Hunting

Three excellent reasons for hunting the Danish female roe deer

Danish hunter, Frederik Dahl Bang, draws upon his vast hunting experience to give three excellent examples of why hunting the doe in Denmark provides some of the most rewarding and exciting hunts.

Hunting the female roe deer in Denmark is highly underestimated for a number of reasons, in my opinion. These include a balanced regulation of the deer population (shooting equal males, females and young ones), the thrill of the hunt, the beautiful landscapes in the autumn or winter, and the more fatty and tasty meat that one gets out of it when successful. Therefore, I would like to share three very different experiences of hunting female roe deer in Denmark.

“A beautiful female roe deer stood approximately 100 meters from me. Conditions were perfect – and I took the shot.”

The first story takes place at my uncle’s fields just before the Christmas break. For this type of hunting we sit in ‘hochsitz’, i.e. a small hunting tower, waiting for the animal to show itself. I was with my Uncle Morten and a very good hunting buddy, Per. The weather was extremely beautiful; no snow but still cold and crispy.

Following a solid Danish breakfast, we drew paper slips to determine which tower to sit in (a tradition we have) and mine gave me the option of choosing between two. After discussing the pros and cons of each, I chose the tower that I’d never sat in before. We went out to our towers to sit in hochsitz – and the waiting game was on.

After an hour and a half of no action but squirrels, a deer suddenly came out of the forest just 150 meters away. We were only hunting females to spare the males for the buck season and as it showed itself only briefly, I could not determine its gender and didn’t shoot.

After 10-15 minutes it returned and this time I could clearly determine that it was a beautiful female roe deer. It stood approximately 100 meters from me, but I had to wait for her to move to a better angle. Conditions were perfect – and I took the shot.

“It’s also important not to forget the joy of serving the animal – and I always strive to use as much of the animal as I can.”

But, I could immediately tell it was a bad shot – the deer kicked backwards, which was not a good sign. There was further confirmation when I walked to the spot where the deer had been and I couldn’t find any blood or so-called ‘schweiss’. I called Morten (who was a few kilometres away) and we agreed to wait another half an hour or so, while sitting ready in case the deer came out again. After the wait, Morten started make his way to my stand, when suddenly the deer came out of the forest, clearly limping and from only 42 meters I could take her down. It was the perfect ending for an unfortunate situation – and it reminded me that hunting is a serious game.

The second story takes place between Christmas and New Year at my hunting consortium – which lies an hour outside of Copenhagen. This was a pürsch hunt, where one simply sneaks into position to get a good shot at an animal. I enjoy this type of hunting very much as it is truly about skills and reading the nature; how the animals react and making sure to take advantage of the landscapes.

Before the hunt I gathered some advice from an expert I knew in the consortium. I developed a master plan on how to approach a herd of animals, which I expected there would be at the end of an open field. I had to take into account strong winds (which could reveal my odour) and the open landscape, from where I could easily be spotted by the deer.

When I got there, I started walking alongside the bushes and trees marking the border to my neighbour. After some hundred meters of walking slowly, I spotted a group of deer, half were laying in the field and half were close to the trees – all about one hundred meters from me. I started to crawl very slowly, when suddenly, some of the deer on the field got up and joined the others – not a good sign.

I was sure they had sensed me and I had to do something. So, I chose to take a (for me) rather long shot of 175m at one of the female deers – and then all the animals ran.

“Then out of nowhere, a doe emerged from the forest. She was calm and unhurried -the perfect situation! I took the shot from 42 meters.”

 

I was almost certain that the shot was good and I also found a lot of schweiss on the spot where the animal stood. I followed the blood and found the body almost 120 meters from where I shot it – with a perfect bullet. It still amazes me how far they can run after a good hit. It was truly an exciting experience.

The third story also takes place at my hunting club, but this time in mid-January. This hunt was quite a classic one, namely a driven hunt. I was in a group of about 15 hunters, all sitting in hochsitz, but – unlike the previous occasion, there were beaters walking the landscapes to get the deer moving. This form of hunting is a bit more formal than other types and of course there is a big focus on safety measures, which is always important. Once again, the winter weather was extremely crisp.

We started the day with a proper breakfast, then drew numbers for the first of two rounds. Once again I was lucky to get a good spot, where both my dad and a good friend have previously had success. Then everybody, apart from the two walkers, went to the towers and the waiting game began.

While I sat and waited for an hour or two, I could hear a lot of action from my neighbours but nothing happened for me – I was quite tense.

Then out of nowhere, a doe emerged from the forest. She was calm and unhurried -the perfect situation! It gave me a lot of time to prepare and when she was standing just in the right position, I took the shot from 42 meters. She ran 20 meters or so and fell dead.

After that, I sat the round through and enjoyed a morning that could not get any better. I was selected to walk through for the next round and this suited me perfectly. After some good walking in the landscapes and a total of five female and young roe deer, we ended the day with a good lunch. Another perfect day in the nature!

It’s also important not to forget the joy of serving the animal – and I always strive to use as much of the animal as I can. This, I believe, is a large part of appreciating and honouring the animal and a great satisfaction to me. Already, the three livers have been used to make liver pate (using a manual meat grinder) and the back from one deer was turned into a delicious and fresh meal for close friends during Christmas – and most are currently being stored in our freezer for future use.

‘Knæk og bræk’ to all hunters!

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