American Hunter - December 2013 - 50

Photos: Author

Locals are hired to beat the bush.
Many of them bring dogs, which aren't
exactly hunting breeds.

Richard, director of publications for Mondadori France, which publishes several
gun and hunting magazines. From Norma
Precision there was Torb Lindskog, the
company's . Also from Sweden was
Torb's son, Jonas; Gunnar Gloersen, a
game manager from the Swedish Hunters'
Association who specializes in working
with large carnivores; and Anders Grahn,
director of public affairs for the association. Klaus Waltermann was the German
with the sharp wit; he is sales manager of
 Ammotec Germany. One Brit also
landed: Phil Unwin, managing director of
 . Including me, everyone spoke
English. I could satisfactorily communicate, or so I thought.
M M M
ach year the  crew gathers
in Swiebodzin, Poland, to shoot
driven game, mostly big hairy
hogs but also roe deer, red stags, foxes,
badgers and from what I could tell just
about anything else chased out of the
woods by the men who beat the bushes,
so long as the hunt master says it's on the
list, which varies depending upon the day
and the location of each drive. I'd never
done such a hunt, so I was eager to experience it, language barrier notwithstanding.
Our interpreter, Ania Plaskacz-Luciuk,
spoke her native Polish, French and a bit
of Russian, but no English. So I stood
there like a half-wit the first morning
while she listened to our hunt master,
Hubert, explain the plan in Polish then
translated it to French for Thierry, who
explained everything to me and others
who didn't speak French. Convoluted,
sure, but it worked.
On the second drive of the day, I was
watching the woods I was told to watch

E

when a car approached. Who was it?
Would they ask for a hunting license?
Maybe a permit for the gun on my shoulder? I had neither. Just about the time I
was wondering whether somebody said
something about "stop and frisk" in a
language I couldn't understand, I heard
shuffling behind me.
I was wearing electronic ear muffs,
something I'd never do if I expected to fire
only a shot or two at big game. But I figured the shooting could be fast and furious and I didn't want to go deaf. Trouble
is electronic muffs amplify every sound,
so there's no telling what you're hearing.
Imagine my surprise when I spun and
saw, less than  yards from me, about
 pigs. Big ones, medium ones and
little ones. Hubert said we could shoot
as many as we wanted. So I tried. I fired
first at the biggest one, a female, and she
ran past me into the woods. Sure she was
mortally wounded, I worked the bolt on

  ❘

the Merkel and fired again, this time at a
little one-the only one standing still at
that point-and then again as it ran away.
When the truck arrived I explained
the scene to Hubert, mostly with pointing
and gesturing. We found the big female
exactly where I said she'd run, dead in the
woods. (After we left the beaters found
the little one, too.)
I climbed in the truck and accepted
congratulations, any worries I had about
upholding the heritage of American
marksmanship put to rest.
M M M
n Poland, the land and the game is
owned by the state. Any game shot
remains the property of the state, and
is distributed accordingly. Hunters contract with companies that lease exclusive
hunting rights licensed by the state. Hunt
masters are state employees, in effect
biologists/game wardens who keep tabs
on their areas of control to determine how
much of what species may be hunted, and
when. They map out the hunt, and how
we will line out in the woods during each
drive. To beat the woods they hire locals,
who are paid about  a day. Many of
the locals bring their dogs, none of which
are exactly what you'd call hunting breeds.
The first day some kind of Eastern
European military surplus truck ferried
us to each setup. It was very cool; I'd have
taken a picture of it if I knew it was the
last day I'd ever see it. The second day we
piled into a couple tiny vans, also clearly
of Eastern European design. They weren't
so roomy. The third day we were ferried
by Land Rovers owned by the hunt master,
a Kazakh named Alexander Asanowicz
who carried a Glock on his hip.
Each hunter had individual flourishes

I

 ❘  .


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American Hunter - December 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Hunter - December 2013

Contents
American Hunter - December 2013 - Cover1
American Hunter - December 2013 - Cover2
American Hunter - December 2013 - 1
American Hunter - December 2013 - Contents
American Hunter - December 2013 - 3
American Hunter - December 2013 - 4
American Hunter - December 2013 - 5
American Hunter - December 2013 - 6
American Hunter - December 2013 - 7
American Hunter - December 2013 - 8
American Hunter - December 2013 - 9
American Hunter - December 2013 - 10
American Hunter - December 2013 - 11
American Hunter - December 2013 - 12
American Hunter - December 2013 - 13
American Hunter - December 2013 - 14
American Hunter - December 2013 - 15
American Hunter - December 2013 - 16
American Hunter - December 2013 - 17
American Hunter - December 2013 - 18
American Hunter - December 2013 - 19
American Hunter - December 2013 - 20
American Hunter - December 2013 - 21
American Hunter - December 2013 - 22
American Hunter - December 2013 - 23
American Hunter - December 2013 - 24
American Hunter - December 2013 - 25
American Hunter - December 2013 - 26
American Hunter - December 2013 - 27
American Hunter - December 2013 - 28
American Hunter - December 2013 - 29
American Hunter - December 2013 - 30
American Hunter - December 2013 - 31
American Hunter - December 2013 - 32
American Hunter - December 2013 - 33
American Hunter - December 2013 - 34
American Hunter - December 2013 - 35
American Hunter - December 2013 - 36
American Hunter - December 2013 - 37
American Hunter - December 2013 - 38
American Hunter - December 2013 - 39
American Hunter - December 2013 - 40
American Hunter - December 2013 - 41
American Hunter - December 2013 - 42
American Hunter - December 2013 - 43
American Hunter - December 2013 - 44
American Hunter - December 2013 - 45
American Hunter - December 2013 - 46
American Hunter - December 2013 - 47
American Hunter - December 2013 - 48
American Hunter - December 2013 - 49
American Hunter - December 2013 - 50
American Hunter - December 2013 - 51
American Hunter - December 2013 - 52
American Hunter - December 2013 - 53
American Hunter - December 2013 - 54
American Hunter - December 2013 - 55
American Hunter - December 2013 - 56
American Hunter - December 2013 - 57
American Hunter - December 2013 - 58
American Hunter - December 2013 - 59
American Hunter - December 2013 - 60
American Hunter - December 2013 - 61
American Hunter - December 2013 - 62
American Hunter - December 2013 - 63
American Hunter - December 2013 - 64
American Hunter - December 2013 - 65
American Hunter - December 2013 - 66
American Hunter - December 2013 - 67
American Hunter - December 2013 - 68
American Hunter - December 2013 - 69
American Hunter - December 2013 - 70
American Hunter - December 2013 - 71
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American Hunter - December 2013 - 76
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American Hunter - December 2013 - 112
American Hunter - December 2013 - Cover3
American Hunter - December 2013 - Cover4
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