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For the love of nature, Absam, TyrolFor the love of nature, Absam, TyrolFor the love of nature, Absam, Tyrol

Interview

Hunting protects and preserves

Ms Schiestl-Swarovski, your great-grandfather founded the company SWAROVSKI OPTIK in 1949. What made him decide to move into production of long-range optics?

My great-grandfather Wilhelm Swarovski loved nature and all its plants and animals. He saw nature as a refuge, a source of inspiration, and a test bed for new products. As a broadly based natural scientist, he worked intensively with chemistry, biology, mineralogy, astronomy, and geology. His diverse interests guided his career from an early stage. My great-grandfather developed spotting scopes and new formulas for optical glass. The company’s first logos featured his favorite mountain, the Habicht in the Stubai Valley in Austria. The hawk, or Habicht in German, is also part of our branding today.
So for over 70 years, SWAROVSKI OPTIK has been inspired by a love of nature. Our aim is to help people to love nature and encourage them to treat it with care and respect as a guest – when hunting and during all other outdoor activities.

HUNTING IN PRIMEVAL FORESTS - Wood Poland
Landscape Forest Mountains Austria ID 346468
APPRECIATING THE GIFTS OF NATURE - landscape mountains

Not everyone views hunting positively. What is SWAROVSKI OPTIK’s position on hunting?

SWAROVSKI OPTIK supports hunting if it is carried out sustainably, responsibly, legally, and in harmony with nature. We view hunting in the context of an alpine tradition, as an important task in harmony with nature that makes a valuable contribution to balance in the terrain. The principles of hunting and its success are based on alert and active senses: intensive observation, concentrated listening, and a reliable appraisal of situations. This mindful approach combined with respect for nature and its beauty is at the heart of hunting for us.

What contribution does hunting make?

Together with forestry and agriculture, hunting protects and keeps our unique homeland intact for future generations. So it is important to maintain natural habitats, manage them, and use them for hunting. Because, after all, human habitation has greatly reduced game habitat. Forests and meadows have been replaced by housing developments.

hunting picture

What is hunters’ task today?

Hunters focus intensively on care and maintenance. They have a great understanding of nature. As experts in flora and fauna, they pass on their knowledge and enthusiasm for nature, and protect it.

Forests and nature are also increasingly being used by people seeking relaxation. The ‘back to nature’ trend is encouraging many people to spend more time outdoors. How do you view this development?

On the one hand, it’s great to see that more and more people are appreciating and taking advantage of the restorative qualities of forests and nature. On the other hand, higher levels of human activity also have adverse effects on game habitat. Use of these areas for diverse activities calls for greater efforts to increase awareness and understanding and thus allow harmonious interactions. Hunters have a key role to play here.

HUNTING IN PRIMEVAL FORESTS - animal#gobirdingvlogs by Leander Khil  - #gobirdingvlog Episode 7: Spring Bird Sounds Rotkehlchen by Leander Khil

What are long-distance optics needed for?

High-quality observation and sighting optics allow hunters to carry out their tasks responsibly. Binoculars and spotting scopes make it possible to observe game in the terrain without disturbing the animals. Sharp, optimally displayed images with ideal contrast, high detail recognition and edge sharpness make correct sighting easier, i.e. identifying the age, gender, and health of the game, and provide a clear overview of the situation of the game population in the terrain.

You also produce rifle scopes. Does this not contradict “love of nature”?

Top-quality rifle scopes that need to be expertly mounted and sighted-in increase the chance of a precise shot. This allows hunters to kill game without creating suffering and stress. The animals move naturally in their habitat and live in freedom until the very last second. The meat obtained through hunting is therefore far superior to factory farming in terms of both ethics and health.

Does SWAROVSKI OPTIK support hunting then?

Yes, if it is carried out sustainably, responsibly, legally, and in harmony with nature.

We view game as a sustainable, regional, and high-quality natural food that promotes mindful meat consumption: no transport routes, no antibiotics, no factory farming – quite literally, ‘from the wild to the table.’ We feel it’s important for high-quality game to be appreciated and to sell for an appropriate price, not just in refined forms. Local game needs to find its way into more households rather than allowing game to be sourced from abroad or even game holdings.

Swarovski Optik APPRECIATING THE GIFTS OF NATURE Robert Niederkofler preparing dish. from the wild to the table

What is your personal position on hunting?

Overall, I view hunting as a very responsible activity that fosters human contact with nature and in which every living creature is treated with appreciation and respect.

What is the attraction of hunting?

In our eyes, hunting is among the most intense and beautiful activities you can engage in outdoors. You live, feel, think, and act at nature’s pace. Or as a saying appropriately puts it: “The hunter’s luck is but a moment.”

Hunting Patrick Hundorf Hessen ID 1313232
Our Hunting Position at a glanceDownload