Hunting in Germany

Information on hunting in Germany: permits, the season, restricted areas...

Hunting is a popular sport and profession in Germany and is performed all over the country. From deer to wild boar and shotguns to falconry, hunting is a widespread activity with strict-but-fair legislation established with respect to the environment and wildlife. There is just over 300,000 Km² of huntable area in the country, with almost 350,000 recorded hunters from a population of almost 90 million. The main authorities overseeing hunting and hunters are:

The DJV (German Hunting Association) represents 84 percent of all hunters in Germany. It groups together 16 regional hunting associations, co-ordinates public relations work and produces a number of publications for hunters and the general public.

Hunting Licences

Hunting is allowed throughout Germany provided certain conditions are met. Firstly, a hunting licence is required to hunt anywhere in the country. Then a hunting permit is needed for a specific type of hunting or a set period. Although a hunting licence issued outside Germany may sometimes be sufficient to obtain a hunting permit, if this is not the case, the full German licence is needed.

Getting a hunting licence

The national hunting examination as specified under German federal hunting law must be taken and passed to qualify for a hunting licence. The exam includes a written and an oral test as well as a shooting test. The main areas covered are:

  • Knowledge of different species of game
  • Basic animal biology
  • Game damage prevention
  • Farming and forestry
  • Firearms laws and techniques
  • Hygienic inspection and treatment of game
  • Determination of game meat for human consumption
  • Wildlife, nature and landscape conservation laws

Note: Hunting and falconer examinations, organised by the Hunting Authority (Jagdbehörde), are held once a year in Berlin between February and April. Applicants must be over 18 years old and should apply through the Land Office of Criminal Investigation (Landeskriminalamt, LKA).

  • Gun and Hunting Permits (Waffen- und Jagdscheinangelegenheiten)
    Der Polizeipräsident in Berlin, LKA 573
    At: Platz der Luftbrücke 6, 12101 Berlin-Tempelhof
    Tel: 030 466 40
  • To download the hunting application form: Click here (PDF in German)

The completed form must be submitted by hand to the local firearms authority/police representative. Additional documents required are:

  • Evidence of participation in firearms training
  • Two passport photos
  • Hunting accident insurance documents

On completing the hunting examination successfully, hunting permits can be obtained through the LKA.

Hunting permits

Permits are only issued on proof of a valid hunting licence and a Civil Liability Insurance for Hunting. A General Hunting Accident Insurance is also recommended. There are several types of hunting permit:

  • Yearly permit (Jahresjagdschein): can be purchased for up to three years at a time
  • Daily permit (Tagesjagdschein): can be purchased for up to fourteen consecutive days
  • Youth permit (Jugendjagdschein): for young hunters
  • Falconer's permit (Falknerjahresjagdschein)
  • Foreigner's permit (Ausländerjagdschein): can be purchased as a daily or yearly licence

Permitted Methods of Hunting

Permission is required to hunt in Germany and the rights to hunting always belong to the landowner. Hunting areas may be privately owned or part of a hunting co-operative (Jagdgenossenschaft) and differ slightly bureaucratically depending on their size and location. Hunting rights may also be leased to a third party. A person must have held a German yearly permit for a minimum of three years before qualifying for a hunting lease. There are two types of hunting:

  • The Territory System, where hunting is only allowed in certain hunting areas (Jagdbezirke)
  • The Game Management System, which aims at maintaining varied and healthy animal populations with respect to the type of environment and surrounding agricultural industry

Hunting methods fall under three categories in Germany:

  • Shooting
  • Trapping
  • Falconry

Gun licences

There are no calibre restrictions for shooting although 12, 16 and 20 bore shot are the norm. Automatic or semi-automatic weapons with space for more than two cartridges in the magazine are not permitted for hunting in Germany.

  • To download an application form for a gun licence in Germany: Click here (PDF in German)

Hunting Seasons in Germany

It is best to ask the landowner which animals are in season when hunting in Germany as they differ from state to state.

Hunting in Berlin and Brandenburg

The following table provides seasonal hunting information for Berlin and Brandenburg:

Hunting season
Wild boar Shoats All year round
Male adults and non-dominant females 16 June to 31 January
Dominant females 1 October to 31 January
Deer Fawns 1 September to 28 February
Young does and does 1 May to 31 January
Bucks 1 May to 15 October
All year round
1 January to 15 December
1 September to 15 December
1 July to 20 April

Berlin currently has:

  • Five administrative hunting areas
  • Three private hunting areas and
  • Four co-operative hunting areas

State-owned forests located within these hunting areas fall under the administration of the Federal forestry commission.

  • Forestry Commission (Forstbehörde)
    Berliner Forsten, Referat B
    At: Dahlwitzer Landstr. 4, 12587 Berlin-Treptow
    Tel: 030 6419 3730

Bringing Weapons from Abroad

Hunters visiting from European Member States may bring up to three hunting firearms and the required ammunition into the country, provided they are recorded in an accompanying European Firearms Pass. Travelling with firearms must also be justified by a hunting invitation, for example.

Further Information

  • Hunting Authority (Jagdbehörde)
    Senate Department for Urban Development (Senatsverwaltung für Stadtentwicklung), Abt. I
    At: Köllnischen Park 3, 10179 Berlin-Mitte
    Tel: 030 902 50
    email (for questions relating to hunting examinations and hunting permits)
  • Hunting Association (Jagdverband)
    Landesjagdverband Berlin e. V.
    At: Sundgauer Str. 41, 14169 Berlin-Steglitz
    Tel: 030 811 65 65
  • Federal Law on hunting from the Ministry of Justice (in German)