Dirac: a giant (and private) training camp for hunting dogs

Dennis Joseph.

Photo Julie Desbois

Welcome to the Enclos du Perchet, in the middle of the Dirac forest. 80 hectares. More or less dense woods, meadows, expanses of almost impassable brush, paths…

Dennis Joseph.
Dennis Joseph.

Photo Julie Desbois

Welcome to the Enclos du Perchet, in the middle of the Dirac forest. 80 hectares. More or less dense woods, meadows, expanses of almost impassable scrub, hilly paths, a vast wetland. A totally private green paradise transformed into a hunting reserve. ” You have to say ‘ hunting park ‘ », corrects the master of the place, 62 years old, child of Ronsenac. This former carpenter is the craftsman of this titanic project, unique in Charente, built in all discretion for three years.

The owner's house is inside the park.
The owner’s house is inside the park.


“Le Perchet, to put it simply, is a big gym for dogs. People come here to trust their animal, train it, teach it how to track it. Here, you enter without a gun, without a cartridge. We don’t kill anything”, summarizes, jovial, Denis Joseph, strolling on his property in search of the client of the day and his pack. They are ” somewhere “ behind the trees. On the lookout for game, chosen and introduced by the owner of the estate. “There are nine deer, five wild boars, five or six hares”he lists when wild animals appear on the horizon, at the end of the copse, and cross the meadow at the speed of light. “Look over there, a pig. And a deer on the other side, he points. In the aftermath, the inharmonious sound of the hunter’s horn in their tracks disturbs the calm of the forest. It is prolonged by the sustained barking of the dogs. Which in turn show the muzzle.

It’s almost in the public interest to regulate a species that does a lot of damage.

Other ideas to develop the activity of the park

The seven French Bruno Saint-Huberts – imposing hounds from Savoie – Diracois Pierre-Henri Moreau tumble down, panting, full of drool. In pursuit of wild boar but especially not deer. “It is our choice to train our dogs on wild boars. I come here for that.” explains the hunter, lover of a breed “more resistant and more instinctive to track this type of game”. “What we do is almost of public utility. We are regulating a species that does very great damage, ” adds Régis Moreau, Pierre-Henri’s father, posted away from the pack, in a lookout position.

The advantage of Denis Joseph’s hunting park, defend the Moreaus, is that a hunter who knows how to hunt can train his dogs and educate his puppies all year round. Private property makes it possible to avoid opening and closing dates. Which does not mean that here, in a vacuum, there is no valid law. The regulations are even particularly strict: it is therefore necessary that the fence meets specific standards, the dwelling house of the master of the place must imperatively be located within the enclosure of the park, killing is prohibited during and after the beats . If these conditions are not met, the enclosure does not obtain official approval.

“My job is not just to make the site available to customers (for around 50€ for half a day, editor’s note). I am also there to help hunters who wish to develop the skills of dogs, to advise them », adds Denis Joseph. His wife, Marie-Noëlle, 56, has other ideas in mind to develop the activity which does not support the couple. This hunting park, because it is closed and the animals that inhabit it are listed, could also become a little paradise for leisure clubs, why not schools. For the first time at the end of the month, a “rural celebration” will also be organized there (see box). “There is a flora of great diversity, supports Denis Joseph by presenting the many varieties present. We can go there in search of animal tracks ». And enjoy the passing of the twenty dogs of the Joseph family gathered on the estate.

Gérard, astonished in front of an almost domestic boar.
Gérard, astonished in front of an almost domestic boar.

Repro CL

To meet this new challenge, it remains to convince the reluctant. In particular those who appear as defenders of the environment. Denis Joseph was able to measure it when he moved to Charente Nature, challenged by a site that looks like a reserve, protested against the project. “We are also real ecologists”he defends, recalling once again that we do not kill at Perchet. “Except wild boars when they have become too big, too old and potentially aggressive”. Gérard, a walker, can attest that the current occupants of the Dirac forest are quite harmless. While walking on the other side of the fence a few days ago, he fed one of the specimens, as one feeds a domestic animal.

A celebration of rurality on June 26

The event is orchestrated by the FACCC 16, the Federation of Associations of Hound Hunters of the Charente. For the first time, on June 26, the Enclos du Perchet is hosting a “rural celebration”. On the program, in the ring, the presentation of multiple packs. About fifty teams of 5 to 25 dogs. Both pointers and hounds. The Hunting and Fishing Federations will also spend the day in the hunting park to present their activities. There will also be on site, to attract a family audience, larger than that made up of hunting enthusiasts, a farmers’ market and a craftsmen’s village. “All the local actors will be represented”, announces Florian Léger, the president of the FACCC16.

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