ZEISS Ambassadors

An interview with Sandra Jung, Germany's youngest self-employed falconer

Sandra Jung is the youngest self-employed falconer in Germany. Together with her business partner, Benedikt Nyssen, she runs a falconry with 23 birds of prey at Greifenstein Castle in the state of Thuringia.

She shares what we can learn from wild animals in her book, Die Herrscher der Lüfte und ich [The Masters of Sky and Me].

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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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David Carsten Pedersen about raising his hunting dog "Mille"

“OMG thats so cute!!! Can we pet her!!!???” The three girls dive in straight away, cuddling the puppy in a tornado of hugs and kisses. I think the girls must be models. One of them looks Iranian. The other is probably from Brazil. They are all over the dog and she lets their hands wash over her like rain.

It’s fashion week in Copenhagen, and its the 4th time we been “attacked” by cuddle-hungry women in less than 100 meters. We leave the models before Mille looses all her hair, but we are quickly intercepted by a new group of girls.

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David Carsten Pedersen about raising his hunting dog "Mille"

There is a saying in the Danish hunting community: “No hunter is complete without a dog”. We rely on our dogs for flushing and picking up birds. For tracking game and chasing it on driven hunts. Our hunting traditions and way of life would simply not be possible without our dogs.

They are as much a part of our hunting fraternity as our friends and families. I grew up with dogs. And from a young age I learned, that mans best friend is indeed a black lab on a cold day, when the birds in the water and the sun has gone down.

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Sandra Jung and Harris Hawk Dexter on the hunt

The crow hunting season began again on 1 August. I am an avid fan of this type of hunting, which I carry out with Dexter, my tercel Harris’ hawk. Falconers refer to male hawks as tercels because they are a third (Latin: tertium)

smaller than their female counterparts on average.
In the context of wild bird hunting, tercels are able to help us falconers because of their lower body weight, which makes them more agile.

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ZEISS Event for young hunters in Wetzlar

Four winners attended an event for newly qualified hunters from 4 to 7 September 2017 in the optics city of Wetzlar and at the ZEISS hunting ground, run in collaboration with the publisher Deutscher Landwirtschaftsverlag and hunting weapon manufacturer Merkel Jagd- und Sportwaffen.

Read what young hunter Alina experienced in Wetzlar and what she learned about optics.

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