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#6164899 - 02/12/12 2011 season moods & good times.
grand_veneur Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 08/06/07
Posts: 2515
Loc: Wallifornia
Now the seasons off, just ended two weeks away, so its time to try to share some parts of the moods from Belgium (& France)s 2011 season. Despite the fact the season wasnt great (not so much game, herd management rules tend to exagerate the red does and fawns culling, and no opportunity to bag any trophy), we had very good moments allowing us to forget for some times the itchy problems of the normal day-to-day life.

In the early days of september, we were stalking and high stand hunting wild boars in Condroz, above the cliffs South of the river Meuse.







I took those two little boars with one single (300 grains) bullet.





In the end of september, I had the opportunity to change my fly rod with some off-shore fishing gear. A little team aboard a little ship, we went fishing in the channel about halfway from Calais to the UK, mostly looking for sea basses.

Very good results for the team and I was happy for a first attempt as I caught 7 nice basses, 2 cods, and 1 makrel.









Exhausting fishing party indeed incluind 5 hours driving and 15 hours on the sea (fishing about 9 hours, ship anchored in very strong stream, ideal conditons for sea bass).
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#6165010 - 02/12/12 Re: 2011 season moods & good times. [Re: grand_veneur]
grand_veneur Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 08/06/07
Posts: 2515
Loc: Wallifornia
It took me a long time before I had the opportunity to bag something during a drive but the small game and bird season was good and I had the opportunity to bring the kids stalking and high stand hunting with me.









I had to manage a custom cheap meat cooler in the garage for the purpose of taking care of the meat when hunting in the summer.



The only big game I bagged during the Belgian drives (still using the .375 HH) ... Quite unlucky up to the end of december, then quite of ... unsharp ... grin



Some other action pictures ...





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#6165034 - 02/12/12 Re: 2011 season moods & good times. [Re: grand_veneur]
grand_veneur Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 08/06/07
Posts: 2515
Loc: Wallifornia
Here are some pics of the French Connections 2011 edition. French friends from Lyon and Mourmelon joined us for a hunting week-end.

For the ones who know, the red deer statue is in St Hubertown t, Where I use to hunt. It's in St Hubert town's forest that St Hubert's legend was born. It is also the bird place of the "blood hound" breed, as you use to name them in English. Now there are mostly used as police dogs but they were originally bred for big game hunting purposes.



















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#6165094 - 02/12/12 Re: 2011 season moods & good times. [Re: grand_veneur]
grand_veneur Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 08/06/07
Posts: 2515
Loc: Wallifornia
But French connection implied two-ways trafficking, so I spent some time in Lorraine where I shot A red doe and a young roe deer.









We also went to Mourmelon in january with some Belgian friends.

Mourmelon is a very big military camp in "The Marne", next to the 14-18 battlefield. Mourmelon was known as the 101 airborne's rear base during WWII. My friend from Mourmelon's grandfather used to say that the german guns were to be heared up to Mourmelon during the siege of Bastogne.









I was a very bad shooter there, missed 3 boars in a row. But we had a very very good time and a lot of champaign grin
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#6165115 - 02/12/12 Re: 2011 season moods & good times. [Re: grand_veneur]
grand_veneur Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 08/06/07
Posts: 2515
Loc: Wallifornia

Lately, with a bunch of friens, we were required to perform a culling drive in the end of january. About 50 boars were seen during the day, 17 went killed as well as 5 foxes.

I had one fox but I missed 3 boars in a row ... again blush



Dr "Hawkeye" waiting for some preys grin





These are the 5 boars killed on our line in the cliffs.



Dr Hawkeye killed 4 of the boars, 3 in a row, and one more retrating laugh




I eventually performed the biggest kill of the season ... grin



That's all folks, hope you get some of the mood out there and wish you the best for the upcoming season.
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#6165661 - 02/12/12 Re: 2011 season moods & good times. [Re: grand_veneur]
hillbillybear Online   content
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 12/31/02
Posts: 23735
Loc: Western NC
That is some really great stuff.


Thanks for sharing it with us. cool cool
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#6165714 - 02/12/12 Re: 2011 season moods & good times. [Re: grand_veneur]
AFTERUM Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 09/11/07
Posts: 4441
Loc: CENTRAL FLORIDA
nicely done....I really like #17 of the man standing in the green trees....thank you for sharing with us....

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#6165732 - 02/12/12 Re: 2011 season moods & good times. [Re: AFTERUM]
GRF Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 12/02/10
Posts: 1238
Loc: Calgary Alberta
Thank you so very for sharing photos and stories from "across the pond". GRF

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#6165742 - 02/12/12 Re: 2011 season moods & good times. [Re: hillbillybear]
writing_frog Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 1407
Loc: France

Hi Alex,

Very good reportage of your hunting season!

Mourmelon makes me remenber younger times when i was based in Germany, we used to go there and Mailly, spend a week of training. Mud, rain, cold, white mud sticking our boots make them weight tons...
Roes were everywhere not affraid by our tanks or armored fighting vehicules..

But i asked my transfert to paratrooper regiment, tired of "the noisy tracked steel can" and went south west. Good place for roes too...!

How was the driven hunt? Not too much like military operation? Not far from my home in the big training camp of Canjuers (known to some marine's units of the 6th fleet) we have big battues too.
But a bit too much military for my own taste. Lot's of game, red, roes and boars. The shooting range open sometimes to more than a mile but with very limited access.

For me season almost over. Just one more mouflon stalk, end of month and will be done.

all the best

Dom
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Experience is a lantern, carried in our back, only lightening already walked path. (Confucius)

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#6165786 - 02/12/12 Re: 2011 season moods & good times. [Re: writing_frog]
jagd Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 07/03/11
Posts: 347
Loc: WA/Germany/Afghanistan
Excellent season.
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Loving life in the Great North West one day at a time.

sounds like its time for a new gun.

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#6165840 - 02/12/12 Re: 2011 season moods & good times. [Re: writing_frog]
grand_veneur Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 08/06/07
Posts: 2515
Loc: Wallifornia
Hello Dom,

I was hunting at the Mourmelon military hunting society for the third time in three years and things changed alot in three years.

Now the beaters wear guns, not only the line captains, nearly every beater, and I think there is from 30 to 50 % of the game which never reaches the riflemen lines ...

the dogs block the boars, and the dogs owners kill them. Maybe the dogs are too aggressive, a lot of them get killed or wounded along the season.

They use to have more than 200 standings riflemen around the driven grounds but the number tend to increase because they're looking for more money (and the hunt is still quite inexpansive compared to belgian standards).

But it is still a pleasure to go there 'cause we have good friends in the area, and I always like to refill my "andouillettes" and champaign stocks, very good products at a very good price wink . We use to provide beers to our local friends.


Edited by grand_veneur (02/12/12)
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#6166016 - 02/12/12 Re: 2011 season moods & good times. [Re: grand_veneur]
jagd Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 07/03/11
Posts: 347
Loc: WA/Germany/Afghanistan
I love drive hunt season. The friends, the game, the guns.... and ofcourse the food.
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Loving life in the Great North West one day at a time.

sounds like its time for a new gun.

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#6166159 - 02/12/12 Re: 2011 season moods & good times. [Re: jagd]
grand_veneur Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 08/06/07
Posts: 2515
Loc: Wallifornia
Drives can be nice but you have to be lucky if you don't want to remain awaiting for nothing seasons long.
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#6166313 - 02/12/12 Re: 2011 season moods & good times. [Re: grand_veneur]
writing_frog Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 1407
Loc: France
to jagd and Alex,

Driven hunt are 75% chance, 20% standing still, 5% shooting...Season could be boring sometime!!

It's why i became dog driver with my friend and his jagd terrier and jack russell. Most of time don't even carry rifle, only Cold Steel Assegai and Trail Master...

Dom
_________________________

Experience is a lantern, carried in our back, only lightening already walked path. (Confucius)

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#6168036 - 02/13/12 Re: 2011 season moods & good times. [Re: writing_frog]
PieterKriel Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 06/01/11
Posts: 1080
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
Wow, so different. Looks like you guys have a lot of fun. What else, besides blankets, do you use to keep yourself warm? Do you take runniing shots with the rifles and scopes?
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#6168348 - 02/13/12 Re: 2011 season moods & good times. [Re: PieterKriel]
grand_veneur Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 08/06/07
Posts: 2515
Loc: Wallifornia
Yes, most of the shots are taken on running game.

I took a blanket to keep the son warm 'cause we stay hunting on ladders up to one hour during the night and I didn't want him to get cold.
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#6168548 - 02/13/12 Re: 2011 season moods & good times. [Re: PieterKriel]
writing_frog Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 1407
Loc: France

When hunting in cold weather, posted during driven hunt, i use only high quality warm clothes and under wear (differents layers). Warm clothes can be expensive but the highest quality models keep you warm and leave you free of movements. Important when shooting game on the run.

With such clothes i hunted (still, posted)minus 20C without to much problem except to the feet. I used canadian Sorel but now come to Harkyla (danish brand)shoes.
Hand can be a problem too, but gloves made real progress, i can keep the right hand in pocket with hand warmer but don't really like them.

For the ear my electronic Peltor helmet is a good protection against cold. Head is part of your body from most of your internal heat is lost (brain) so you must have the right thing on...

Generally in this type of hunting (Poland, Hungary, Baltic states, Scandinavia) drives are short so you move from one place to another, it help staying warm. We have warm tea or chocolate in thermo bottle, cereal and chocolated snacks, and some proteins (ham, saussage). You must drink warm often, it helps your body stay warm.

If game is at "rendez vous" it's OK. When nothing move can be long and boring.
The worst thing is rain, when temperature is closing to freezing point, not cold enough for snow. To my taste better snowing than raining.

But at the end of the day a bit of sauna, some dinks with friends, a good meal and your ready for next morning in the cold!!

As Grand Veneur told you most of game is shot on the run, velocity depends of number and species of dogs, biotope, hunting pressure and what game is hunted. Shot can be from 0 to more than 150m also depend of the area and country you hunt.

In France we made a study 12 years ago on 27000 shots. The medium range for driven hunt shot is around 50m. Most of time you have not a wide window to place your bullet and in some areas doubling on shot is almost impossible.

Rifles used can be all sorts but mainly semi auto in the south of Europe with double and straight pull coming close second. Battue scopes (mostly german) and red dot sights are the most used sighting aids, some use fixed sights. Shotguns are also often found in souther part of France, in Italy and Portugal. Shotgun users are posted where shots are really close.

In France buckshot is prohibited with some exception like in Corsica or in some western parts of the country for roes and foxes.

Game wounded is dispatched by the dog leaders or beaters when they are equiped to do so. Could be by knive, spear or rifle/shotgun. In Germany revolver or pistol is allowed to terminate wounded game. Not in Belgium, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal.

In cas of wounded, not found game, we more and more use special trained dogs which trail wounded game (not only blood, good dog can trail without much blood).

As you told: yes it can be fun and very interesting. Guiding dogs can be very tiring, sometime dangerous, but it's very pleasant way to enjoy hunt.

Bit long but hope it gives you some answers to your question.

Dom
_________________________

Experience is a lantern, carried in our back, only lightening already walked path. (Confucius)

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#6168722 - 02/13/12 Re: 2011 season moods & good times. [Re: writing_frog]
grand_veneur Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 08/06/07
Posts: 2515
Loc: Wallifornia
Originally Posted By: writing_frog


Generally in this type of hunting (Poland, Hungary, Baltic states, Scandinavia) drives are short so you move from one place to another, it help staying warm. We have warm tea or chocolate in thermo bottle, cereal and chocolated snacks, and some proteins (ham, saussage). You must drink warm often, it helps your body stay warm.


That's a problem here and in some parts of France I had the opportunity to hunt: the later you go into the season the most we use to beat larger areas at a time, which means you, as a standing rifleman holding a "line", you stay at the same place, avoiding to move to get the biggest chances to see game in your shooting window, from 2 to 4 hours, and I have to admit it can be difficult once you stay longer than 1.30 at the same place, especially with cold wind or humid weather (which is a belgian specialty: maximum moisture with low temperatures, no sun to be seen, and coold strong wind ... ).

On the pictures in the Cliffs next to the river Meuse, we were freezed ... We stayed about 4 hours not moving in the wind after climbing the hill ...

It's hard to find gear not too heavy in order to be able to walk up to our designated spots and to properly shoot the game, but warm enough to keep you in comfort during hours of freezing ... The feet are for me a keypoint ...


Edited by grand_veneur (02/13/12)
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#6168883 - 02/13/12 Re: 2011 season moods & good times. [Re: grand_veneur]
writing_frog Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 1407
Loc: France


Hi GV,

I know about these long beats: absolutly dislike them to the point of refusing invitation on these...

But sometimes like you did, i'm caught too. Dry cold is one thing, but same temp with humidity plus wind. Good for our Alaskan friends, they are used and equiped to...

May be it could help other euro guys on the forum (i'm not involved in the company): Harkila clothes (Danmark)are the most effective clothes i tested and used for years. They are used by many of my swedish/finnish friends in freezing temperatures. They are expensive but only have good thing to say about. Come to their website or to Seeland.

I went to their winter shoes too...

I have very warm clothes i bought in Canada when living there but they are not so well adapted to our ways of hunting.

Dom
_________________________

Experience is a lantern, carried in our back, only lightening already walked path. (Confucius)

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#6169547 - 02/13/12 Re: 2011 season moods & good times. [Re: writing_frog]
grand_veneur Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 08/06/07
Posts: 2515
Loc: Wallifornia
I enjoy the "muck boots" since I discovered them.

Stetson 100 % wool are my favorite hats, and Browning XPO vests ...

The rest is not very important to me, except good thermal underwear and sockets layers.

i just checked the pictures I posted and ... saw no sun on those, so typical ... except for the off shore pictures grin


Edited by grand_veneur (02/13/12)
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#6169600 - 02/13/12 Re: 2011 season moods & good times. [Re: jagd]
born_wild Online   content
Member

Registered: 04/04/11
Posts: 184
how can I attach here some pictures from my hunting season ?

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#6169660 - 02/13/12 Re: 2011 season moods & good times. [Re: born_wild]
writing_frog Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 1407
Loc: France

You must open an account at www.photobucket.com

Upload pictures there the put their link on your messages on the fire. Maybe you have other options than photobucket but i don't know.

Dom
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Experience is a lantern, carried in our back, only lightening already walked path. (Confucius)

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#6169667 - 02/13/12 Re: 2011 season moods & good times. [Re: grand_veneur]
writing_frog Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 1407
Loc: France

Browning XPO are not too bad! Try to put some sunny pictures on the fire to warm your heart and body a bit.

Dom
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Experience is a lantern, carried in our back, only lightening already walked path. (Confucius)

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#6169681 - 02/13/12 Re: 2011 season moods & good times. [Re: writing_frog]
grand_veneur Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 08/06/07
Posts: 2515
Loc: Wallifornia
Cool ... It's been nearly 3 years we're freezing without central heating at home, I need SUN !!!
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