A Guest in the Living Room of the Native Game Animals

Otto Haitzmann's love for animals and nature began practically in his cradle on his parents' farm in Weißbach. He helped actively on the farm and worked for a few years as a dairyman on the Kallbrunnalm.


That is why it is better to walk in a group. The “enemy” is predictable but if someone is 20 metres away from the path it makes them nervous. Of course, the resting times of the game must also be taken into account and that is why you should not be out and about in the night. This is the only thing which guarantees a stress-free coexistence between humans and animals. Since the habitat of the native wild animals is increasingly restricted, it is very important to guarantee them their last places of retreat. Those who spend time in the forest are in the living room of the animals and should be aware of this.  


How do people react when you speak to them about their misconduct?

On the whole people are very understanding when you make them aware of the problems. In my experience people are willing to learn when you explain things to them. Mostly they are prepared to turn around or return to the marked trails. There are of course some rogues among them but there are also some of those among the hunters.


Have you had any special experiences in the forest?

The first thing that comes spontaneously to mind is something which I am still asked even today and always makes me smile. When I am out and about in the natural world I often start chatting to hikers. As I am recognizable as a hunter from my equipment, many of them want to know if I can show them nest with chamois eggs. This idea comes from humorous postcards which show a motive with a chamois nest and eggs which have apparently been laid by the chamois. It seems as though some people actually believe that. The animals have almost as mythical a status as the Edelweiss, because there are so many legends about them and you seldom see them.


How as your (dream -) profession shaped you?

I have developed a very close connection to nature which I have passed on to my wife and children. I was outside in all wind and weather and usually spent around three months of the year in the huts on my hunting ground. Thankfully, the family was understanding of this and when it was possible, they accompanied me again and again. There is simply nothing better than to live in complete harmony with nature and to get to know the animals in the forest up-close.


Many thanks for the interview and the interesting look at the world of the native game animals.


“Respect your borders“

is an initiative by the Salzburg, which promotes a conflict-free approach to nature and wild animals. The educational campaign is designed to make locals and guests aware of the issue and to develop an awareness of the effects that disrespectful behaviour has on nature. The initiators from tourism, nature conservation, hunters and politics believe that many of those who cause problems are not aware of the consequences of their behaviour. With the help of folders and information boards, the dangers for game are highlighted. Information boards in the forest describe how to behave correctly so that game and forest are protected.


You can find further stories from the region at

Postet from
Gudrun Dürnberger
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