In conversation with Julia Kerner about hunting as a responsibility towards nature, her favorite hunting grounds and why the Leica Amplus 6 is her optics of choice.
How did you get into hunting?
I got into hunting through my family, I grew up hunting. My father is a hunter, my grandfather was a hunter and so I was always with him from an early age and knew early what was on our plate, what hunting stands for and what responsibility a hunter has. For me hunting is a matter of course. It was not until my early 20s that I decided to become an active hunter myself. I wanted to take an active part in hunting and also to lead our dog on the hunt.
What do you associate with hunting, what do you particularly appreciate about it?
The closeness to nature, game and tradition. To spend time in the hunting grounds is a break from everyday life for me. I like being out in nature. As a hunter I perceive nature with different eyes. I appreciate the privilege of hunting local game and knowing where the meat comes from. I also like the hunting traditions that we maintain in our family. And I wouldn’t want to miss my German Shorthair dog Fine when I am hunting.
Where do you prefer to hunt?
I hunt in a forest and in a field ground. I prefer to hunt in my home forest district, because there many things are unforeseeable. In my opinion, it is more diverse, because you mostly have only a short range of view and you do not always see game immediately. I often and very gladly go hunting together with friends who live at different places in Germany.
Is there a hunting experience that has particularly impressed you in the past?
For me every hunting experience is impressive, because I associate a message with every piece of game. Last year I went hunting with friends in the Harz region. What will always remain in my memory is the hunting of my red deer double, as this was also my first red deer. Where I hunt, red deer is not native and therefore this was a particularly emotional hunting experience.
What would you give as advice to young people who are interested in hunting?
Hunting is all about having a responsibility towards the game and nature. I would recommend to every person interested in hunting that he or she should take an in-depth look at the craft and, above all, actively accompany hunters.
How do you think modern hunting and nature conservation fit together?
For me, hunting is active nature conservation. The habitat of many species is further reduced by the expansion of the infrastructure or is confined to many small biotopes. An appropriate game population is therefore necessary and important. Hunting according to the rules of hunting is for me a big factor of nature conservation, I do active fawn rescue, educational work and respect the traditions. But also, the diversity of species is close to my heart. Due to monocultures in the fields the small game does not have it easy anymore. We support the small game by taking care of the hedge strips, exchange with farmers and by active fox hunting. All this is up-to-date and is needed nowadays, because our nature needs to be supported.
Last but not least: Why are high-quality optics important for you when hunting?
I have to be able to rely on my optics 100 percent in order to hunt the game precisely and at different distances. When I am hunting or stalking in the forest, the field of view and the clarity of the optics play an important role in enabling me to make quick decisions. High quality optics must be kept simple in design and should have a robust construction. This ensures good handling, which can also convince me in the dawn and dusk. All these factors make a high-quality optics for me. Because the rifle shoots and the optics hit.