International Hunter and Spanish Outfitter Fernando Munoz tells us exactly what is needed to ensure that you have all of the correct documents for hunting in Spain.
As an international hunter, before going on any hunting trip one of the first thing I do is to verify with my outfitter that I have all of the correct permits and licenses in regards to that country. On the odd occasion, I have forgotten to do this at an early stage and it often causes many problems further down the line. It may also sound simple, but as hunting seasons vary between different countries and different species, it’s crucial that you ensure the quarry/ game that you are looking to hunt are actually in season. You don’t want to be disappointed when you get to destination.
If Spain is your next chosen destination – it’s a great choice! Spain is a huge country with 17 regions and 17 hunting regulations, which sounds confusing I know. However, we have only one sole protocol for hunting permits and licences, which help International Hunters organise their documents without too much hassle.
All outfitters who offer hunting packages in Spain must provide the hunters with the correct documents. It doesn’t matter if you are shooting or stalking, all of the relevant documents will need to be completed and authorized before you can hunt.
Regional Hunting Licence: Each region in Spain has his own hunting license, thus if you are planning to hunt in several region of Spain, you must have hunting permits for every region.
In some regions, you will have a yearly licence, in others, just a licence for a few days.
Insurance: A compulsory insurance is mandatory every time you are hunting in Spain; no matter the hunting method, no matter the region, the compulsory insurance is mandatory.
Most of the hunters have an annual insurance that is renewed every year.
Gun permit: You always must travel with your National Gun Permit – whether you are travelling with your own gun or hiring one whilst in Spain.
Stalking: If your chosen hunting method for your trip is stalking, you must have also the following documents:
Hunting seal: The Hunting Seal is only used for ‘Big Game’ and stalking in Spain. Every region has his own type of hunting seal, in which the colour is changed every season by the Government to ensure that each permit can be easily identifiable as being in date.
Each individual Hunting Seal contains; the number of hunting ground, hunting specie, and a space in order to put the date that the animal was taken down.
Permission from the principal of the hunting ground: (For stalking only) Once you are stalking you must have in your pocket, the hunting seal for the animal you are hunting. You will also need to keep the Permission of the Principal of the Hunting Ground on you at all times. This is a non - official paper, which must be signed and dated, which gives you permission to hunt in the area.
After years of experience of hunting in Spain and working with many International Hunters who visit Spain for their chosen hunting destination, I would strongly recommend that before booking your trip, that you speak to your Outfitter about the required documents. This could spare you problems with the Spanish Regional Authorities that may arise closer to the time.
As a general rule - seventeen regions, means seventeen hunting seasons. In most cases you can start hunting early or end hunting later during the main season. It might sound a little bit confusing, but generally it means that you can hunt in almost every month of the year – which is perfect! You can plan your hunting trip following the open season in either one region or other and visit different areas and species.
In exceptional cases, some hunting grounds have special permits for hunting once the season has been closed. The majority of the time, these permits are awarded by the Regional Government and used to control agricultural damages and carry out controlled land/ herd management. This is just one more reason why Spain is often considered a paradise for hunters.
In conclusion, Spain is no different from other European countries in regards to requiring a permit and license to hunt in the country. Our hunting legislation is clear and easy to follow and as long as you organise your hunt with a registered outfitter – you will always be advised by an experienced professional.