Driven Hunt in Lower Saxony

Grog

Active Member
This was my first experience of a driven hunt. I knew it was going to be different and I had watched enough videos on YouTube to have some idea of the set up and what to expect.

On the afternoon before the hunt I was invited down to an indoor shooting cinema for some practice on running boar with the rifle I was borrowing. The rifle was a Blaser R8 in .308, straight pull, fresh from the factory and set up by the chief engineer from the company who had brought a number of them up with him. This was as much about me practicing on running game as it was about the hunt master checking I could shoot competently and safely.
10 rounds - one or two slightly high, but all good hits.

The evening before the hunt, the guests gathered for a briefing and a formal dinner. The traditions and the ceremony were excellent and we were hosted by a 16 man (and woman) hunting-horn band.

384073A7-A01D-48E0-83BE-6D95A686202F.jpeg

On the day of the hunt, we assembled early as dawn was breaking. Met again by the band of hunting horns, it really stirred up the senses. The host of the hunt gave the briefing and the Jagdmeister went through a comprehensive brief on safety, the game that could be shot and any animals that must not be shot. All the usual suspects were on the Yes list, together with a couple I have not come across before - badger, marderhunde and raccoon! On the No list were Reds with crowns and an absolute No to the tune of €60k were wolves!!

The weather forecast for the day was good - sunshine, little breeze and relatively cool temperatures. The morning was a chilly -2 degrees and there was a good frost on the ground. By the time I had got into my stand and loaded the rifle, the first shots were ringing out across the forest. Whilst I was given a 360 degree arc of fire, much of the action would come from the front. The stand had thick cover to the left, a thicket in the centre and a plantation of young beech trees to the right. As I took in the lie of the land around me and listed to the sounds of the dogs and gun shots, my heart rate began to rise. I was scanning left, right, behind me, infront of me. The sounds of dogs and beaters would come closer and then beer off to another part of the wood. After about an hour of listening to other stands up and down from me firing at game, I thought it was just not going to be my day. As the sound of the beaters disappeared off to my left , a young roe deer suddenly sprang across the clearing and in behind the thicket of furs directly infront of me. I raised the rifle and tracked through to meet it appearing on the other side of the ticket. Bang......one down! That settled the nerves and the heart rate tailed off nicely.
025E04F8-2F0A-48F4-9C6A-944AFF58EE88.jpeg
As the beaters entered another drive through the forest off to my right, the sounds of excited dogs and rifle shots slowly drifted in my direction. I scanned the tree line of the young beech plantation for any movement and after a while I could hear leaves rustling and sticks cracking. A dog was barking out infront of me and the sounds were heading in my direction. The heart beat began to rise steadily and my eyes were scanning from left to right rapidly. A really good size boar came crashing out of the plantation and into the clearing and I raised the rifle to take aim. As i brought it up to the target, I saw the dog in hot pursuit - about 5m behind it with a bright orange jacket. I opted not to take a shot even though the distance from pig to dog looked ok. I figured this is not a good time for a novice to take an uneducated guess.
I watched the pig disappear into the thicket of firs to my left and the dog plunged straight in after it. A minute or two later a report from the next stand down rang out. Lucky fella!

After the first drive, we re-assembled for lunch. Goulash soup and bratwursts straight off the BBQ. Excellent!!
The organisation of the hunt was incredible. The supporting staff were already dressing the game out from the first drive on a parallel series of rails. It was almost industrial - 2 people gralloching the game, two people with wheelbarrows catching it and two people hanging and removing the animals. What usually takes me 15 minutes of toil, they were completing in about 2.

Lunch was short lived and after swapping a few stories from the morning with fellow hunters, we were out for drive number two. My stand was out in the thick of the forest. Although we were dropped off, I had a good 10 minute yomp along a forest track before I came to my stand. It seemed to be a long way off from the next nearest stand and along the track to my left and right you could see 600 to 800m. It was on a slight hill, wooded to the front and rear. The ground fell away down to the right and ran into a small ravine that had thickets of fur, grasses and shrubs that looked like it would make a good run route for the game.
E21186D7-B52F-4676-BFB9-D11E123C6A28.jpeg

A pine martin was ferreting about in the undergrowth in front of me. I watched him work methodically across the ground, sniffing, scampering and burrowing into thickets. And it seemed completely unphased by the gun shots in the back ground.
To my left, I could see boar running across the ride about 200m away. One very big fella going full tilt, crashing back into the wood and a dog scampering after him about 10 seconds behind. I stood ready, hoping it might turn and head down through the wood past the front of my stand - but no such luck.
A few minutes later, another animal ran through the wood in front of me, but too far into the thick of the trees to present a shot. This was shortly followed by one across the track behind me, but it was partially covered by firs and scrub, preventing a clean shot.
Activity had really livened up and my heart beat had gone up quite a few notches.
I could hear one coming from behind, crashing through the undergrowth. I stood ready, safety off. It emerged into the ride travelling at a steady pace. Good lead. Good range. Clear view. Bang......Over the top......

The sounds of the hunt were all around me - dogs, beaters, rifle shots. As I listened carefully to the sounds of the dogs I faced the rear. Two or three dogs were yapping and barking and the sounds were heading in my direction. A large group of about 15 animals came running through the undergrowth. Two large boar at the front shot out from the firs. I picked up a bead and allowed my aim to drift past to the third animal in the group. A much smaller pig of about 25kg. It was clear of the trees, no other animals close by. Bang.....down it went. I reloaded and continued to track them into the woods, but within a split second they were obscured by trees and undergrowth. Regardless of that, I was happy enough to have bagged one.
C45557A9-4761-4ABD-9114-29E1371DDB33.jpeg


Whilst I was lucky enough to have attended an incredibly well hosted and managed hunt, this was much more to me. To experience the traditions and customs of a hunt like this in Germany was truly a memorable occasion. To enjoy the camaraderie of fellow hunters from across Europe and to see the respect that is paid to the game shot through the day was really an incredible experience. I left for home satisfied with my results and slightly envious of those who have the opportunity to hunt in these surroundings more frequently. None the less, the memories will last a life time and I will head off to bed on more than one occasion to dream of bagging a huge boar, or achieving a haul that would see me as King of the Forest!
 

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Bavarianbrit

Well-Known Member
Me too.
The hunt planners usually organise some local butchers to do the gralloching and then the hunters can enjoy the day more.
 

Grog

Active Member
A really fantastic day.
You are right about butchers leaving the hunters to enjoy the day. It was altogether very easy going. I am sure if I had asked there would have been someone cleaning boots that night as well!!
 

blaire

Well-Known Member
Great write up Grog. Have to do a boar trip but definitely need to get in front of the practice centre first (saw Holland and Holland have a fancy one but not sure how much it is for a few hours tutorial)
 

woodmaster

Well-Known Member
Thank you. Very descriptive. Great to have the opportunity to share such great experience's. Long may it continue.
 

Uncle f

Well-Known Member
Great write up Grog. Have to do a boar trip but definitely need to get in front of the practice centre first (saw Holland and Holland have a fancy one but not sure how much it is for a few hours tutorial)
Holland’s cinema is £150 an hour but well worth it
 

Bavarianbrit

Well-Known Member
Check what it costs to build one with all the H&S lead dust removal ventilation / computer software labour to run it etc and make some sort of profit then you would not bitch. If you cannot afford it do not ask the price, an old RR slogan.
 

Dalua

Well-Known Member
If you cannot afford it do not ask the price, an old RR slogan.
I wonder whether it actually was? It doesn't seem to make sense either in this context, or as a slogan for RR motors.
The most similar quotation I can think of is 'If you have to ask the price, you can't afford it', which (I find just now via Google:)) seems to be attributed to financier JP Morgan in the context of the running-costs of his yacht.

I suspect it might well be used of RR cars in a jocular way by thosew who either can or can't afford them - but as an actual slogan of the makers?
 

Wildboar1973

Well-Known Member
This was my first experience of a driven hunt. I knew it was going to be different and I had watched enough videos on YouTube to have some idea of the set up and what to expect.

On the afternoon before the hunt I was invited down to an indoor shooting cinema for some practice on running boar with the rifle I was borrowing. The rifle was a Blaser R8 in .308, straight pull, fresh from the factory and set up by the chief engineer from the company who had brought a number of them up with him. This was as much about me practicing on running game as it was about the hunt master checking I could shoot competently and safely.
10 rounds - one or two slightly high, but all good hits.

The evening before the hunt, the guests gathered for a briefing and a formal dinner. The traditions and the ceremony were excellent and we were hosted by a 16 man (and woman) hunting-horn band.

View attachment 143630

On the day of the hunt, we assembled early as dawn was breaking. Met again by the band of hunting horns, it really stirred up the senses. The host of the hunt gave the briefing and the Jagdmeister went through a comprehensive brief on safety, the game that could be shot and any animals that must not be shot. All the usual suspects were on the Yes list, together with a couple I have not come across before - badger, marderhunde and raccoon! On the No list were Reds with crowns and an absolute No to the tune of €60k were wolves!!

The weather forecast for the day was good - sunshine, little breeze and relatively cool temperatures. The morning was a chilly -2 degrees and there was a good frost on the ground. By the time I had got into my stand and loaded the rifle, the first shots were ringing out across the forest. Whilst I was given a 360 degree arc of fire, much of the action would come from the front. The stand had thick cover to the left, a thicket in the centre and a plantation of young beech trees to the right. As I took in the lie of the land around me and listed to the sounds of the dogs and gun shots, my heart rate began to rise. I was scanning left, right, behind me, infront of me. The sounds of dogs and beaters would come closer and then beer off to another part of the wood. After about an hour of listening to other stands up and down from me firing at game, I thought it was just not going to be my day. As the sound of the beaters disappeared off to my left , a young roe deer suddenly sprang across the clearing and in behind the thicket of furs directly infront of me. I raised the rifle and tracked through to meet it appearing on the other side of the ticket. Bang......one down! That settled the nerves and the heart rate tailed off nicely.
View attachment 143632
As the beaters entered another drive through the forest off to my right, the sounds of excited dogs and rifle shots slowly drifted in my direction. I scanned the tree line of the young beech plantation for any movement and after a while I could hear leaves rustling and sticks cracking. A dog was barking out infront of me and the sounds were heading in my direction. The heart beat began to rise steadily and my eyes were scanning from left to right rapidly. A really good size boar came crashing out of the plantation and into the clearing and I raised the rifle to take aim. As i brought it up to the target, I saw the dog in hot pursuit - about 5m behind it with a bright orange jacket. I opted not to take a shot even though the distance from pig to dog looked ok. I figured this is not a good time for a novice to take an uneducated guess.
I watched the pig disappear into the thicket of firs to my left and the dog plunged straight in after it. A minute or two later a report from the next stand down rang out. Lucky fella!

After the first drive, we re-assembled for lunch. Goulash soup and bratwursts straight off the BBQ. Excellent!!
The organisation of the hunt was incredible. The supporting staff were already dressing the game out from the first drive on a parallel series of rails. It was almost industrial - 2 people gralloching the game, two people with wheelbarrows catching it and two people hanging and removing the animals. What usually takes me 15 minutes of toil, they were completing in about 2.

Lunch was short lived and after swapping a few stories from the morning with fellow hunters, we were out for drive number two. My stand was out in the thick of the forest. Although we were dropped off, I had a good 10 minute yomp along a forest track before I came to my stand. It seemed to be a long way off from the next nearest stand and along the track to my left and right you could see 600 to 800m. It was on a slight hill, wooded to the front and rear. The ground fell away down to the right and ran into a small ravine that had thickets of fur, grasses and shrubs that looked like it would make a good run route for the game.
View attachment 143633

A pine martin was ferreting about in the undergrowth in front of me. I watched him work methodically across the ground, sniffing, scampering and burrowing into thickets. And it seemed completely unphased by the gun shots in the back ground.
To my left, I could see boar running across the ride about 200m away. One very big fella going full tilt, crashing back into the wood and a dog scampering after him about 10 seconds behind. I stood ready, hoping it might turn and head down through the wood past the front of my stand - but no such luck.
A few minutes later, another animal ran through the wood in front of me, but too far into the thick of the trees to present a shot. This was shortly followed by one across the track behind me, but it was partially covered by firs and scrub, preventing a clean shot.
Activity had really livened up and my heart beat had gone up quite a few notches.
I could hear one coming from behind, crashing through the undergrowth. I stood ready, safety off. It emerged into the ride travelling at a steady pace. Good lead. Good range. Clear view. Bang......Over the top......

The sounds of the hunt were all around me - dogs, beaters, rifle shots. As I listened carefully to the sounds of the dogs I faced the rear. Two or three dogs were yapping and barking and the sounds were heading in my direction. A large group of about 15 animals came running through the undergrowth. Two large boar at the front shot out from the firs. I picked up a bead and allowed my aim to drift past to the third animal in the group. A much smaller pig of about 25kg. It was clear of the trees, no other animals close by. Bang.....down it went. I reloaded and continued to track them into the woods, but within a split second they were obscured by trees and undergrowth. Regardless of that, I was happy enough to have bagged one.
View attachment 143634


Whilst I was lucky enough to have attended an incredibly well hosted and managed hunt, this was much more to me. To experience the traditions and customs of a hunt like this in Germany was truly a memorable occasion. To enjoy the camaraderie of fellow hunters from across Europe and to see the respect that is paid to the game shot through the day was really an incredible experience. I left for home satisfied with my results and slightly envious of those who have the opportunity to hunt in these surroundings more frequently. None the less, the memories will last a life time and I will head off to bed on more than one occasion to dream of bagging a huge boar, or achieving a haul that would see me as King of the Forest!
Great write up about our way to do days like this! Glad you enjoyed it and all the others... Who is ken to give it a go, the swap hunt spirit makes it possible!!
 

243varmint

Well-Known Member
This was my first experience of a driven hunt. I knew it was going to be different and I had watched enough videos on YouTube to have some idea of the set up and what to expect.

On the afternoon before the hunt I was invited down to an indoor shooting cinema for some practice on running boar with the rifle I was borrowing. The rifle was a Blaser R8 in .308, straight pull, fresh from the factory and set up by the chief engineer from the company who had brought a number of them up with him. This was as much about me practicing on running game as it was about the hunt master checking I could shoot competently and safely.
10 rounds - one or two slightly high, but all good hits.

The evening before the hunt, the guests gathered for a briefing and a formal dinner. The traditions and the ceremony were excellent and we were hosted by a 16 man (and woman) hunting-horn band.

View attachment 143630

On the day of the hunt, we assembled early as dawn was breaking. Met again by the band of hunting horns, it really stirred up the senses. The host of the hunt gave the briefing and the Jagdmeister went through a comprehensive brief on safety, the game that could be shot and any animals that must not be shot. All the usual suspects were on the Yes list, together with a couple I have not come across before - badger, marderhunde and raccoon! On the No list were Reds with crowns and an absolute No to the tune of €60k were wolves!!

The weather forecast for the day was good - sunshine, little breeze and relatively cool temperatures. The morning was a chilly -2 degrees and there was a good frost on the ground. By the time I had got into my stand and loaded the rifle, the first shots were ringing out across the forest. Whilst I was given a 360 degree arc of fire, much of the action would come from the front. The stand had thick cover to the left, a thicket in the centre and a plantation of young beech trees to the right. As I took in the lie of the land around me and listed to the sounds of the dogs and gun shots, my heart rate began to rise. I was scanning left, right, behind me, infront of me. The sounds of dogs and beaters would come closer and then beer off to another part of the wood. After about an hour of listening to other stands up and down from me firing at game, I thought it was just not going to be my day. As the sound of the beaters disappeared off to my left , a young roe deer suddenly sprang across the clearing and in behind the thicket of furs directly infront of me. I raised the rifle and tracked through to meet it appearing on the other side of the ticket. Bang......one down! That settled the nerves and the heart rate tailed off nicely.
View attachment 143632
As the beaters entered another drive through the forest off to my right, the sounds of excited dogs and rifle shots slowly drifted in my direction. I scanned the tree line of the young beech plantation for any movement and after a while I could hear leaves rustling and sticks cracking. A dog was barking out infront of me and the sounds were heading in my direction. The heart beat began to rise steadily and my eyes were scanning from left to right rapidly. A really good size boar came crashing out of the plantation and into the clearing and I raised the rifle to take aim. As i brought it up to the target, I saw the dog in hot pursuit - about 5m behind it with a bright orange jacket. I opted not to take a shot even though the distance from pig to dog looked ok. I figured this is not a good time for a novice to take an uneducated guess.
I watched the pig disappear into the thicket of firs to my left and the dog plunged straight in after it. A minute or two later a report from the next stand down rang out. Lucky fella!

After the first drive, we re-assembled for lunch. Goulash soup and bratwursts straight off the BBQ. Excellent!!
The organisation of the hunt was incredible. The supporting staff were already dressing the game out from the first drive on a parallel series of rails. It was almost industrial - 2 people gralloching the game, two people with wheelbarrows catching it and two people hanging and removing the animals. What usually takes me 15 minutes of toil, they were completing in about 2.

Lunch was short lived and after swapping a few stories from the morning with fellow hunters, we were out for drive number two. My stand was out in the thick of the forest. Although we were dropped off, I had a good 10 minute yomp along a forest track before I came to my stand. It seemed to be a long way off from the next nearest stand and along the track to my left and right you could see 600 to 800m. It was on a slight hill, wooded to the front and rear. The ground fell away down to the right and ran into a small ravine that had thickets of fur, grasses and shrubs that looked like it would make a good run route for the game.
View attachment 143633

A pine martin was ferreting about in the undergrowth in front of me. I watched him work methodically across the ground, sniffing, scampering and burrowing into thickets. And it seemed completely unphased by the gun shots in the back ground.
To my left, I could see boar running across the ride about 200m away. One very big fella going full tilt, crashing back into the wood and a dog scampering after him about 10 seconds behind. I stood ready, hoping it might turn and head down through the wood past the front of my stand - but no such luck.
A few minutes later, another animal ran through the wood in front of me, but too far into the thick of the trees to present a shot. This was shortly followed by one across the track behind me, but it was partially covered by firs and scrub, preventing a clean shot.
Activity had really livened up and my heart beat had gone up quite a few notches.
I could hear one coming from behind, crashing through the undergrowth. I stood ready, safety off. It emerged into the ride travelling at a steady pace. Good lead. Good range. Clear view. Bang......Over the top......

The sounds of the hunt were all around me - dogs, beaters, rifle shots. As I listened carefully to the sounds of the dogs I faced the rear. Two or three dogs were yapping and barking and the sounds were heading in my direction. A large group of about 15 animals came running through the undergrowth. Two large boar at the front shot out from the firs. I picked up a bead and allowed my aim to drift past to the third animal in the group. A much smaller pig of about 25kg. It was clear of the trees, no other animals close by. Bang.....down it went. I reloaded and continued to track them into the woods, but within a split second they were obscured by trees and undergrowth. Regardless of that, I was happy enough to have bagged one.
View attachment 143634


Whilst I was lucky enough to have attended an incredibly well hosted and managed hunt, this was much more to me. To experience the traditions and customs of a hunt like this in Germany was truly a memorable occasion. To enjoy the camaraderie of fellow hunters from across Europe and to see the respect that is paid to the game shot through the day was really an incredible experience. I left for home satisfied with my results and slightly envious of those who have the opportunity to hunt in these surroundings more frequently. None the less, the memories will last a life time and I will head off to bed on more than one occasion to dream of bagging a huge boar, or achieving a haul that would see me as King of the Forest!

Great write up mate.
I love going to Germany hunting. Good company, good hunting and great beer.
Swap hunts are the way to go as Wildboar1973 has said.
 

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