Dortmund (dpa/lnw) – Looks like a wonderful and powerful specimen for mating in the wild. But it’s not the four-legged antler holder, but the forester Fabian Menzel of Bavaria, who imitates the calls of deer so well that he won the championship title at the Dortmund hunting fair on Friday – like 2020. “It was tight, says the 42-year-old after Choosing dpa.not rehearsed.”You either can or you can’t.”
Menzel prevailed against competitors from North Rhine-Westphalia, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania and Lower Saxony. At the 40th international trade fair “Jagd + Hund”, the jury also persuaded Thomas Soltwedel (57) of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, who lost to Menzel in the vault. Third place went to Tasso Wolzenburg (56) from Bad Laasphe near Siegen in North Rhine-Westphalia. All three can now qualify for the European Championships on Saturday (11 June) with around 40 participants from 12 countries.
Heiko Hornung of participating hunting magazine “Wild und Hund” emphasizes that it’s not a “joking event”, but a demanding craft with a long tradition. In order to search for calls and traps you must know the language of deer. And feel the deer.
Competitors compete with horns, cylinders, tubes or XL snail shells – anything that lengthens the trachea is allowed. This time the three disciplines are: Imitation of the sound of the “Young Researcher Gazelle”. Then, deceptively true, give the best dogs in the wild deer herd—in other words: the ladies and their offspring. And third, imitate the call of a duel between two equally strong elk at the height of estrus.
Indeed: The sound board ranges from searching, somewhat timid and insecure to flirting, and overly excited to challenging and menacing. The reactions of the audience are as varied as the range of voices: incredible astonishment, wide smiles, hearty laughter, restless looks.
Only one woman enters. Hildegard Zervos from County Düren has been alone in the male field for years. One learns that women are at an anatomical disadvantage because they usually have a thinner neck. Hornung says Dortmund’s bid also wants to draw attention to the deer’s situation. Its condition is partially “desolate”.
In principle, deer and deer can live in a fairly wide range of habitats, says Sven Seibert of the Naboo Conservation Union. But whether they also have a good long-term future depends on many factors — including whether they can move away from monoculture. In the climate crisis, more forests rich in species with greater resilience are needed. For this purpose, fallow stocks, wild deer and wild boars must be reduced in many places to allow the forest to grow. The hunter becomes more than an active landscape manager.
Hunters contribute to the urgent transformation of the forest with the most climate-resistant tree species, Andreas Schneider of the State Hunting Association describes. In 2020, NRW’s forest and land owners agreed on a common approach that was “ideal for Germany”. This also means that hunters kill more game so that new cultures can grow.
According to Nabu, severe fragmentation of the landscape, for example by highways, is very troublesome for red deer: they like to make large-scale seasonal migrations in groups, but can only develop this natural behavior to a limited extent.
And what about the Hirschrufer tournaments? “You can’t be a deer call imitator without understanding the red deer and therefore wanting to appreciate and protect it,” says Naboo expert Seibert. And: “If a lot of people have fun while listening, that’s even better: Laughter is healthy.”
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 220609-99-606739 / 6