Hunting in Europe is expensive by comparison to South Africa. Having said that, you have not had a full experience until you have hunted outside of SA. The Powder Keg lifestyle offering is founded on the principle that so many people end up regretting what they did not do vs. what they did do.
Hunting in Europe is about experiencing the culture, the weather conditions, the history of the territory, their management of game, hunting traditions and just having a fun time. The Powder Keg has aligned with a hunting concession in an area of 70,000 hectares in the southern part of Slovenia that borders onto Croatia.
The surrounds of Koćevje is stooped in tradition and history. This southern part of Slovenia is the most remote part of the country. 90% of the hunting area is forests. Prior the 2nd WW their were many villages of German inhabitants. During the war Hitler considered the area non-strategic and relocated all Germans to the west of the River Sava. Villages of more than 600 years old were left to ruin.
The picture above gives an idea of a cold winter in Kočevje. Hunting is not permitted when the snow level exceeds 40 cm; it is considered unfair to animals. Animals cannot move freely and they lose unnecessary energy needed to protect them in early spring in the event of a late cold spell.
Camaraderie of a hunt. It is customary to meet for hot food and a little wine between driven hunts (collective hunting). Winter days are short and usually only 3 driven sessions are possible. In this hunting area dogs are not used, only beaters, because the animals are less disturbed and run slower.
The impact of the 2nd WW was significant in the area. After the 2nd WW a security tunnel was built at Gotenica (borders on the concession area) and a large area was closed to the public; a “safe haven” for politicians. Residents of local villages in the area were not permitted to leave until 1985 when the area was again open to the public.
Above, prior the start of driven hunts safety instructions given and hunters told what game they may shoot. The entire open area of 70,000 hectares is divided into a few hunting concessionary areas. The total area annual game quota approximates 2,000 Red Deer, 500 pigs and 12 brown bears. The meat is Government property, about 50 tons sold to local residents and 100 tons to a specialized processor of game meat.
We looked at a choice of 2 hunting lodges; the former Tito lodge and the lodge pictured above. Although the Tito lodge has a lot of history the above lodge is in the heart of the hunting concessionary area and its surrounds more inviting. This accommodation will be upgraded by the main concessionary holder as part of the 20 year concession.
The closure of collective hunting days is always in accordance with local cultures and traditions. Every animal shot, hit by a vehicle or other, is categorized and recorded against the game management plan, a plan that over many years has been optimized for the conservation and breeding of game.
Cost structures for hunting in Europe are more complex than in South Africa and the system of “trophy” measurement would not be easily understood by non-Europeans. I am supporting the process to have a simplified offer that is more fixed than variable. An urgent work in progress, the concession starts 1 August 2017.