It happened in one of the harshest winters sometime in the 19th century. in Austria. One family suffered from cold and hunger. The summer harvest was meager and so the hermit family, the parents and the six children sat around the table and knew neither in nor out. Father couldn’t hold it anymore. He got up from the table in silence, took his shotgun out of the cupboard, and went out to the house. Nobody said anything. Nobody tried to hold him back, even if everyone knew what he was up to. Poaching was a serious offense. And that’s what he would be guilty of. The wild animals that were there belonged to the owner of the forest, the Count, who was allowed to shoot as much as he wanted, just for fun and to drive away the boredom.
A few hours later the father returned to the hut with three hares on his belt. Now his family would have something to eat for a while. But then? It was close. It was only with great difficulty that he escaped the hunter in charge, because it is difficult to hide a shot. Perhaps he should try traps again, but he would do everything he could to keep his family from starving to death. No matter what happened to him, even if he knew that life was going to get much harder for them, he would go to prison.
At the same time the count was sitting on a high seat, wrapped in his marmot coat so that he did not have to freeze and waited. It didn’t take long before a number of wild boars were driven right in front of the shotgun so that he could shoot them comfortably. It was also too boring, this normal hunt, where you sit for many hours on this uncomfortable high seat and wait for an animal to comfortably come by. And when it finally comes, you may not hit the right spot, so it escapes and has to be sought. He much preferred this hunt in the gate. What a beneficial idea from his father. And so easy. All you had to do was build a fence, lock the animals up in it, and then allow yourself to be driven away in due course. Out of ten he hit three on average. And not meeting was no longer a problem, because after all, the animals could no longer flee far. At the end of the hunt, when the route was laid, he was no longer interested in the animals. Who needs all that stuff when you’re already overeating. Sometimes he gave them away when he was having a generous day. If not, he let them be buried. He knew nothing of the plight of the population, because the hunt only served to prevent him from being so terribly bored. And where else could man show his superiority over the rest of the creature better than in the hunt.
Today we write the year 2020. The hunters have set themselves – according to their own statements – high ethical standards, because they are only concerned with maintaining the natural balance in the forest. Therefore, they would have to kill animals, as sorry as they were. One would almost believe it, if one then did not discover that there are still hunting gates, i.e. enclosed private hunts, as they are called in technical jargon, in which animals are bred only to be shot down. Mostly still in aristocratic hands – although the aristocracy was abolished in Austria in 1919 – it has now become a lucrative business model. In addition to the unspeakable animal suffering of these hand-raised and thus almost tame animals, the deliberate overpopulation leads to serious damage to the forests. This type of hunting, which most hunters themselves disapprove of as not being a hunter, has been banned in recent years. Among other things, also in Burgenland. More precisely, the corresponding law was changed in May 2017 and so from February 1st, 2023, the hunt should be part of history, where it belonged long ago. But out of the blue this change should now be reversed. Under the leadership of Governor Doskozil, the SPÖ submitted a corresponding application to the Burgenland state parliament and will probably be approved. The question now is why is this happening? What have the Esterhazy, Mendsorff-Pouilly and Drašković families, all of whom still dubbed themselves counts, send the governor or promised that he will throw all socialist values overboard and get into bed with the bourgeoisie? No matter what it was, everything must definitely be done to ensure that this anachronism in the 21st century. finally comes to an end.