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The Things You Find in the Forest

Updated: Jan 4, 2021

The barracks is surrounded by forest. Mostly coniferous, but never quite single species. It's totally managed, which means it is a commercial venture - albeit one owned by the state government. There are maybe four or five types of firs and spruces, there are larches, beech, oak and birch. It's by no means an old growth forest, but it's also not one of those dead mega fir plantations.

On fauna, there are foxes, deer, wild piggies, and dozens of different birds.

I've not been for a random wander for a while, and now that we have some decent crispy snow, and it's the first day of the year, it seemed like a good time to right that wrong.

We've not really had much sunshine of late so the trees aren't glistening in quite the way I would like for a blog post, but we have bigger falafels to fry here, so moving on....

Some parts of Germany, notably the central part of the former West Germany, hardly see the sun at all from the end of summer to the middle of spring. The country is covered in a low, depressing fog for months on end. Fortunately, we don't have that here, but towards the end of the year, and especially the first couple of weeks of January, we may not see very much blue sky at all.

But the air is a cold delight, and it's the sort of cold that stays outside your clothes, as long as you are well layered and essentially waterproof.

Unfortunately, there is a very strong tradition of "hunting" in Germany. Especially in the East. And, the forests are managed not just for the wood, but for a variety of interest groups. One of which is the "hunters".

They pay a lot of money for the right to shoot animals in the forest, and, let's face it, the local government isn't really interested in much else except the income which they bring.

They get to build their little huts on sticks, and they can lay bait.

I once got the very angry end of a hunter for accidentally (honest, guv!) messing with one of this bait traps.

I have never yet been caught pissing up the huts in order to lay a nice strong human trail for the deers and the piggies to detect from a long way off and avoid the man with the bang bang (because I have never done it, obviously! Only thought about it. Double honest, guv). I've rarely seen someone actually turn blue in the face from shouting.

I later got a call from the forester (who likes me) and, apparently, the hunter had "tracked" me all the way to the barracks.

In the snow! What a fucking tracker!

There is no defence of hunting. It is a blood sport which gives fat bastards a sexual thrill when they get to murder an animal with empathy and consciousness. It's perverted.

But when you see a salt lick 14 meters away from a hut, and you realise there isn't even the most remote element of hunting or tracking involved, you really do imagine the fat fuck up there, cock in one hand, gun in the other, spraying away his little bullets. It's sick.

And then this.

What the actual fuck?

This pool of fresh blood lay not far from the hide.

But no deer bleeds out like this from a gunshot wood. No drops of blood anywhere, no trail of wounded creature, frightened and trying to get away. Just a bloodbath next to the path.

And then I saw it.

The deer had probably been killed directly from one shot.

And then the hunter descended his eerie with knife in hand and (illegally) gutted the still hot bambi and thrown her heart into the forest.

And I thought to myself.

What the fuck do you think happens in slaughter houses?

It's Veganuary.

Do the right thing.

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