Due to the corona pandemic, more people are going outside and actively contributing to nature management. Taking hunting training is a logical choice for young people. The more sustainable use of food also plays a role.
“I also want to know where my meat comes from and how it has lived. By shooting the game and using everything from it and sharing it with friends, sustainable use of an animal is at the top.
The skin can also be used. The population of certain animal species must be controlled.” Jasper de Groot is a hunter and nature manager on the Twickel estate in Delden.
In 2013, he completed the forest and nature management course and obtaining the hunting certificate is part of that. But over the years, the awareness of sustainable use of the meat grew at Jasper.
“In the Netherlands, we want and have to do a lot on the square meter at the same time. You have to ensure that balance remains. Otherwise, you will experience nuisance from certain animal species or, as you hear a lot now, collisions with the game.”
There are rules around hunting. The image that people have that hunters run around with a rifle for weeks is not correct, according to Jasper de Groot.
“It is counted how many animals there are and based on the counts it is determined how many animals may be shot, which is necessary for the balance.”
Julia de Vries of the hunters’ association explains that 40 hectares per person are needed to hunt actively. If there is space in a particular area, you can hunt there in consultation with the keeper. And even then, you have to stick to the agreements.
Per game species, there are specific periods when you are allowed to hunt. “Until now, all people with a hunting license have a place to hunt, but it doesn’t mean that more can be shot. The numbers are fixed.”
An equally important part of being a hunter is conservation. Together with landowners, we are looking at increasing biodiversity by constructing hedgerows, reducing wild fields and flower borders and making agreements with farmers about perhaps other crops and crops.
“Here at Twickel, we are working on the hawthorn hedges and behind this, you can see strip cultivation. That is beautiful for the holidaymaker, but also very important for us as nature managers.”
Jasper is also called forest boss and nature boss. He is proud of it. “It is the most beautiful work there is. Working outside in and with nature and thus preserving the estate for future generations.”