Stefaan Rotthier from Belgium is a passionate and dedicated hunter. He teaches the next generation about sustainable, responsible, and legal hunting in harmony with nature. He shared his story with us.
“My story begins in a small urban town, called Boom, where I was born and raised. A town situated between Antwerp and Brussels in Belgium. It is known worldwide amongst music lovers for its festival Tomorrowland.
I am the third generation hunter in our family and - like my father passed it on to me - I am passing my passion on to my two five-year-old sons. They are already very interested in everything related to hunting or nature. I could not imagine a life without hunting and a food source I love so much. Probably, I would feel disconnected from nature. I feel very strongly about passing these values on to my boys.
I was always lucky that my dad had hunting grounds in Belgium, where I could join him as much as possible. In the north, there is small game and in the south also big game such as wild boar, roe deer and red deer. This is where my passion for hunting has grown. Our area is a typical rolling landscape with nothing but forest, from pine trees to oak to very dense fern jungles. Our wild boar, roe deer and red deer flourish in these parts.
I started hunting with my dad on these grounds. The typical way we hunt big game in Belgium is driven hunts. Our season is from October until January, so it takes place during the winter
My passion for hunting has evolved over the years. The public’s perception of hunting, however, has changed a lot in our society. In my eyes, sometimes people are disconnected from their human instincts and oppose hunting. Therefore, it is even more important to serve as an ambassador for this forgotten wisdom.
I have to say that I prefer individual hunts (stalking or hide hunting). This way, I can better observe the animals and understand their world.
During the months of March and April, I prepare myself by placing trail cameras to find the roe buck I hope to harvest. Roe buck season opens in May and back again in July. Wild boar is open all year round.”