Monday, June 1, 2009

First Hunt

This week I had my first sit in for a hunt. I went with one of our hunters to a seat called Kur Fursten placed in an area that has seen allot of damage due to wild boars of late. We saw first a fox, then a young buck, and right before we left a medium sized pig all in one night, though it was too late in the night to safely shoot by the time they came out. Each state in Germany has regulations depending on the time of year of when hunters should stop shooting based on the amount of daylight available. Two nights later I went out again and we saw a full grown doe that was grazing on the edge of the field we were sitting at for a good half an hour but Mr. Brecht only wants bucks to be shot at this time of the year because it is mating season and females could be pregnant. So no game was taken home but that’s why they call it hunting. The game we did see gave Mr. Brecht a clearer picture of how the animals are moving across his property.

Wild boars continue to be the topic of main concern for us. A new report was published by Germanys most renowned hunting magazine, Wild & Hunt (Wildlife and Dogs), that found that the wild boar populations had increased at over 300% rather than the 200% previously believed. Their vast numbers continue to cause destruction to farm grounds adjacent to forest property and land owners, like Mr. Brecht, have to literally pay the price. Thus, our efforts remain focused on controlling their population and minimizing the damage they caused. This week we took down an old fence that was put up a while ago when corn was first planted but has become extraneous because the corn is at a stage of growth that does not interest the pigs. Mr. Brecht is now considering the best place to put up the fence. Some wheat fields directly next to his property are starting to reach maturity so next week will probably be spent trying to protect those crops.
To finish off the week I had the rare treat of spotting a Zauneidechse in the forest. In all my years spent living in Germany I have never seen one of these and this one was friendly enough to pose for a picture. Representing Unity College of course!

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