A healthy choice for people and nature: Game meat is a first-class food that tastes delicious, contains little fat, and is kind to the environment. To date, however, even hunters have made too little use of this natural resource, although conscious nutrition remains a strong trend. That’s why Leica Sport Optics is keen to explore the topic of game meat in a series of articles.

Over the course of human history, the face of hunting has changed. Modern hunters of the 21st century must come to terms with their role as a “food entrepreneur” in addition to other, constantly growing challenges. A new and complex topic are the EU regulations and assessment criteria that are intended to ensure the high quality of any game meat that is sold, and to guarantee a transparent marketing chain and complete documentation of origin in the interests of consumer protection. Many hunters perceive these regulations as a financial and organizational hurdle. For the consumer, however, the regulations are quite useful: Just as we hunters expect high quality when buying non-game meat, the quality of game meat is thus further improved and benefits the reputation of domestic game in the long term.

The origin and sustainability of food – especially meat – are increasingly called into question. This is where game meat from local forests and fields comes into play, as does the rediscovery of self-sufficiency overall: tending a vegetable garden, for example, or foraging for wild herbs, mushrooms, and berries in the great outdoors. According to surveys, more than 80% of German citizens consider game meat to be a healthy and sustainable food. As a natural dish, it is more popular than ever. In addition, posts on social media, specialized cookbooks, and campaigns by the hunting community, such as the German Hunting Association’s “Wild auf Wild” (“wild about game”) campaign, ensure that game meat is being enjoyed more frequently. At the same time, game meat has been recognized as an ambassador for sustainable hunting and, as such, has gained prominence in the hunting industry’s communications throughout Germany and, in some cases, across Europe.

Leica Sport Optics will be working with Leica hunters to show how easy it is to incorporate game meat into everyday menus. In the past, game was the privilege of the elite few who had access to it. For the majority, such dishes were a mystery. At most, the classic saddle of venison was served to celebrate a holiday. Today, things are different. Game meat is appearing more and more frequently – even in quick everyday meals. Pan-fried, grilled, or as a burger, it’s winning over German kitchens with a wide range of variations.


Ilka Dorn

Ilka Dorn lives with her family on an old farm on the Lower Rhine area and has been the owner of an advertising agency for more than 20 years. In her free time, the mother of two sons loves to cook for her family, friends and guests, with a particular fondness for preparing the venison of game hunted in her local hunting grounds. She discovered her passion for hunting more than 30 years ago. Her knowledge of wild herbs, mushrooms and all the other treasures of nature was taught by her grandmother and her mother at an early age.

For Ilka Dorn, hunting is both a privilege and a craft, which she carries out with great respect for nature and for the game. For her, hunting today represents the fairest and most justifiable way to obtain meat as food. When she is out hunting she relies on high-quality optics from Leica – whether hunting by day or night.

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