As wayne's excellent write up shows we had a fantastic time in the mountains of Southern Austria, so thanks again Franz for what was truly a dream hunt.
While Wayne was being outwitted by those f-----g sheep I was hunting in Northern Germany with our good friend Heini.
I lived with Heini and his family at his farm which is situated approx 1 hour from Hamburg. The area is generally flat with much excellent farm land surrounded by forest.
The area has good populations of Wild Boar, Red and Roe Deer and we would be hunting on Heini's farm and in the surrounding area.
Heini was particularly keen to hunt boar and had been feeding several sites for months in preparation for this hunt. He had been keeping his friends and family away from these areas and had used a couple tons of valuable wheat to keep the pigs interested. His web cams had been recording boar activety on all sites all through the night so he was feeling optimistic.
On our arrival to Heini's house we had a quick cuppa and a snack then kitted up and were off. We got to the typical German very substancial, fully enclosed high seat an hour before dark. We were over looking a feeding site 40m in front of us. Just before dusk a Roe doe and fawn emerged from the bush ( as Heini likes to call it ) and these were quickly followed by badgers, 4 of the greedy b-----s. As darkness fell I could just about make out the badgers in the scope. Heini was concerned that the moon was barely half and low in the sky and was worried that the boar may arrive too late. One thing that I should explain at this stage is that Heini has excellent night eyes. Wayne and I discovered this when Michael and Heini were hunting Muntjac with us in England. We had to drag Heini out of the woods late at night. He told us that he liked to sit out all night when boar hunting . Anyway, back in the seat eventually I could only just make out the badgers in my binos and only see vague blobs through the scope. Suddenly, we heard some movement and several large boar arrived at the feed site. Unfortunately it was just too dark for me to see so we quietly left the seat and headed home.
The following morning we headed off to another area arriving an hour before light. It was very dark and Heini said no lights as we walked to the seat. Fortunately Heini is over 2m tall and had a squeaky boot so my aging eyes and failing ears just about managed to follow him to the seat. Heini has been very busy on the farm recently and has been doing his fair share of looking after his young daughter so as we settled into the seat he announced that he would get some kip . As Heini slept I became aware of Red Stags roaring and not too far away and as dawn broke I could see the inevitable badgers feeding on the wheat 50m away. Approx. 10 mins later a Roe doe emerged from the bush and knowing Roe fawns were on the cull plan I slowly raised the Blaser 30-06 into the window. Sure enough the fawn appeared a couple mins later. It was the third or forth elbow into Heini's ribs that brought him back to consciousness. He quickly agreed it was a cull animal and gave me permission to shoot. We retrived the fawn from a couple meters in the bush and headed back for breakfast. After breakfast, while Heini caught up with a few things I sorted myself out and had a quick kip before our afternoon outing.
Early afternoon saw us heading to some grazing land that bordered some unhunted forestry where the Roe were getting too numerous. It was a lovely warm afternoon and once in the seat it didnt take Heini long to start nodding . He couldnt sleep long though because Roe deer soon started to appear. First a doe and twins emerged about 100m away but quickly moved out to 200m and started feeding. Then a little later a lone doe appeared and fed in front of us before moving off. A short while later I heard a twig break behind us and then a doe and fawn stepped out very close to our seat. Heini immediately indicated to me to shoot it so I slowly raised the rifle and took it at 20m. We had been promiced by Heini's wife, Geesa, some Moose casserole if we got back in time so we were soon back in the car and away. It was bl----y lovely by the way.
That evening we were in the seat where we had seen the pigs the previous night. Surprise,surprise, it wasnt long before our gluttonous friends arrived. They were seriously annoying Heini now and he decided that we would shoot one before the end of my visit. I suspect that over the next few weeks that the badger numbers in that immediate area will be reduced. Unfortunately we saw nothing else that evening even though we sat there for hours as my numb bum will testify. On walking out of the forest we became aware that the wind had changed which probably explains everything. On getting home we heated up the remains of the casserole and washed it down with beer and wine then hit the sack.
Next morning we were up and walking into the bush an hour before dawn as usual. We could hear stags roaring fairly close again and bumped some hinds half way to the seat. Maybe we should have stalked in at first light but as I said earlier Heini's priority was to shoot boar and he wanted to be in the seat as the dawn broke to maybe catch some pigs taking a last feed before the day. Yes, there were badgers again and a Roe doe but unfortunately we didnt see any more hinds. As Heini dozed and dawn came and went I was just thinking how hungry I was feeling when a large boar appeared 100m down the ride. The rapidly awoken Heini quickly identified it as a sow and told me to get ready. She was followed by a smaller sow then another then the pigglets started to appear. I was asked to shoot so immediately levelled on the second pigglet and fired. Sows and pigglets scattered everywhere and then disappeared. I knew I had got my pig because I could see its legs kicking. Heini and I were ecstatic and after back slapping hand shaking and congratulating we went to see my pigglet. It turned out to be an unusual colour having very light skin with black blotches almost like it could have been crossed with domestic stock. Heini assured me it was pure breed wild boar as he had seen this family before on his web cam. Just to put a dampener on proceedings the heavens opened as we walked back to the car.
We had lunch at Heini's parent's house and while there hatched a plan to have a small driven hunt that afternoon. One of their fields had been raided by boar over several nights so they invited some neighbours to surround the field and try to ambush some of these boar. Unfortunately no boar were seen but it was great to meet the neighbours and to take part.
The wind had now swung around to the East. This was not good as many of Heini's seats were positioned for the pravailing Westerly wind. We decided to spend our last night in the same seat that we had had our success that morning. This did not concern Heini in the least as we had shot the pigglet well off the feed site and there were several families in the area. The driven hunt meant that we were running a bit late so we didnt get into the seat until close to dusk. The f-----g badgers were there of course and the same Roe doe from the morning made an appearance. We managed to resist the temptation to thin out the badgers because the now slightly larger moon was casting its light on to the feed site. Out of nowhere 2 large boar appeared. I thought "this is it" but they walked straight by. B----r ! Half an hour later in the shadowy moon light some more dark shapes appeared. This time they homed straight in on the wheat. The group consisted of 2 sows and several pigglets. Initially the group stayed close together in the shadows and I found it difficult to see what was what. Fortunately my sharp eyed friend could see and whispered a running commentary of proceedings. As the boar became more relaxed they started to spread out just as a shaft of moon light was inching towards them. Two of the pigglets were now safely away from the others and in the weak moonlight. I centered one of the pigglets in the heavy reticle of the Zeiss and fired. As the dust settled the moon disappeared behind the clouds and even Heini couldnt see so we waited 10 mins before going to investigate. Fortunately the boar had dropped to the shot with a bullet through the shoulder. Fantastic ! My second boar and Heini was even more delighted than me. We headed back home and as were weren't hunting in the morning had some food and got stuck into more beer and wine until 2am.
The following morning we headed back South to meet up with Wayne and Michael to hear all about tha f-----g sheep.
A massive thankyou Heini for your fantastic hospitality and some truly memorable hunting. Thanks also to Michael for making it all possible and giving Wayne and I some excellent sport and great memories.
Was this a dream hunt ? DEFINATELY.