While preparing to guide an adventure/overland trip to Croatia in October with our good friends in Croatia, we were also invited to hunt roebuck and wild boar on their hunting grounds. Hunting in Croatia is a way of live, people hunt for food, not for sports or as a hobby. As our hunting guide explained, they work all year round to take care of the animals and keep them healthy. Especially during the winter time animals are given extra food like hay, corn, and salt. We were very impressed with the biodiversity in the Croatian woods. Also the abundance of wildlife cannot be compared to the densely populated Benelux area that we live in.
Hunting in Croatia is very well regulated and one must have all hunting licences, permits & invitations ready before leaving. This is where our partners proofed to be invaluable. All documents & permits were taken care of beforehand.
The first hunt on roebuck we did not take any pictures because we felt that we needed all our attention. After a very nice welcome in a beautiful hunting lodge in the forest, we headed out for an evening stalk and a hunt from a stand. After a 30 minute drive through valleys and forests we dropped my friend and Krešo near a stand, drove on for 15 min. and parked the car to continue the hunt on foot. I was in good company of a park ranger. This hunt turned out to be very succesfull for me as I got the chance to shoot with 2 roebucks, both dropped instantly. The park rangers take care that the wildlife does not associate humans with danger. A missed shot or wounding an animal is not taken lightly!
My friend was not that lucky as he did not see any wildlife during his 4 hour stalk. That is the reality of hunting, sometimes you get lucky sometimes you don’t….But he had an in-depth conversation with Krešo about life, nature & hunting ethics!
This was an easy hunt, however, little did we know what would happen a few days later. A hardcore 15 hours long intensive Wild Boar hunt!
If you want to hunt you better get up early! As we prefer to sleep in the woods, we had an ice-cold wash at 06.00 and of we went to the hunting cabin.
Here’s the early morning briefing, 25 hunters ready for the hunt. Good thing that we had Krešo to translate for us. Hunting is not a game! No whistles and bells here, these guys hunt to fill their fridges.
A view on the hunting grounds around Karlovac, forests as far as the eyes can see. This is sus scrofa country!
The boars are driven in the direction of the hunters by dogs, as the area hunted is quite big you can here the dogs running around. All dogs have an GPS tracking system attached, a must to localize in this forests. Just be ready when you hear the dogs closeby. Shooting is all about controlling your breathing.
A succesfull hunt. 10 Boars, some up to 200 kg. We had to pull these out of the shrubs on muddy ground as the 4×4 could not reach some areas. That was quite an intense work-out.
The hunt lasted for 15 hours retrieving all the animals and 1 wounded boar could not be found. Ethical hunters never leave a wounded animal to suffer, no matter how hard the terrain is where you need to search for it. All the animals gathered we paid tribute to the game. All animals must lay down on the right side in a specific order (males, females, young old, etc..). We showed our respect for nature and were thankful for the safe hunt.
You can see this Croatian hunter had a rough hunt.
After the hunt the work is far from over. Gutting and skinning 10 boars takes a while. The meat is equally divided between all hunters.
When we got back to the hunting cabin, we were exhausted, hungry and thirsty. But, someone had prepared a feast for carnivores! A Wild Boar stew with bread & cold beer. This was the most delicious stew I had ever tasted!
Do you want to hunt your prey yourself and cook it over the fire in the loud silence of a hundred-year-old forest? Croatia will make it happen for you!
The end of a perfect hunting day. Life was good!
If you are interested in hunting in Croatia, mail us for more information. We can organise it all for you.