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Game is hunted all over Portugal with the most popular places being the Alentejo and Ribatejo regions, where hunting can be with hounds and horses.
Favoured areas for partridge are in the extreme north in Trás-os-Montes and in the Algarve. Rabbit hunting is popular around the Douro valley and hare in Ribatejo and the Alentejo.
Quail is hunted in the Minho and Sesimbra, and ducks in Leziria and the Algarve.
A licence is needed to hunt in Portugal.
Comprehensive information is available on these three popular Portuguese hunting organization websites:
Note: Since 2008 three new pieces of legislation governing hunting and the bearing of firearms in Portugal have been introduced.
There are two basic types of licence:
Different licences are issued depending on where and what the person wishes to hunt:
The licence can be obtained from:
To get a licence, hunters must pass a theory and practical exam to hunt in their own country or in Portugal. Both of these exams are overseen by the AFN and are held all year round. Candidates can get application forms from the local town council (Câmara Municipal) where they are resident. Under recent law, licences are valid up to the age of 65 and then must be renewed every five years and require a health certificate (Atestado Medico).
To prepare for this exam, candidates have to undergo an obligatory training course. Candidates may not take the practical exam until they have passed the theory exam and must be over 16 years old on the day of the theory exam.
The period of enrolling (Inscrição) to undertake the exams in the normal season (Época Normal) is between 1 October and 31 December.
The period of enrolling out of season (Época Especial) is between 1 April and 15 May.
Candidates should contact the Portuguese Hunting Federation (Federação Portuguesa de Tiro com Armas de Caça), or one of the other two main hunting organizations listed above, which will inform them of available dates for training sessions for both the theory and practical exam. Once training is complete either the hunter or the club to which they belong sends the form to the AFN.
The following documents are required to apply for an exam:
The candidate will then be notified (with at least two weeks warning) of the place and time of the exams.
The theory exam (Provas Téorico) includes a number of questions based on the following themes:
To pass the exam, candidates must have a minimum of 75 percent correct answers and must have replied correctly to all the questions on security. The certificate is issued by inspectors of the AFN. There have been some complaints to consumer watchdogs because the various parts of the exam can be held over four different dates per annum. Hunting groups want these consolidated on one date.
The practical exam (Prova de Tiro) can only be taken once the candidate has passed the theory exam. Following the theory exam the candidate has 18 months to pass the practical exam which has three parts which can be taken on different dates:
Any dangerous behaviour will lead to automatic failure of the exam.
Once training is complete and both exams have been passed the Hunting Federation sends the application form to the AFN.
The permit to hunt (Carta de Caçador) is issued in Portugal and contains and acts as proof of the following data:
It entitles those with a hunting licence to hunt within a particular district at permitted seasons and times. The hunting permit can be obtained from
Hunting season of migratory species is from August to the end of February (subject to change by the AFN).
Hunting season of sedentary species is potentially all year, depending on AFN decrees. Certain species (wild boar, deer, roe deer and Muflão) can be hunted year-round, though only certain hunting techniques may be used at certain times.
The specific hunting rules and fees vary depending on the area.
The European Firearms Licence allows hunters to go on hunting trips in all EU countries. The practice of hunting in Portugal by Portuguese or foreign non-residents who are holders of a valid EU member country hunting licence and European Firearms Licence is conditional on the validation of these documents under the rules applying to the delivery of a hunting licence in Portugal.
The European Firearms Licence allows hunters to hunt in Portugal with their own weapons registered on their European Firearms Licence, and without following any other formalities except those considered mandatory in Portugal (which means the presentation of the valid documents). The licence is valid for 5 years.
Before going on a hunting trip it is wise to verify that the arms being taken are actually authorised for use in Portugal. Contact the Portuguese Hunting Federation, the National Confederation of Portuguese Hunters or the Portuguese Embassy in the country of origin.
The allowance for EU hunters is: three arms of the 5th Category and 100 cartridges per arm. All foreign hunters must be able to prove that they are travelling for hunting purposes via an invitation from a Portuguese hunting organisation or club and by showing the European Firearms Licence.
Hunters outside the EU can bring in two sporting arms that are classified in Portugal in the 5th Category and 100 cartridges per firearm.
Note: Since terror attacks in the US on 11 September 2001 and other terrorist scares in the US and Europe, airlines may have stricter prohibitions regarding carrying firearms on board planes. Check with the airline or appropriate Embassy for conditions and requirements.
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