Our Sporting Agency team recently visited Konopiste in the Czech Republic; arguably the best shoot in Eastern Europe, just 40 minutes from Prague.
Stood beside the crackling fires, the sound of hunting horns breaks the silence and plays out into the cold morning air - immediately immersing you in the deep sense of tradition which surrounds hunting in this area. Safety talk given, and guns reunited with loaders of previous years, we head deep into the mature forest for the first drive.
When on pegs, it's easy to become distracted by the stunning colours of the overhanging woodland that surround us. The first birds begin to break cover – early shots echo along the valley, and the action begins to build. A large line of beaters lift birds from a tall maize crop over a belt of ancient Oak trees to soar over the guns below. Pheasants, Reeves Pheasants and Partridge take on the trees behind the guns, presenting challenging opportunities for the whole line, and when the action slows down as the beaters come into view, a closing tune on the horn signals the end of the first of six drives. The following drives present birds to challenge even the most experienced shot, and the topography ranges from long sweeping grass fields to tight forest rides, keeping the action varied and exciting.
Sloegasms and Sausage Rolls are swapped for traditional Czech Goulash for elevenses, and lunch is served in a hunting restaurant shrouded in trophies as well as pictures of Franz Ferdinand – a passionate hunter and previous resident of the estate.
As a final mark of respect to the fallen game at the end of the day, the birds are laid out to be presented to the guns in the foothills of Konopiště Castle. The trio of hunting horns plays out for a last time, and the day is celebrated by all involved. Beaters and pickers up then line up to receive two-brace of birds as part payment for their efforts on the day, whilst the team head back to Prague already planning next years' visit to this unique destination.
For more information about shooting at Konopiste, please call our Sporting Office on 01242 870391 option 4, or use the enquiry button below.