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Mountain hunting experience


It’s all about going to the limits of your resilience. Putting your heart and mind into what you’re doing. Hunting in the mountains can command respect even from experienced hunters. In the isolated mountain hunting grounds, nature always has the upper hand. Two hunters, one young, the other older, set themselves this challenge. What actually goes through their heads during the long ascent and descent of the mountain, and the arduous hunt?


FROM ONE GENERATION TO THE NEXT

THE YOUNG HUNTER.

We’ve been on our feet since the early hours, steadily climbing up. The whole thing reminds me of one of my first hunting trips, which wasn’t that long ago at all. Already while ascending through the mountain forest, we could hear the belling of the deer. I looked through my binoculars at the opposite side of the valley. I could make out a deer at the edge of a small clearing. I could only make it out quite faintly, so I couldn’t identify the target for certain. My brother made a sign to me. Another deer appeared further up. After quickly sighting the target, I decided to take a shot. The deer was in a good position when the shot fired. My brother gave me a pat of approval on the shoulder.

THE EXPERIENCED HUNTER.

Hunting in the mountains is a thing of inaccessible beauty where effort and reward are closely intertwined. But anyone who really gets involved in it gains more than just the prey. This is the lesson I learnt when I accompanied my father into the mountains for the first time. The quiet ascent with him on that occasion came to an abrupt end when he spotted a buck some 200 meters (656 feet) ahead of us. He handed me his Habicht binoculars so that I could see it for myself. We stalked it under the cover of the trees until we reached the perfect shooting distance. His clean shot was what kindled my passion for hunting.

THE YOUNG HUNTER.

We had completed the most arduous section when something appeared in the sparse mountain forest. Was it a chamois? I grabbed the binoculars. Yes, and a fine-looking one at that. I dropped down in front of a tree stump, using my rucksack as a support. Then, I took a quick look at my hunting companion. He gave me a nod. I sighted the year-old animal and did what I had to do. The shot was fired, achieving a hit a finger’s width behind the shoulder. A short time later, it was quiet again all around.

THE EXPERIENCED HUNTER.

A good shot. Well done. It isn’t easy for young hunters to hit the target at an angle. But successful moments like these show that there is a future for hunting. It proves that smartphones, knowledge that is centuries old, and hunting discipline are not incompatible. But it is discipline that counts when hunting in the mountains.

THE YOUNG HUNTER.

The chamois weighed in the rucksack a good 14-15 kg (31-33 lb), and I seriously thought that it was getting heavier with every step I took. I certainly didn’t let it show, even if there were beads of sweat on my face. My hunting companion seemed to be delighted, and the further we descended into the valley, the more animated he became when recounting tales from his own hunting career. So, nothing else but to carry on, step by step.

THE EXPERIENCED HUNTER.

Hunting in the mountains assigns us our place in nature. This is something that experienced hunters can pass on to young hunters. It is precisely when you’re hunting in the mountains, where so many factors can determine success and failure, such as your stamina, equipment, or the weather conditions. You need to know what to do or not do. When I’m sighting the target, am I also confident enough to make the right decision? Can I even bring the kill down to the valley in my rucksack? My father showed me what it’s all about. Now the time has come for this knowledge to be passed on.

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