Better late than never but i must finally write about a fantastic trip to Germany that I went on in February. There are certain species that are rather absent from the native Irish flora and fauna, Wild Boar in particular been one that has always interested me. Last May I was fortunate enough to be invited to Germany by my friend wildboar1973 to hunt for Roe and with hopefully a chance at a boar. It was a fantastic trip with a fantastic host, I got a young yearling Roe but didn't see a boar.
This year I was invited by Tiur for a go at Boar under moonlight. Needless to say I rushed at the chance! Thursday 26th February found me bound for Germany, where I was picked up by a friend of Tiur's at the airport. We then drove to an area east of Lubeck, near the Baltic coast of eastern Germany. As I was driven to Tiur's home, I was amazed by the amount of Roe deer grazing in the fields. When we arrived I was warmly welcomed by my friend Tiur, quickly followed by a beer and some good German food!
After unpacking my gear, we headed out at around 8pm. The plan was to head to the highseat and wait for the Boar to come in under the moonlight. Tiur and I went to one seat and Tiur's two friends headed to another. Soon we were tucked into a comfortable highseat, with open fields in front and a stand of trees and a river to our right. I was handed Tiur's Merkel rx helix in 30.06 with a swarovski z6i scope. Lovely rifle!
We settled in to wait. It is amazing how much you can actually see with good glass and a bright moon. It was quiet for a while, then Tiur said there was a boar coming down the field to our right, just across the river. As I looked through the scope, I could make out the shape of a boar moving from right to left on the far bank of the river. It didn't look like a big animal. Just as the boar was about to move out of sight behind a large tree, it slowed and paused. I took the shot and down it dropped. "Waidmannsheil" from my friend, I had shot my first boar! Waidmannsdank!
We stayed in the highseat for another while, and saw in a field across the river that there were a bunch of boar foraging. Tiur asked whether I would like to stalk in on them. I immediately agreed. We headed back to where we had left the jeep, over a bridge then made our way on the far bank of the river. Navigating back to the boar in the dark was tricky but with a few tall trees as landmarks, we made it. Tiur let me stalk in the last section on my own. As I followed the hedge line to where I thought the boar were, I could actually here them foraging in the field. At the end of the hedge there was a small highseat and as I got to it, I crouched down. There was agroup of about a dozen boar in the field. As I lay down to take the shot, I remembered Tiur's advice to leave the biggest animal, as this was likely to be the lead bache of the group. I crawled a bit closer and picked out the boar in the scope. I selected one that didn't look the biggest, that was clear of the others to prevent wounding a second boar with the shot. At a range of about 40 yards, it was exciting stuff! I took the shot with the 30.06 and the group vanished back into the undergrowth. I knew the shot was good but the animal had moved slightly as I fired. I heard the hit and heard a lot of crashing in a nearby thicket. Tiur came up and with the torch, we headed in the direction that the I thought the boar had headed. In a ditch lay my second boar, a biggish female. What a night, two boar down on the first trip!
We pulled out the boar ( bloody heavy! ) and we headed down to the spot where the first animal lay. It was tricky to find in the cover but soon we found where my first boar lay. Wow, what a surprise! What I had thought was a smallish boar turned out to be a decent keiler!! I was shocked and Tiur congratulated me once more.
We headed back to the jeep and went to meet Tiur's friends, who unfortunately had no luck. On the way we saw another large group of boar but they were moving too fast for a shot in the dark. 32 boar seen and two shot, not a bad night! We went to the landowners farmyard and collected a trailer to retrieve the boar. Back in the yard I got to gralloch my first boar. Dressed weight was 80 kg for the keiler and 60 kg for the bache. A very happy man was introduced to the delights of beer and schnapps and woke with a very sore head next morning!
The following evening I went to a different highseat on my own, while Tiur went with one of his friends, who was also waiting to get his first boar. Although I heard boar moving in undergrowth nearby, none presented for a chance of a shot. Next morning we headed out at daybreak onto Tiur's ground. We saw about 50 mouflon and the same amount of Roe before breakfast. Fantastic!
For my last evening, I went to the small highseat where I had stalked the female while Tiur went to the highseat i had used the first night. As I settled in I noticed a group of boar that came out of a wood over 200 yards in front of the seat. They gradually moved a bit closer but no closer that 150 yards as they gradually moved out into the field. I got a text from Tiur asking why I didn't shoot! From his position they looked a lot closer to my seat than they were. They were driving me mad as I couldn't pick them out clearly in the scope! I was using Tiur's friends rifle, a Sauer 202 in 30.06, with a Zeiss scope. I just couldn't get a shot. The boar kept milling together, making it difficult to pick out one animal. 150 yards in the dark with nothing but a bit of moonlight is difficult! In the end I didn't take a shot because I couldn't be sure of it.
Next morning Tiur brought me back to the airport. We got to call into a friend of wildboar1973's and Wayne Davies on the way for coffee. It was great to meet Heini. Tiur got me to the airport and by the skin of my teeth I got on the plane!
Tiur my friend, thank you for a fantastic trip! I look forward to return the favour on some Sika in the autumn