On eagle-catching in the Tyssaer walls

No –  quite as “big” was this planned undertaking not, as described by Ludwig Ganghofer in his well-known work “Hubertus Castle”, where when removing an eagle’s nest Count Egge blinded by trickling sharp eagle and crashed almost dizzying heights. But it was exciting for us 13-year-old at that time anyway.

The western foothills of the Tyssaer walls , which are not developed touristy with hiking trails, were for us young people the ideal “hunting grounds”, where we could let off steam in a romantic environment of the rock world at Indian Games. Here we built a small log cabin with logs from the sawmill hackers , damed a small body of water to our “Silver Lake”, fought so many fights between “Indians and trappers”, which, however, were always ended peacefully with the smoking of the peace pipe. We even intended, in the style of the Karl May Games in Rathen, to stage such games ourselves. But we were probably still too inexperienced.

In our raids we noticed on a rock wall that at a height of about 15 meters at a small cave a kestrel pair ( known as “Rüttelgeier”) ) is at nest building. It was quite interesting to watch this activity. Soon we decided to catch the young birds from the nest before they fledged, because we wanted to train them as “hunting falcons”. When the time came, we got ready for action. Equipped with climbing rope, clothesline with bucket bag for raising the prey, leather gloves against beak and claw blows and air rifle to ward off the adult birds, it started. Arrived on the rock, it was waited until the adult birds flew back to search for food and then let the “lightest and bravest” rappel from us to the nest. Soon, the two nestlings, who voiced a mighty cry, could be pulled up in the bag. Everything went smoothly and we were proud of this successful “hunting mission”, although the guardians of relevant laws certainly would not have agreed. But 13-year-old saw this with different eyes. Once home, our future “hunting falcons” were housed in a prepared cage. With meat leftovers from the Hieken-Fleischer , who owned his butcher’s shop in the hotel “Bohemian Switzerland” , the birds were regularly supplied.

After some time, however, we realized that we were overwhelmed with the training of the two vulture vultures to “hunting falcons”. There was nothing left for us to do but release her again. As soon as we had opened the cage, they floated down into the Tyssaer walls thankfully.

Although we were a little sad, but it was an exciting thing, which has secured a permanent place in my memories.

          Harald Richter,
Rostock, September 2005