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Hunting in Macedonia

Wolf

Macedonia is one of the few places in the world where a wolf trophy can be guaranteed within a couple of days. The secret is their number nowadays – about 1800 in total – and the perfect hunting organization.

Wild Goat/Chamois

Macedonia's high mountains host the highest populations of Balkan chamois. In Karadzica and on the mountains Sara and Mavrovo there are 3,500 chamois of the Balkan subspecies.

The Mavrovo National Park with an area of 73.088 hectares is located in the south-western part of the Balkans, near the Macedonian border with Albania and Kosovo.

The Park was founded in the year 1949 to protect the outstanding beauty of the environment. This is the only place where we can guarantee to shoot a Balkan chamois within a couple of days. Trophies are mostly medals.

Turtle-Doves

The turtle-dove’s passage begins at 7:30 AM and ends at 11:00, at the places where it feeds (sunflower fields), that is why the hunters have to be at the hunting grounds by 7:00 AM. Due to the fact that birds of the dove species use the same air corridors when flying, it is advised that the hunting guides research the hunting spots a day or two in advance.

The spots where the cover will be set to stalk the birds are decided on the basis of the collected information. After 11:00 AM if we’re not satisfied with the results, we can stalk the birds by their watering places (by rivers, swamps, overflows etc.), on the condition that there are trees, dried tree trunks, electrical posts and wires.

The use of retriever dogs is common practice. The dog must be very disciplined and adept at carrying out commands. It should obey the commands: stay, lay down, fetch. An experienced dog has the ability to track the moving birds before the hunter and upon shooting to bring back the bird quickly and energetically, well remembering the shot bird’s exact spot. It must sit down in front of the hunter and give back the animal.

During a group hunt (in groups of 4-8 hunters), it’s advisable they cover all corridors of the passing birds, forcing them to keep flying in the air and giving the hunters a chance to continue shooting. The turtle-dove flies at speeds of 70 to 90 km/h and must be anticipated properly.

Rock Partridges

The Rock Partridge hunting. The Rock Partridge is extremely beautiful and its hunting is very attractive for hunters in Macedonia.

They live in small flocks. This bird often resides in rocky areas and those with low vegetation. It is distinguished from similar birds by its sharp and noisy sounds.

The hunting grounds in Macedonia are especially beautiful, in the areas of Mt. Shara, Mt. Suva Gora, the national park of Mavrovo, Mt. Bistra and Mt. Stogovo.

Partridges

The hunt for partridges begins at around 9:00 AM, because the gallinaceous birds do not require the hunter to get up and be at the hunting grounds very early. The hunt can take place in flatlands and regions with small, rolling hills.

Partridges found in Macedonia are wild, and they reside in uncultivated lands and fields of weeds. In these places partridges can easily hide and breed. Some flocks consist of more than 50 birds. It is possible to see 10 to 20 families a day. Partridges are stalked with pointing dogs, the Pointer and Setter being the breeds most commonly used. They scour bigger areas quickly and have a good firm stance.

Some Pointers can smell flocks from 100m away. You can hunt individually or in a group. Nervous dogs are to be avoided (dogs that can’t hold their stance or are easily provoked by the moving birds in front of them, which in turn impedes the hunters’ advance). Partridges, when in danger, fly 300-600m from where they were standing and land again. That is why their flight path needs to be tracked.

We need to have good control over the dog so as to be able to regulate the search distance, especially when we know where the birds are. The families have a strong scent which makes them easy to find. It’s advisable, when hunting partridges, to try and break up the flock. Then they press to the ground longer and we can observe beautiful stances from the dogs.

This particular hunt can last all day with a lot of ground covered with high tempo. That is why the hunter needs to be in good health.