The hunters in Almeria province will be counting down the days to the start of red partridge hunting season
The red partridge hunting ‘with call’ season begins on January 18. For fans of one of the most deeply-rooted hunting modalities in the province of Almeria, it is probably the most anticipated date on the calendar. Without a doubt, it is one of the most popular.
Hunters will have already been counting down the days, while pampering their partridges for weeks. They will have fed them the best food, and left them outside in the sun, so that they adapt to the weather they will experience later when the task begins.
There are barely ten days until these hunters and male partridges enter the countryside to enjoy a traditional sport that is still passed from generation to generation in this province. It is also the most practiced modality in Almeria.
Many count the days until the key date arrives, looking and reviewing the order of closures where the key dates are collected. The first of these is Tuesday, January 18, the first period established by the hunting plans of the Andalucian administration, which covers the preserves in the Almanzora Valley area.
Those who practice this modality describe it as ‘exciting’. They can enjoy this sport for just two months a year, from January 20. until March 23. Hunters in Almeria call it the ‘queen’ of sports, with as many as 10,000 participants annually, and growing in numbers.
On January 2, the closed season for small game hunting closed for red-legged partridge (not in the modality of call), hare, quail, and for the rest of small game species, excluding turtledove.
Expectations are not very high this season, due to the lack of rain, but, the beginning of the year has brought lower temperatures that favour the situation. They will be able to go out every day of the week, which is the working period established in the Order of Vedas of the Junta de Andalucia.
Hunters will set out at dawn and in the early afternoon, with the cage on their shoulders, after the brave red partridge that populates the mountains of the province of Almeria. With skill, they will place the cage in the new positions that they have built, and in those that already existed from previous seasons.
With the male well trained to attract the females that live in freedom, it is precisely the heat period of these animals. The song of the male specimen makes the females enter their vicinity at a distance very close to the hunter.
He subsequently takes advantage of the situation to shoot the female bird. It should be noted that the practice of this hunt is never exercised when the partridge is ready for breeding.
To understand the exact importance of this modality, according to data from the Provincial Delegation of the Environment of the Junta de Andalucia, we should note that the province has a limited area of 74 per cent of the total area. Almeria province has 754 game reserves, of which the majority are used for small game, as reported by diariodealmeria.es.