Hunting in the Médoc


photo taken from the video:
Tir d'un sanglier au rembuché

Some time ago and it seems a long time now, I used to work in the vineyard of a chateau. One day the boss welcomed us with the news that we would all go hunting and I could join them. Until then I had never had any connection with hunting and shooting, and thus I could only reply that I had neither a permit nor a gun. The reply was not slow in coming: in that case I would have to spend the day working in the vineyard. As I didn't want to repeat such a situation again, I went the next day to the mairie to find out what regulations I needed to comply with to enable me to join the hunters. Of course, I needed to learn and understand many things, but I succeeded in passing all the various tests to get my permit. Since then, hunting has become a permanent fixture of my life in Médoc.

It goes like this: On the day of the beat, we post lines of hunters all around a specified square of land within which we set loose a pack of dogs. If by chance one is lucky enough to be placed where the game crosses the line of hunters, one has the chance to shoot. If not, we go home without having shot anything. Often we are between 35 and 40 hunters and with a little luck we might manage to shoot a couple of animals in the day. Often during the day of the hunt, I have carried my gun from 8: 00 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon without seeing even the tail of a wild boar.

Most hunters whom I have met in the Médoc, have a close relationship with nature; these are people who have a very humanist background and a profound attachment to their region. Personally, I think it more responsible to kill with a clean shot an animal which has lived in the wild, which has enjoyed fresh grass, air and the freedom of the forest, rather than raising farm animals en masse on grids, and which are fed dubious food products and where such animals sometimes end their lives in appalling circumstances .

Hunting has also given me an unparalleled opportunity to integrate into French life. A Frenchman told me one day that he found most Germans in the area to be quite pleasant but that he could not support those who above all want to impose their German way of life here. After all, in Germany there is a similar problem with Turkish or other immigrants for example. For my part, I have decided to adopt the French way of life.

Achim Haiter (Blaignan), translation: Christopher Murray