In forests, there live about 60% z 618 vertebrate species existing in Poland. Civilisation caused, that everlasting balance and rules governing in forest ecosystems were collapsed, what has got a direct influence on living there animals. Among others, that is why maintaining their suitable quantity, ways of taking care of them, as well preventing damages done by them, constitute indispensable component of balanced forest resources management. Hunting is responsible for realisation of above mentioned tasks under current regulations, both included in Polish and European Union law.
Hunting is the set of thought-out, planned and coordinated actions, which aim is to execute rational management of hunting game species, including regulations on nature conservation, needs of forestry and agriculture, as well as economic conditions. The crux of the matter is the management of hunting game species populations, and actions for maintenance of biological diversity.
The list of species approved in Poland for hunting game defines the Regulation of the Minister for the Environmentof 11 March 2005. Additionally, the Minister set also periods of hunting for certain species, necessary for protecting species of game during their reproduction times.
The necessity of carrying out game management arises from both: pursuant to Polish law in force, as well as common opinion among people dealing with hunting issues.
Hunting is not only acquiring, husbandry or protection of animals, but also deep rooted culture and tradition in native customs and traditions. Their symptoms include hunting ethics, language, artistic motives and specific customs traditions. To these last mentioned ones belong, among others, hunting signals, as special cultivating to this day form of communication among hunters.
It is inseparably connected with the history of human kind, and its history reaches as far as the age of primitive people.
The Act establishes the following tasks for the hunting:
1) protection, maintenance of diversity and managing of hunting game species;
2) preservation and shaping the natural environment to improve living conditions of animals;
3) obtaining possibly high individual condition, quality of trophies and appropriate number of population of particular game species with maintaining the balance of natural environment;
4) fulfilling social needs within practising hunting, cultivating tradition and implementing ethics and hunting culture.
(Hunting) Game management
Game management in Polandis carried out by leaseholders or by administrators of game shooting districts. For example, commonly known administrator of a game shooting district is a hunting association. Some territories are yet excluded from the lease on the basis of Article 28 of Act on "Hunting Law", by the decision of the Minister responsible for the environmental issues. The administrators of game shooting districts can be, among others the State Forests Units, Agricultural Market Agency, research institutions. The Forest District Bytnica is relevant just in such special situation, because it manages two game shooting districts, located within the range of the unit. The centre of animals husbandry was created here, and game management is carried out by the Forest District.
The forests of Bytnica are located in the greater part within the area characterising with the highest forestation in Poland – 78% of the area of the Commune Bytnica cover forests.
Such large amount of forests crossed by mosaics of fields, meadows, water reservoirs and rivers, creates very good conditions for existence of numerous animal populations. What, on the other hand translates into very good conditions for practising hunting, its promotion and constant improvements of game management methods.
Hunting areas of the Forest District, are characterised with diversified relief, with presence of numerous glacial lakes and very rich vegetation. These features encourage numerous animal species, including the hunting game, as well as the ones under protection, to settle in the Forest District area.
For the species existing within the area of the Pedigree Breeding Establishment (Polish abbreviation OHZ) belong: wild boars, deer, stags, wild goose, ducks, foxes, raccoon dogs, American mink.
Particular feature of this area is great number of stags population. Since at least 20 years, within meadows and waste places called "Łąki Dobrosułowskie (Dobrosułowskie Meadows)", there has taken place one of the most beautiful and one of the largest rut in Europe.
The rut on the "Łąki Dobrosułowskie (Dobrosułowskie Meadows)" according to many people is one of the most beautiful in this part of Europe. fot. G. Sławko
One of the most important tasks of the game management is the control of animals populations. It is very crucial to maintain stable populations with appropriate number and good quality of individuals. In the light of regulations of biological diversity protection and theory of sustainable development, for the optimal number one takes such quantity, where dominates the balance in ecosystems, based on dynamic and permanent influence on all constituting it individuals.
Hunting in the forest protection and aviculture against the damages done by the hunting game.
Living in the forest areas animals – despite being indispensable element of these ecosystems, they can often do serious damages, both in forestry and in husbandry. Damages in the forestry are mainly based on destroying forest cultivations through the tree buds chewing, cleaning antlers or bark chewing – also called stripping. Young trees deprived of the apical bud cannot grow in height, or they succumb to considerable deformation. The bark constitutes the only tree barrier to the impact of harmful factors – among others, parasitical fungus, thus trees devoid of mentioned bark can easily undergo the stem deformation, but they often just die.
It is really difficult to reconcile forestry and agriculture. The game yet needs food. For many years , in Bytnica, there have been made efforts to find out silver bullet, which would enable to reconcile these two things. Such panaceum seems to be the "Sobański Method" being commonly applied in the Forest District Bytnica. Deciduous tree species introduced with seeding within the above mentioned method constitute a very rich food base for all animals.
Damages done by animals in agriculture are as well very serious problem. Protection of both foresters and farmers' work is very important. The basic actions to be done in order to protect agrarian cultivations, there are widely understood efforts to keep animals in the forest.
In order to do that, within the forest areas, there are created hunting plot, buffer zones, as well as wild boar rootings, regularly supplied with food for animals. However, there is often necessity to use mechanical protection of cultivations through fencing with net or with so called electric fence.
During winter time – that is particularly difficult for the inhabitants of the forests, foresters or hunters put out foodstuff into feeders and salt into salt licks, what let animals supply necessary microelements is this such difficult time for them.
Hunting offer of the Forest DistrictPolish hunters can purchase hunting permission directly in the headquarter of the Forest District (tel. +48 68 391 56 90), while the organization of hunting events for foreign hunters lies in hands of the hunting office CHASSORBIS (http://www.chassorbis.pl/pl/).