Back around 2006....a bear crossed over the German border and became the first bear seen on Germany territory in over 150 years. It was a big deal for about ten weeks...until Bruno the bear got hunted down and shot. A guy could write an entire book about this ten week period in Germany....half-fiction and half-fact....and probably make it to the top-ten books sold in Germany.
This week...it came out that a wolf was seen for the first time in 120 years. Well...he was seen, and shot dead. The Rhineland-Palatinate Hunting Association has done some fact checking and feels very sure about it being a wolf....beyond that....they aren't that sure about anything.
The German press says the wolf was found dead off on some trail that walkers tend to use in the Westerwald area on Saturday afternoon. It's a male and an adult...based on comments (not a pup).
Who shot the wolf? Unknown.
All they will say is that it was a high-caliber rifle that hunters would typically carry.
So where does this go?
It's an odd story. I worked with an American who was readily accepted in German hunting circles and might even be one of the top twenty hunters in the Wiesbaden region. Course, I'd also have to admit he is a fellow-Bama individual, and likely has a head start on most German hunters. Over the period that we worked together....I gained a good bit of insight about your typical German hunter.
There's this odd thing about German hunters....they are pretty organized and dedicated to their sport. If some German hunter came out and tracked some animal and it turned out to be the first wolf in 120 years to walk on German territory....he probably wouldn't shoot it and would rush back to brag about his discovery. He'd tell forty hunters from the local club, and none of them would really believe him. So he'd have to drag some back to the spot....show the trail and prints....and he'd become a legend overnight.
Days and weeks would pass....as this guy's legendary status built up and some media frenzy would occur over this wonderful discovery. Then some political folks would jump in and insist that the wolf had to be shot....with ten German thousand hunters all getting peppy about new political comment.
So, here's my thing. I don't think the wolf was shot there, or by some local hunter. I would suspect that some guy went down into Slovakia or maybe out to Russia....brought a wolf into Germany and just shot it as some news piece.
I think this was set up.
Maybe I'm wrong on this. But I just can't see a typical German hunter taking this shot...and walking away without the wolf's body. It doesn't make sense.
UPDATE: An older gentleman (71) has come out and admitted that he thought it looked like a dog when he shot the wolf, and regrets the action. Hard to say if some law will be tossed at the old guy.