Two weeks ago i got a surprise invitation from a good friend and early mentor of mine to accompany him at a couple of driven hunts. Apart from the one i went to on friday i will be leaving to Brandenburg near Berlin in 2 weeks for a driven hunt holiday that is spread out over 3 days (with 2 drives every day). I did not say no to these kind invitations .
Yesterday we had (just ) the one day of driven hunt near Arnsberg Germany. Quarry was Reds (females), Sika, Wild Boar, Roe (females) and Raccoon. Never been here before and upon arrival it was clear that is was well organised. After talks about how the day would procede we where linked to a forestry guy who would get our group to our "pegs". My peg turned out to be a high seat, with an acclamation mark on high. I have a seat in my permission in Germany which towers pretty high, but this one was even a bit higher. I had a good view and some lovely scenery, pleased with the stand i got ready and loaded the gun. It is law to shoot with leadfree ammo on this particular hunt and after some practice shots earlier that week my choice went for Barnes Vortex TTSX.
I was overlooking a ride in front of me and to me left a openspace with trees, shrubs and meadow.
Soon a roe appeared and i had the crosshairs on it but was not sure if it was a doe or buck because it was standing in high grass. It then turned and ran away because a terrier got on his trail and i could see it was a buck. My day was already made because i made the right choice not to shoot too soon. Off course this sounds easy enough, but i have seen to many people who just pull the trigger anyway .
Then a strange thing happened, the terrier wanted to go after the buck, but stopped at some high shrubs and started barking. Then a wild boar appeared from cover and tried to attack the terrier and it quickly backed up. Then 3 small wild boar females and 2 piglets broke cover on the other end. Unfortunately they did not present me with a shot so they went into the wood just front left of me. I hoped they would cross over the ride, but they did not.
Then a couple of roe crossed the ride and shot at a roedoe, unfortunately it ran off. (After the driven hunt we tracked it down with a dog it it was about 200 meters in cover).
Later 2 wild boar and 2 piglets broke cover from my left and i had a shot at a piglet. (I think i missed this one, we followed it up also with the tracking dog after the driven hunt but could not find anything). This time i was pretty annoyed with myself and the new ammo as the use of leadfree ammo has loads of debate over here due to the longer run off distances after the shot and the less lethal impact. There have been several inquiries and surveys about the matter.
Not long after a single boar came from the left hand side from the top of the field. It crossed in front of me over the ride and (oh wonder) it dropped on the spot after my shot. Hmmm maybe ammo not too bad after all (although you cant really comment on this after 3 shots )? I then saw several reds and sika pass, but they all where over 200 meters so no shots where fired.
Then some beaters with dogs showed up from the left and the dogs got some scent. They started barking and again a couple of wild boar broke cover from the same spot as earlier. I got my eyes on a piglet which came running towards the high seat but it went under some brambles, ferns and shrubs on the way and because it was chased by two teckels when it appeared almost under my high seat i was not sure if the animal in my sights was a piglet or a dog.... So i lowered my rifle and looked again, yes was a piglet but now it was too late get a shot out. Never mind, better this way then shooting a dog!
A bit later another roedoe crossed the ride and i shot this one low on the shoulder. It showed the hit and ran off into cover to the left. (Hmmm still not happy with the ammo???)
Then things went quiet and at 13.30 the driven hunt was over. I got my stuff and climbed down. The boar was easy to retrieve, and i went after the second doe i shot. Luckily i found a bloodtrial and after 20 meters in cover i saw a dead doe. Then i had 2 out of 4 shots. not too bad. I then marked the location of the other 2 shots i took with red tape. After the forestry guy turned up he called in a doghandler and he later found the other doe.
In all i had a lovely unexpected day. Been in a new area and met some nice people.