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I heard about deer feeding in the forest near Schwangau and wanted to experience it. Last Sunday, I visited this area for the first time to learn more about this unique activity. Every winter, from Christmas until the snow melts, up to 180 deer are fed by the hunters because humans have taken over most of their natural forests, but more about this later in my article. Visitors can watch the spectacle daily from 3 pm to 3.30 pm. Children, in particular, enjoy the deer encounter and feeding a lot.
Why does the deer feeding take place?
Deer feeding has a dual purpose; first, it protects the forest, and second, it secures the young animal population. Many years ago, the deer lived in the valleys where they found sufficient food, even during the winter. Regrettably, humans started moving into this area and created Lake Forggen here, which now forms a large part of the valley. These actions caused the wild animals to retreat to the mountains because they could no longer find adequate food in winter. To survive, they must feed on fresh tree buds and bark.
How do you reach the feeding station?
The starting point is the Karbrücke bridge in Brunnen near Schwangau (GPS 47.591874° N, 10.743299° E). From here, a hiking trail leads you directly to the feeding station, and the walk takes about 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can take the circular route, which takes about one and a half hours.
What is the wildlife feeding procedure?
Although the animals live freely in the forest, the feeding station from the hiking trail is fenced off. Access to the feeding stations opens shortly before 3 pm where visitors are guided, a short distance, to the feeding troughs. Access to the feeding stations is not permissible during any other time to limit disturbance to the animals. A hunter tells visitors interesting facts and stories about the deer during the feeding process. All visitors must leave the feeding station after 30 minutes.
At the beginning of winter, the deer are more skittish and shy. As the season continues, they get used to visitors during feeding. Therefore, we recommend visiting this great spectacle a little later in the winter, keeping in mind that the scenery and atmosphere are at its best when there is still snow.
Game feeding is a breathtaking nature experience that can be wonderfully combined with a winter hike or a romantic sleigh ride. Winter holidaymakers and locals should not miss this opportunity to see deer in their natural habitat. It was a great Sunday afternoon activity without any admission fee.