March is the time for the hunters to sell their harvested hides and furs and to show the antlers or horns of the animals they shot. These shows are often on weekends when I had to work, but this time I managed it to get a free day - YAY! Our place is not that big, but in areas like this the hunt is still something important and belongs to the culture. More of the story and a bunch of pictures under the cut!
I was very excited to get there! When we drove to the place we saw a lot of hunters with piles of fox hides on sticks on their backs, which was a nice and funny view. But we almost didn't find a free parking space - GRMBL!
As usual, these events are accompanied by folklore music and a party catering service, but we skipped that part and went straight to the trophy show.
I'm sorry for the photo quality. The room was crowded and the light wasn't the best.
Our area is surrounded by mountains, the alps, and so there were a lot of "mountain game" like the chamois and ibexes. I really like ibexes, because they are shy and not as numerous like chamois. And their massive horns make me go gaga! xD
And of course there was a ton of roe deer trophies. We don't have bigger predators in our area at the moment (once we had a wolf, but it moved on), so I think the population of roe deer is massive.
There are also red deer. Normally the stags in the mountains doesn't have as big antlers like the male red deer in the lowlands, but some of them were very impressive! I wanted to grab them from the walls ^^"
Some of the deer were fell victims to fights, sickness or men-made traps like barbed wire. The hunters showed photos of the fallen ones. One stag had a double broken lower jaw - a fight injury (sadly no photo). Another roe deer had an infection on the lower jaw. It looked very weird and painful. Others had broken legs - yes, life in the alps ain't easy.
|Roe deer with ray fungus.|
|Injured shoulder of a red deer stag.|
But there were also some "finished tanned" pelts for the customers like me. I was very tempted to bought a badger pelt, but there wasn't one in particular that caught my eyes.
So we left that floor and went to the other booth. There you could buy cheese and game animal sausages. But also weapons, hunting gear and a lot of little trinkets made of teeth and bones!
And special drawings on stone.
Even if it was small it still was very interesting. In the cities hunting in general and the hunters are seen in a negative way (especially when self-proclaimed pseudo-animal-lovers and vegans talk - sorry). But I think the hunt is very important, especially nowadays in our fragmented landscape with no big predators. When I was younger I thought hunters are not more than hobby murderers, but now I know it better. Most of them cherish nature and animals more than "normal" do, and their work is often as hard as a "real" job. Maybe, if you don't know much about hunting, you should visit such an event and talk with the hunters. It's very interesting and you can ask questions directly. And they won't shoot you - normally ;)