CZECH REPUBLIC: Great Combo Hunt In Czech Republic

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports Europe' started by Diamondhitch, Nov 8, 2014.

  1. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    The general consensus among friends prior to departing for Prague was that travelling to the Czech Republic was downright crazy. It seems people have a hard time separating countries in this part of the world, with the upset in Ukraine the impression is that the entire region is ready to erupt into war at any second.
    This couldn’t be farther from the truth. I found the Czech people to be very friendly and was surprised by the number that speak fluent English. From the time my host Jan Urban of Shooting Enterprise picked me up until my departure I felt quite welcome and safe. These type of stereotypes certainly prevent many from seeing some of the most beautiful places.


    IMG_0191 (600 x 450).jpg IMG_0179 (600 x 450).jpg IMG_0199 (600 x 450).jpg

    When I was searching for a Mouflon sheep hunt I naturally researched where the biggest in the world were found, the Czech Republic was unquestionably the right place. While not opposed to high fence, my preference has always been free range. A high fence hunt could certainly not feel like one and a very large parcel was required. After speaking to Jan, I decided to hunt with him on the 17,000 Czech presidential estate located just outside of Prague.
    I would like to say I never saw a high fence but that would be a lie, I saw many, surrounding single trees and small groves of young trees to protect them from the wildlife, primarily Wild Boar. The estate is managed for all resources and unlike our “cut em all down” clear cutting practices, Europeans choose a far more practical management strategy and what we would consider a small opening is quite large on the estate, laying with my bipod I could shoot the long way across any of the openings I saw with ease.
    The accommodations were quite comfortable, an older house renovated into a hunting lodge. The beds were small but comfortable and the hardwood theme quite beautiful. Zdenka, the cook, prepares wild game for each of the huge European style meals. I have never had venison so tender or tasty as I did here.
    The hunting and game is similar to hunting the agricultural areas of Alberta with the exception of the much smaller openings of course. I found that the game acted very much like our own animals, Mouflon like whitetails, Fallow does like muley does and the rutted up Stags like rutted up moose lol. Sika screamed like Elk with a muley mentality.
    My first day started off with a bang, the long wait to hunt Mouflon and the anticipation of many long hours searching for the right ram came to an abrupt halt after just 1 ½ hours of hunting.
    Jan stopped by bright and early accompanied by Lubash, my guide. Lubash does not speak a word of English, only German and some Czech, so Jan would be accompanying us as interpreter. I put on Jans jacket and boots since my bags had not arrived yet and we hopped in Lubash’ truck and headed to our drop off point in the rolling hills along a beautiful valley with a reservoir snaking through it. We would hike from there, up the hill around a long loop back to the truck.
    We encountered a small band of sheep along the way, the first Mouflon I had seen in the wild, skittish creatures that spotted us nearly as quickly as we spotted them and just as quickly vanished back into the forest, this would be repeated by most of the Mouflon we encountered. Lubash motioned that there had been no shooters anyway so we continued slipping along the moist leaf covered forest floor. The first thing you will notice about the forest there is the lack of underbrush, low growing vegetation is kept well trimmed by the Boars. It was past morning prime time, although they do not view mornings as “prime” there anyway. We loaded back up in the truck and headed to another spot where the Fallow were known to Rut.
    As we approached the first opening several fallow could heard groaning on both sides of us. A lone Sika stag was seen in the open necessitating an absolutely stealthy approach. A herd Stag was tending his does to the left and a lone challenger moved steadily towards us from the right. As luck would have it neither was a shooter this early in the hunt so we moved on drawn by the guttural bellows coming from the woods where the meadow subsides into a draw.
    Shortly after entering the timber a fallow, betrayed by his incessant croaking, was located and our language barrier prevented the quick communication necessary to confirm that this was a shooter. He slipped back into the forest. No matter there were many more al eagerly announcing their positions to us so we resumed our stalk.
    Mere yards after we had muffed on the fallow Lubash stopped, holding up his hand as a don’t move signal. A lone Mouflon was bedded right in front of us and facing away! Lubash motioned to move up and I did. The bedded ram was obviously a nice one but from behind and in the shadows I could not see the tips well enough to make a decision but Lubash said he was a good one.
    Lubash motioned Jan forward and whispered his instructions which Jan relayed to me. He was a good ram. Labash would grunt like a Fallow and when the ram stood I could decide if I wanted to take him, I nodded and rested my rifle on the sticks aimed at the ram less than 40 yards away (I longed for my bow lol). At the sound of the bellow the ram leapt up and faced us, now his well curled horns with tips angling out were easily visible and the rams beauty was breathtaking, in that moment I knew this was my ram and at the shot he was mine.

    Mouflon (600 x 450).jpg

    A little in disbelief that my hunt had ended so soon I was racked between elation and thoughts that maybe Mouflon weren’t such a tough hunt after all, the sheep would prove worthy adversaries time and again on my fallow hunt, much to my chagrin. Luck had indeed been with me that morning, although we saw a couple rams that would outscore mine, including a 220 CIC monster, there were none that matched its beauty.

    IMG_0076 (600 x 450).jpg

    That evening with Mouflon in the bag we set out after Fallow. The Fallow roar is truly something that must be experienced to be appreciated. Nearly everywhere you go a stag can be heard somewhere in the distance and when you approach a lek, you know it! Fallow are by far the most vocal animal I have hunted, literally roaring almost constantly they put on quite a show. A large lek literally sounds like a pond full of bullfrogs! Over the next few days we watched so much amazing rutting activity, truly an experience I will never forget, we had stags fighting, chasing does, roaring, rubbing, wallowing you name it we witnessed it, absolutely amazing.
    The quality of the stags is excellent too, it is not a matter of finding a mature stag at this time of year it is a matter of finding exactly the right one since there are so many mature stags actively seeking does out all day long.
    My stag appeared suddenly as we were slipping along a tiny opening interspersed with young trees. He was proceeded by the stag that he was chasing out of the country and only paused for a second but it was long enough to know that he was the one. He departed as quickly as he appeared and Lubash had us wait just a few minutes before pursuing to make sure the stag didn’t know he was being followed.
    We took pursuit and after a distance he was spotted moving through the open woods toward a small opening. We shifted left to cut him off and when he appeared he was just a hundred yards ahead. I got on the sticks quickly as the unaware animal moved steadily away, Lubash roared at him and he stopped looking over his back at us for long seconds. Lubash roared again and the stag turned broadside.
    The rifle went off on cue, the crosshairs were dead steady but something seemed wrong. I picked a small opening and as the stag ran through it aimed into the grass at his invisible body and fired a second shot, the stag disappeared. I did not know if he had went down or simply moved the half step to get behind a large tree and out of sight.
    The sight of the Fallow as we approached in the chest high grass was quite welcome, the discovery that my first shot was somehow a complete miss, however, was not. I never would have fired the second risky shot had I known but luck was once again on my side as my poor running shot had struck him in the hip and the bullet had deflected straight to his heart! Sometimes it is better to be lucky that good I guess lol. My fallow would turn out to be the oldest of the season so far at an estimated 15yrs old!

    Fallow (600 x 450).jpg
    Fallow 2 (600 x 450).jpg
    Fallow teeth.jpg

    I still had some time booked to hunt and not wanting to waste it the decision was made to try for one of the fine Sika the estate holds. Sika are not native to Europe, they were introduced several hundred years ago and do quite well there. Although numbers are not high trophy quality is and the few Sika that we had seen had been quite large and the beauty of these stocky animals with their long dark mane is quite stunning.
    As luck would have it we bumped into a large stag right at last light, he was part of a group containing does and a couple smaller stags. Lubash judged him and said through Jan “you MUST shoot this one”. As luck would have it tough the last whisps of light faded without him offering a clear shot at the extremely heavy horned brute.
    I asked Lubash “what are the chances of him being back here in the morning?” 10% he said, we will probably never see him again, but we would try.
    As predicted the mornings hunt did not reveal the big Sika, or any Sika at all for that matter but we would try again in the evening. My 10% was looking more like 5% now but there were other big stags there, we had seen 2 of them (when we weren’t hunting them of course) and I knew there were more.
    With the rut in full swing even if the big stag did not return there were far too many Sika does in that meadow to ignore, something would be by to tend them. The afternoons hunt had been uneventful as we slipped closer to our meadow. As the meadow came into sight a herd of Red stag blocked our approach, precious time slipped past while we waited for them to move off and dark was fast approaching as we made our way to the meadows edge.
    The Sika does first caught our attention then a bedded stag, with his rear end toward us it was apparent he was big but Lubash wanted a frontal view to be certain. As the light faded further the ficle swirling wind send a draft past the stag. He leapt straight to his feet landing broadside, Lubash quickly hissed something in German and Jan excitedly whispered “its him!” just as quickly. The gun barked and the hard hit stag lunged over the hill and was down.

    Japanese Sika (600 x 450).jpg

    Quite satisfied with the beautiful stag my enthusiasm was apparently not up to Lubash’ standards as he remarked “he doesn’t know what he has” to Jan, he was right. The tape shows him as the unofficial #10 non-typical Sika in SCI! Largest base is 8” which is unheard of for a Sika and though small the palmated extra point he grew is extremely uncommon as well.
    Once again I have been blessed with extreme fortune and had a wonderful time. Thanks to Jan and Lubash for a great hunt.

    IMG_0065 (600 x 450).jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2014
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  2. spike.t

    spike.t AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2013 AH Ambassador

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  3. enysse

    enysse AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Congrats, some fantastic trophies there! Great right up, I have a good friend from the Ukraine and we joke about the unrest a lot.
     

  4. Bsums

    Bsums AH Enthusiast

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    Very nice animals! May have to take a trip to the Czech Republic one day.
     

  5. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    I had never considered the Czech republic. You have just put it on my radar. You have some wonderful trophies. How many days did you book your hunt for? Sounds like animal populations are very good where you were hunting. Sounds like you used your firearm. Any problem bringing it in or out? Congrats Bruce
     

  6. Wheels

    Wheels AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Three beautiful animals. They all look top notch. I don't know anything about sika but that one carries more mass than any I have ever seen. Congratulations.(y)

    It sounds like you were able to hunt on a great property. What other species do they have available?

    Europe is in my plans one day. The Czech Republic may have to be one of the places in Europe.

    Thanks for the report and photos.

    All the best.
     

  7. ROCKET

    ROCKET AH Fanatic

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    Big trophies, the three of them....fallow and mouflon are real good even in the scores. Very good hunting report and enjoyable pictures......!!!!

    Congrats and thanks for show us this.....!!!!!
     

  8. lcq

    lcq AH Elite

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    Really fine trophies. I was considering a hunt there but not much info on packages or the costs. Did you book directly or through an agent state side?
     

  9. lwaters

    lwaters BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Those are some really impressive trophies.
     

  10. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Thanks to all. This was a great hunt. My only regret was that Christine could not accompany me so I only did a one day tour of Prague, it really deserves and demands much more time. I could literally have eaten off the streets they were so clean!

    Thanks I was glad to make it out alive lol. With all the goings on in Ukraine I really had no one that thought this was a good idea lol, they were so wrong in so many ways.

    Oddly enough no one spoke much of it over there, except for the smart ass comment Lubash made when we heard the presidential guards on the gun range practicing. Casually pointing in the direction of the noise he simply said "Ukraine" LOL

    Make sure to take your wife. This is a trip for the both of you for sure.

    I booked 4 days and since my flight arrived in the morning Jan offered to take me out for an additional hunt. Lubash kept going on about how lucky we were to see so much game but after reflecting said that because I could walk and keep up with him we covered far more ground than anyone he had hunted with before and naturally saw more game. I went expecting a fairly physically easy hunt but by the end my calves were burning lol. This one can be as easy as sitting in a blind or as physically demanding as you like.

    Populations were good but the rut really made the difference, Fallow were downright boisterous and Sika although less vocal were not hard to locate and the Mouflon were travelling searching for ewes as well. The rut always makes things much easier to find.

    I did not bring my rifle, it would have been easy but since the permit required a trip to the Czech consulate which was difficult to pull off I chose to borrow a rifle. Rifle and ammo were provided free of charge and I was given choice of 2 30-06s which worked out just fine.

    Thanks the Sika was definitely far more massive than normal, Lubash could not get over the mass. he has never seen one that heavy.

    It is a beautiful property, they have Wild boar, Red Stag, Mouflon, Sika, and fallow, oJan has other properties with Roe as well but the seasons do not coincide.

    Thank you, all made Gold medal SCI.

    After considerable research I booked directly with Jan. He is honest, easy to deal with and an all round nice guy. Sorry I said Shooting Sports, it is actually Shooting Enterprise. Here is his website shootingenterprise.com

    "JAN URBAN, Managing Director


    [​IMG]
    Jan was born and raised in the former Czechoslovakia and comes from a bi-lingual family. His educational path started in Hungarian school, then went on to study electro engineering in a Slovakian school. In 1997 moved to England were he completed his university business degree in accounting. The majority of his work history has been in Estate management, managing from luxurious country estates to large office buildings for individual and private funds both in The United Kingdom and Czech Republic.
    His love for bird hunting and bird dogs began at an early age. He honed his hunting and bird dog training skills as a young boy while spending all his spare time with his Granddad in the field.

    Jan started Shooting Enterprise Ltd because he was constantly being asked to report on hunting and wing shooting from Czech and Slovakia. Experiencing fine British hunting and shooting events, Jan has decided to combine his knowledge from the British guns to “bring seven hundred years of hunting traditions to the guns from all over the world”.

    Jan was formerly a semi professional football player. He is constantly in lookout for new challenges and nowadays he enters several triathlon competitions.

    Jan lives in Prague with his girlfriend and best friend Zuzana. They have a wonderful Weimaraner hunting dog called Milo.

    And, last but not least, Jan speaks fluently four languages."


    Shoot him an email, he was always prompt to respond and will send you out a price list. It is typical dayrates + trophy fees. Trophy fees are calculated on CIC score. Lubash did an excellent job estimating score on the hoof, only being off by 2 points on the Mouflon and Fallow, the Sika he estimated high due to CIC adding or taking beauty points off and this stag had some major scarring on the back of his neck from fighting that docked him points (and saved me some dough :) )

    Best part is shipping. 2 weeks turnaround!!! LOL. When I told the taxidermist not to rush, keep it for a month to make sure it is totally dry he said 2 weeks period lol. He has no space to keep hides and horns in storage and wants them gone ASAP. Jan is holding them for 2 extra weeks to dry before sending them CFIA will have nothing to whine about lol.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2014
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  11. Royal27

    Royal27 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Really enjoyed the read!

    Like others have said, this my just have to go on the list. :)
     

  12. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Awesome!
    Congratulations.

    I have a sheep loving buddy who is going to drool over that Sheep!

    Thanks for sharing the adventure Derek.
     

  13. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    So it appears that the rut was very helpful. Always is. What were the dates that you were there? Thanks for the web site. Good stuff. Bruce
     

  14. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Thanks Wayne, as a fellow sheep nut I have wanted a Mouflon for a while now. They are just so pretty, this one will be a lifesize mount.

    I was there from October 24-30. The Mouflon rut was just beginning, Fallow and Sika ruts were apparently winding down, and their body condition proved it, but if this was winding down I cant imagine the peak lol.
     

  15. gizmo

    gizmo AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2015 AH Ambassador

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    OUTSTANDING AND CONGRATS!!!! Wonderful hunt and great story. I never thought of hunting there before but I do now thanks ;)
     

  16. gizmo

    gizmo AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2015 AH Ambassador

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    ok, so upon further reading you've definitly peaked my interest. what does a hunt like that cost all told?
     

  17. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Depending where your flights are from $1200-2000
    My hunt including dayrates and a Mouflon up to 210 CIC and Fallow up to 180 CIC (Both gold medal) plus a day of touring Prague was 7295 Euro
    Taxidermist prep and shipping (for 3 animals) depending where you live another $1200

    Just the Mouflon would be roughly half the hunt cost, all tolled about the same as a Saskatchewan whitetail hunt. Both animals comes out to half as much as a moose hunt or 20% of a Stone Sheep hunt. The best deals are certainly found overseas lol.
     

  18. gizmo

    gizmo AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2015 AH Ambassador

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    WOW! that may be something I look into when we get back from Africa after this summer. Would you recommend taking the family? I think at least my wife would really dig that trip.
     

  19. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    It is very seldom that I regret anything, regardless of outcome, but I regret not having my wife along. We knew that she would be unable to accompany me on this hunt before I booked but looking back it would have been worth waiting until she could come along then do a lot more touring.

    The group that hunted prior to my arrival hunted then rented a car to tour Europe for a few weeks then picked up their salted/prepared trophies to take home with them. I think that was a great idea.
     

  20. gizmo

    gizmo AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2015 AH Ambassador

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