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The head of a red deer ( eighth end ) with swept antlers

Wild ( ahd. Wildi 'untamed', 'lost'), sometimes more clearly referred to as hunting game , is a collective term for the mammals and birds relevant to hunting . The term "game" is thus differentiated from that of wild animals , which generally includes all wild animals.

On the concept of game

Game in the sense of game biology includes all of the huntable terrestrial vertebrates occurring on earth , in contrast to fishable (fish) or collectible (snails, frogs, insects) animals. According to hunting law , game is defined as the “wild animals that can be hunted”, ie the species listed in the hunting regulations. According to this definition, even those species that are protected all year round according to hunting law remain wild .

In Germany, Austria and Switzerland, hunting laws and ordinances regulate hunting (and, as a part of it, hunting ). These hunting regulations contain a final catalog of the animals that can be hunted and thus give the term game its legal definition .

Situation in Germany

In Section 2 of the Federal Hunting Act , wild animals that are subject to hunting law are defined as game. There are hunting seasons and closed seasons set. The hunting seasons are not a mandatory facility, but can be determined differently in the state hunting laws . There are game species that are spared all year round and therefore may not be hunted. They are but by the Hunting Act the care and concern for their welfare the hunting guardian assumes (Hege obligation under § 1 para. 1 BJagdG) and are so compelling protected by the hunting guardian. The Federal Species Protection Ordinance does not provide for this for animals that are not "wild". Parts of game, even if they enjoy a year-round closed season, may be appropriated by those authorized to hunt, as can naturally dead animals ( fallen game ). In some cases there are sales and trading bans. Appropriation by others constitutes poaching .

The corresponding game species are listed in § 2.

List of animal species that are subject to hunting law according to the Federal Hunting Act and are therefore legally "game":

Hair game Game birds
European bison ( Bison bonasus L.) Partridge ( Perdix perdix L.)
Elk deer ( Alces alces L.) Pheasant ( Phasianus colchicus L.)
Red deer ( Cervus elaphus L.) Quail ( Coturnix coturnix L.)
Fallow deer ( Dama dama L.) Capercaillie ( Tetrao urogallus L.)
Sika deer ( Cervus nippon Temminck ) Black grouse ( Lyrus tetrix L.)
Roe deer ( Capreolus capreolus L.) Rackelwild ( Lyrus tetrix x Tetrao urogallus )
Chamois ( Rupicapra rupicapra L.) Hazel deer ( Tetrastes bonasia L.)
Ibex ( Capra ibex L.) Ptarmigan ( Lagopus muta Montin )
Mouflon ( Ovis ammon musimon Pallas ) Wild turkey ( Meleagris gallopavo L.)
Wild boar ( Sus scrofa L.) Wild pigeons (Columbidae)
European hare ( Lepus europaeus Pallas ) Mute swan ( Cygnus olor Gmel. )
Mountain hare ( Lepus timidus L.) Wild geese (genera Anser Brisson and Branta Scopoli )
Wild rabbit ( Oryctolagus cuniculus L.) Wild ducks ( anatinae )
Marmot ( Marmota marmota L.) Sawyer (genus Mergus L.)
Wild cat ( Felis silvestris Schreber ) Woodcock ( Scolopax rusticola L.)
Lynx ( Lynx lynx L.) Coot ( Fulica atra L.)
Fox ( Vulpes vulpes L.) Seagulls (Laridae)
Beech marten ( Martes foina Erxleben ) Great crested grebe ( Podiceps cristatus L.)
Pine marten ( Martes martes L.) Great Bustard ( Otis tarda L.)
Polecat ( Mustela putorius L.) Gray heron ( Ardea cinerea L.)
Ermine ( Mustela erminea L.) Griffins ( Accipitridae )
Mouse weasel ( Mustela nivalis L.) Falcon ( falconidae )
Badger ( Meles meles L.) Common raven ( Corvus corax L.)
Otter ( Lutra lutra L.)
Harbor seal ( Phoca vitulina L.)

The federal states can add other animal species to this list for their needs. In Hesse , for example , raccoons , raccoon dogs , American mink , nutria (swamp beaver), carrion crow and magpie are also subject to hunting rights. The wolf , which lives in large parts again in Germany, was previously considered a predator and is not subject to hunting law, but to nature conservation law . Neozoa and wild exotic animals, such as the rheas in Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania on the Schaalsee, have not yet been hunted due to a lack of mention in regional hunting law.

Situation in Austria

Unlike in Germany, there is no uniform definition of game for Austria in a federal law. In Austria, hunting is subject to the respective state competence and therefore this is regulated by the nine different state hunting laws of the federal states and the corresponding implementing regulations. The Central Office of Austrian State Hunting Associations explains: “Wild animals are only those species that are mentioned in the state hunting laws and in the shooting and closed season regulations. Some animal species are "wild" in one federal state, but not "wild" in another state for purely legal reasons - for example the golden jackal, the muskrat, the elk ... "

Situation in Switzerland

In Switzerland, game is regulated by the Federal Act on Hunting and the Protection of Wild Mammals and Birds (Hunting Act, JSG). The scope of the law refers to “a. Birds; b. Predators; c. Artifacts; d. Rabbit-like; e. Beaver, marmot and squirrel ”. Huntable species are listed in “Art. 5 Hunting species and closed seasons ”of the law.

Claim and protection under hunting law

According to German hunting law , game is basically in natural freedom and is ownerless, so it does not belong to anyone. It usually has a direct benefit as a supplier of food and raw materials. The appropriation of game is only permitted to those who are authorized to hunt ( hunters ). It takes place by catching or killing . This also applies to parts of the game, e.g. B. dropping rods or eggs.

Today, game is subject to the special duty of care of the hunter. This is stipulated in the obligation of the person authorized to hunt to keep game at the same time . The hunter's personal duty of care also applies if a game species is protected all year round. The protection status of animals that are classified as game differs fundamentally from the protection of wild animals that are exclusively protected under nature conservation law, as nature conservation law does not recognize a person who is personally responsible.

Classification of game

In hunting law, game is differentiated as follows:

  • Ground game and game birds : wild hair to count the products subject to the right to hunt mammals (including ungulates). Birds subject to hunting rights are called game birds .
  • Ungulates : The ungulates comprising the subject to the shooting right cloven ( Bovidae , antlers (including deer ) and the wild , the wild boars) - whose claws are referred to in the hunter language, bowls'.
  • Big game and small game : According to hunting law, big game includes all hoofed game with the exception of roe deer . Furthermore, the capercaillie , the golden eagle and the sea ​​eagle belong to the big game . In the past, other animal species such as bears , lynxes and cranes also belonged to the region. All other game belongs to small game . The term big game originated historically. It referred to game whose hunting was particularly valued and which was therefore reserved for the high nobility ( high hunt ). The small game, however, could also be hunted by other groups of people (low hunt).

In hunting parlance, there is also a regional distinction

Wild species in Central Europe

Of the typical game species of Central Europe, hunting rights are among other things

Since hunting law is regulated differently in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, there are national and regional differences in the catalog of animal species subject to hunting law. Some of the animal species assigned to hunting law are spared all year round (may not be shot). B. Great Bustard. For them, however, there is still the duty to look after them. They are therefore subject to the special care of the hunter. In Germany, the Federal Hunting Act authorizes the federal states to determine other animal species that are subject to hunting law. In Austria, the regulation of hunting is subject to the individual countries. In Switzerland, the regulation of hunting is assigned to the cantons.

Before the Federal Hunting Act came into being, brown bears , owls , pelicans , blackbirds , terns , petrels and white storks were also subject to hunting law in Germany. In southern Europe there is illegal hunting of songbirds .

With the changes in our environment, wild species can disappear, reappear or be added. So wolf (not yet subject to hunting law) and lynx are returning to Central Europe. Foreign animal species such as raccoons and raccoon dogs settle in and compete with native species. Such game species are covered by hunting law if necessary. This does not mean at the same time that they can also be hunted.

Game use

In the Federal Republic of Germany around 28,350 tons of game were consumed in the hunting year 2012/2013 . Around 500 grams of game were consumed per capita, with a total meat consumption of 60.8 kg. The value of the game hunted is estimated at almost 219 million euros for 2012/2013. Red deer ( stags ), roe deer , sika deer , fallow deer and wild boar ( wild boar ) are also kept as livestock within the framework of agricultural game keeping . The high-quality leather from the fur (the "blanket") of the deer and bovids is processed into clothing, various types of fur can be used for clothing and accessories.

The idea that is widespread in traditional Chinese medicine that certain parts of the body of special wild species can be used to gain special powers has led to the existence of these animal species being highly endangered, and sometimes even close to extinction. Organized poaching , also for the acquisition of ivory and the production of souvenirs , is combated by state-sponsored international wildlife management.

Wildlife diseases

In addition to injuries, poisoning, tumors and deformities, parasitic diseases, bacterial diseases and viral diseases can occur in game.

Some parasites, e.g. B. the fox tapeworm , as well as certain viral diseases, e.g. B. rabies , or bacteriosis, z. B. tuberculosis can be transmitted from animals to humans. The diseases that can be transmitted between humans and other vertebrates are called zoonoses .

In the states of the European Union, laws regulate the fight against wild diseases , the handling of sick animals, the precaution and protection of consumers.

Wildlife protection

In order to reduce accidents with wildlife , wildlife protection fences are being erected on both sides of busy roads and railways . They are intended to help avoid collisions between high-speed motor vehicles and game moving across the lane, which can also be fatal for the car occupants. Since such fences are interrupted by driveways and the gates for emergency and construction exits are not always closed, there is no one hundred percent protection here.

Reflectors , which deflect light from arriving vehicles across the direction of travel, fanned out red or blue into the areas next to the road, warn optically. They are attached to the side of the triangular delineator posts facing away from the road and their reflective direction can also be adapted to the embankment or slope. Another type of reflector hangs as an occupied turnstile on a small, independent wire gallows and rotates in the wind turbulence of the cars. A high-tech solution is also mounted on the back of the pole, it collects photovoltaic energy during the day, is triggered by the vehicle light and emits both flashes of blue LED light and audible tones.

Odor substances applied to wooden posts with PU foam should also keep game away from streets.

Wild warning whistles powered by wind from the wind found a certain distribution on motor vehicles in the 1980s to 1990s. Their effect is controversial because the volume of their continuous tone (in the ultrasonic range) is relatively low.

Game also likes to camp and hide in agricultural areas, so that when mowing maize, other grain or meadows, deer and rabbits in particular are killed, which instinctively crouch and do not flee when the noise of a mower comes up. Two technical systems are being tested against this conflict, which not only kills wild animals unnecessarily, but can also bring their corpse poison into the food of farm animals: on the one hand, GPS-positioned overflights with camera-equipped drones (such as quadrocopter ) to explore stored game Another displacement by an acoustic warning tone in the (high-frequency) ultrasonic range, emitted by a loudspeaker on the tractor of the mower.


Web links

Wiktionary: Wild  - Explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
 Wikinews: Wild  - on the news

Individual evidence

  1. Wild. In: Duden. Retrieved August 23, 2019 .
  2. Federal Hunting Act § 2
  3. https://wildundhund.de/jaeger-sollen-den-wolf-nicht-managen/
  4. Central Office of Austrian State Hunting Associations, hunting system (accessed on December 8, 2009)
  5. Swiss Federal Act on Hunting and the Protection of Wild Mammals and Birds , Hunting Act, JSG (accessed December 8, 2009)
  6. BJagdG § 1
  7. http://www.jagdnetz.de/datenundffekten?meta_id=1526
  8. http://www.jagdnetz.de/datenundffekten/zahldatenfotos?meta_id=1527
  9. http://salzburg.orf.at/news/stories/2594936/ Mäharbeiten: Warnsystem für Wild, ORF.at of July 27, 2013