I got a call from my mentor on "big game" hunting last wednesday if i would be interested in a driven hunt on a saturday, leaving friday. A friend of him was looking for a travelling companion and he himself could not make it. If i was interested.... sure . So later that evening got a call from his friend and we arranged to meet on friday. He is an elderly gentleman and because his wife could not make it to the driven hunt he felt uncomfortable to drive all that way on his own. So we left at fridayafternoon (in his 2 month old rangerover vogue by the way, lovely car to drive, although it gave me all kind of warnings on the dash to do with tyrepressure and stuff, pity for a car that expensive and new, could ignore it, had to ga to the garage to get fixed).
We arrived at the hotel set in a nice castle at the Moesel river. I got the biggest room i ever had in a hotel, the bedroom i had was bigger then my living. We had a good dinner and set off to meet the other hunters at the hunting lodge. Here more food and drinks and good atmosphere for the coming driven hunt. Mmmh kind of like the lifestyle, could get used to that. Although i knew nobody in the crowd still had some nice conversations and by 23.00 we had a early night. I did not sleep very well because i had the flu and was coughing the whole time. In the morning a quick breakfast and at 08.00 we showed our permits to the organisation of the hunt. About 40 guns on 1400 hectares. Weather forecast was bad; rain, rain and mist.
I got my pegnumber and our group headed for our posts. We where on the top of the mountain, in most cases a good spot as during driven hunts most animals tend to go uphill. I was set in a field, luckiliy i could use my peg to attach a umbrella to shield me a bit against the rain. I was told that animals could come from al directions.
My host was put in a high seat bit further down the field, he got a roof over his head. I think age matters in those cases. Due to a misunderstading he forfitted a chance for 2 nice size keilers and an uberlaufer. The organisation of the hunt said no shots on foxes before 11.00. He thought it was no shots before 11.00 , pity.
I had some animals past my stand straight away, group of red deer past but no chance for a calf. We had to shoot a calf first and then we could shoot the hind. If just a single hind would pass we could only shoot her if we had witnessed that her calf was taken by a neighbour.
Some 30 minutes later 2 big red deer pointers past by, these where oflimits. Then a good size boar broke cover in front of me, i was hoping that it would come towards me but it walked along the edge of the wood to another cover. Although a bit far i felt comfortable about the distance and fired a shot. It did not react straight away and ran into cover. Few minutes later i saw in the corner of my eye that the animal went from one cover to another ticker cover, it looked like it limped but could not get another shot out. Felt uneasy but hoped for the best and the animal would bleed out in cover. Couple of roe past but no chance. Then a beater came from the cover i saw the wounded wild boar go in. He asked me if i had shot at a wild boar, off course i said yes. He, too my relief, reported that he found the dead animal in cover and would leave it by the roadside. One in the bag... After some other roe and no clear or safe shot i saw a group of 5 uberlaufer running from the right. They where coming straight to me. I waited a while to raise the gun as i was in clear view and let them come closer. When they where at 30 meters i stood up and the group swerved of to the left in front of me. First shot.. in front, second shot hit, one of the uberlaufer tumbled over and lay dead, third shot, again a miss. And gone they where into cover. That raised the adrenalinelevel a bit. Happy with the uberlaufer, not to happy about my other shots. Will get some more pratice later in the year at the shooting cinema.
Also these events take youre thoughts away fom the cold and the terrential rain i noticed. After an hour where nothing happened i heard the barking of a dog come closer from behind. A small uberlaufer broke cover and ran the lenght of the field followed by this terrier with his high pitched bark. It ran on the horizon so no shots fired. At the end a single hind stood in the middle of the field but refrained from shooting her as i did not know if her calf was shot. At 13.00 the hunt was over and i collected the boar and my gear. Turned out my first boar had some nice size tusks, not medal class but I was a happy with it. Unfortunately my host had a blank. We left for the meeting point and amazingly it stopped raining. At the meeting point we where given soup and sandwiches with German sausages. All the shot game got gutted at the hunting barn and presented. In total we had 20 wild boar and 4 roe.
After the protocol we had a small drink and head off for home, lots of traffic jams and accidents so the journey back was a pain. After I dropped my host off I asked him what I owed him for the trip and he said all expenses where on him. After the nice surpise of the invitation, the shot boar it was even a bigger surprise it was all for free. Nice lucky break .