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Hunting rules

Issuer:Minister of the Environment
Type:regulation
In force from:18.08.2016
In force until:06.09.2018
Translation published:21.11.2017

Hunting rules

Passed 28.05.2013 No. 32
RT I, 29.05.2013, 51
Entry into force 01.06.2013

Amended by the following legal instruments (show)

PassedPublishedEntry into force
17.11.2014RT I, 21.11.2014, 224.11.2014
09.07.2015RT I, 11.07.2015, 115.07.2015
12.08.2015RT I, 14.08.2015, 2017.08.2015
08.01.2016RT I, 13.01.2016, 616.01.2016
12.07.2016RT I, 15.07.2016, 118.07.2016
11.08.2017RT I, 15.08.2017, 718.08.2017

The regulation enters into force on the basis of subsection 4 (3), subsection 24 (3), subsection 27 (4), subsection 29 (2), section 32 and subsection 42 (3) of the Hunting Act.

Chapter 1 Hunting requirements and list of small game 

§ 1.  List of small game

  The list of small game is included in the annex to this regulation.

§ 2.  List of dog breeds allowed to be used for hunting

 (1) Only dog breeds specified in the list of dog breeds used for hunting purposes in Estonia confirmed by the Estonian Kennel Union may be used for hunting, taking into account the Hunting Act and the specifications provided for in this regulation.

 (2) The list of dog breeds used for hunting purposes in Estonia confirmed by the Estonian Kennel Union is provided on the webpage of the Estonian Kennel Union.

§ 3.  The hunting seasons, the use of allowed hunting methods and seasons and requirements of hunting with a hunting dog for fowl

 (1) The common wood pigeon may be hunted by calling hunt, hunting from hides or stalking from 1 August to 31 October.

 (2) The Anatidae (Eurasian wigeon, gadwall, Eurasian teal, mallard, northern pintail, garganey, northern shoveller, common pochard, tufted duck, common scoter, common goldeneye), Eurasian coot, Larus species (black-headed gull, common gull, European herring gull, great black-backed gull), common snipe and hazel grouse may be hunted by calling hunt, hunting from hides or stalking and with a hunting dog, except for a hunting dog belonging to the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) group 6, and hunted for the purposes of regulating the population of the Larus species with a box trap or crow fyke from 20 August to 31 October.
[RT I, 15.07.2016, 1 – entry into force 18.07.2016]

 (3) The Anatidae, Larus, Eurasian coot and common snipe may be hunted by methods and means specified in subsection (2) on sea, in the Narva Reservoir, Lake Võrtsjärv, Lake Peipus and Pihkva Lake from 20 August to 30 November.

 (4) The greylag goose, bean goose, greater white-fronted goose, Canadian goose and barnacle goose may be hunted by hunting from hides, stalking or calling hunt and with a hunting dog, except for with a hunting dog belonging to FCI group 6, from 20 September. Until 30 November, including on barnacle geese, to evade crop field damages caused by these birds in the area.
[RT I, 15.07.2016, 1 – entry into force 18.07.2016]

 (5) The Eurasian woodcock and great cormorant may be hunted by search hunt, hunting from hides or stalking as well as with a hunting dog belonging to FCI groups 7 and 8 from 1 August to 30 November.

 (6) The grey partridge may be hunted by search hunt with a hunting dog belonging to FCI group 7 and 8 from 1 September to 31 October.

 (7) The common pheasant may be hunted by search hunt, hunting from hides, stalking as well as with a hunting dog, except for hunting dogs belonging to FCI group 6, from 1 October to the end of the hunting year.

 (8) The rook and fieldfare may be hunted by hunting from hides or stalking outside the moulting season with the purpose of evading damages.
[RT I, 15.07.2016, 1 – entry into force 18.07.2016]

 (9) The hooded crow and domestic pigeon may be hunted by calling hunt, stalking or hunting from hides as well as with crow fykes from 1 July to 31 March.

 (10) [Repealed – RT I, 15.07.2016, 1 – entry into force 18.07.2016]

§ 4.  The hunting seasons, the use of allowed hunting methods and seasons and requirements of hunting with a hunting dog for small game

 (1) The red fox may be hunted by calling hunt, hunting from hides or by stalking as well as with box traps from 1 August to 31 March and by burrow hunt or driven hunt as well as with a hunting dog or by using bounding flag lines from 1 October to the end of the hunting year.

 (2) The raccoon dog may be hunted by calling hunt, hunting from hides or by stalking as well as with box traps all year round and by burrow hunt or driven hunt as well as with a hunting dog or by using bounding flag lines from 1 October to the end of the hunting year.

 (3) On islets and small islands within the protected area, the red fox and raccoon dog may be hunted with box traps or a hunting dog from 1 October to 30 April.

 (31) The golden jackal may be hunted by calling hunt, hunting from hides or by stalking as well as by driven hunt and by using bounding flag lines 1. from 1 September to the end of the hunting year and with a hunting dog from 1 November to the end of the hunting year
[RT I, 15.08.2017, 7 – entry into force 18.08.2017]

 (4) The badger may be hunted from 1 September to the end of the hunting year, including:
 1) hunting from hides or stalking or with box traps from 1 September to the end of the hunting year;
 2) burrow or driven hunt and hunting with a hunting dog from 1 October to the end of the hunting year.

 (5) Burrow hunting is prohibited in a badger burrow system area with more than 10 burrow mouths.

 (6) Burrow areas dug open during a burrow hunt shall be immediately closed up after the end of the hunt.

 (7) The European pine marten or beech marten or European polecat may be hunted by steel trap from a tree or building or with box traps, or by hunting from hides or stalking from 1 October to 31 March as well as with hunting dogs from 1 October to the end of the hunting year.

 (8) The American mink may be hunted by hunting from hides or stalking as well as with a box trap and with a hunting dog from 1 October to the end of the hunting year.

 (9) The European hare and mountain hare may be hunted with a hunting dog belonging to FCI groups 3, 4, 6 and 10 from 1 October to the end of the hunting year.

 (10) The muskrat may be hunted by fykes, restraining nets or by hunting from hides or stalking from 1 October to the end of the hunting year.

 (11) The beaver may be hunted:
 1) with fykes, restraining net, steel trap or a hunting dog belonging to FCI groups 3 and 4 from 1 August to 15 March;
 2) with a hunting dog from 1 October to the end of the hunting year;
 3) by hunting from hides or stalking, or by luring the beaver out with a hunting dog belonging to FCI groups 3 and 4 from 1 August to 15 April;
 4) all year round in the case of damages caused by the beaver by stalking or beaver hunt with a hunting dog belonging to FCI groups 3 and 4 with the permission of the Environmental Board.

 (12) In case of stalking or hunting from hides with a hunting bow, the arrow shall be attached to the bow with a string.

§ 5.  The hunting seasons, the use of allowed hunting methods and seasons and requirements of hunting with a hunting dog for big game

 (1) The bear, except for a female bear with cubs, may be hunted by hunting from hides or stalking from 1 August to 31 October for the purpose of evading damages caused by the bear in the area.

 (2) The wolf may be hunted by calling hunt, hunting from hides or stalking or driven hunt as well as by using bounding flag lines or a hunting dog from 1 November to the end of the hunting year, except for in Hiiu and Saare counties where calling, stalking, hunting from hides and driven hunt as well as using bounding flag lines and hunting dogs may be used for hunting from 1 October to the end of the hunting year and hunting from hides and stalking from 1 March to 31 March.
[RT I, 13.01.2016, 6 – entry into force 16.01.2016]

 (3) The lynx, except for a female lynx with cubs, may be hunted by calling hunt, hunting from hides or stalking or driven hunt as well as with a hunting dog from 1 December to the end of the hunting year.

 (4) Moose may be hunted from 15 September to 15 December, including:
 1) The bull may be hunted by hunting from hides or stalking or calling hunt from 15 September to 15 December as well as by driven hunt or with a hunting dog, except for with a hunting dog belonging to FCI group 6, the maximum wither height of whom registered in the breed standard exceeds 52 cm, from 1 October to 15 December;
 2) The cow and calf may be hunted by hunting from hides or stalking or calling hunt as well as by driven hunt or with a hunting dog, except for with a hunting dog belonging to FCI group 6, the maximum wither height of whom registered in the breed standard exceeds 52 cm, from 1 October to 15 December.

 (5) The red deer may be hunted by hunting from hides or stalking or calling hunt from 1 September to 31 January as well as by driven hunt or with a hunting dog, except for with a hunting dog belonging to FCI group 6, the maximum wither height of whom registered in the breed standard exceeds 52 cm, from 1 October to 31 January.

 (6) The wild boar may be hunted:
 1) all year round by hunting from hides, stalking or driven hunt;
 2) with a hunting dog from 1 October to 31 March, except with a hunting dog belonging to FCI group 6, the maximum wither height of whom registered in the breed standard exceeds 52 cm;
[RT I, 14.08.2015, 20 – entry into force 17.08.2015]
 3) with trap fences in cases specified by the Environmental Board
[RT I, 13.01.2016, 6 – entry into force 16.01.2016]

 (7) Roe deer may be hunted from 1 June to 31 December, including:
 1) Bucks may be hunted by hunting from hides, stalking or calling hunt from 1 June to 31 December and driven hunt and with a hunting dog belonging to groups 3 and 4 from 1 October to 31 December;
 2) Roe deer or fawns may be hunted by hunting from hides or stalking from 1 September to 31 December and driven hunt and with a hunting dog belonging to groups 3 and 4 from 1 October to 31 December.

 (8) The grey seal may be hunted by hunting from hides or stalking from 15 April to 31 December.
[RT I, 21.11.2014, 2 – entry into force 24.11.2014]

Chapter 2 Hunting safety 

§ 6.  General requirements of hunting safety

 (1) To ensure hunting safety, it is prohibited:
 1) to participate in the hunt in an intoxicated state, having consumed alcohol, drugs or psychotropic substances;
 2) to leave the hunting weapon without supervision in a place accessible by another person;
 3) to point a hunting weapon or armed hunting bow at a person;
 4) to hunt with a defective hunting weapon;
 5) to shoot with a hunting weapon or hunting bow in the direction of voices or movement of branches (hay, rushes, etc.) or towards a poorly visible target (in the fog, against the sun, etc.), as well as visible buildings;
 6) to strike wounded big game with a hunting weapon;
 7) lay down a loaded hunting weapon;
 8) to cross obstacles (ditches, walkways, fences, etc.) with a loaded hunting weapon;
 9) to shoot with a hunting weapon or hunting bow over or from between people sitting in a boat, as well as to shoot while standing up in a boat or to change places in a boat with even one loaded firearm;
 10) to place traps in a way that is dangerous to other animals and humans;
 11) to shoot, using a artificial source of light, if the mouth of the barrel is lower than 2.5 metres from the ground at the moment of the shot.
[RT I, 13.01.2016, 6 – entry into force 16.01.2016]

 (2) In the case of bow hunting for birds, only arrows with flu-flu feathers may be used.

§ 7.  Hunting safety requirements on transporting and handling a hunting weapon

 (1) It is the obligation of each hunter to guarantee the safety during the hunt upon handling and maintaining the hunting weapon or hunting bow.

 (2) In a means of transportation, the hunting weapon shall be unloaded and stored in a weapon bag or holster, except in the case of hunting from a boat or directly before shooting on a wild board hunting from a motor vehicle or off-road vehicle with the engine turned off.
[RT I, 13.01.2016, 6 – entry into force 16.01.2016]

 (3) An unloaded gun is a gun without any bullets in the barrel or in the cartridge.

 (4) Upon changing shooting positions during a collective hunt, the hunting weapon may be carried outside the weapon bag in a transport vehicle.

§ 8.  Hunting safety on collective hunt

  To ensure hunting safety on a collective hunt, it is prohibited:
 1) to load the hunting weapon in the shooting position before specifying the positions of neighbouring hunters;
 2) to stay in gathering places with a loaded weapon. In the gathering place, the weapon shall be broken open or with an open lock;
 3) to participate in a hunt, except for sitting in a high seat in the case of hunting from hides, in nature without a clearly contrasting red or orange outer layer or vest;
 4) to leave from the shooting position without the permission of the hunt leader before the end of the driven hunt;
 5) shoot with a weapon of bow towards drivers and hunters without previously confirming total safety;
 6) to mark a shooting line on an intensely used national roads, where safe hunting is not guaranteed;
 7) to begin stalking the wounded big game before the end of the driven hunt;
 8) for drivers to participate in the driven hunt with a loaded hunting weapon, except for when shooting a standing game while hunting with a hunting dog in a driven hunt;
 9) for the drivers to cross the hunting line before the respective signal.

Chapter 3 Organising a big game and bow hunting shooting test and the awarding of the shooting test certificate 

§ 9.  The issuer of big game and bow hunting shooting test certificate

 (1) The big game and bow hunting shooting test (hereinafter shooting test) certificate shall be issued by the Environmental Board or, on the basis of subsection 10 (1) of the Hunting Act, a person having entered into a management agreement with the Ministry of the Environment (hereinafter issuer of the certificate).

 (2) The shooting test certificate shall be awarded to the hunter having passed the shooting test.

§ 10.  Shooting test admission committee

 (1) For admitting a shooting test, the issuer of the certificate shall form a shooting test admission committee consisting of at least three people (hereinafter committee), whereas one of the members of the committee shall be a shooting instructor and in the case of bow hunting, the member shall be a bow hunting instructor. The chairman of the committee shall be named by the issuer of the certificate.

 (2) For the purpose of this regulation, the bow hunting instructor is a bow hunting instructor with an IBEP (International Bowhunting Education Program) certificate.

 (3) The committee is in order when at least two of the committee members are present, including the member of the committee serving as the shooting instructor and in the case of a bow hunting shooting test, a bow hunting instructor.

 (4) The member of the committee named by the chairman of the committee shall draw up a protocol for marking the shooting test results. The protocol shall be signed by the members of the committee having admitted the shooting test.

 (5) The protocols of shooting tests shall be kept for three years by the issuer of the certificate.

§ 11.  Time and location of passing the shooting test

  The time and location of passing the shooting test shall be specified by the issuer of the certificate.

§ 12.  Passing the shooting test for big game

 (1) The big game shooting test shall be passed from a smooth bore or rifle used by the hunter with centre-fire percussion loaded with bullets.
[RT I, 11.07.2015, 1 – entry into force 15.07.2015]

 (2) The applicant applying for a big game shooting test certificate shall have their weapons licence upon passing the shooting test.

 (3) The big game shooting test admission committee shall identify the applicant for the bow hunting shooting test certificate before the passing of the test by verifying the weapons licence. The identity of the person shall be verified by the admitting authority of the shooting test by his or her signature on the shooting test protocol.

 (4) The big game shooting test shall be passed under the instruction of a shooting instructor.

 (5) For using a smooth bore hunting weapon for big game hunting, the applicant shall complete the exercise of a running wild boar, in which case:
 1) a rounded target sheet (with an outer diameter of 50 cm) or a target sheet with the silhouette of an Estonian wild boar may be used;
[RT I, 11.07.2015, 1 – entry into force 15.07.2015]
 2) shooting range is 35 metres;
 3) before completing the exercise, the weapon may be in resting position on the hip or shoulder;
 4) [Repealed - RT I, 11.07.2015, 1 – entry into force 15.07.2015]
 5) six single shots shall be fired, two of which shall be fired at a standing target and four at a moving target;
 6) the time given for carrying out two shots at a standing target is 3 minutes;
 7) the target shall be hit twice running from right to left and twice running from left to right;
 8) the shooting test shall be regarded as passed if at least five of the six shots have hit the shooting area of the target sheet.

 (6) For using a rifle or combined hunting weapon for big game hunting, the applicant shall pass the shooting test with a rifle or a combined hunting weapon by completing the rifle exercise of a running wild boar.
[RT I, 11.07.2015, 1 – entry into force 15.07.2015]

 (7) In the case of using a rifle or combined hunting weapon during the running wild boar exercise:
[RT I, 11.07.2015, 1 – entry into force 15.07.2015]
 1) a rounded target sheet (with an outer diameter of 34 cm) or a target sheet with the silhouette of an Estonian wild boar may be used;
[RT I, 11.07.2015, 1 – entry into force 15.07.2015]
 2) shooting range is 50 metres;
[RT I, 11.07.2015, 1 – entry into force 15.07.2015]
 3) before completing the exercise, the weapon may be in resting position on the hip or shoulder;
 4) six single shots shall be fired, two of which shall be fired at a standing target and four at a moving target;
 5) the time given for carrying out two shots at a standing target is 3 minutes;
 6) the target shall be hit twice running from right to left and twice running from left to right;
 7) the shooting test shall be considered as passed if at least five of the six shots have hit the rounded target sheet or the target area market with number three on the Estonian wild boar target sheet (with a round diameter of 34 cm).
[RT I, 11.07.2015, 1 – entry into force 15.07.2015]

 (8) [Repealed - RT I, 11.07.2015, 1 – entry into force 15.07.2015]

 (9) For using a smooth bore hunting weapon for big game hunting, except for driven hunt, the applicant shall pass the smooth bore shooting test with a standing target with a shooting range of 35 metres, in which case:
 1) a rounded target sheet is used (with an outer diameter of 34 cm);
 2) the exercise shall be conducted from a shooting stick or from a position of choice, except the prone position;
 3) the time given for making six single shots is 9 minutes;
 4) the shooting test shall be regarded as passed if five shots have hit the rounded target sheets.
[RT I, 11.07.2015, 1 – entry into force 15.07.2015]

 (10) For using a rifle or combined hunting weapon for big game hunting, except for driven hunt, the applicant shall pass the rifle shooting test with a standing target with a shooting range of 50 metres, in which case:
 1) a rounded target sheet is used (with an outer diameter of 10 cm);
 2) the exercise shall be conducted from a shooting stick or from a position of choice, except the prone position;
 3) the time given for making six single shots is 9 minutes;
 4) the shooting test shall be regarded as passed if five shots have hit the rounded target sheets.
[RT I, 11.07.2015, 1 – entry into force 15.07.2015]

 (11) In the case of shooting tests specified in subsections (9) and (10), it is not allowed to mechanically attach the weapon to the shooting stick nor use knee pads, shooting mats or other accessories, except for the weapon sight and belt attached to the weapon.
[RT I, 11.07.2015, 1 – entry into force 15.07.2015]

§ 13.  Passing the shooting test for bow hunting

 (1) The bow hunting shooting test shall be passed with the hunting bow used by the hunter.

 (2) The bow hunting shooting test admission committee shall identify the applicant for the bow hunting shooting test certificate before the passing of the test. The identity of the person shall be verified by the admitting authority of the shooting test by his or her signature on the shooting test protocol.

 (3) The bow hunt shooting test shall be passed under the instruction of a bow shooting instructor.

 (4) The bow hunting shooting test shall be conducted by shooting six 3D targets. The targets are located at:
 1) IFAA (International Field Archery Association) group 4 targets at 10, 12 and 14 metres;
 2) IFAA 3 group targets are located 16, 18 and 20 metres away.

 (5) The bow hunting shooting test shall be regarded as passed if six of the six shots have hit the vital areas of the target. The touching of the arrow of the line is also regarded as A capture.

§ 14.  Awarding of shooting test certificate and keeping records of given certificates

 (1) The issuer of the certificate shall issue the certificate to the applicant within 10 days after the passing of the shooting test.

 (2) The big game shooting test certificate shall be awarded to a hunter who has not completed the shooting test, but has, in the year of issuing the big game shooting test certificate, achieved at least a III level result in a national or country competition marked in the competition calendar in the exercise of running moose or running wild boar, or running wild boar with a rifle or shooting standing silhouettes with a rifle and the results of the latter have been marked in the competition protocol.

 (3) The records on the shooting test certificates shall be kept by the issuer of the certificate.

Chapter 4 Implementing Provision 

§ 15.  Entry into force of regulation

  The regulation will enter into force on 1 June 2013.

§ 16.  Implementation of regulation

  Big game shooting test certificates issued before 15 July 2015 shall be valid until the end of their expiration date.
[RT I, 11.07.2015, 1 – entry into force 15.07.2015]

Annex List of small game
[RT I, 15.07.2016, 1 - entry into force 18.07.2016]

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