Located in the very heart of Europe, between Germany, Hungary, and the CzechRepublic, amidst breathtaking mountain scenery, and possessed of outstanding sightseeing opportunities, Austria is one of the most popular destinations for hunters traveling to Europe. A bit larger than the state of West Virginia, Austria is 75% mountainous, with vast evergreen forests, picturesque valleys, and Alpine meadows. It boasts a rich hunting culture and history, dating back 1,000 years.
Once part of Bavaria, Austria has figured prominently into European history. The Hapsburg Dynasty created the Austro-Hungarian Empire which dominated central Europe in the 19th century. The capital, Vienna, became one of the great world centers for art, music, and western culture. Once home to Beethoven, Mozart, Strauss, and many other famous musicians and artists, today Vienna still possesses much of the charm of earlier times and is one of the most popular sightseeing destinations in Europe. So too is Salzburg in western Austria, lying at the foot of the Alps.
For hunters Austria provides one of the best examples of European hunting culture with the practice of customs which have evolved over one thousand years. These include a unique form of hunters’ language – the “Jägersprache” – and rituals of respect for the game and the hunter, which are still widely observed by local hunters and guides.
All of the common species of big game found in Europe are found in Austria. Austria’s wildlife management system is among the best in the world and game herds are managed not only for quantity, but also for trophy quality. Many of the techniques now widely used in the United States for deer management have been imported from Austria and Germany, where they have been practiced for some three hundred years. Superb trophy quality and healthy, well-balanced game populations are the results of this scientific and intensive wildlife management.
In Europe there are very few truly wild spaces left. In Austria we rely exclusively on huge private estates (15,000 to 25,000 acres) where game has been carefully and skillfully managed for generations. All of the commonly hunted continental species are available and superb quality can be had. All of the estates we use are large in size and most are mountainous, with dense forests. All present a challenging fair chase environment for both wildlife and hunter.
Prices vary slightly from estate to estate. In Austria, as in most other European countries, game is priced by quality. Highly skilled and experienced guides are trained to find the quality level desired by each customer.