Posted on: 4th Apr 19 at 8:00 am by Realtree Global
Realtree Pro Ian Harford joins a community of fellow hunters in the Baden-Württemberg area of Southwest Germany for an epic driven wild boar hunting adventure.
Wild boar hunting is a very technical sport, it’s not just about pulling the trigger. There’s a technique that you need to go through to be really effective. There are different points where you can hit a wild boar to bring them down humanely.
It’s a dull, cloudy morning as Ian prepares for the day ahead. Ian’s hunt takes place in the beautiful dense forest of the Baden-Württemberg area in Southwest Germany. The organisation of the driven hunt here is not too dissimilar to the pheasant shoots Ian is used to back home. There’s a strong sense of community as beaters, dogs and gun mingle together in the car park for the briefing.
Heading out into the forest, Ian settles on peg 2 of 46 guns. The shoot will be close due to the pigs having multiple trees and brambles for cover. Ian must react quickly and precisely in order to take down the wild boar that populate this area.
Ian’s rifle of choice is the Sauer 404 Synchro XTC in .308 calibre. With the muzzle break on the end of the barrel, there will be a reduction of muzzle flip but it will still be loud. Ian has paired the rifle with the Hawke Vantage 1-4×24 rifle scope with standard LR4 reticle for a nice clear, open view of the animal for a precise shot. Ian’s ammunition of choice is the 150 grain Hornady interlocks. It’s a nice punchy round that Ian has practiced with previously at the Wild Boar Shooting Cinema.
Although Ian has seen a few roe bucks early on in the drive, they are not on the tableau. As an incentive not to shoot, the shoot manager has a system. The gun that shoots a buck without antlers must buy the beaters dinner and if the gun shoots a buck with antlers, they must buy everyone dinner. While roe does are on the tableau, they appear on the left side backed against the skyline with no safe backstop, making it impossible for Ian to take a safe shot.
The amount of wildlife is a positive sign and Ian decides to wait a while longer for the chance to shoot a boar. But unfortunately nothing appeared, although the amount of shots fired around Ian suggested the day was still successful for his fellow guns.
Back at the meeting area, Ian has a conversation with Frederic Hanner about the day and the way driven boar hunts are run differently in Germany compared to pheasant shoots in the UK. Frederic managed to shoot a fox but felt that the rest of the guns were also unsuccessful in taking down a boar. The shoot itself is run by friends of Frederic who rent or own the land. The day is not driven by money, instead the work is done by friends and those invited back from previous shoots in the year. Everyone works as a community and at the end of the day all beaters, guns and organisers join together in a shared feast as a reward for the days work.
For the second drive of the day, the guns will take up the pegs in the edge of the forest. It’s the perfect environment for wild boar as they prefer the dense undergrowth and scattering of acorns. The boar are known to be quite lively in this area and Ian has high hopes for the last drive of the day. This time, Ian sets up in a high seat. Not long after settling down, a roe doe appears with this years kids and Ian decides to take the fawn at the back.
During a quick chat with the hunt managers after the shoot, Ian reminisces over the days events. The atmosphere and the fine weather has made the few boar taken all the worthwhile. The preparation and community input that goes into these hunts makes all the difference to the day. With five or six boars on the tableau, Ian thanks the hunt runners and his fellow guns for a great atmosphere and looks forward to his future hunts in this wonderful country.