Sometimes you see something you know you'll never experience again. This is where these stories lives on beyond the campfire.

Andrew Oswald

A heritage of hunting in the Ardennes

October, 2012 • Ardennes, Belgium
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“A friend of mine and his gamekeeper have hunted in the Ardennes for nearly 20 years.”

During a driven hunt in October a stag came out of the drive right next to my neighbour and about 200 meters away from me at around midday, with the sun high and bright. My friend didn’t shoot and the stag kept going across the field. I took one shot at 250 meters and again at around 300 meters with my Swarovski 1-4 Battue scope on a Blaser 338 WIN MAG 220gr. The stag didn’t react to the bullet at all.

For three hours at my peg I wondered if I’d hit him. At the end of the drive we looked for a blood trail – but nothing. We put a dog on his trail and after 2km we found the stag. One bullet was in its heart and the second in its shoulder. I found out afterwards that my friend didn’t shoot because the sun was in his scope so he couldn’t see the stag. I had the stag cleaned and mounted and kept him at home for a year.

The magnificent stag

The following year my friend invited me back to the same hunt. I took the stag with me and presented it as a gift to the gamekeeper of the hunt. He was in tears. He had been the game keeper in the same area for nearly 50 years and seen many stags in his area but never had one been shot by a guest. This stag is now displayed in his village house in the Ardennes. He has retired but tells me he will never forget the day!

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