Last night, I was able to join with a couple of my colleagues on an excursion that I never would have expected to go on. It seems that he is very much into hunting and is part of a hunting club called “Koło Łowieckie DANIEL Środa Śląska” [Hunting Club FALLOW-DEER Środa Śląska] that exists in Środa Śląska, a city not too far from Wroclaw. So five of us, my US colleague Dave, my Poland colleague Bartlomiej, Bartlomiej’s Dad, his Dad’s friend, and myself, piled into a small SUV and headed out into the evening to find some game. Our first stop was at a lake where the hunting club meets for events.
After a few minutes here, we went deeper into the hunting area. The field grass was quite tall, which made finding the game a little more difficult. Our target this night was Roe deer. For those not familiar, this is a much smaller deer than what you think of in the United States but seems to be quite popular here in Poland. While Bartlomiej’s Dad and his friend went off in different directions, Dave and I climbed into one of the deer stands with Bartlomiej to watch for the deer to appear. After about 10-15 minutes, we finally saw movement in the field grass. We saw a doe and a buck near the edge of the tree line. They soon moved into the wooded area. A few more minutes and we saw another buck come out of the wooded area. Bartlomiej moved into position and readied the rifle. His first shot rang out and you could see the buck freeze briefly and then he turned and ran. Bartlomiej’s second shot rang out as the buck was heading away. What we didn’t know was the first shot hit its mark. We made our way through the tall grass to where the buck had fallen.
Soon after, Bartlomiej’s Dad came to us and began some traditions of hunting in Poland. He first reached down and plucked some of the field grass and placed it in the buck’s mouth. This is traditionally the hunter feeding the last meal to the deer. He then picked off some of another plant and dipped it in the buck’s blood and placed the branch into Bartlomiej’s hat as a sign of his . His dad then began the process of field dressing the animal. For those wondering, I do have a weak stomach, so I stepped away for this part. I will not be describing that process. 🙂
We piled back into the vehicle with the prepared deer in the back and headed to “purchase point game.” The buck weighed in at 23 kg (~51 lbs) and was determined to be 5-6 years old, which is a rather mature buck. Upon returning to Bartlomiej’s parents house, we were greeted by his mother, brother, and sister-in-law where we had a small meal. There was a smoked kielbasa that was made from deer meat and wild boar (another popular game in Poland, and also as big as some black bear in the United States). We had pate of wild boar, and also a small patty of meat which was also made of deer and wild boar. The second patty was the same as the kielbasa but was baked and not smoked. His mother had made some saurkraut with wild boar as well. The two patties were quite good, but I think the best of the offerings was the smoked kielbasa. Too bad that can’t be brought back home! It was quite delicious. We had a great time getting to know Bartlomiej’s family and learning more about their culture and sampling their food. I am really glad I was able to go and experience a unique part of Poland life.
The picture above is an HDR rendering of some clouds that we could see across the field where we were hunting.
If you would like to learn more about the hunting club, you can visit their website:
Koło Łowieckie DANIEL Środa Śląska