Gams Hunting, October 2019
Mountain hunting regardless of where it’s at in the world is often one of the hardest but most rewarding hunts anyone can ever go on. Elevations can, depending on what mountain range you are in, can range from 3000 feet to 20,000 feet. The views are spectacular and weather is often your worst enemy.
Larry, Derek and I recently had the opportunity to hunt Gams (Chamois) in the German Alps near the town of Inzell, which is located in the Traunstein District of Bavaria Germany. Larry and I have hunted this region many times over the years but this was the first time for our Louisiana native friend Derek.
We departed Weiden around 1300 hrs on 6 Oct for our 8 day hunt. After meeting up with the Bayerische Staatforester and receiving our briefing, we headed up the mountain towards the Frillensee where we would be staying in a typical Bavarian mountain Hutte (cabin).
Larry and I both missed our shots at Gams on the first morning of our hunt but we were not deterred and we made the 3 hour climb the next morning to try again. The following few days was dampened by rain and thick fog so we hunted for Reh further down in the valley at some locations the Forester directed us to.
Derek was the first of us the tag a Gams on the 13th, which was a very nice buck which dressed out about 25 kilos. Larry and I both tagged out within about 20 minutes of each other on the morning of the 14th, our last day in camp. Sure glad we got out of bed that morning and climbed back in that steep mountain.
One thing that we had to deal with while hunting in this area is the recreational climbers. This is a very popular hiking area and we saw an average of 8 to 15 hikers per day. The weekend we saw considerably more. However, once we got off the beaten trails and away from the hikers, we began to see Gams on almost every trip up the mountain. In fact, we could literally sit at our cabin and see Gams up on the mountain through our spotting scopes.
The Hutte that we stay in during our trips here dates back to at least 1900. Inside the cabin on the wall is an old Black & White from 1907 photo of 4 men setting at the exact same fire place that we still use to cook on. We tried our best to replicate a photo that is more than 112 years old. Also we found a photo of the local hunting/shooting club that was taken in 1905.
One thing that I must caution you on and you should consider before pulling the trigger on an animal is, after you shoot it, can you recover it??? Not every Gams you will see will be in a spot that you can get to it once you have shot it. So please take the time and consider this before you just begin throwing lead across the valley.
All in all, we had an awesome time, ate some great food, and harvested some wonderful animals that makes for some delicious table fare. - Henry Browning