In the Middle Ages, hunting was an autumn and winter amusement and privilege of kings and aristocracy. But today, hunting is no longer available only to a small group of people thanks to democratisation of life. Today, anyone who is interested and adheres to the strict terms and conditions can become a hunter. Even though the Czech Republic is quite densely populated, it has hunting grounds, game preserves and rivers or dams where you can find interesting trophy fauna, such as boars, deer, roedeer, fallow deer, wild ducks, pheasants or rabbits, or when you can fish for a beautiful catfish, carp or even a pike. Considering the fact that there are almost no predators in the Czech Republic, except for a few packs of wolves and solitary lynxes in the border mountains, game hunting is essential in keeping the forests healthy and game numbers at check. Where can you learn more about hunting and where can you hunt?
Gamekeeping and Fishing TraditionGamekeeping and fishing have a long tradition in the Czech Republic. They say that everyone in the country is either a fisher or a gamekeeper. Or both. How is that possible? The tradition of men (and today also some women) being active in gamekeeping associations has long been supported by the law. Every forest owner is required to take care of the animals who live there. And to do that, owners hire semi-professional gamekeepers who organise hunts and take care of the animals. The same applies to fishing. And what about game preserves where trophy animals are bred? They also exist, and some sell hunting permits. If you are a hunter, come to the Czech Republic and try your hunting luck there. However, bear in mind that hunting is very strictly regulated, and everything takes place with respect to nature and animals. One of the game preserves where you can hunt is Obora Lány with 30 km2, which belongs to the summer residence of Czech presidents – the Lány Chateau in Central Bohemia. The hunting areas and game preserves on an area of about 6,000 hectares in the Orlické Mountains, owned by the descendants of the count family of Kolowrat, are also very popular and valued.
Autumn Pond HarvestPond harvest time in South Bohemia is a traditional event. When the introduced fish population reaches the right size, it is time to plan the autumn harvest. The pond is drained and fishers in boats catch the fish into nets. In the Třeboň region, which is the largest producer of freshwater fish not only in the Czech Republic, but in Europe, is planning to harvest about 250 ponds this year. The most popular harvests include the largest pond of Rožmberk (11 - 14 October), Svět (9 - 11 November) in Třeboň or the Bošilecký pond (15 - 17 November) near Veselí nad Lužnicí. Harvesting ponds is an interesting tourist and social event, but this year they will take place without the accompanying programme due to the epidemiological situation.
All about Gamekeeping and Fishing in the National Museum of AgricultureThe beautiful Functionalist building of the National Museum of Agriculture in Prague Letná was built in 1937. It has been recently reconstructed, and it also offers unusual views of Prague. But that is not everything. The main mission of the Museum is to educate in the field of care for the countryside and nature. And that includes gamekeeping and fishing. The exposition entitled Gamekeeping is one of many you will find there. This permanent exposition creates an image of gamekeeping as a lifestyle, attitude, mission, profession and hobby of many people. Visitors can meet animals and watch their footprints in different forest layers. Another part of the exposition allows you to assess your own reactions and abilities as a hunter, and see how nature, animals and people respond to changes in natural conditions. And what about the exposition entitled Fishing? This permanent interactive exposition introduces the work of fishers. It is dedicated to fish in the Czech waters, their protection, and it also informs of the function of a network of ponds in the countryside, or fishing and its history. The exposition includes large fish tanks with live freshwater fish. You can see a catfish, pike, carp or roach for feeding. Those are fish that are common in Czech ponds and rivers.
If gamekeeping is your hobby and you would like to learn more about it, come to the National Museum of Agriculture on 23 October 2021. It is when the Gamekeeping Festival takes place. A rich programme, including demonstrations of falconry and a laser shooting range, is prepared for all friends of the forest and gamekeeping. Those interested in the hunting tradition will definitely enjoy the demonstration of trumpeting and alluring game when hunting.