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Simply getting prepared for the hunt is a small adventure in itself. First, you need to check the general weather conditions carefully and then the local mountain rescue report. This is followed by putting together your equipment carefully so that you can face the most challenging of conditions; from good, warm shoes and various layers of outer clothing to food supplies which need to be rationed perfectly in order to last a few days.

 

The first challenge is to climb to the camp. The humble abode has a particular charm: an old converted mountain farmer's storage shed with modest furnishings, but at least the fireplace is still intact. What more do you need. The next morning, it's up and out into the regal snow-white alpine hunting grounds. The cold starry night is still clinging to the morning with the last veils of fog along the edge of the forest. And so the difficult trek into a solitary, awe-inspiring alpine world gradually begins. The body temperature begins to rise with every meter gained thanks to the acclimatising loden clothing you are wearing.

 

Still heading bravely into the biting wind, you sight a herd of chamois who suddenly appear springing towards the edge of the crest, hardly recognisable in the shadows of the snow-covered firs and pines on the Hochkar just opposite from you. An expectant, concentrated look through the binoculars to scour the wintery, hazily lit area glimpses a confident buck as he tears across the ridge. The conditions are unusually difficult and there is the real risk that the buck will just spring away. The mature male winds his way warily through the landscape. You quickly push your rucksack underneath you in the unfamiliar surroundings and use a snow-covered tree stump as a rest. The weather conditions make it difficult to see and hamper the usual reflexes. And then as quickly as he appeared, the buck disappears again with powerful leaps and springs precisely and easily away between the pines and rock formations into the clouds above the heights. The expected hunting success doesn't come easily. However, you return to the hunting lodge across trails knee-deep in snow with a racing heart and sheer joy at having experienced nature at a hair's breath away. You can look forward to a crackling fire and another story for life.

 

 

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