They are there but we don’t see them. They’ve left their trails, but we don’t see them either: the wild animals in the forests of Munster. What animals actually live in the forests in and around Münster? ALLES MÜNSTER editor Carsten Pöhler went looking for clues with Michael Hewing.
In the late afternoon, the rain faded from midday. Michael and I are walking along the Hohe Ward main road. We talk about this and that. A few years ago, he took part in a four-day outdoor survival course, says Michael Hewing. One day, tracking wild animals was also a problem. Then he could not give up on this, so he dealt with the topic in more detail. This was followed by training to become a certified tracker. On his many tarp trips in Norway and the Alps, he is constantly learning new things and is now happy to pass this knowledge on to people interested in nature and wild animals with “Wildlife Münster”.
We leave the main path and enter the forest on a side path. The first traces of wild animals are already visible along the way. As for Michael – not for me… We stopped and Michael told me to look around. Visible animal traces can be seen in a radius of about three meters. I stand and look around. I see nothing.
Michael guides me near the track. broken branch? No, we’re not here with Winito. “Look closely,” he says. Look for changes and disturbances. Then my gaze falls on the dead branch of a small bush. My first thought is why this still very young shoot is dead. I look down and see: the bark is missing everywhere for about 20 cm. This is clearly a change. I found traces of a wild animal! Now, of course, the question arose of what it could be. I think back and forth and come up with one idea or another. In the end, Michael explained to me that this was the result of “squatting” and “sweeping”. Roebuck identifies its area by rubbing its pods on the branch and secreting exudate.
We leave the road and go straight into the forest. Michael continues to look around intently, pauses over and over, and continues. I follow him, trying to spot a trail of wildlife in front of him. And indeed it succeeded. He did not see the hole, about 8 cm in diameter, at the foot of a tree trunk. The animal that dug this hole has not been revealed at this point. After all, future participants in the tour should also be able to guess.
We go deeper into the forest. Michael repeatedly discovers traces of animals, which I must look for, and above all, to discover. Sometimes there are only small traces, but again there are very large traces. Ironically, I find it hard to find the big tracks. It drives me crazy, but my ambition falters. Look for changes and disturbances. I keep this phrase in the back of my mind at all times.
In Civilization, I had checked my weather app earlier. Great, it should be kept dry. But nature does not matter to this weather app at all. It started raining. Do not bother us. I pack my camera in the rain cover and we go. The rain rains by and I learn more and more about our indigenous wildlife way of life. Here’s the deer family, and there’s the wild boar swaying. Why are they actually wallowing? Michael Lee explains it.
I don’t even notice how fast time passes. Constant interest in peace and quiet in the depths of the woods means that time simply does not matter. I didn’t even look at the clock. beauty!
Shortly before dusk, Michael showed me two other places where I might be lucky enough to photograph wild boars or fallow deer. Unfortunately, no one showed up there.
It’s already dark when we leave the High Quarter again. In the three hours we spent in the woods, I was able to learn a lot about our wild neighbors and their way of life. We have been able to find many different traces of many animal species. Unfortunately, none of these animals appeared. This may also be due to the birds that literally “disturbed” us. This central alarm system works within different animal species around the world, and Michael knows that too.
At night, when the birds are sleeping and not warning, there is a good chance of seeing small and very large wild animals in the forests. Michael Hewing offers his night tours with night vision devices for this. From 2022, various courses will also be offered for daycare centers and schools. Planning for this is in full swing. Information about this can be found at www.wildlife-muenster.de. There and on Facebook and Instagram, you can already access many recordings from wildlife cameras and night walks.