Irish hunters from the NARGC expressed their surprise when they heard about hunting practices used in France. Hunting with glue (limesticks) is illegal but glue is still legally sold in hunting shops across France.
Prohibited in August 2022, an inquiry from the Association Nos Viventia proved they are still used in the name of tradition and passion.
Nos Viventia, a French association created in 2020 by Pierre Rigaux, an environmental activist, investigated this practice after it was forbidden by the French government.
The surprise comes after discovering that French hunting shops still sell the glue and the sticks used for this type of hunt. Deemed to be tradition, French hunters are not ready to let go of this practice.
Hunting with glue consists of applying birdlime on tree branches or sticks hidden in bushes. The birds who land on the branch will stay stuck on it.
Trying to free themselves, they will fight with their wings and beaks and their entire body will become covered in the sticky substance making them unable to fend for themselves. The hunters can then come and pick up their prizes.
“This hunting technique is mainly used in Mediterranean countries,” said Dermot Breen a ranger of Connemara Park.
“It seems to be very popular in random Mediterranean countries, Italy, Tunisia and Cyprus. It’s a huge issue down there, but no, thankfully it’s not really an issue in Ireland.”
Thrushes are supposed to be the main species hunted with this technique but if another bird comes in contact with the glue, the result is likely the same.
“It’s illegal in Ireland […] It would have never been seen as a hunting pastime,” said Dan Curley, Vice Chairman of NARGC.
Endangered species, such as the ortolan, might be the victims of limesticks as the hunter is unable to choose which bird will land on the glue stick.