When you stay in the countryside of Slovenia, which is almost everywhere ;), you will certainly see a lookout somewhere. These are little, high, wooden huts with a fixed ladder, where hunters can observe game, count it and, unfortunately, also shoot it, if necessary. There are many hunter associations and everyone has their own lookout. Most are placed in fields or along the forest edge, but there are also lookouts IN the forest. The hunters must adhere to different rules and can certainly not just shoot game randomly. There are different hunting seasons for different game and every shot fired must be justified, i.e. reported. For as long as we’ve been living here, I have wanted to sit in a cabin with Bine for an evening to see if we can spot something. Preferably a bear ;).
Last year, there were tourists from Belgium staying in one of the holiday houses that I manage in our village and the man also really wanted to see a bear. He sat in a lookout for an hour or two, three every night and his wait was rewarded! He eventually saw a bear. Dutch guests who were here just a few weeks ago, went along with a hunter and they also saw bears. Four of them no less! There are several companies that offer “bear spotting” because it has become very popular with tourists. You have to pay quit a bit for this service, and then, of course, you still have no guarantee. But those hunters know where the bears are located and they feed them. The chances that you see them in the places where they take you is a lot bigger.
But for some reason Bine and I have never gone to sit in one of those lookouts for an evening. Weird actually. We often see deer here, and in the area, but who knows what else we could see in such a lookout. There are also many wild boars around, and foxes, badgers and even wolves. But they hardly ever show up. I’ve been lucky enough to see one, in the middle of the night, on the edge of our village. What was I doing there in the middle of the night? Well, let me explain that. Promise not to laugh! As you can read in my introduction, I am a very big animal lover. During the construction of our house we lived in a very old house in the village for over two years . The floors were wooden and full of holes. The walls as well, by the way. We therefore had mice in the house.
Now I don’t get any mousetrap in my house other than an animal-friendly one. That’s a trap where the mouse gets trapped in a small container so that you can bring him or her outside somewhere. It says that you have to bring the mouse at least a few kilometers away, otherwise it will come right back ;). So we had put such a trap in the kitchen. Now I always have to get out of bed at night to pee and in that house, I had to go through the kitchen to the bathroom. So what happened regularly? I woke up at night to pee and then walked through the kitchen to the toilet and heard a mouse was trapped. Those little creatures were trapped in a small box and of course went crazy to try and get out. I heard them scratching and everything. And because it was the middle of the night, the mouse would have to wait for hours before we would take it away in the morning. I felt sooo sorry for that little trapped mouse! So what did I do? I put on my clothes, picked up the trap and walked out to the edge of the village to release the mouse. One of those times, I suddenly saw a wolf standing about 50 meters away from me, but just under a lantern so that I could see it very clearly. We looked at each other and both waited for a moment to see what the other would do. Fortunately, the wolf quickly decided to err on the side of caution and walked away. A very special experience!
But one of these days we’re just really going to do it, spend an evening in a lookout. And then of course I will let you know what we have seen :).