Back home from a day spent tracking some wild Bison in the mountains
with two great Serbian guests.
Muddy trails, thickets, a clouded humid day and wet grass. But
absolutely worth it!
We started off in the 21st century using the radio telemetry to get an
idea of the bison’s whereabouts – tough in a terrain that reflects the
signal with all the hillsides facing into different directions!
together with the good old gut feeling, we dropped down into a small,
grassy glade after meandering along trails and penetrating a thicket
that was filled with fresh signs of Bison – and Bear!
We came along
broken branches, chopped off Stinging nettle, hair on the thorns of Dog
Rose bushes and dung.
Moving on to the stone age technique we started tracking the clear
tracks in the clay until the grass made them disappear. All that was
left were bent grass stalks and other piles of dung further down the
hill. Shoes and socks by now thoroughly soaked. We followed, slower and
more carefully as it got thicker and thicker as we hit the bottom of the
glade. Then we heard a crack.
moment of doubt and then another clear crack of a branch, just below
us. Not yet sure if we will see Bison or Bear we approached even more
attentively. We heard some more branches snapping around us, shifting
the odds to Bison. So we got closer, one by one into the forest. Then,
grabing our attention, a guttaral grunt above the trail. And a rush away
from us. Still no view of them we attempted the another approach and
got into a smaller glade and as we walked up, there were three of them.
Waiting for us to spot them in the thick stands of young Beech trees..
None of us did. Then as we got too close, they bolted again. Stopping us
in our tracks and letting us sneak in a picture as one took a moment to
have another look at us. Then off they went and we gave them the
distance they needed. Great to see them behaving so wildly!
After that, all smiles, rain and food.
Good to have you back on the track, Irenka and Mihai!
By Georg Messerer