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GUIDEPOST cover, 31 October 1969


Abbreviated GUIDEPOST Reprint



by George Potter
31 October 1969

As the leaves change color and fall to the ground, a great many men in Spain, as in almost every country in the world, get their guns out of the closets and head for the fields and forests. The hunting season has arrived.

“The quail shoot” (La partida de caza) by Spanish painter Francisco Goya, 1775

Spain’s varied topography offers hunters a vast choice of terrains and a wide range of game. Big game [. . .] [and] small game [. . .] are all available and, if one is lucky, abundant. The seasons vary from species to species [. . .]

Many of the provinces [. . .] have special restrictions as to days when hunting is prohibited or otherwise restricted. Also, many species are protected by local restrictions which in some cases, are total prohibitions. There are also national restrictions prohibiting the hunting of certain species – stork, lynx, eagles, pheasant, and many other rare or limited species of animals and birds. On the other hand, there are year ‘round open seasons on animals such as wolves, coyotes, foxes, bobcats, and other predatory animals. From time to time, special extinction hunts are organized by provincial governments.

Dirección General de Montes, Caza y Pesca Fluvial publication, 1968

Complete, up-to-date information can be obtained from the Dirección General de Montes, Caza y Pesca Fluvial. Licenses for almost every species are obtained from their offices at Calle Goya, 25. Information can also be obtained from the Subsecretaria de Turismo at the Ministry of Information and Tourism, Avda. del Generalisimo, 39.

Discussions are being held in the Spanish Parliament with regards to modifying the present hunting laws. Much comment has been given to this matter in the Spanish press, and opinions are mixed [. . .]

As for licenses, all persons who intend to hunt must possess a general permit. These are obtained at the Dirección General de Seguridad in the Puerta del Sol [. . .]

The Spanish partridge has gained an international reputation as being one of the most elusive birds around. Small strong and extremely fast, many of the best hunters find it difficult to bring home a good batch. However, it is well worth the efforts, and possible frustration, as the bird is also renowned for its exquisite flavor. The best areas for the partridge are the provinces of Toledo, Cuidad Real, Cuenca, Guadalajara, Cáceres and Albacete. In recent years, travel agents in Spain, and in other countries, have organized special tours for hunters. Included are travel, lodging, meals, guides, entertainment and basic licenses [. . .] Some landowners are also getting in on the act with special hunts organized on their properties and charges per bird [. . .] Information about hunting around small villages can be obtained from the Ayuntamientos – City Halls – of the villages [. . .]

Both black and brown bear are available in the mountains of Asturias, mountain sheep in the areas of the Sierra de Gredos, Sierra de Ronda and the Sierra de Cazorla, stag in the Reserva de Saja near Santander, chamois around Santander, León and Asturias, a variety of deer are found in most of the mountain areas, and the swift roe deer in the province of Cádiz. Wild boars are mostly found in most of the mountains and covered lowlands in Oviedo, Santander, León and Jaén [. . .]

Bear in the Cabarceno Natural Park off Santander

As a rule, the best big game hunting is to be found on the National Game Reserves managed by the Servicio Nacional de Caza y Pesca Fluvial, and the Subsecretaría de Turismo. Both offices issue the special permits requires for their respective reserves [. . .]

The best waterfowl shooting is found around the delta of the Ebro River, the estuaries of various rivers in Galicia, the Albufera area of Valencia, and the lower estuary of the Guadalquivir River in the provinces of Sevilla and Huelva. The island groups of the Balearics and canaries also offer good water bird hunting. The most commonly encountered species of duck are pintails, red-heads, and some mallards, with flights of teal and widgeons seen quite frequently.

Generally speaking, almost all hunting in Spain is done with shotguns [. . .] Firearms can be brought into Spain for hunting, but the amount of red-tape required for permits to possess make it worth investigating the locally manufactured arms [. . .] Many of the world’s more famous hunters prefer the balance and workmanship of the Spanish arms over all others [. . .]

It is recommended that foreigners hunting in Spain either make as complete arrangements as possible before going to any of the hunting areas, or arrange a hunting party with some Spanish friend who knows what would be necessary.

One other thing, the normal and natural courtesies existing in the rest of the world apply equally in Spain [. . .] Observe the legal requirements and the general customs, and you will really have – HAPPY HUNTING.

Small Game in General: 12 October – 1st Sunday of February
Stag, Fallow Deer, Boar: 12 October – 3rd Sunday of February
Bear, Mountain Goat, Roe Deer: 2nd Sunday of September – 1 November
Uragallo (Giant Wood Grouse):  3rd Sunday of April- 1st Sunday of June
Wild Turkey: 1st Sunday of February – Last Sunday of March
Waterfowl, Woodchuck, curlew: 12 October – 1st Sunday of February
Waterfowl in the Lagoons of Valencia and the Delta of the Ebro river: 1st Sunday of September – 1st Sunday of March
Quail, Turtledove, Pigeon: 12 October – 1st Sunday of February
Pigeon in Santander, Vizcaya, Guipúzcoa, Navarra and Huesca: 12 October – 1st Sunday of March
Starling Trush: 12 October – 1st Sunday of February
Canary Island Fur Animals: 2nd Sunday of august – 1st Sunday of December
Canary Islands Birds: 2nd Sunday of august – 4th Sunday of December
Balearic Islands All Game: 2nd Sunday of September – 2nd Sunday of January
Waterfowl: 2nd Sunday of September – 2nd Sunday of January





>Goya painting, PD

>Publication of the Dirección General de Montes, Caza y Pesca Fluvial, Fair use
>Bear in the Cabarceno Natural Park/Santiago Lopez-Pastor, CC BY-SA2.0