Centuries-old skills are put to the test at the stag calling championships in Europe.
Many in Europe consider stag calling an art instead of a skill. It has been used for centuries as a way for hunters to track stags and for farmers who must calm an anxious deer before approaching them.
These competitions were started as a friendly way for each participating country to show off their best stag callers. The callers must reproduce sounds of a stag before and after mating, after winning a fight with another stag, and when challenging others for territory.
The competitors are very crafty when picking their calls for the stag calling contests, using everything from seashells to pipes to reproduce the most realistic sound possible.
While many of them wear traditional hunting garments of their representing countries, the judges cannot see them. They are hidden behind a screen or curtain away from the stage where they can only judge upon the calls themselves.
A total of 27 participants from Belarus, Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Germany, and France competed against each other for the title of best stag caller. The Polish callers took both first and second places, with a Czech caller taking third.