Hunting crash: Geolocation apps are available, but don’t protect hikers

The government is preparing a number of measures to limit hunting accidents. The State Secretary for Biodiversity noted the possibility of geolocation of hunters and beaten areas with applications. However, these types of applications already exist and are not proven.

Geolocation software for hunters: this is what the government will develop to limit hunting accidents. Secretary of State for the Environment Bérangère Couillard is due to present the executive’s full plan during a visit on January 9, but Le Figaro has already revealed that one of the solutions being evaluated by the government will be a smartphone app.

This is not the first time that such an idea has been put forward by the government. After a fatal hunting accident in February 2022, the former secretary of state already had a ” geolocation software “. If the idea is not new, we still know very little about this program, its outlines and terms of use.

Therefore, many questions remain about whether it can be used by both hunters and hikers, especially its relevance. Because this type of programs that offer geolocation of hunting areas have already been launched. And luck has not been there, or clearly not enough to prevent tragedies.

Hunter // Source: Matthew Maaskant / Unsplash

A program called “Meerkat”.

The Ministry of Ecology contacted by Numerama had not yet answered our questions at the time of publication. However, Le Figaro learned that “ The ministry should advocate for the development of a Meerkat government application where hunters have to declare themselves. » and France Info reports that « this app will allow pedestrians to view hunts in progress in real time “and that it may be placed” in less than 6 months after the submission of the plan “.

Meerkat is an app offered by the Ministry of Sports that has been around since 2014. This allows you to ” they report on the problems they face during their sports activities and leisure time away from nature”And this “With or without network coverage “, – the website of the ministry is sure. Therefore, it should go through a major update to provide geolocation tracking of hunters. There is no more detailed information about the future version of Meerkat.

Apps are in place, but with severe limitations

There are other programs dedicated to tracking hunters. The first program of its kind was first deployed in Isere in 2019 in pilot stages. It is available in two versions: for hunters, Protect Hunt, which is still in testing, and LandShare, for hikers and other traditional users.

While there have been no accidents in the department since then, the app still faces serious limitations. It enables” Provide real-time alerts on ongoing collective hunt areas equipped with the Protect Hunt C10 kit “, as the application explains, means that all hunters who do not have this object are not detected. According to users, those who have already wandered several times find themselves ” in the middle of an unreported hunt [sur l’app] “.

Apps are now available to geolocate hunters // Source: Hunter Brumel / Unsplash
Apps are now available to geolocate hunters // Source: Hunter Brumel / Unsplash

In addition to LandShare, two more projects have been developed. In the departments of Côte-d’Or and Haute-Marne, Chasse Info is available from September 2021 and ” allows you to know the dates and locations of hunts managed in the department “. Users can either indicate their position or enter the name of the city in the app, and a map of the surrounding area will appear, showing areas that are being hunted or not, the French Hunter’s site specifies.

Finally, the Chasse Eco program Offered by the departmental federation of Haute-Savoie hunters », has been available since 2016 and it works on the same principle as Chasse Info. Users “ indicate the date and municipality of interest (or geolocate with GPS) to get an IGN map of the location showing no-hunt areas.

If they have any merit, these apps suffer from many problems: except for Protect Hunt, none of them really work with the geolocation of hunters and only show hunted areas. Chasse Info even reports all hunting areas, only where hunts are held – far from being representative of all locations where hunters are found.

The Chasse Eco application shows a map with hunted areas // Source: Chasse Eco
The Chasse Eco application shows a map with hunted areas // Source: Chasse Eco

Apps do not prevent crashes

First of all, these programs are not crash-proof. The government’s report on hunting accidents published in September 2022 mentions that accidents have been recorded. for the vast majority it is caused by human error due to failure to follow basic safety rules “. Even in the areas where the programs are installed, such accidents have been recorded: a pedestrian was injured in Haute-Savoie in October 2021, and a drunken hunter almost injured another in February 2022 in the Côte d’Or.

In order for the government’s stated potential geolocation program to be effective, all hunters involved must use it in real time. In addition to the CNIL giving the green light, there is also the issue of its acceptance by hunters, otherwise the program will not work.

However, a whole section of hunters is clearly hostile to the use of such an application. The Chasse Passion website thus explains that the idea of ​​geolocation ” raises the issue of a certain freedom of movement and suggests that hunters should “mark” when they reach their territory. “and besides, it’s disturbing” anti-hunting activists who come to the field with the aim of disrupting the smooth progress of hunting “. This does not bode well for the program, but also for the safety of pedestrians.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *