January 2020 Czech Drive Hunt
It seems that every friend or family group has their favorite spot which to meet at and enjoy each other’s company. For some it is the Mall, others it may be the nearby skate park, even some may choose to meet at the local movie cinema. However, for most of my friends and myself, we usually find ourselves meeting up in a farmers field that is big enough to accommodate anywhere between 2 and 30 vehicles. It is usually before daylight and more times than not the temperature is below the freezing point.
This past weekend was no different for many of us that has camo blood running through our veins. Our meeting spot was a field next to a cemetery near the town of Pila in the Czech Republic. Our host and Jagdleiter (Leader of the Social Hunt) was good friend and outfitter, Pavel. While walking around shaking hands with the other 100 hunters there, I began to notice friends and acquaintances from as far away as 500 km. Hunting friends from places like Ramstein, Ansbach, Stuttgart, Wuzburg, Illesheim, and Weisbaden. All making the 5 or 6 hour drive to this one spot just so that we can participate in this weekend’s Driven Hunt for Damwild (Fallow Deer), Sikawild (Sika Deer), Rotwild (Red Deer), Wildschwein (Wild Boar) and Fuchs (Fox). Unfortunatly for us, the most common deer seen, the Rewwild (Roe Deer) was not on the Abschussplan (Harvest Plan) and could not be shot.
Drive hunts in the Czech Republic are slightly different from drive hunts I have been on it Germany. The group leader will normally take you from a centralized parking area and lead you into the forest in a single file. Placing hunters at predetermined numbered spots every 25 to 50 meters apart. In these types of hunts, it is extremely important that you know where your neighbor is and where the group leader tells you where you can and cannot shoot.
During most Czech drive hunts, you will be treated to a mid-day lunch, which we had on both days, and it was quite good. A variety of soups, coffee, Leberkäse and breads.
We also conducted a raffle during our Saturday dinner where some great gifts such as wines, liquor, hats, skullhookers, shirts, backpacks, Rehwild carcus and Wildschwein carcus were given away.
The photo above shows the method in which most animals are field dressed here in
Europe. If you ever shoot an animal which you want to get a shoulder mount completed on, you MUST notify the guides, group leader, dog handlers, in other words, notify everyone that you want a shoulder mount. If not, they will field drees your game in this manner which then makes a shoulder mount almost impossible.
The group was able to harvest 15 animals which included Sikawild, Damwild, Rehwild and Fuchs. I received permission from the Sonntagsjager or Jungjager (Young Hunter) to talk briefly about his mistake of killing a Rehwild which was not in season. Identifying hunt able game species over here is crucial, especially during a drive hunt when the animals are running by you at top speed. Now toss in trees, vegetation and distances from 5 to 100 meters and it can get downright difficult. We are all taught in the hunting course that if you cannot identify your target then do not shoot. Drive hunts when animals are moving about so fast, accidents do happen and that is exactly what happen this time. A Rehwild jumped out less than 25 meters and the hunter acquired target and fired. Moments later discovering that it was indeed a Rehwild. This was the Jungjager’s first ever drive hunt and he did the right thing by telling the group leader and apologizing for his action. He was fined a 150 euro penalty and the Jagdleiter made comments of this accident during his closing remarks at the Streck. However, he also said “It Is What It Is and Accidents Will Happen”. I have myself shot the wrong animal and have been fined for it. I am also positive that it will happen again to me if I continue to hunt here or elsewhere in the world. I am sure that he will be invited back for other hunts, regardless of his mistake. However, please never try to cover up your mistake or make a long drawn out excuse for your actions.
Pavel arranged our accommadations at the Penzion Vladar in Touzim, Czech Republic. Lodging ran anywhere from 25 euro for single room to 45 euro for a double room. This also included a breakfast.