POLAND: Red Stag Rut Hunting In Poland With Huntmaster

markferrigno

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Outfitter: Huntmaster
Area: Złotowa, Poland
Rifle: Heym SR30 in .308
Scope: Leupold VXR 3-9x50 lighted reticle
Ammo: Gecco Express 165gr

After 5 years of living in Germany and hunting all over Europe I recently moved back to the US earlier in the year. I immediately missed hunting in Europe and decided I needed to hunt Red Stags during the Rut (again, I got skunked last year) I had spoken with Michal from Huntmaster the previous season but had booked with a different outfitter. I decided on this trip I would go with Michal and Huntmaster, a great decision.

I worked out the logistics of the plane flight. I decided to fly into Berlin as it was much, much cheaper than flying into Warsaw and the drive was just about the same distance. I booked a prepaid rental car (again, much cheaper $300 USD for a full week) Since I wanted to bring my own rifle and ammo I needed to get an import permit for both Germany and Poland. Michal directed to me to contact the Polish consulate and I contacted the Berlin Police (through the German customs site) Both processes were pretty simple. The Polish consulate send me a form to fill out. I had to send that in with a Notarized copy of my passport, a copy of the hunting voucher from Huntmaster and $50 USD. A week later I had a valid Polish firearms import certificate. I scanned that in and send that along with a $13 USD and a copy of my German hunting license and two weeks later had my German import certificate. Just a note most European countries will require proof of ownership (they ask for the weapon’s “registrations) I sent in a copy of my Customs 4457. Or if you have the purchase receipt that will work also.

That all sorted I checked in at Denver international and sparingly had no issues checking in my gun. The agent was not interested in seeing my import certificate.

Layover in Chicago, landed in Berlin around 9AM, cleared customs and was in my rental car by 10:30. 4 hours and 20 minutes I was pulling up to the guest house. The guest house had several hunters already staying there. They all seemed pretty impressed that I travelled all the way from the US to hunt in Poland.

Michal came by, we discussed the hunting plan which was typical European hunting; stalking in the morning and stalking/high seat in the evening. After a quick nap and shower Michal picked me up, took me to the hunting club and I met my guide Fabian. We head out to the hunting area and immediately heard the Stags roaring. This is something that everyone needs to experience, it is truly incredible. We hit the high seat and around sunset a nice Stag came out but he was a bit to young. We decided not to shoot. Early the next morning we were out again this time with Michal as well. He had a call and immediately started calling in Stags. A mature Stag responded and started coming closer. Within a few minutes he was 5-6 meters from us behind a long row of thick bushes. He responded to Michal’s call with challenge call (a series of short, loud grunts) My heart was beating out of my chest. There was only a small opening to shoot and I was on the sticks waiting for him to step a few feet to my right. I was ready to shoot but he didn’t’ get so big by being stupid. He was thrashing in the bushes looking to fight. We tried to out flank him but he must have smelled us and he was gone. It was an exciting 30 minutes.

Aside from hearing them you can smell the Stags around 20 meters away.

That evening we saw some females but the Stags came out just after shooting light. Back to the guest house for another delicious meal and some great Polish beers. The next morning we saw a few young Stags but no shooters. I was having a great time but was starting to feel like I may be skunked two year in a row.

That evening we headed back to the area we called in the big Stag. We stalked for about an hour then headed to the high seat. Just before sunset the roaring began. There 3 or 4 Stags all roaring at each other. Michal started calling and two Stags immediately responded. One was on our left, the other on our right. We could hear them getting closer, crashing through the forest on the way to the field. At about 8PM the first one appeared, he was young, maybe 3 years old. I passed, the other Stag sounded much older and he kept coming. Finally at 8:15, with about 3 minutes of decent shooting light left he appeared at the edge of the field, about 85 meters from us. We saw his antlers, they were tall. Michal whispered “Shoot, he is a good one” I put the red dot of the lit reticle on his neck (the only part I could safely make out) squeezed the trigger of my Heym SR30 and he fell where he stood. Congratulations! Yelled Michal, he is down! We went down and there he was. Not as big as he sounded but a nice 4kg “Murder” Stag. No forks or crowns, just two long daggers. A pretty nice trophy, I was very pleased. Not the big one I was hoping for but a very unique one. We loaded him up in the truck and headed back to the hotel.

I took the next morning off from hunting, slept in and relaxed a bit. The evening hunt had us tracking a roaring Stag but he refused to come out of the thick stuff. We were within 10 meters of him for close to two hours but he wouldn’t give us a shot.

The next AM were on the stalk again and saw two young Stags that were non-shooters. The big boys just would not cooperate! We saw several females and several wild boars.

I have to say the gues house was great. It was a typical Polish “Agrotourist” guest house, small but clean rooms and outstanding food. By the 3rd day it was me, two German hunters and eight Danish hunters. It was nice to share all our stories at each lunch and each dinner.

The evening hunt we went direct to the high seat. Fabian had told Michal he had seen several Stags feeding there while he was scouting and figured we would see at least one. As we got into the seat we saw a smallish Roe Buck eating in the field. About an hour later a Hind showed up and started to graze. Then another. Then the Roar. Loud and close. 5 or 6 more Hid sopped into the field then Fabian whispered “Mark, big” I looked to my left and saw a very nice, old Stag roaring at his harem in the field. It was only 7:15, plenty of light and he was in a big open field. I put the crosshairs on his shoulder and fired. Solid hit, he ran maybe 30 meters, collapsed, then go up. I hit him again and he went down for good. We climbed out, went over and took a look. He was nice, a fork on each side and very tall. I was happy, two nice Stags. We loaded him up and head back to the hunting clubhouse. We cracked some cold beers and a couple of the other club members looked at his teeth and determined he was around 11 years old. We took some pictures, drank some beers and called it an evening.

The next morning was probably the most exciting part of the hunt. We got to the forest early but heard nothing, no roars, nothing. We started walking and saw about a dozen Wild Bar. I had never seen that many Boar in one outing before. As we crossed a field we saw a beautiful Stag, two crown, symmetrical, perfect. But he was young, maybe 4. I looked at him, Fabian looked at him, I looked at Fabian and said “too young” He need 5 or 6 more years to mature and pass his genes on, would have been a shame to take him out.

Around 7:45, well after sunrise we hear a single roar, it was loud and close! We started tracking, he was close enough to smell. The smell was very strong, he was ruting hard. We tracked him through some tall grass, the smell was constant and strong. Every time we thought we had him he would outwit us. This went on for almost 2 hours. Finally we thought we had him. Then he was gone, at least we thought so. We heard movement, turned a corner looked down an opening between 2 rows of trees and bushes. A wild Boar ran past us. “Dzick” Fabian whispered, the tone of disappointment as heavy as I felt. We looked up and 30 meters standing next to a tree was the Stag. He was huge! 7.5kg, the trophy I dreamed of! He was looking right at us. We didn’t move, he didn’t move. I slowly raised my rifle and put it in the sticks, he still didn’t move. As I looked through the scope, he trotted off, into the thick stuff. I thought I would feel crushed but I was elated, it was the most exciting hunting experience I ever had. He beat us fair and square. I don’t know if he used that Boar as cover or if it was just dumb luck but it bought him the extra few seconds he needed.

I flew home the next day very pleased with my trophies. The long drive, the long flight, all worth it. I can’t wait to go back next year and experience the rut again…..

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cpr0312

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Thank you for sharing the hunt with us, congrats!
 

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Congrats.
 

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Mark, never had the chance to hunt Europe, but some 18-19 years ago I was a police monitor on the Croatian border with Serbia. On night shift, we would drive down the (Dunav..local name) Danube River levy 5 or 6 miles and it was wild game saturated! Red Stags, wild Razorback boar, and two different species of deer were everywhere. Some of the stags had antlers that would compare to many of our large Colorado elk, just smaller body size. And probably most interesting of all was one of Tito's old hunting lodges from his Yugoslavian dictator days. Still in decent shape, large multi room structure complete with horse stables and vehicle garages. At this time Tito had already been dead 18 or 19 years! You could let your imagination run away wondering what it would have been like to have an area like this to hunt for just you and your close friends!
 

markferrigno

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Mark, never had the chance to hunt Europe, but some 18-19 years ago I was a police monitor on the Croatian border with Serbia. On night shift, we would drive down the (Dunav..local name) Danube River levy 5 or 6 miles and it was wild game saturated! Red Stags, wild Razorback boar, and two different species of deer were everywhere. Some of the stags had antlers that would compare to many of our large Colorado elk, just smaller body size. And probably most interesting of all was one of Tito's old hunting lodges from his Yugoslavian dictator days. Still in decent shape, large multi room structure complete with horse stables and vehicle garages. At this time Tito had already been dead 18 or 19 years! You could let your imagination run away wondering what it would have been like to have an area like this to hunt for just you and your close friends!
It's too bad you didn't have a chance to hunt there. It is amazing, you go to some area and there are Fallow, Roe and Red deer all over the place. I would like to see that hunting lodge!
 

BRICKBURN

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Thanks for the write up.
I was walking with you all the way.

If you happen to have copies of the forms required from Germany and Poland to get the firearms permits please do share them.
 

Foxi

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Darz bor- Waidmannsheil- Congrats -to your stags!

Came yesterday from the rut in Romania-nothing happend :(
The weather was lousy.
To warm,than snow and than warm again and than wolves.
Red deers are sensibel for their rut.
Happy for you -hunting red stags during the rut is a privileg.
Foxi
 

markferrigno

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Thanks for the write up.
I was walking with you all the way.

If you happen to have copies of the forms required from Germany and Poland to get the firearms permits please do share them.

I have to check my PC, but for Poland the consulate will email the forms and what they require. Germany had no form but I might have been a bit different since I still have a valid German Jagdschein (hunting license) But I think it is still relatively easy, they really wanted the permit for Poland since I was just transiting. If you are hunting in Germany they would just need a copy of the invitation/contract, US Hunting license (or temp. German) and proof of ownership/registration for the gun. The 4457 should fit the bill for that if you don't have a purchase receipt.

If you send me a PM I will send you the POCs I have for the Polish consulate and German Customs/Police.
 

markferrigno

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Darz bor- Waidmannsheil- Congrats -to your stags!

Came yesterday from the rut in Romania-nothing happend :(
The weather was lousy.
To warm,than snow and than warm again and than wolves.
Red deers are sensibel for their rut.
Happy for you -hunting red stags during the rut is a privileg.
Foxi
Thank you. Hunting during the Rut is indeed a privilege, something very special. I hope the Rut starts soon and the Wolves stay away (or you are allowed to shoot them)
 

enysse

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Congrats, it sounds like a exciting hunt!
 

guerero

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super adventure! congrats!
I can't wait the rut! each year I take one or two weeks of leave/vacation to hunt the Red Stags. this year can't be different :)
 

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Wow............thanks for the report. I loved it. Great trophies too..................I could not imagine flying to Germany with a rifle, renting a car and driving to Poland. You obviously knew what you were doing. Well done....................FWB
 

TheWhitetailNut

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That was awesome. I do wish to hunt Europe..
 

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Thank you for sharing your adventure!

The wife and I are thinking hard about a hunt in Poland in the future. Will have to mix in some sightseeing while we are there.
 

markferrigno

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Thank you for sharing your adventure!

The wife and I are thinking hard about a hunt in Poland in the future. Will have to mix in some sightseeing while we are there.

Do it, you won't regret it!
 

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Congrats Mark, an exciting and successful hunt !
 

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