This past fall our president Igor Motkin was invited to participate in a traditional German hunt with our friends at Zeiss Optics. We thought we’d share the experience with some background on German hunting culture, details on the gear we used and plenty of photos to capture the experience.

Exploring Germany

The annual Zeiss hunt was to take place in the Oberwesel area of Germany. This scenic area is positioned near the Rhine River in a portion of Germany known as the Rhinegau. The terrain consists primarily of hilly river terrain, and locals call the area the Hinterlandwald or “Inland Forest.” As you would expect, this region of Germany is excellent for hunting and portions of the Hinterlandwald are considered fairly remote for an otherwise developed and populous country. The city itself is full of classic architecture and is famous for its wine production.


View of Oberwesel and the Rhine from the hills.


Historic sites like portions of the town wall built in the 13th Century are major attractions in Oberwesel.

As the group gathered to prepare for the hunt, everyone loaded up to travel to hunting camp. This camp is like many in the area, and it is a based on a carefully managed hunting lease. Hunting parties aren’t just interested in hunting on the land, they are caretakers of it as well, with carefully managed hunting quotas to follow each season.


German Hunting Culture

Hunting in Germany is far different than what we’re used to in the US. Based upon a rich culture passed down for generations, a large group of hunters gather to hunt and celebrate. German hunters hold great reverence for the opportunity to hunt, and each animal is honored after harvest. Ceremony is a key part of the hunt, and really the Germans spend more time on the ceremonial and celebratory parts of the hunt than the hunt itself. A hunt is also a chance to spend time with fellow hunters and eat and drink together. This particular gathering consisted of 40-45 hunters from all around Europe, as well as the US and South Africa.


The game everyone was after was a combination of Russian boar, roe deer, red deer and foxes. As we mentioned earlier, German hunting numbers are carefully controlled to ensure the harvest is sustainable.


The hunting harvest laid out after the hunt was concluded.


Equipment Used On The Hunt

Since transporting firearms internationally can be an adventure in itself, Zeiss offered to lend us a rifle for the hunt. Of course the rifle would be outfitted with Zeiss Optics. On this hunt Igor was provided with a Sauer 404 rifle, a popular choice for the area, and it was outfitted with a Zeiss Victory V8 1.8-15×50 scope with a standard crosshair reticle.


As for hunting apparel, we’re all fans of Sitka Gear here at Sitka Gear provides a wealth of layering and apparel options so hunters only have to carry one dedicated system into the field.


1800GunsAndAmmo President Igor Motkin sporting his Sitka Gear Camo.

A special thanks to the Zeiss Optics team, especially Todd Bailey for inviting to this unforgettable event. We’d also like to thank Igor Motkin for his photography and coverage of the event.