The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation has governed wildlife management in the US for over a century. The first principle is that Wildlife resources are conserved and held in trust for all citizens – an answer to the European tenent of the “King’s deer.” In the US, all wildlife belong to the people with state wildlife agencies acting as stewards of those resources. Hunting is well regulated but open to all who want to participate. No special status or memberships required.
Hunting in Croatia is very different from North America. The authority for hunting and management of game has been legislated (Croatian Hunting Act), where the Croatian Hunting Association issues hunting licenses, issues gamekeeper licenses, and certifies trophies. Consequently, hunting in Croatia is more than just obtaining a hunter safety card and buying a license. You need to join a hunting club just to get started.
The opening reception for the conference was held at the Zlatna Greda hunting lodge (you may want Google translate to do it’s magic for you when you go to this website). I don’t think many hunting camps in PA look like this one! We could listen to “red deer roaring and golden jackal howling” on the grounds. We wrote about golden jackals for the blog once. Talk about coming full circle.
On display was the record deer harvested this past year on the hunting grounds.
Big game management in Europe is very different from North America. Landowners and hunters control the management, but that means that the opportunity to hunt is not necessarily open to everyone. Those with more resources (land and/or money) are more likely to have access to hunting opportunities. Is that good or bad? Probably depends on your perspective. It’s just different with a different set of management challenges.
Fun Croatia wildlife facts:
Not only is Croatia home to golden jackals whose range extends from southeastern Europe across southern Asia but also brown bears (yes, Ursus arctos!) and the timber wolf (Canis lupus).
Duane Diefenbach, Chief Foreign Cervid Correspondent
Jeannine Fleegle, National Cervid News Desk Anchor