11,569 hinds, 10,300 wild boars, 8,346 European hares, 473 martens, 76 wolves, 13,018 foxes, 4,525 mongooses, and 3,907 beavers. According to the records, in 2004 there were: 3,860 elks, 11,202 royal stags, 443 fallow-deer, 75,886 hinds, and 32,059 wild boars. In the recent years the number of elks and stags was slightly falling, while the number of hinds and wild boars was growing.

Grounds of professional hunting were established in 21 forest enterprises, where special methods of increase of game populations are being implemented and hunting tourism is being developed. The principal purpose of professional hunting grounds is the improvement of living conditions of game, rational management of game populations, protection of green plantations, sprouts, tree lands, and agricultural crops from the damage done by wild animals. Moreover, the grounds cumulate and propagate experience, information and exhibits related to the management of hunting economy. The handling, management, and usage of the professional hunting grounds are coordinated by the General Forest Enterprise.

During the shooting season of 2003-2004, 850 Lithuanian and 435 foreign hunters were hunting in the grounds of professional hunting. Foreign hunters have a right to carry home or send by post all the hunted game in our country, as well as their hunting trophies or other parts without any extra permissions of the Ministry of Environment or any other institutions subject to it, just by showing a customs office a hunting protocol issued by user of the hunting grounds. The protocol must be confirmed with a signature and stamp of an authorised person from a regional agency of an environmental protection department of a respective region.



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