A Potpourri Of Hunts In Europe


Published: February - 2004

Bill Freed on England: Subscriber Bill Freed says he has discovered the secret to hunting England. He was there this past August with his wife and son hunting with James Ellis, who manages the estate of the Vine House Gunton Park in Northfork, England. Freed says that the advantage of hunting with Ellis is that he is the one who actually manages the hunting on the estate, thus eliminating any middlemen and the miscommunications that often occur regarding hunting times, dates and trophy prices. It also means the trophy fees are less expensive because the client pays only what the estate charges.

Gunton Park is the ancestral home of the Barons of Suffield and was the favorite hunting grounds of Prince Edward VII, then Prince of Wales. The park is a high-fenced property of 800 acres. Freed reports he, his wife and son took very good red stags, fallow deer and sika deer in the park, plus Chinese water deer in a nearby marsh. Freed says that while many hunters may not think the estate is very big to hunt such animals, the deer here are very alert and do not allow an easy approach. In fact, he says his wife spent three days on a previous hunt just trying to get on a red stag here. While Ellis knows the animals "intimately" and can find them for his clients, Freed says there are typically so many animals watching for danger that it is difficult to get in range and shooting position for the trophy one chooses to take.

The hunts are conducted by driving around the estate to locate and glass animals and then attempting to stalk them on foot. Freed says none of the hunts are actually strenuous, but Ellis does not allow long-range shots, so hunters must be willing to work to get close to their quarry. For the Chinese water deer, Freed says Ellis took him to a section of a 180,000-acre marsh called the Broadlands, where the deer roam freely. Although the terrain is very flat and open here, Freed says the heavy fog........(continued)

 
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