The calendar at a glance
With the approval of the Hunting Calendar for the 2023-2024 season it responds to the many uncertainties that arise every year on this complex matter, to which are now added those deriving from the appearance of African swine fever (ASF). Almost two months after the presentation of the joint technical proposal by the recognized regional Hunting Associations (FEDERCACCIA, ANLC, ENALCACCIA, ARCICACCIA, ANUU, ITALCACCIA, EPS), consolidated by technical-scientific and juridical deeds and data, prepared by the Calabria Region with the particular contributions of the Studies and Research Office of Federcaccia and the meetings of the Faunistic-Hunting Consultation, the Regional Council finally approved the 2023-2024 hunting calendar. In summary, there are 6 pre-opening days, set for 2, 3, 9, 10, 13 and 14 September, which will allow the collection of doves, wood pigeons and magpies in the first two (2 and 3 September) and the possibility of use of retrievers. In the following two days (9 and 10 September) wood pigeon and magpie, while in the last two days (13 and 14 September) wood pigeon and magpie will always be hunted, as well as quail, with the help of pointing, hunting and retrieve dogs . The general opening date is unchanged on the third Sunday of September (September 17) with closure on January 31 for ducks, rails and foxes.
The picking dates of the turdids have remained unchanged, with opening on 1 October and closing on 31 January, while for the woodcock the period goes from 8 October to 31 January, thanks to the contribution of scientific data collected with satellite telemetry with FIdC projects and from scientific publications. Maintained the dates 1st October – 31st December for the picking of the lark and from 17th September to 31st December for the blackbird; from 17 September to 30 November is the period for picking up the pheasant and (in addition to the pre-opening) the wood pigeon and magpie can be hunted continuously from 17 September to 14 January. Maintained the possibility of taking only hooded crow and jay in the first ten days of February. As consolidated by recent jurisprudence, for the latter species and for those included in pre-opening, the opening/closing dates unfortunately must necessarily be adapted to the latest sentences of the Constitutional Court on the rigorous application of the maximum time frame established by Law n. 157/92. Hare hunting will be permitted from 17 September to 17 December. For the wild boar species, the period from 1 October to 31 December remains unchanged. This while waiting for the Parliament to accept the request of associations, the agricultural world and also expressions of the scientific community, aimed at amending Law n. 157/92, extending the hunting period beyond the current three months. Therefore the hunting in hunt can be carried out from 1st October to 31st December.
It should be remembered that as regards the areas subject to restrictions for the PSA, the hunting calendar is subject to the prevailing European legislation and to the current consequent Ordinance n. 2, of 20 April 2023 of the National Extraordinary Commissioner for African Swine Fever, which unfortunately orders the ban on wild boar hunting (in any form) in this territory. Therefore, in the state of knowledge and pending a pre-announced new Commissioner's Ordinance, in the metropolitan area of Reggio Calabria wild boar hunting, even in hunted, is permitted only in the "surveillance zone" (restriction I) of the PSA. While reaffirming the need for wild boar "depopulation" to start as soon as possible in areas subject to restrictions II and III (technical control activity and not of a hunting type, therefore not included in the calendar), it is reaffirmed that this happens with the support of wild boar hunting teams with mini-hunting or "tour" of eight hunters and a maximum of three dogs. At the same time, the Calabria Region is urged to adopt the measures envisaged, both in the very recent Action Plan to combat ASF, and in the equally recent National Plan, approved at the State-Regions Conference, to carry out an appropriate control of the species on the entire regional territory. It is important to underline that in areas subject to restrictions it will still be possible to carry out all other forms of hunting, albeit with the precautions provided for by Ordinance 2/2023, both individual and collective, in this case, with the limitations of a maximum of three hunters and maximum use of three dogs overall. As far as the training and training of dogs is concerned, this is already permitted from the publication of the Hunting Calendar until 10 September, with the obvious exception of the pre-opening days indicated above. We acknowledge and thank Assessor Gallo, the Department and the Hunting Office for the work done and for having accepted a large part of the unitary proposals of the AA.VV. regarding species and hunting times.
Natura 2000 network
With reference to the VIncA Decree, which has effect on the Areas of the Natura 2000 Network, although it is considered unsatisfactory, it is noted that some areas are once again among those where hunting can be carried out: 1 in the province of Cosenza (Fiumara Trionto) and 3 in the province of Crotone (Fiume Lese, Monte Fuscaldo and Murge di Strongoli). We believe that the circumstance that as many as 15 ZSCs in the region remain inhibited from hunting remains unjustified: 5 in the province of Cosenza, 2 in the province of Crotone, 1 in the province of Vibo, 5 in the province of Reggio Calabria. We also remind you that in the province of Catanzaro the La Vota lakes remain blocked, which remain in a state of pollution. Moreover, at the present moment this appears unjustified as this season there is a ban on the use of lead in wetlands and there are no actions aimed at restoring the site as due and necessary. In this, as in other cases, there is great readiness to ban hunting, but unfortunately no significant action for the restoration of altered habitats and for environmental rehabilitation. The absolute prohibition of hunting in these 15 SAC areas is not justified, considering that these areas are designated under the Habitats Directive, which does not concern the protection of birds, but of certain habitats. Furthermore, the alleged negative influences of hunting on habitats or on animal species other than birds are not reported in the justifications. Even the analysis of the list of ZSC prohibited from hunting does not report technical elements that support the hunting ban imposed, while the prescription of the ban on hunting turtle doves in the Natura 2000 network areas is considered completely unique, considering that compared to the year last year the National Management Plan is in force, with the sole prescription of the reduction of the levy and no mention of limitations to be imposed in Natura 2000 sites. This overall approach can only be defined as ideological towards hunting and will in fact prevent many hunters to exercise one's passion in some territories that have always been known and frequented. Net of the critical considerations on the VIncA, the one approved is considered to be a substantially balanced calendar, which generally meets expectations and which above all took into account the results resulting from the discussion and consultation tables (Federcaccia Calabria, Libera Caccia, Anuu, Arcicaccia, Enalcaccia, EpS, Italcaccia).