Type: Small Game
Latin name: Scolopax rusticola L
Bulgarian name: Gorski bekas

Seasonal Availability

The open season for Woodcock is officially between August 11th and February 28th.
Woodcock is currently out of season. -252 days left until season re-opens.



The Eurasian woodcock inhabits Europe, Siberia and Japan. It is also found on the British Isles, in Asia Minor and the Himalayas. It winters on territories from western and southern Europe and North Africa to South Asia. It is found in Bulgaria during migration  in the early spring and late autumn (October/November). Single individuals rarely stay to lay and winter here.


This species has less pronounced age dimorphism. In older individuals the forehead or the front part of the crown are brown grey. There is a narrow black stripe going from the basis of the beak to the eye. The overall tone of the plumage is motley, close to the colour of a dead soil cover.

The wings are broad and blunt-ended. According to some authors, in flight they resemble the wings of the owl. The legs are short, beak long, sensitive on top and soft in the middle. It is adapted to detect food and clip the soil inside. Its eyes are large, with dark brown iris. It reaches a weight of 150/420 g, and length 34/36 cm.


During the breeding season the Eurasian woodcock prefers damp, desolate forests, overgrown with undergrowth and bush plants, ferns, fallen trees, full of open spaces and meadows. It avoids hot and dry habitats. This bird eats near springs and streams in damp marshy places. In the non breeding period it loves to travel in a variety of habitats  forests, thickets, orchards, rivers, swamps, marshes and lakes. It prefers biotopes with loose soil. It is found in Bulgaria at places from the sea level to high mountain pastures.


The Eurasian woodcock eats earthworms, which removes with its long beak from the soft soil; insects and their larvae and rarely Arachnida.


It mates immediately after arrival at the nesting sites. Males fly over the peaks of the trees, in the evening after sunset and the morning 2/3 hours until dawn. They make typical sounds similar to "chor-chor". Females are on the ground. When they hear the males they take off and tempt them with their call "tsik-tsik". Those sounds of the birds are sufficiently reliable to distinguish both sexes.

Woodcocks form couples until the start of hatching. The nest located on the ground under a fallen tree, near a stump or in the bushes. The female lays 2/6, most often 4 eggs. It hatches the eggs and raises the young ones all alone. Hatching lasts for 20/24 days.

Hunting significance

Woodcock is a valuable hunting species. In Europe, according to hunting taxonomy its population counts 3.7 million birds.

It is included in the Red Book of Bulgaria under the category of "Rare species". In certain years of favourable conditions its number is sufficient so that shooting on quota basis may be allowed.


Please check below for the additional costs that are payable to the Bulgarian Government. These costs are usually NOT included in the price of any base packages that we may organise for you unless otherwise specified.

Woodcock, 2014 - 2015 season: €25.00

Woodcock-Snipes shot and taken after the hunting is over - €25 each;
Bag: There is a limited numbers of the game you can shoot per day: 10 p/day;
When you hunt a small game ther is a 10% fee for wonded or not found game;
Preparation and shipping cost is not included.


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