Andy and I have just returned from a trip with friends in Germany and thought I would write an account of our trip.
We flew into Dusseldorf where my friend Michael collected us; we were to meet up with our other German friend Hieni who was collecting two other lads flying in later on from Finland Aki and Sakari, Aki I already knew as he hunted with me for Roe and Muntjac earlier this year.
We all finally met up and made our way to the B&B.
Next morning we headed off to see a nice lady and collect our German hunting licences and then on to the shooting cinema for a bit of practice. This is the second time I have done this and its great fun, I was happy as I was using Michaels Blaser R93 in 9.3x62. Plenty of ammo and banter later we were on the move again.
We now had a five hour drive ahead of us to our first hunting area a national park on the Czech border a fantastic place worth the trip just for the scenery and the welcome.
We eat at a local hotel and then made our way to our hunting lodge in the middle of the forest which at first we all thought was charming until after dark with the log burner flat out when we discovered many unwanted visitors (mostly around my bed great!!!) The lodge had a slight problem with fleas which didnít add to a very relaxed night sleep but caused lots of p*ss taking.
Next morning we went for breakfast and then met up with the ranger who showed us around and showed us various high seats which we could take our choice from. We then moved our stuff to a flea free hotel in the park for showers and debugging where they made us very welcome even putting English and Finnish flags up on the front of the hotel.
In the evening we all set off to our high seats but unfortunately we were unsuccessful a few saw Roe but the Reds and Mouflon were a know show. We headed back to the hotel where we met up with a load of other hunters off another forum called Yes we hunt and eat and drank way too much again and made some new friends.
Next morning we were out again, (the ones who made it as some had Schnapps poisoning) but again the woods were very quiet or we were too noisy on the crunchy beech leaf covered ground and again only roe were seen but a fantastic experience all the same to hunt this beautiful area.
We had a leisurely breakfast and then packed the cars for the 5 hour drive back to our B&B as we were to be on a driven hunt in that area on the Saturday morning.
After breakfast on Saturday morning we headed off to hunt an estate owned by an Earl who is a friend of Michaels who had kindly invited us all to hunt when he heard we were visiting.
We arrived at his fantastic home to be greeted by his equally fantastic family, more kind and generous hosts than you could ever wish to meet.
After the instructions for the day and the horn playing with all the dogs joining in and howling we headed off to our stands for the 4-5 hour hunt.
Michael and I sat together in a small open tower for the hunt and as soon as the beaters started there was a lot of animals on the move we heard boar come so close to our clearing several time but always passing just out of sight but from all the shots going off all around us they were not making it passed everyone.
At the end of the drive we had a bag of 17 boar, 9 Roe and 4 foxes. Our Finnish friends being in the thick of it and taking two Roe and two boar unfortunately Andy and I had no luck but still a fantastic experience. We found out later the Earl had put us in the ďHot SeatsĒ and was very disappointed we did not get a shot but thatís hunting, no guarantees.
All the game was taken back our hosts home and displayed in the traditional way with more horn playing ( and howling from the dogs)
We were then invited into our hosts fantastic home for tea and cake the walls were covered in trophyís I took one photo off the hall way but didnít want to be rude wandering around there home taking photos which was a shame as was an incredible place.
We all changed for dinner and sat in a huge room where we were fed and watered to the point of bursting and treated like old friends by our hostís family.
The whole day was a fantastic experience made very special by the warmth of our hosts one I shall never forget and I even got an invite back next year.
We headed back to our B&B and said our goodbyes to Heini and the lads from Finland with promises made to visit each other for a future hunt.
They were heading off to the airport early in the morning then Heini was heading home for a meeting.
Andy and I were out hunting with Michael up at 5.30am , we placed Andy in a big tower and headed off to our own.
We climbed into our tower after scanning all the fields as it got a bit lighter Michael spotted a group of young boar about 120 yards in front after a wait for one to turn broadside the 9.3x62 barked and the boar was on its side with a very happy and relieved Michael bouncing around the tower shouting Yes Yes.
That was the end of our trip unfortunately Andy was not as lucky as I but he still has the whole experience and the friends which is much more precious. We also left with two invites for future driven hunts and already booked up next September for a more intense hunt on Reds and Mouflon and boar in Heiniís and Michaels own areas.
Finally big thanks to Michael for organising it all and his lovely family for taking us into their home and making us so welcome.