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Hunting in Bulgaria

Hunting is not everyone’s cup of tea. In the UK there is much controversy about the ethical issues of hunting as a sport. However across most of Europe it is considered perfectly acceptable with many countries having hunting museums, holding competitions and staging exhibitions explaining the logic behind this pastime. Hunting arose from the need to feed oneself and in Bulgaria local people still see hunting as a necessity to feed their family rather than a sport although clever entrepreneurs have developed hunting as a form of tourism bringing much needed revenue into the country, which actually goes towards preserving and managing the country’s reserve of wildlife. If hunting is a past time you would like to try then Bulgaria with its rich wildlife stock is the place to visit.

 

Hunting Tourism

Each year in Bulgaria, more than 2,500 tourists from all over the world come to try their hand at hunting. Bulgaria’s reputation for game hunting is world renowned and it awards hunters with a number of prestigious trophies. Prices to shoot in Bulgaria are not as low as one might expect from a country, which specialises in low cost beach and ski holidays, but in the world of hunting, Bulgaria is rich. Across the country the Forestry Commission oversees over 110 huts and hunter's houses, which provide more than 1,100 beds and all necessary facilities. There are a growing number of online companies offering some excellent hunting holidays in some of the best areas of the country. They will organise licences and a choice of weapons and their experienced hunter guides will inform you all about the animals that live in the area along with their habits.

Hunting Legislation

There are rigid rules controlling hunting, which have been laid out in the country’s Game Laws as far back as the 19th century. Every hunter must register for a hunting license, which will be taken away if they do not observe the laws governing this e.g. if they are caught shooting out of the hunting season. The hunting season is strictly laid down and allows for the indigenous wildlife to breed and suckle their young. It is also not possible to shoot young animals and whilst young boys may take an air rifle to catch a rabbit for tea, the season and laws are well respected by Bulgaria’s local hunters.

Bulgaria’s Game

Bulgaria offers such good hunting grounds because of its diverse landscape, from a beautiful natural coastline and verdant forests to fertile flatlands and snow-capped mountains. This variety has given Bulgaria one of the biggest red deer populations in the world with more than 22,500 animals. Additionally there is also 78,000 row deer, 4,900 fallow deer, 2,500 mouflons, 2,100 chamois, more than 37,500 wild boars, over 8,000 bears and 22,000 hares, pheasants and partridges. Lynx are a rare commodity but do feature on Bulgarian hunting itineraries. Bulgaria holds four world records for red deer hunting. The country also awards its own trophies, which are held in high esteem with the international hunting fraternity.

Bulgaria’s Best Hunting Destinations

Aramliets situated 50 km from the capital covers 13,500 hectares at altitudes between 400 and 1,150 m. This area is noted for its wild boar, fallow stag, mouflon and roe buck.

Bolyarka lies 200 km to the east of Sofia on a hunting territory covering 16,000 hectares. This area is rich in pheasants, red stag, wild boar and one of the largest populations of roebuck.

Bukovets lies a little further east of Bolyarka in the Central Balkan Mountains, 300 km from Sofia. It consists of 18,500 hectares of private hunting ground with the most prolific game being mouflon, fallow stag, wild boar and roebuck.

Chekeritsa to the south of the Thracian Plains 150 km from the capital covers 2,100 hectares of thick forestland. This area is renowned for its roebuck, turtle doves, ring doves, pheasant and partridge.

Cherni Lom 200 km west of the sea capital Varna is one of the best hunting area in Bulgaria. It covers a total of 26,000 hectares and is rich in wild boar, fallow stag, red stag, wolf, mouflon and roebuck.

Izvora located in the beautiful Rhodope Mountains 200 km south east of the capital covers 9,000 hectares. It has healthy populations of red stag, wild boar, fallow stag, mouflon, roebuck, brown bear and wolf.

Karakuz locate on the Danube Plain 130 km to the north eats of Varna covers 20,000 hectares and is rich in roebuck, red stag, pheasant, wood cock and wild boar.

Kormissosh is 200 km to the south east of Sofia and spans over 42,000 hectares of exclusive hunting ground. It is home to mouflon, roebuck, wolf, red stag, fallow stag, wild boar and brown bear.

Kotel in the Balkan Mountains is 160 km south west of Varna and covers 8,000 hectares of land at altitudes of 800 to 1,200 m. It has excellent reserves of wild boar, red stag and roebuck.

Rhodope Hunting Resort
180 km from Sofia covers 7,700 hectares of picturesque hunting territory. It is popular for wild boar, red stag, wolf, brown bear and roebuck.

Ropotamo is close to the Black Sea at only 50 km south east from Bourgas. It covers 20,000 hectares rich in red stag, mouflon, fallow stag, ducks, wild boar, wood cock, roebuck, geese and quail.

Rossitsa covers 17,000 hectares 220 km from Sofia. It offers red stag, wild boar, mouflon, brown bear, roebuck, fallow stag and wolf.

Russalka in the Balkan Range covers 13,000 hectares and has a wealth of red stag, wolf, wild boar and brown bear.

Skalsko is made up of five regions over an area of 50,000 hectares. This region has good stocks of quail, wolf, pheasant, red stag, mouflon and wild boar.

Studen Kladenets
in the Rhodope Mountains near the international ski resort of Pamporovo covers 7,000 hectares, which include the Studen Kladenets Lake. It is rich in fallow stag, wild boar, wolf and roe buck.

Vitoshko
is only 50 km west of the capital and covers 20,000 hectares rich in red stag fallow stag, wild boar, mouflon, roebuck, brown bear, pheasant and wolf.