Hunting in Belgium with the ‘Hunting Students’

Every year we have to hunt several female and young roe deer in our hunting area in Belgium. We always start in February since it is a bit calmer around that time. Since I have shot enough roe deer, I wanted to give the chance to some friends who never hunted them. I also asked Koen to hunt with us, maybe he got a chance on a fox. He is one of those hunters where they always pass. We were meeting at 07:00 at the marketplace of the local town. I already called Koen in the morning to be sure that he was on his way from the Netherlands. I also received a text from my guest hunter that he was going to be too late since he didn’t hear his alarm. No problem of course since that can happen to anyone. At 07:00 I met with Koen and his girlfriend Madelien and I brought them to their high seat. I went back and waited for Adrien, my guest.

At 07:45 he arrived and we went to the hunting area. Since there was already enough light, we immediately started with stalking. After parking our car, we went for it. After 100 meters of walking, we spotted 2 roe deer. A doe with her doe fawn. I know them from the day before when I did some scouting. This fawn was a possible target for us. Since they were going back to cover in a nearby forest, we made a big tour to wait for them there. When we arrived, we spotted some other deer too. If a doe fawn was in that group, we could go for that one. We first saw a young buck, then a doe and a third roe deer. Since they were in a hedge I wanted to wait for them to come out to have a better look at the group. I don’t know if it was the wind or something else but one of them noticed us and took the group with him/her. It was a group of 6 deer. We followed how they were running and they were going in the direction of another hedge several 100 meters away. I thought it would be best to go to the car not far away and drive to the next high seat and wait for them again. When we were driving towards that place I saw them on the field going back to the forest we were in before. That made us go back again too! After parking the car we stalked slowly to a high seat on the edge of the forest where I expected to see the deer. 50 meters before arriving there we still saw them on the field but when we arrived at the high seat, we lost them. We don’t know how it happened but they weren’t visible anymore. We stalked a bit further and accidentally bumped 2 deer which we saw run away too. If these 2 were part of the group of 6, we didn’t see the other 4 run. We don’t really know what happened but that’s hunting. In 2 seconds they can be in a totally different place. We gave up here and went to another place. There we bumped some more deer and a fox was spotted by Koen’s girlfriend. We made a quick decision to go around and try to drive to fox towards Koen and Adrien. A fox doesn’t give you a lot of time which resulted for us in no fox seen anymore. Maybe we will meet another time.

It was almost noon and we decided to go for some pigeons. On our way to our spot, we heard some magpies getting closer. We stopped and loaded our guns. One of them flew right over us. Koen shot 2 times but it continued its way. We went for some pigeons and an hour later Koen had shot 3. I also had an opportunity but my gun was not loaded, unfortunately. By going back to the car Madelien noticed something in the field. It was the magpie Koen shot at earlier. It was still warm so we were sure it was his. It must have fallen down when we couldn’t see it anymore. After our lunch, we went to the other hunting area to see if we could find some roe deer there. We spotted a doe with 2 doe fawns and a group of 9 roe deer with 4 bucks in the group. Not a bad visit.

In the evening we wanted to go back to Koen’s high seat. In the morning he didn’t see anything but it should be a good spot. When we were going to the high seat we spotted a roe doe that spotted us as well and barked loudly. A couple of minutes later we moved again and went on to our high seat. 2 roe deer were already browsing in the field. They made us crouch to our high seat but we succeeded without getting seen. It was a group of 5 deer browsing relatively far away. It was just too far away to be sure of our shot. After waiting and waiting they remained at the same distance and went back into cover. We had a great day with a lot of wildlife and ended it with a great meal in a local restaurant. We will go back another day to fulfil our management plan. That’s something to look forward too!