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Guest book

 
2013.10.08.

Justin Brummel


Wonderhart hunting is truly a unique experience. I have only been Europe for only a year now and so far hunting in Hungary has been one of the best experiences in my time here by far.

From the beginning of the trip to the end it was a totally amazing time. Me being a new hunter this was the best way to start. The instruction on how to hunt and the traditions of Hungarian hunting show you how hunting is really about and for me what it is suppose to be. The skill and the patients of Tamas and Zoltan helped me achieve my first Roe buck and my first wild boar in no time at all. On top of the fact of Wonderharts staff skill in hunting, they are very hospitable and amazing hosts, making my time there even more of an example of what a trip is suppose to be.

Authentic Hungarian cuisine and refreshment are the icing on the cake to the whole time your with them. Food ranging from simple things like Hungarian goulash to delicious boar brains. My time with Wonderhart will always be remembered in my time in Hungary and in Europe as one of my best experiences. Forever marked by my roe buck mount that they gave me for my first roe buck and my first time ever hunting.

Thanks Wonderhart!

Justin Brummel

 
2013.10.07.

Jeremy Bray


Hunting for the Red Stag in Hungary was an experience of a lifetime. Some people only dream of the chance to hear the bone chilling roar of the stag. But the chance to achieve such a great trophy is something I will never forget. Every second spent in the woods was unforgettable as well as every second at the lodge. The company and the experience are just as important as the hunt.

Thanks to Wonderhart I met some great people from two very knowledgeable hunting guides that guided me to a trophy of a lifetime to a fellow hunter who has spent his life living off the land.

Thanks to Tamas at Wonderhart I have made some friends that I will never forget and I will definitely return to Hungary to hunt the beautiful country and I will be choosing Wonderhart to do it.

Thank you for fulfilling my dream to hunt the Red Stag!

Jeremy Bray

 

My brother (Neil) organised a family bowhunt that he, my dad (Roger), my sister’s boyfriend (Jonathan) and I would attend. This would be Jonathan’s first bowhunting trip. Jonathan came out to South Africa at the end of 2010 and followed Andy and I as we bowhunted, which got him hooked. After that trip he was dead set on getting himself into bowhunting. That same trip he picked up a rifle for the first time and shot his first animal. Since then, he’s been practicing and preparing for what would hopefully be a great bowhunting trip for him.

We went out to Hungary with Wonderhart Hunting, which is owned by Tamas Takacs. We would be hunting for 6 days.

Zoltan Szoke (who became known as “Zoltan the first” as we would go on to meet 3 Zoltans this trip) was our “host” and translator. Zoltan the first would be organising the accommodation, transport to and from the airport in Hungary and would oversee all of the arrangements. He was a really fun guy. Great entertainer. Very considerate and was always striving to make sure we were OK and that the hunting was what we wanted and what we were expecting.

Tamas had an arrangement with the land owner (also a Zoltan) for us to hunt on a private property they called “The Garden”. We were then introduced to a “chief hunter”, also called Zoltan (who would become known as “Zoltan the wild”) who would be organising the hunting. Zoltan the wild was a genuine mountain man. He had a huge beard and had a passion for the mountains and forests that was contagious. I have not met someone that had a genuine love for the forest, animals, outdoors, hunting and photography like this guy. He was the real deal. His goal for this trip was to make sure that we hunted the way we wanted to hunt and achieved what we wanted to achieve, and to that end he did an outstanding job! (Note: Zoltan carried a rifle during the hunts for protection against any charging, wounded boar.)

I have quite a few hunts lined up this year, so my focus for this trip was to spend some quality time in the bush with my family and try to get Jonathan onto his first bow kill.

All my hunting gear packed. When you travel internationally for hunting, often a big expense can be extra luggage/weight, depending on who you’re flying with. I’ve got to the stage that for MOST of my hunts, I can fit all the gear I need into my bow case and hand luggage, including my Big Agnes sleeping bag.

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After a good cup of coffee early in the morning, we were ready to hit the road for the airport.

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We were met at Budapest airport by Zoltan Szoke (aka Zoltan the first).

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Accommodation was simple, but comfortable with plenty of space in the bedrooms to organise our gear. Showers were hot with plenty of water.

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One of the things that I really enjoyed about Hungarian villages is how vibrant their colours were. From experience, it’s unusual for excomunist countries.

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Table in the dining room that was great for sharpening broadheads, etc..

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Catering was handled by a local village restaurant which had outstanding food. This is the type of breakfast that we were greeted with each morning.

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The hunting would be split between walk & stalk and sitting in tree stands. 

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Hunting walk & stalk at this time of the year can be tricky in these Oak forests. Leaves were very noisy and there is almost no cover, apart from the trees. This coupled with inconsistent wind meant that the walk & stalk hunting was challenging! 

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There were plenty of animals on the property, but getting opportunities was challenging. My dad and Neil managed to make good on two opportunities, taking a pig each (a young boar and a sow) for the pot. I love hunting with my dad and brother and seeing their success. It was special for me this trip when Zoltan the wild said, through a translator to my dad, that my dad should be proud that he gets the opportunity to hunt with both his sons and and now his daughter’s boyfriend, to which my dad agreed. It got me thinking of how often our great way of life and passion is so often not passed through generations. Zoltan the wild, who had three sons, was sad that none of his sons hunted with him and continued his passion for the outdoors.

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Every evening at the end of the day we’d re-group around a fire to warm up and recount of stories from that day, following which we’d head to the restaurant for some outstanding food. One thing you can say about this trip is that WE ATE WELL!

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We finished up having had a great time together on this hunt. Although not as successful as far as animals on the ground is concerned, the camaraderie and kinship that’s shared on a family hunt like this was great!

Notice Zoltan the wild holding a little dog called “Bogi” in the photo below. He hunted with her all the time. She stays to heel the entire hunt – even when you’re 30m from a boar. An incredible little dog! Apparently we weren’t the first group of hunters that had mentioned to Zoltan the wild that if he ever needed to move or couldn’t keep Bogi that we would make him an offer. 

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This is the legend that is Zoltan Olah (aka Zoltan the wild). Seldom have I met someone that is so passionate for the outdoors and hunting like this guy. It was infectious. 

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Questions and Answers

Q: Can you hunt Hungary on a tight budget?

A: Yes. It is possible as many of the land owners will need to take off smaller game (e.g. yearlings) for population control reasons. Often they offer them at a good price, however one of the challenges that you face is that pricing on most animals is done on a size basis, as is done in many European countries. It can be difficult to judge the size of the trophy, especially on boar as often the tusks are covered by hair on their face. For this reason, if you were in a tree stand on your own or stalking on your own, you could shoot a boar that you think is a small to medium size, only to find out that it’s a 25cm boar that will set you back over $2,000.

Q: Is there non-fenced hunting in Hungary?

A: Yes, however access to these properties is quite difficult to come by. Also, maintenance and management on these properties is sometimes not very good. One of the causes of this is that after the communist regime in Hungary was dropped, “public” land was distributed to many of the communist party leaders and is therefore privately owned now. The property we hunted on was owned by the forestry commission and leased to Zoltan.

Q: What was the weather like?

A: Weather was fairly mild for our trip, but can be unpredictable at this time of the year. It often dropped to below freezing overnight, but during the day was comfortable about 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit). We didn’t experience bad weather, apart from the last day when it was very misty and raining. At this time of the year it’s important to take clothing that is suitable for cold weather incase the weather changes. The week after we left they had 60cm (2 feet) of snow.

Q: What special preparation did you do?

A: The most important preparation that I did for this trip was shooting with the clothing that you would be hunting with, especially when you wear more in the tree stands (e.g. gloves, hats, scarf). It’s important to make sure your clothing is suitable to shoot with and that you get used to shooting with it.

 
2012.06.06.

Ben McGurk


Just back from a great two days in Hungary. Travelled to the South with Zoltan and Zoltan to shoot a Roebuck. We stayed at a very nice lodge, comfortable, great food and of course great drink! Had three hunts, an evening, the next morning and the following evening again.

During the first two hunts we saw lots of does and some bucks. Two shot opportunities on bucks but they were too young to taken and another buck but he was too jumpy for a safe shot. Last afternoon there was a big thunderstorm which then cleared into a beautiful evening. We went out and about and hour into the hunt there was my buck. About a 120 metre shot and down he went. The buck had very unusual antlers (uneven) of which the local guide said he hadn't seen in eight years. Just to top it off as the buck was honored by us in the Hungarian traditional way Zoltan noticed a rainbow behind us. He called it the "Rainbow Buck". What an evening.

Great people, great countryside and great hunting. All I can say.

Ben McGurk

 
2012.05.13.

Ian Reilly


My wife and I are just back from a flying visit to Hungary courtesy of Wonderhart. I had one day bowhunting with Zoltan, while another of the team (another Zoltan) took my wife sightseeing in Budapest.

This was my first bow hunt and it was a special day. The weather was perfect and we hunted in a large, fenced area in Rede. I had my first within only ten minutes: a big tusker that had been chasing round for weeks and making a nuisance of himself. Zoltan was almost as pleased as I was to see it fall. The next fell to a stalk – super exciting, and the last two came from a ground hide with one arrow. We followed the blood trail 150m to find two yearlings! My arrow had passed though the first and delivered a mortal wound to a second, that ran in the same directin and fell within five metres of the first!

A real red letter day for me. Many thanks to the team and I am sure to be back with them.

Ian Reilly

 
2012.03.06.

Adrian Bott


"Dear Tamas

I have many wonderful and. enduring memories of my boar hunting trip to Hungary..

The estate, in the heart of the rural, agricultural part of southern Hungary, is set in beautiful rolling countryside, with spectacular views from the many vantage points - open fields and dense woodland.

We received a warm welcome at the estate lodge, and enjoyed comfortable accommodation and first-class traditional Hungarian meals, which were delicious. A tour round the estate in 4x4s showed a very significant amount of game, particularly boar, in all the various areas - roe deer, red deer and mouflon as well.

The estate is very well organised, offering everything from driven boar (on foot or from one of the many raised butts) to stalking.

For my first boar hunt, following some instruction with the rifle supplied from the professional guide, we went out late afternoon and took up position in a raised butt on the edge of a wood. Waiting in silence as dusk fell, after half an hour or so a boar appeared, hesitated and checked carefully. Hold your breath, squeeze trigger gently, an incredibly loud bang shattering the silence and I thought I'd missed - the boar ran straight into the wood. We followed urgently on foot and found the quarry dead only a few metres in.

On return to the lodge, a memorable ceremony ensued, to properly honour the kill in the traditional Hungarian way. A celebratory dinner followed, with some very powerful but delicious local spirits to round off an unforgettable trip.

I would have no hesitation in recommending this as an excellent destination for boar and deer hunting and would certainly go back!"

Tx
Adrian

 
2012.01.29.

Zoltán Baán

"We've had a great bowhunt in Hungary with Tamás and his friends, some adrenalin pumping stalks and some promising highstand hunts. Finally I've managed to kill a small boar with my bow and had good fun the whole time. Hungary is the right choice for bowhunting in Europe."

 
2012.01.25.

Simon Edkins


"Dear Tamas

A very big thank you to you and the Wonderhart team for organising and ensuring I had such a good time on my bowhunting trip to Hungary. The accommodation and the Hungarian hospitality were superb. I was made to feel like one of the boys and had a grand weekend.

The hunting ground beautifully managed and an abundance of game throughout. I had numerous shot oppertunities at game but unfortunately or not, I decided to wait for a big tusker, which I saw plenty, but were sadly not obliging me with a clear shot oppertunity. I was thrilled to see so much game, stunning Red stags and Fallow bucks and their wives.

In short it was a thoroughly enjoyable trip which I would certainly repeat.

Thanks again, kaloppal
Simon"

 


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