Understanding foreign hunting permit laws will certainly help you out if you’re looking at hunting abroad – Our second feature on Sport Abroad looks at the French hunting laws, whether you’re maybe moving to France or simply interested in hunting in the country, here is what you should know…

Review and annual fee:

Becoming a hunter in France, does not just happen! It is a skill that has to be learned and examined –  for obvious security reasons. This learning is validated by a test that combines theory and practice know-how: the Permis de Chasse. After passing the exam (congratulations!), you will then need to  pay an annual fee to be able to exercise your favourite hobby.


Before you start …

Know that, since implemented in 2000, accompanied hunting allows young people to learn for free for one year from the age of 15, after an elementary practical training under the guidance of a sponsored license holder, held  for more than 5 years. In this context, a  “godson” and sponsor share the same weapon – that of the latter, of course!

Furthermore, to encourage younger hunters , this possibility is open to anyone young enough, who wishes  to experience hunting … maybe experiencing the hunt, before applying for the license!

La chasse accompagnée en France (Accompanied Hunting in France) : The National Federation of French Hunters website.


The Hunting permit/Permis de Chasse (introduced in 1975):

Since 1 January 2014, it is no longer made up of only one sequence. On the day of the tests, the candidate must be aged at least 15 years. However – important point – the hunting permit will be effective in this case only from 16 years of age.
The examination combines practical exercises and theoretical questions. This new formula is centred on security and control of the weapon by the future hunter. After following the compulsory training sessions, the candidate is invited for review by the National Office for Hunting and Wildlife (ONCFS)
The exam is scored on 31 points; the candidate is passed if he gets a minimum of 25 points, and on condition not to commit any eliminating fault or practical exercises in the workshop theoretical questions. The duration of the test is about 30 minutes.

  • Practical Exercises: 4 workshops grade on 21 points


Workshop 1: Evolution of a simulated hunting course with blank rounds. Rated on 7 points.

The candidate is invited to cross a fence and / or ditch, weapon in hand, respecting the safety rules. He must take or refrain from shooting at clay plates according to their trajectory, authorized or not (presence of hedges, houses, vehicles, etc.).

2nd workshop:

Storage of a hunting weapon in a vehicle. Rated on 1 point.

3rd workshop:

Live Fire Test with a tilt or semi-automatic rifle. Rated on 7 points.

There are six stands – the secure climb over a fence, two stands firing blanks at clays, gun placement in vehicle, live-firing at clays, and a simulation of boar hunting with live rounds.
On the live-firing stand, the candidate must not, under penalty of removal,  fire at a red clay (symbolising protected species). A point will be deducted if fired at  low clays, or if you do not shoot a clay when you should have.

4th workshop:

Test firing rifled weapon on the running boar. Rated 6 points.
Candidate must understand the different phases of the organisation of the driven hunt.  An exercise is performed in the handling of the gun comprising  loading and unloading of the weapon.

You are then placed in the position of a hunter on post. You must pull twice on a moving target representing a boar crossing the area, and comply with safety regulations (taking into account the environment, angle of 30 °, not trigger happy, etc.).

In these four workshops, all safety behaviour is considered, any dangerous actions can result in the examination stopping.


THE THEORETICAL ISSUES. 10 theoretical issues noted on each 1 point. They focus on mastering four themes:

1. The wildlife and it´s habitats:

Recognition of species (game and protected), biology, concept of harvest and consequences of human activities on the natural environment.

2. Hunting :

Technical and hunting methods, hunting and hunting vocabulary.

3. The laws and regulations concerning the police, hunting and nature conservation:

General organisation of hunting in France, species status, territories, seasons,  and hunting conditions, destruction of habitat, etc.

4. Weapons and ammunition:

Types, characteristics of weapons and ammunition, handling and use, safety rules and general safety.


Of these 10 questions,  the preliminary issue is safety/security.

In France, the 25 inspectors who run the hunting permit exams,  pass around 30,000 candidates each year.

Source : Office National de la Chasse et de la Faune Sauvage