How to get a hunting license
Every year, new hunters start their first hunting season; often these are people who have fathers or grandfathers who are hunters and to whom this immense passion is passed on, but sometimes there are those who want to get a license because they are passionate about it but do not have anyone in their family who has dedicated themselves to this activity, and then the first approaches may be more difficult.
Let us then see together what are all the steps to follow to obtain a hunting license.
The first step in applying for a hunting license is to obtain a hunting license, which is obtained after public examination before a commission appointed by the relevant region.
In order to take the exam, an application with a revenue stamp and a copy of a medical certificate of mental and physical fitness with a date not older than 6 months must be submitted to the region.
This certificate is issued by ASLs or by physicians working in military or police facilities upon presentation of the medical history certificate, previously issued by the family doctor, and a €16.00 revenue stamp.
The medical certificate will also be required on other occasions for subsequent documents, to be attached finally also to the application for the issuance of a hunting rifle license.
The examinations, conducted in the manner determined by the regions, cover the following subjects in particular:
- Hunting legislation
- Zoology applied to hunting with practical tests of recognition of huntable species
- Hunting weapons and ammunition and related legislation
- Nature conservation and safeguard principles of agricultural production
- First aid standards
How to prepare and what to study for the exam
The first part of the exam consists of a multiple-choice quiz test.
There are 20 quizzes covered in the written test with a maximum of 3 errors, thus 17 correct answers are required.
Those who pass this test will have to take an oral exam, which instead covers the visual identification of stuffed animal species, both huntable and non-huntable, and also other questions covering the usual topics previously covered in the quizzes.
Recognition of huntable and protected wildlife species can be done indiscriminately through stuffed animals or graphic cards or photos, or through digital images on monitors.
To prepare for the exam, a good hand comes from the regions themselves, which make the quizzes public, so they can be checked and downloaded directly from the Internet.
However, there are several texts, as well as cyclical organization of training courses by hunting associations.
Young enthusiasts born into hunting families are at a great advantage.
On the one hand, they will be able to know most of the zoology applied to hunting, so game, even non-huntable game as in hunting legislation, and on the other hand, they will already know a good deal about hunting weapons and ammunition, which as a percentage will cover 50 to 60 percent of the total quiz questions.
Just to give a couple of examples, you might be asked what the natural environment of chamois or partridge is or what repopulations are or what group a given dog breed belongs to.
In the area of hunting legislation, questions may concern what is the law regulating hunting activities or what species are huntable or not, how long is the hunting license, whether stalking hunting of woodcock or snipe is prohibited.
Questions about hunting weapons and ammunition plus related legislation
In the field of weapons, one finds questions about the composition of a cartridge and the function of its individual components, what unit of measurement a rifled carbine caliber is expressed in, what weapons can be used for hunting, and their calibers.
Questions on nature conservation and safeguard principles of agricultural production
As for the quizzes pertaining to nature conservation and the preservation of agricultural production, knowledge of planting or harvesting times is required, trusting the common sense of the individual hunter to avoid causing damage directly or through the passage of the dog over a field, as well as whether or not it is permitted to light fires during hunting activities or, if permitted, the cutting of tree plants.
Other questions concern the best way not to harm game during mowing.
Questions about the main first aid regulations
It will ask what heat stroke is and how to avoid it, how to perform cardiac massage, how to recognize a viper, how to be able to transport a person with a suspected spinal fracture, or what to do in case of loss of consciousness.
Applications for the census and selective harvesting of ungulates
In this case the questions can be very different.
In fact, in some regions there will be a subdivision according to game: thus, for example, the ideal caliber for a given game or the minimum allowed on deer, mouflon, or stag in selection will be asked.
However, most questions will be on the anatomy, physiology, metabolism, or morphology of wild animals, such as moulting, dentition, age and sex classifications, territory distribution, or how the age of the wild is determined, sexual dysmorphism, mating and birth periods.
Take organized courses and take many mock exams
However, as with most multiple choice quizzes, whether for school, college, driver’s license or hunting license as in our case, to answer these questions in addition to knowing the topic, it is important to understand what the question is asking and to read the answers well.
People often make mistakes without realizing it because they misunderstand the question and are convinced that the given answer is the correct one.
It is therefore essential to practice before the exam by reading texts that explain how to approach and answer questions, or to attend organized courses that help explain rather than teach the topics required on the exam.
It can also be very helpful to take many practice quizzes to get a feel for how they work; you can find plenty online to test yourself. If you would like to try some right away click here https://www.regione.toscana.it/-/materie-di-esame-e-materiale-di-preparazione-per-gli-esami-per-guardie-venatorie-volontarie
How to take the Certificate of Use and Handling of Weapons
This is another essential document for obtaining a hunting license. It should be obtained from the nearest TSN (National Shooting Range). To obtain it, one must submit:
- Medical certificate of mental and physical fitness
- Valid identification document
- Tax code
- Tax stamp € 16.00
The cost including course in the use of weapons, certificate and ammunition is around 90 / 100€.
Different discussion for those who have done Military Service, because they only need to submit a copy of their military discharge.
Having done so, then with the hunting license and the certificate of use or handling of weapons in hand, one can apply for a license to carry a rifle for hunting use or gun permit.
How to apply for a hunting license
A shotgun license for hunting use is valid throughout the country and is valid for 6 years, renewed annually upon payment of government license fee and surcharge totaling 173.16 €.
The document is issued by the police station in the territory of residence after submission of specific documentation and allows the possession, transportation and carrying of a weapon during hunting activities.
The application form, which is also available at the Police Headquarters, Public Security Station or Carabinieri Station, can be delivered in the following ways:
- By hand, the office issues a regular receipt
- By registered mail with return receipt
- Telematically, with delivery notification mode
In towns far from the police station and police station, however, documents can be handed over to the Carabinieri barracks, which will forward them to the police station after an initial assessment.
The application should be attached:
- Two 16.00 euro telematic marks to be applied one on the application and the other on the license
- Certification proving psychophysical fitness, issued by the A.S.L. of residence, or by legal medical offices and military and State Police health facilities
- The certification proving the qualification for hunting activity
- The receipt of payment of the government concession tax of Euro 168.00 plus an additional Euro 5.16 (as provided for in Article 24 of Law No. 157 of February 11, 1992)
- The receipt for the payment of Euro 1.27 for the cost of the booklet valid for 5 years, to be paid for the first issuance and at the expiration of the six years, by requesting from the Office at which you intend to submit the request (Police-Carabinieri) the details of the current account of the corresponding Provincial Treasury of the State (the cost of the booklet is Euro 1.50 for the bilingual version)
- Two recent passport-size head and half-length photos
- Certificate of fitness to handle weapons issued by a National Shooting Section
- A statement in lieu of affidavit in which the person concerned certifies that he or she is not in any of the hostile conditions provided for by law, the particulars of persons living together, and that he or she has not been recognized as a “conscientious objector” under Law no. 230 of July 8, 1998, or to have filed an application for revocation of objector status with the National Office for Civil Service (Body of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers), pursuant to Law no. 130 of August 2, 2007
How to renew your hunting license
At the expiration of the 6th year, an application for renewal must be submitted and the same documentation as required for issuance must be produced, with the exception of the certification attesting to eligibility for hunting activity, certification regarding fitness to handle weapons, declaration of not having been recognized as a “conscientious objector,” or an application for revocation of the objector status, forwarded to the National Civil Service Office.
The time frame for which a hunting license is issued is more or less short, but in all cases within 90 days a response must be provided, then approval and signature or disapproval.
In order to go hunting, you will need certain documents and titles to carry with you, be in good standing and show if asked by public safety officers. Let’s see what they are.
Insurance for hunting practice
Aside from the gun license, which is the state concession to hold, transport and carry a weapon during hunting (however, let us not forget that such a weapon cannot be carried outside of the hunting context, thus outside of anything that is not strictly inherent to hunting activity), to be in order you will also need insurance, with the purpose of guaranteeing third-party liability for any damage caused by the handling of weapons during hunting.
The law defines ceilings at an average of €516,456.90 of which €387,342.67 is for each injured person and €129,114.22 for damage to animals and property.
There is also an accident insurance policy for the hunter with a limit of €51,645.69.
In addition, there are specific insurances valid on injuries to dogs and for damage done to third parties.
The hunting associations , which can also be defined as hunters’ unions, deal with this by offering insurance packages that are specific and expanded from the minimum legal requirements.
In addition to hunting associations , most insurance companies offer policies for the practice of hunting.
The term is annual, as is the charge to be incurred, which can be changed at each renewal, for example by adding dogs or increasing the maximum limits, varying the annual cost from a minimum of €80 on average up to €120 / 130.
Hunting badge and registration with territorial hunting areas (A.T.C)
Another document required for hunting activity is the hunting card. This allows hunting in the A.T.C. (Ambiti Territoriali di Caccia) of residence and non-residence.
The hunting card is valid throughout the country and is issued by the hunter’s municipality of residence.
The requirements for applying for the card are:
- Possession of hunting license
- Payment of government license fee. Valid for one year, but expires on the day the gun license was validated
- Payment of regional concession fee, validity is one year and expires according to the date of payment
- Payment of A.T.C. fee valid for one year and expires at the year of the previous payment
- A good rule of thumb will be to always carry a copy of the weapons and ammunition possession report with you, so that you will have an easy reference in case of detention by public security organs.
The hunting card is a means of controlling weekly hunting outings, which we recall are 3 out of 5 days allowed between Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, while Tuesday and Friday are hunting silence days.
The day and ATC in which you are hunting as soon as you get out of the car and ready to start the hunt must be marked, as well as the number of game shot as soon as it is picked up from the ground.
The card will make it possible to controlthe species and quantities taken, based also on the permits to shoot in the right periods, the daily number and finally the seasonal number as specified in the hunting calendar established and issued by the Region.
In this sense, the badge at the end of the hunting season must be returned by the deadline to the municipality of residence or, in the case of a change of residence, to the municipality that issued it, so that it can be checked to see if any irregularities have been made.
The mentoring required of new hunters.
Very important is the case when a new hunter enters hunting with his own weapon, and that is during the first year of his license: in fact, during this period the novice must be accompanied by another hunter who has held a hunting license for at least three years.
A kind of “pink slip” for those who have taken the exam and are waiting for practice.
In both cases, a more experienced person, a veteran, will introduce and empower the novice in the use and handling of the weapon during the hunt, which in the end is the most important thing to avoid unpleasantness and dangerous accidents to people in the first place, but also to auxiliaries or other animals and things.
Although aiming is a characteristic of the individual, the more experienced will also help the beginner to shoot and do it more or less well. In the early days it is always advisable to go out consistently to test yourself in as many encounters with wild animals as possible.
It helps a lot for new hunters to attend shooting camps; you will gain more confidence in your own means and learn to handle your weapon dexterously. In fact, during the close of the season many hunters take up skeet shooting to stay “in training.”
Working alongside a more experienced hunter is useful for learning the ways and times of hunting a particular species, although obviously experience, made up of fruitful outings as well as searing disappointments, is needed to learn more.
Those few months as an “armed escort” will be used to learn how to approach the hunting ground or how to make a shed with a few things available directly nearby for a thrushes or woodpigeon hunt, or if the escort has a seasonal permit for fixed stalking for thrushes, woodpigeons or ducks, one will learn how a fixed stalking works, hunting, routes, how to set up live calls and how to call the wild, and when to shoot.
Others, on the other hand, will be able to teach hunting with the dog, whether it is for stalking or following, and perhaps reveal some valuable secrets, how to become a specialist in a certain hunt, strategies, how to start a beat and how to beat the ground in the best way in search of game, how to approach the dog and the game to get the upper hand, but also how to understand what the shed will be in case of premature involo or pan.
In all cases, the hunt will always be a continuous and exciting experience, with days between highs and lows: the important thing will be to live them fully and always with the same enthusiasm.
Have fun, but always be attentive and responsible.
And even though today may have gone wrong, there is always tomorrow to make up for it.
Good luck, new recruits!
Useful documents to download