Thursday, August 4, 2011

"Nothin' wounded goes uphill..."

The Czech Republic has a centuries old tradition of hunting - a fact which has made its game wary. Those that were not flighty enough did not survive, those that did passed down those genetics. Now, stags bound off before the chance for a rifleshot or photograph, and though seemingly ubiquitous based on their tracks and rootings, wild boars are almost never seen on foot. In response to this increasing wariness, hunters most often lie in wait instead of seeking their prey. The countryside is dotted with hunter's shacks on stilts, usually positioned at the tree line of a clearing's edge. The hunter would rest motionless in the shack, with his rifle at the ready, for a deer or boar to enter the clearing, and then he had a single shot, maybe two, to dispatch his quarry. It seems reasonable to speculate that occasionally the animal is wounded and escapes, later succumbing to the injuries. In cases such as these, stags and boars do not waste energy by fleeing uphill, but rather use the terrain to their advantage, gaining downhill momentum to carry them far away - and quickly. Upon reaching low elevation points such as valleys, creeks and gorges, they would follow along it, and in these areas the bones accumulate. With this in mind we've come upon some beautiful additions to our natural history collection:

Roe Deer ( Capreolus capreolus )

Eurasian Badger (Meles meles)

Wild Boar (Sus scrofa)

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