Hunting

Hunting Eurasian Wild Boar In Germany

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Of all the wild game I have hunted in Germany, by far my favorite is Eurasian Wild Boar or as it is known locally, “Schwarzwild” or “Wildschwein.” Maybe it is my Texas upbringing that calls me to hunt pigs, or maybe it is the challenge. Wild boars are intelligent creatures, gifted with a supreme sense of smell and suspicious of anything out of the normal. Because of this, they are notoriously difficult to hunt, and to become an effective wild boar hunter takes many years of trial and error (so many errors). Many American military hunters only have the opportunity to hunt for about two years on a three-year tour, and most go a full tour in Germany without ever bagging a boar. Whatever it is, I cannot even begin to describe the peace and joy I feel hunting these elusive creatures late into the night throughout the year.

There are two main forms of hunting wild boar in Germany: sitting hunts and driven hunts or “drükjagd.” The sitting hunts are primarily done in the evening and go until the early morning. When on sitting hunts, you are typically doing it near a “kirrung” (feeder) with other attractants such as beech tar. The beech tar is spread on trees and attracts the boar to rub on the trees. Much like hunting in the U.S., game cameras are quite popular in Europe and help in identifying the times boar are hitting the kirrungs so that hunters can plan their hunt. Driven hunts are done near the end of the year and are really useful when a revier (hunting area) has not met their cull quota of game. I will be doing an article on driven hunts in Germany, but needless to say, it is just as it sounds: the game is being pushed (driven) toward hunters. When on a driven hunt, the boar are typically moving in large sounders, and depending on how fast and accurate you are, you can potentially harvest a few animals in a matter of seconds. I will include a YouTube link at the bottom of the article of the driven hunt master, Franz Albrecht ​​Oettingen-Spielberg, harvesting six boar in as many seconds while they are running at full speed.


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Over the last few decades, the population of wild boar has pretty much exploded in Germany. This is largely due to both no real predators and industrial farming providing an abundance of food. Because of the large populations, protecting crops from boar damage is a serious topic amongst hunters from August through October. In Germany, if the jagdpächter (hunter responsible for the revier) does not prevent boar damage, they can be held liable for the crops lost. The fines from boar damage can get into the tens of thousands of euros. Currently, there is no closed season on wild board due to their high numbers and a recent outbreak of African Swine Flu threatening domestic pork production.

As far as trophies go there are three main trophies that are kept: the tusks, the hide, and the “Saubart” which is the long back hair of the boar. The Saubart can be made from prepared pin casings or, as is the case with many hunters, from the shell of the cartridge used to harvest the animal. Typically, the tusks or “Waffen” are placed on a circular board highlighting the size of the upper and lower tusks. The male boar or “keiler” in Germany range in size from 60kg (132lbs) to 150kg (330lbs). Hunting practices in Germany dictate that when shooting at boar in a sounder, you start with the smallest animals and work your way up, so getting a prized keiler can be challenging unless they are solitary.  

In German gastronomic culture, wildschwein is highly valued in many forms and can be found in restaurants across the country. Unlike the U.S. though, harvested boar by hunters will end up in butcher shops and restaurants and because of this, hunters have to test the boar meat with each harvest. Depending on the area, the hunter tests for trichinosis, cesium-137, or African Swine Flu. If you are wondering why on earth you would be testing for cesium-137, that has to do with the Chernobyl disaster, where the radiological contaminant was carried by the wind and deposited in significant concentrations throughout Europe. Because boars like to dig into the earth and eat fungi that have absorbed cesium-137, they can become unhealthy for human consumption. This is a particular problem in certain parts of Germany, such as Bavaria, where I have known hunters who could not keep their harvest as their quarry was just shy of glowing.

I hope you enjoyed my article on hunting wild boar in Germany. Feel free to follow me on Instagram @huntingmuscle and if you harvest anything and would like a “Waidmannsheil” from Germany, tag me in your post.


Driven hunt with Franz Albrecht ​​Oettingen-Spielberg

JP Yampey

JP Yampey, also known as "Hunting Muscle" on social media, is a hunter and bodybuilder exploring the European hunting scene and game food culture. He spends his time in Stuttgart, Germany, and the Schwarzwald (Black Forest). When not in the forest or in the gym, he can be found cooking, doing great things with meat, traveling, writing code or science fiction.

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