Stalking

A hunting trip for capercaillie to the far north of Scandinavia turns into a journey of self-discovery for ZEISS hunting ambassador David Carsten Pedersen.

“It’s been really good to hunt with you.” The statement came from one of the greatest hunters, I have ever met. The man was Tommy Holmberg, the legendary hunting guide from Swedish Lapland, who had once taken a man-eating bear. We were both lounging besides a small wood stove, tired after some hard and successful days of hunting moose. In the few days we had hunted together, we had become great friends, and his praise meant a great deal more to me, than I think he knew. “But you have to come back for a capercaillie hunt in the winter. That is really something really special. That is where you really get to experience the spirit of Swedish Lapland.” Knowing that I had to go back the next day, I was all ears and wide eyes for more adventures in the future.

“It’s not an easy hunt though.” He said in the long low dialect of the Northern Swedes. “You hunt on wooden skies. Shoot very far. And it can get really cold”. He said this with the same matter-of-factness in his voice, as he talked about everything else. In Lapland, they don’t spend unnecessary amounts of words on anything. So, if Tommy said it was a good hunt, then that’s what it was. And of course, I told him I would be back. At that point Tommy could have told me to crawl inside a bear den and hug a sleeping sow, and I would have done it with a smile. All I could dream about was coming back to this place above the arctic circle, to hunt the royal bird of the woods: The Swedish capercaillie.

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I look fondly at my father. How time flies! It seems only yesterday that he was trying to share all he knew about nature and hunting, and now we’re stalking the range together.

It’s been more than 20 years since I was first allowed to join a hunt. I must have frightened off quite a few animals that my father was watching just because I couldn’t sit still or I fell asleep on the raised hide. But these moments are precious.

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A magic dwells in each beginning... I always think of this line by Hermann Hesse, a German-born Swiss poet, novelist, and painter, when I find myself roaming through nature at the crack of dawn with all my senses attuned to the awakening of another day – and this morning is no exception.

I’m sitting here “armed” with my new spotting scope, the ZEISS Conquest Gavia, in the green wooded area known as the “Wiesenkanzel”, one of my familiar hunting grounds. A ribbon of soft pink light on the horizon heralds the approaching dawn. Silence reigns, and the only sound is the gentle gurgling of the Amelungsbach creek, beneath where I’m sitting.

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Hunting with a baying dog in Swedish Lapland.

Hunter David Carsten Pedersen speaks about his impressions with the hunting guide Tommy and the baying dog Tiko in swedish Lapland. Tommy has been a guide

in Lapland for many years, and is an expert in the ancient skill of hunting moose over baying dogs.

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Impressions by David Carsten Pedersen.

Working with a baying dog is quite different than hunting with any other dog. We have probably hunted like that since the stone age, and the relation between the hunter and his dog is very strong. These days, the dogs are fitted

with a GPS to track their movements and help the hunters locate the barking. Once it’s located, you start stalking until you are within range, using the sound of the barks to camouflage your steps.

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Hunting Worldwide

Stalking

In densely settled Central Europe, the hunt is more indispensible than ever. Crop damage in agricultural monocultures as well as the widespread policy of ‘woods before game’ often clouds the joy of hunting on one's own ground to a great extent. What a joy it then becomes to hunt in a country like Hungary, a place where these problems hardly seem to exist.

A heavenly quiet of the sort that is almost never seen anymore in old Germany pervades the hilly landscape of extensive and primeval mixed woodlands that are a paradise not only for red deer but for boar and roe deer as well.
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Stalking

Long-range shooting is regarded as one of the most challenging forms of hunting. Besides outstanding shooting skills, the hunter has to consider many different aspects such as gravity, wind and velocity. Aiming accurately at very long distances and then making a sure shot in a wide open space is definitely an art in itself and requires an incredible amount of experience and skill.

If you as a passionate hunter are interested in long-range shooting, you have to become familiar with ballistics, the science of mechanics that deals with the flight of projectiles. There are two basic yet crucial factors that affect the bullet's flight on a long shot: gravity and wind.
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Stalking

Many passionate hunters dream about going on a wilderness hunt in the breath-taking, wild and pristine nature of Canada. For ZEISS Pro Hunter David Carsten Pedersen this dream came true when he went to British Columbia, a province located on the west coast of Canada.

“I want to go where I’ve never been, see beyond the horizon and learn as much from nature as it’s willing to show.” In a campfire interview the ZEISS athlete reports on his fascinating trip, about the perfect equipment package for an adventure like this and how to turn your hunting trip into an unforgettable, once in a lifetime experience.
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On the hunt

Stalking

Scandinavia. Desolated and varied landscapes, endless forests and clear lakes make up the nature of the Nordic countries. Scandinavia refers to the cultural, historical and ethnic region of northern Europe, reaching from the Baltic Sea to the Arctic Circle. It includes the three kingdoms of Sweden, Norway and Denmark and additionally the republics of Finland and Iceland.

With such an enormous land area and a relatively small number of inhabitants, large parts of Scandinavia are unoccupied by people. They are also home to numerous species of game and offer unique and exciting hunts. Every country has its unique and special charm.
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