Hunting in Croatia – 2024 (Guidelines, Law and More)

Hunting is a popular activity in Croatia as Croatia’s diverse landscapes offer a unique and unforgettable hunting experience.

Hunting tourism in Croatia wasn’t big a few decades ago, but recently it’s growing bigger and bigger and people all around the world choose Croatia as their top hunting destination.

This could be due to the mere magnificence of Croatian wildlife and intact nature, but I believe it also has to do with Croatian cuisine and other tourist attractions Croatia is known for.

The first hunting organizations in Croatia were formed in 1881, and due to diverse and rich wildlife hunting has always played an important role in the survival of Croatian people.

This guide will provide you with the necessary information on embarking on the hunting journey in Croatia.

How to join the hunting tourism in Croatia

If you are keen on hunting in Croatia, you’ll need to be aware of the following.

The system is well-regulated, ensuring the conservation of wildlife while offering opportunities for hunters.

You’ll need an invitation

Before you come to hunt in Croatia, you’ll need an invitation from any hunting organization responsible for hunting in the area. You’ll be asked whether you have an invitation or not when passing the border as the reason for the visit, so don’t forget to do this in advance!

Hunting tourism agencies

If you are unsure how to organize everything on your own, you can contact specialized hunting tourism agencies that will take care of the bureaucracy.

(If you need an agency recommendation or more guidelines feel free to send an e-mail to

Dedicated hunting tourism agencies will make sure that you have the time of your life within their hunting parks and will provide you with all the necessities, including accommodation, the finest meals, hunting equipment, and more.

Moreover, as a tourist who engages in hunting tourism in Croatia, you’ll be accompanied by an expert hunter guide who knows the area better than anyone.

Hunting Permit

To hunt in Croatia as a non-local, you must obtain a hunting permit (a link to a website where you can apply for it).

To create a hunting permit you’ll need a firearms license issued in your state if you own a firearm and a personal identification document.

You can acquire a hunting permit either for 30 days or for a year. The permit can be issued in a physical or electronic format.

DurationPrice in Euros
30 days70,00
These prices might change in the future

Firearms License

I assume that you already have one, but for those who don’t or this is their first time hunting, if you plan to use firearms for hunting, you must acquire a firearms license.

The regulations are in place to ensure the safe and responsible use of weapons during your hunting activities and you can typically choose between traditional hunting weapons such as hunting carbines and shotguns.

Why this is important to think of in advance is the fact that the process of acquiring a firearms license can take weeks before it’s issued in some states!


Some species have additional requirements. For example, hunting roe deer or other larger game may necessitate specific permits. It’s crucial to research these species-specific regulations in advance. Any local hunting association should help you issue one and provide you with specific information.

Conservation Fees

Part of the hunting fees in Croatia are allocated to wildlife conservation efforts, contributing to preserving the country’s natural heritage.

Hunting laws in Croatia

Croatian Wildlife Hunting Rules
Prohibition on hunting wildlife within 300 meters of residential areas in lowlands and up to 200 meters in mountainous regions
Prohibition on using semi-automatic rifles capable of holding more than two cartridges
Prohibition on using traps, snares, or equipment like audio devices, spotlights, and similar gear for hunting
Possession of specified equipment outside residential premises within hunting grounds constitutes hunting
The storage of firearms according to the safety guidelines is mandatory in Croatia
Permissible loaning of firearms to foreign hunters in Croatia with valid permits and a foreign hunter’s card issued by the Croatian Hunting Association
Importation allowance for foreign hunters: up to three suitable firearms, 500 rounds for smoothbore firearms, and 100 rounds for rifled firearms without any sales intent
Exportation of game meat requires a Certificate of Wildlife Origin issued by the hunting rights holder; maximum export limit of 10 kg of meat for personal use
You can import up to 5 hunting dogs and they must all have the required documentation and be chipped
Some of the laws you should be familiar with (although some areas in Croatia might differ a bit in some)

Hunting Seasons and Regulations

Croatia boasts a well-structured hunting calendar that aligns with the natural rhythms of its wildlife. Each season offers a unique set of hunting opportunities, ensuring that your experience is not only thrilling but also in harmony with the ecosystem.

Here’s a brief overview:

  1. Autumn – The season begins with the crisp days of autumn when you can pursue game such as pheasants, partridges, and woodcock. The forests come alive with the sound of rustling leaves and bird calls.
  2. Winter – The winter season is the prime time for hunting wild boar and other larger game species. The thrill of stalking through snow-dusted forests is an experience like no other.
  3. Spring – Spring brings the opportunity to hunt European hares, as well as migratory birds like doves. The landscape awakens with vibrant colors and the sounds of nature’s rebirth.
  4. Summer – The summer months are a time for rest and regeneration in the wildlife world. During this period, hunting activities are generally limited, allowing animals to thrive and reproduce without disturbance. Yet, there are still some species that you can hunt.

Here’s some information on hunting periods for the most popular animals.

SpeciesHunting Period
Brown BearMarch 1st – May 15th, September 16th – December 15th
Wild BoarBoars, year-round; Sows – July 1st to January 31st
Red DeerStags – August 16th to January 15th; Hinds – October 1st to January 15th; Calves – October 1st to February 28th (or 29th)
Roe DeerBucks – May 1st to September 30th; Does and Fawns – October 1st to January 31st
SnipeOctober 1st to February 28th (or 29th)
GooseNovember 1st to January 31st
DuckSeptember 1st to January 31st
Eurasian CootSeptember 1st to January 31st
Information on notable species you can hunt in Croatia with hunting period

Wild boars are everywhere!

The wild boar, known locally as “divlja svinja,” is one of the most coveted game species in Croatia.

Wild boar is a true menace that quickly reproduces and causes big damage everywhere on Croatian land.

Somehow, the wild boar even ended up on the islands, so once boar-free islands of Cres and Krk nowadays host thousands of these invasive species.

It’s said that they got there by swimming across the sea as wild boar is a good swimmer.

Unfortunately, they destroy farmlands and there have been documented cases when they attacked people, so they are the number one target of hunters in Croatia.

With their imposing presence and sharp tusks, they present an exciting challenge for hunters. You’ll find these creatures inhabiting the dense forests and marshy areas, making the hunt a thrilling and rewarding pursuit.

How serious the issue with wild boars is speaks of the fact that they recently entered the school’s fitness yard in the middle of the town as they regularly move away from the forests in search of food.

Protected species: What not to hunt

While Croatia offers a bountiful hunting experience, it’s crucial to be aware of the protected species, some of which are the following:

  1. Wolf (Canis lupus)
  2. Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx)
  3. European wildcat (Felis silvestris)
  4. European mink (Mustela lutreola)
  5. European otter (Lutra lutra)
  6. European beaver (Castor fiber)
  7. Chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra)
  8. Roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) – some restrictions apply
  9. Red deer (Cervus elaphus) – some restrictions apply

As a responsible hunter, it’s essential to respect these regulations and contribute to the conservation of these majestic creatures.

Popular hunting regions in Croatia

Croatia’s diverse geography offers a range of hunting environments, each with its unique appeal.

Continental Croatia

The mountains in Slavonia
Slavonia, the mountains

This region, with its dense forests, rolling hills, and meadows, is perfect for stalking game like wild boar, roe deer, and upland birds. Notable areas include Slavonia and Baranja.

Continental Croatia is the epitome of a hunting region and that area has the strongest hunting history in all parts of Croatia.

It doesn’t surprise me that every person from that region that’s familiar to me has someone from their family who is still an active hunter.

Species like pheasants, partridges, and quails provide a thrilling wing-shooting experience and these birds can be found in the countryside, particularly in areas with diverse agricultural landscapes of Slavonia.

Coastal Croatia

Along the stunning Adriatic coast including Istria, you can experience a blend of hunting and seaside relaxation.

The Mediterranean climate and mixed terrain make it ideal for hunting a wide variety of animals, as well as enjoying a beach vacation.

If you are looking for a real hunting area you have to move only 30 minutes by car from Rijeka to mountainous Croatia (Gorski kotar) you’ll enter the true wildlife world full of various species mentioned in this article.

Istria is also a trendy hunting destination rich with wildlife.


This region offers a mix of hunting opportunities, from upland birds in the hinterland to wild boar hunting in the wooded areas near the coast. Dalmatia’s cultural heritage and beautiful landscapes provide a unique backdrop for your hunting adventure, but let’s be honest, when you are in Dalmatia the main hunting activity is fishing!

Not so long ago, many people from Dalmatia would spend summers in the mountains above the Dalmatian coast (such as Velebit), and return to the sea in winter.

I remember the tales of my grandma who told me how during the harsh winters they would move down to the coast with all the stock and horses and then they would compliment their diet with fishing, but as soon as the summer would arrive they would move back up.

While farming, keeping stock, and hunting were a way of survival, a nation blessed with a sea full of fish could always comfortably live almost entirely from the sea.

Accommodations and Logistics

Hunter-friendly accommodations

Croatia offers a range of accommodations catering to hunters. Whether you prefer a rustic hunting lodge or a more luxurious stay, there are options to suit every taste. Many hunting grounds provide on-site lodgings, ensuring you’re never far from the action.

Consider these options:

  1. Hunting lodges – These lodges are often located within or near hunting grounds, providing a cozy and immersive hunting experience.
  2. Rural guesthouses – If you’re looking for a taste of rural life, you can stay in charming guesthouses in the countryside, offering local hospitality and traditional cuisine.
  3. Hotels and resorts – Croatia’s well-developed tourist infrastructure means you can also find comfortable hotels and resorts near popular hunting areas, providing a mix of relaxation and hunting.

Perhaps you can plan an entire itinerary to explore Croatia and fit hunting as a part of it.

Traditional Croatian Cuisine

Croatian cuisine is deeply rooted in tradition and reflects the bountiful natural resources of the country. As a hunter, you can savor delicious game meat dishes prepared in various regional styles. Some popular game dishes include:

  1. Wild boar stew – A hearty and flavorful stew often accompanied by gnocchi or polenta.
  2. Roast deer – Tender and succulent, this dish is a favorite among hunters and food enthusiasts.
  3. European hare pâté – A rich and savory spread served with crusty bread, a true delight for the palate.
  4. Game sausages – A variety of game sausages, both fresh and cured, offer a taste of Croatia’s hunting heritage.
  5. Spicy paprika stews (paprikaš) – Usually made from at least 3 types of meat and plenty of veggies and spices with notable local red paprika. This is the traditional Slavonian stew prepared in large volumes ideal for big gatherings.

These are just some of the popular game dishes, but when it comes to Croatian cuisine, the creativity is never-ending.

Hunting in Croatia isn’t just about the thrill of the hunt, it’s also about immersing yourself in the local culture and cuisine.

Many hunting lodges and guesthouses feature traditional kitchens, and you can even participate in the preparation of your game, learning from skilled local cooks.

In addition to game dishes, you’ll have the chance to enjoy a wide range of traditional Croatian foods, from fresh seafood on the coast to hearty meat-based meals in the interior.

The fusion of Mediterranean and continental influences creates a unique culinary experience that complements your hunting adventure.

Local wine and spirits

To complement your meal, explore Croatia’s rich wine and spirits culture. The country boasts a long history of winemaking, with numerous local grape varieties.

Be sure to try some of the local wines in Istria and Zagorje, which perfectly complement the flavors of Croatian cuisine.

Additionally, don’t miss the opportunity to sample traditional spirits like rakija, a strong fruit brandy often offered as a gesture of hospitality.

Sharing a drink with locals is a cherished part of the Croatian hunting experience, allowing you to connect with the community and learn more about their customs and traditions.

As you embark on your hunting journey through Croatia, your taste buds will be treated to an array of culinary delights, and remember to never say no to rakija!

Equipment and gear essentials

While I am sure the following is obvious to experienced hunters, I’ll state it once again for beginners. Before setting out on your hunting adventure in Croatia, make sure you have the essential equipment and gear.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Firearms – Ensure you have the appropriate firearms for the game you’re hunting, along with the necessary licenses and permits.
  2. Clothing – Dress appropriately for the season and terrain. Camouflage and warm, waterproof clothing are often necessary. Croatia is known for being rainy and highly humid as soon as the autumn kicks in.
  3. Optics – Binoculars and scopes are valuable tools for spotting game from a distance.
  4. Ammunition – Carry enough ammunition for your hunting needs and make sure it complies with Croatian regulations.
  5. Safety gear – It’s essential to have safety equipment like a first-aid kit and communication devices.

If you miss some of the following besides an obvious firearms license, you can get all the necessary equipment once you arrive in Croatia as local hunting stores are well stocked.

Cultural Etiquette and Safety

Hunting in Croatia is not just about pursuing game, it’s a cultural experience deeply intertwined with local traditions. To ensure a harmonious and respectful journey, consider these customs:

  1. Greetings – Politeness is paramount in Croatia. Greet locals with a friendly “Dobar dan” (Good day) and be open to conversation.
  2. Local customs – Familiarize yourself with regional customs and traditions, especially when staying in rural areas. Respect local practices and engage with the community.
  3. Offerings – It’s common for hunters to share a portion of their game with the locals. This act of generosity fosters a sense of camaraderie and goodwill.

Safety is a top priority when hunting in Croatia. Here are some crucial guidelines to ensure a secure and enjoyable experience:

  1. Firearms safety – Familiarize yourself with local firearm regulations.
  2. Hunting companions – Never hunt alone, it’s safer and more enjoyable to hunt with a group. Stay in communication with your fellow hunters.
  3. Be aware of your surroundings – Familiarize yourself with the hunting area and terrain to avoid accidents and mishaps. Local guides know the area better than anyone else!
  4. Respect hunting boundaries – Stay within designated hunting areas and follow the established boundaries to prevent conflicts with other hunters. In Croatia, it is not suggested by the law to shoot at other hunters!
  5. Emergency procedures – Have a clear plan for what to do in case of emergencies, including first-aid kits and communication devices.

Responsible Tourism

Croatia takes pride in its commitment to preserving its natural environment. By engaging in responsible hunting practices, you play a crucial role in these conservation efforts. Here’s how you can contribute:

  1. Habitat protection – Respect the habitats of the wildlife you pursue, leaving minimal impact on the environment. Avoid littering and follow the “Leave No Trace” principles.
  2. Ethical hunting – Adhere to hunting regulations and avoid targeting protected species. Participate in legal, regulated hunting to support conservation initiatives.
  3. Reporting poaching – If you encounter signs of poaching or illegal activities, report them to local authorities to help protect the wildlife.
  4. Supporting local businesses – Choose accommodations, restaurants, and services run by locals. Your patronage directly benefits the community.


I am sure you’ll love your journey in Croatia, and if you have any further questions feel free to send an email to

We wish you safe and successful hunting, and may your journey be filled with excitement, cultural discoveries, and the satisfaction of knowing that you are a responsible traveler and a protector of Croatia’s beautiful wilderness.


Dino is a local who has spent 27 years of his life in Croatia. He's here to provide you with useful information and some local guidance.

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