International Conference and annual gathering of the European Bowhunting Association (EBA), April 04th and 05th 2009 near Sofia / Bulgaria

On the 04th and 05th of April 2009 the European Bowhunting Association (EBA) gathered for their annual general assembly meeting. This year’s meeting has been arranged by the Bulgarian Bowhunting Club under the guidance of President Ivan Yotov. The conference took place at the State Hunting Area “Vitoshko-studena” some 30 km from Sofia in a really beautiful surrounding.

In 2008, one additional European nation joined EBA which currently represents active national bowhunting associations from 20 European countries. The list includes France, Spain, Slovenia, Croatia, Italy, Portugal, Belgium, Germany, Great Britain, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Romania, and the independent province Aaland. Out of this list, eleven national bowhunting associations have sent representatives to this year’s meeting. The European Archery Association has expressed their interest for a deeper cooperation with EBA and their president Mr. Harald Wilfing attended the meeting as a special guest.

In 2008, an inspiring progress has been made in the bowhunting legalisation process Bulgaria, which ultimately led to the legalisation of bowhunting in January 2009.  As such Bulgaria became the latest country to join the many nations which consider hunting with bow and arrow a valuable piece of our European hunting heritage. Some other good news from 2008 for European bowhunters include:

 •Based on the reciprocity rule, foreign bowhunters will be able to bowhunt in Denmark without the local bowhunting exam if they proof that they are allowed to bowhunt in their home country respectively other European countries (for instance Hungary).

 •A similar possibility exists for foreign bowhunter who want to bowhunt in France.

•Some good meetings have taken place between EBA and FACE.

 •The Archery Trade Association ATA is signalling continuing support for the European bowhunting community.

•Former EBA secretary Juha Kylmä has been established as president of the CIC Working Group Bowhunting.

•Sweden and one province of Belgium are making good advances in the bowhunting legalisation process.

 •An excellent 7-year bowhunting study is available from Denmark, which shows clearly that hunting with bow and arrow has very low wounding rates in this country.

All member countries where bowhunting is currently not legal actively try to promote and increase bowhunting knowledge in the hunting and non-hunting public. There is a general trend that the number of members and bowhunters is increasing throughout Europe despite the often declining trend of participants in hunting activities. This shows that the age-old hunting with bow and arrow does have a special appeal especially in modern days.

The foundation of the EBA was initiated by the CIC and its Bowhunting Working Group. The CIC considers modern bowhunting as a historical hunting method, worthy of being protected and promoted. Today, bowhunting is practiced by several million bowhunters on all continents. Like trapping and falconry, bowhunting is an important part of our hunting heritage. Due to the many technological advances in today’s bowhunting equipment, present-day bowhunting practices fulfil all the requirements of ethical hunting standards.

EBA objectives include: the promotion of ethical bowhunting based on the published directives of the CIC regarding ethical bowhunting behaviour; providing support for the development of national bowhunter education programs; the creation and compilation of relevant scientific materials and studies; providing and maintaining a worldwide network with bowhunting related associations, scientific institutions, authorities, and other groups interested in hunting

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