How to get your German Hunting License or Jägdschein
Through USAG Bavaria’s MWR hunting course, Americans stationed at Tower and Rose Barracks are able to earn their Jagdshein, or German hunting license. Soldiers, civilians, and their family members can complete the coursework either through the fall or spring course offerings, take the test, and begin hunting the beautiful Bavarian wilderness.
Want to know how to get started? Want to know what to expect? Read on, fellow adventurers!
1. Sign up.
Check in with the Wild BOAR facility on the tank trail right outside Tower Barracks gate 9, and pay your class fee (in the $200 range). Boom. You’re in. Now what?
2. Take the course
Depending on the holiday schedule, your course can be between 10-14 weeks long. Meeting twice a week in the evenings, each session lasts 2 hours and covers a LOT of material. You’ll receive a digital copy of the textbook for class, but it’s highly recommended that you get it printed and put into a 3-inch binder. (Our members receive a discount printing through Druckerei Hutzler, outside Gate 6 of Tower Barracks)
Over the course of your studies, you’ll learn about the feudal history of hunting in Germany, ancient traditions that are still performed today, and law regarding land ownership, hunting rights, and sub-leasing those rights. You’ll learn about drive hunts, ansitz, and stalking; you’ll cover the legalities of firearm purchase, storage, and registration in Germany, and how easy it is to lose that privilege. You’ll learn how to recognize various game in the field, and memorize their breeding seasons. You’ll cover the difference between red deer, fallow deer, sika, and roe. You’ll learn NOT to shoot the biggest pig you see, and why. You’ll also learn the hefty price tag of a prize-winning buck. You’ll become a licensed meat handler through the study of disease recognition, field dressing, and the laws regarding the sale of wild game. You’ll cover German terminology for weapons, animals, hunts, and traditions.
In addition to the college-level coursework, you’ll be required to complete and show proof of competency in two shooting trials. The final test is only administered once coursework is complete, students have shot 250 rounds of trap from the hip, and successfully shot a moving target in a standing position. (Luckily, the ranges necessary for this practice are right off the Tank Trail. Click here for more information on MWR ranges.)
Sound exciting? Great! Here’s what you’re in for on testing day.
3. Pass the test
The test to earn a German Hunting License is given in three parts – written, hands-on, and target practice. The written exam is a multiple-choice exam in English, covering book material from the 14 weeks of study. These 120 questions are divided into sections on game recognition, diseases, history, and so on; fail a section and you fail the test, so study up!
Next, students are individually tested on their practical knowledge of game and weapons handling. To do this, the instructor, student, and a German proctor walk through a room full of hides, skulls, antlers and horns; the student must competently guess the age of an animal of the proctor’s choosing, or describe how to ascertain its gender, or point out what makes one set of antlers more desirable than the next. The student must then load and safely unload a firearm or two, locate the markings that indicate its legality in Germany, and maintain safe barrel awareness.
The last portion of the test consists of two sitting and two standing supported shots taken at a roe deer target at 100 meters. Three out of the four shots taken must be lethal.
Passed each portion? Then Waidmannsheil, and welcome to the tight-knit community of German and American hunters. Failed? You’ll need to re-take the course if you’ve missed the written or oral portions, or wait and re-take the test if you’ve missed your shots. Fail again? You’ll be denied a German hunting license; this isn’t the DMV, unfortunately.
4. Submit the paperwork
Upon completion of testing, you’ll need to go through the following steps to apply for a license to hunt in Germay:
- sign up with a registered hunting association, recognized by the German government. Don’t worry, though – the Hunting, Fishing, and Sport Shooting club provided by MWR Wild BOAR offers both short-term and long-term memberships at a reasonable rate. You can sign up with this club at the front desk of Wild BOAR.
- send your completed FBI background check (filled out and submitted in the first week of classes, returned to you at the end of the course), your certificate of course completion (supplied at graduation), and a filled out AEF215-145A APPLICATION FOR FOREIGNERS HUNTING LICENSE to Sembach, USAEUR HQ
- when all this paperwork has returned to you in the mail with the required stamp (yes… this can take some time), you’ll take it to a local German bank to purchase hunters’ insurance.
- once you’ve added Proof of Insurance to your stack of official paperwork, go ahead and grab two passport photos, your passport, your military ID, your HFSS membership card, and a copy of the orders/contract which shows that America has sponsored your trip to Germany.
With all of this in hand, head over to your local rathaus (or ‘town hall’). After signing some paperwork, making some copies, and paying either a 1-year or 3-year fee for your license, you’ll walk out with your official Jagdschein!