Putting a stop to the black coats in the district of kulmbach

Who knows the comic heroes asterix and obelix, knows that wild boars are the highest of feelings for the brave gauls. They go hunting almost every day, and in the evening they can enjoy the hunt’s prey grilled over the fire.

In germany, the so-called black boar is less revered, it has now become more of a problem. In the last decades it has increased according to the wildtierportal bavaria strongly, tendency rising. "The number of wild boars must be controlled regularly and reduced if necessary in order to limit the damage they cause", david buchwald, press officer at the district office in kulmbach, gives information about the situation.

A rusted sports field

Helmut muller has seen such damage himself. Overnight a horde of wild boars had plowed up the whole sports field. The honorary commissioner of the SSV peesten was horrified. "Far too few wild boar are shot in germany", he finds. In five years, the plague can no longer be ignored.

"Our efforts in the county to get the wild boar under control are unreservedly high," he says, confirms on the other hand otto kreil, deputy chairman of the hunt protection and hunters association kulmbach e. V. The association works closely and productively with individual agencies to prevent a rapid spread across the area. These bodies are the bavarian farmers’ association, the office for food, agriculture and forestry in kulmbach, the district administration, the AG hunting cooperative and the association he co-chairs.

Until now, the hunting of wild boar was only allowed from mid-june to the end of january. Since 2018, hunters have been allowed to hunt wild boar all year round. "As a matter of principle, parental animals may not be hunted as long as they are necessary for the breeding of the young animals", according to head of department heinrich rauh from the district office of kulmbach.

Difficulties in hunting arise from the fact that the animals are extremely adaptable to the local living conditions, and are also nocturnal. This is one of the reasons for the rapid increase of the population numbers. The past mild winters favor the food supply, the wild boar do not have to suffer hardship, explains otto kreil. Agricultural developments have also led to more contiguous plains, which are often planted with corn in the summer. "It’s literally a meal for the wild boar," says rauh, says the experienced jager.

Tendency increasing

In 2017, the kulmbach district office recorded 1.691 wild boars for the county, which is divided into six so-called hunting communities. This represents a slight increase on the previous two years; in 2015, 1.368. 30 years ago, it was estimated that there were only 50 animals in the entire county, says otto kreil. The data for 2018 are not yet available, because the recording period of a year always runs until 31 december. Marz. It’s possible that the numbers have gone down slightly, he says, but the situation has to be looked at over the years as a whole.

Damage to corn, canola and meadow fields often runs into thousands of euros in hunting districts, says press officer david buchwald. Furthermore, they occasionally become a hindrance to motorists. According to the police inspectorate, the number of accidents involving game in the district of kulmbach increased in 2018 compared to the previous year.But if you look at the individual distributions, roe deer, red deer or fallow deer cause more accidents (770) than wild boar (71).

Changes in hunting

In principle, the hunting cooperative, an association of all owners of huntable land, is liable to pay for damage that occurs on commercially used land. But the cooperative has the option of rolling over the costs to the hunt tenant. For special use areas, such as the football field of the SSV peesten, this regulation does not apply if they are not huntable.

Until a few years ago, when the wild boar population was not such a major problem, some mistakes were made in hunting, says otto kreil. "In the nineties, it was still something special when a hunter shot a sow. Then we drank a beer together", he reports with a laugh. Today, however, pushing is normal to a certain extent. But wild boars live in a fixed social structure. If a leading sow is killed, the population increases more uncontrollably, as it helps to control the daily routine and also the time of reproduction, explains otto kreil.

The right method for tackling the problem of wild boar has to be put together from individual building blocks, says kreil. Pressure hunts or the use of technical aids are only two examples of many factors that are used in hunting.

The thrill of the hunt

From a hunter’s perspective, however, it can also be gratifying to catch sight of a wild boar. "Hunting wild boar is also something fascinating," says otto kreil, finds otto kreil. Just a week before, he was out walking in his territory, he says, when three sows suddenly crossed his path. He has shot one of them. This is not self-evident. "There are always surprising moments", he says about his activity. That is the attraction of the hunt, which still evokes a tingling sensation in the hunter.

The damming of wild boar will probably remain a topical issue in the coming years, because even intensive hunting to date has not been able to stop the rapid increase, as can also be seen from the wildtierportal bavaria. The hunting community, at least, is endeavoring to counteract this further. According to otto kreil, an important basis is above all the continued good cooperation of the individual committees.