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Stalking roebuck in the Austrian alps

Stalking roebuck in the Austrian alps

Daniel Smith travels to a lonely outpost in the scenic Austrian Alps on a quest to stalk roebuck, but it’s the region’s chamois goats that will make him return

The dirt track that winds up from the valley floor to the hut near the top of the mountain is eight kilometres long, climbs 800m in altitude and connects two locations that seem worlds apart. The terrain, weather and views in the high peaks differ greatly from those languishing at the foot of the slopes. Up here, the snow lingers, even in May. Chamois — a native species of goat-antelope — are everywhere. But two men who have just arrived at the lonely outpost seek a different quarry. 

Daniel Smith and local guide Otto Schatz are after shootable roebucks and plan to use the hut as their base. The season is set to start the following day. For Daniel, who has stalked plenty of roebucks in the UK, tracking alpine deer at up to 1,700m above sea level promises to be a novel experience.

The two hunters are up before dawn to greet the new season, but with heavy rain showers in evidence in the uplands above the hut, Otto decides to trek towards the valley, where the weather is generally milder. Yesterday, before Daniel had arrived, he spotted an old roebuck in…

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