Photographs and Article contributed by Field Staff Writer K. MÃ¥rtensson.
It was early morning at approximately 7am and it was still dark outside. The fires burned warm around us. Breakfast sandwiches and coffee were laid out on the table for each hunter to grab. As we waited and enjoyed our breakfasts, there would be a review of the dayâ€™s hunting plan. We would cover safety protocols and identify which game was lawful to take.
We found out that we would be able to shoot Elk, Red Deer, Fallow Deer, and Roe deer. Fox is an animal that is normally permitted to be hunted so we knew this was a legal animal to hunt as well. The guidelines for Red Deer were established. There were only eight tags for Red Deer and I had received one, which I gladly accepted!
After the meeting, we moved to our designated areas within the tract of land. As soon as I arrived to my assigned location I put on my overalls because it was extremely cold outside. I Loaded my gun and began to inspect the surroundings. I wanted to have a clear plan of where I could safely shoot based on where I would expect the animals to appear.
It is important to know the lay of land here, especially for safety. There are often identifiable markers which forbid shooting in a certain directions. These markers are usually painted on wood. Behind the stands are more shooters as we generally hunt in large groups. This is very common here in Sweden. We strictly follow the shooting directions and they serve as a wonderful relief so you know where you have other hunting buddies!
The first drive began quietly, I stood under power lines and waited for the game to arrive. A little while later the horn blew off and I went home empty handed. I had only saw one or two Red Deer lurking around inside the woods among the dogs. They were not in a shoot-able direction.
The next drive I sat at a road directly near where the dog handlers released the dogs. Three Fallow Deer Â appeared out of the woods. There was a nice sized doe among them so I raised my rifle and shot. The doe jumped and ran 25m and then fell with the perfectly placed shot. I waited a few moments and then retrieved my deer. I was extremely pleased with my shot. I returned to camp where they were serving hot soup. This was not my favorite meal but was extremely necessary because of the frostbitten cold. I would normally like to eat lasagna or some nice piece of venison & potatoes.
It was time for the last drive of the day. We sat again under the power lines and waited. A couple Fallow Deer were moving in my direction but saw me as I as I drew the gun up to shoot. They quickly scampered in another direction. I was very unhappy with this and hoped that they would not be the only thing I saw throughout this drive.
I quickly learned that this would not be the case. A cow elk ran past the neighboring hunter who was a little distance from me. Suddenly a smaller moose emerged from the thickness in front of me. I noticed that the Moose appeared to have suffered an injury to its left hind leg. In seeing this I decided to shoot the Moose. I raised my rifle and fired two quick shots. This time the two shots were not directly center of one another. They were 5 inches apart at 70m with the Moose running at full speed. Even though there was some spacing between the shots they quickly brought the animal down and I was pleased with my shooting. This ended the first day of hunting.
The second day was very similar to the first day of hunting. Many other hunters were taking game early in the day. The movement of animals slowed as the day grew later. I came in close contact with a couple of Wild Boar that were emerging from their bedding area but I did not shoot. The dogs were not very enthusiastic to chase the game after having ran several miles on this day and the day before. At the end of the second day I only saw an additional two Fallow Deer and a Fox which I did not shoot. I was happy regardless with my Fallow Deer doe and Moose. I was also very pleased with my shooting.