Children love to pet the snout of the wild boar or climb onto its back. The bronze boar adorns the entrance of the Deutsches Jagd- und Fischereimuseum on Neuhauserstraße. Incidentally, there is a similar animal-sculpture dating back to the 16th century in Florence. In the heart of the pedestrian area, the Augustiner Church is home to one of the most beautiful museums in Munich. Manuel Pretzl, director of the German Hunting and Fishery Museum talks to onesprime.de.
onesprime.de: Who are your visitors?
Pretzl: 80% families with children, 10 % tourists and 10% hunters and fishermen. We also get a lot of school classes.
onesprime.de: What attracts the most visitors?
Pretzl: The wolpertinger exhibition (mythological hybrid animal allegedly inhabiting the alpine forests of Bavaria) was hugely popular with the children. But children also love our torch tours through the dark museum in winter.
onesprime.de: The fishing exhibition will open at the beginning of July?
Pretzl: The new parts of the underwater worlds, yes: a brook in the Fichtelgebirge and the Isar River in Munich. Children can look at taxidermied fish as if they were swimming alongside them. A digital brook will give the illusion of walking through water. When children try to step on a fish, it will swim away. We show 30 different types of fish. From the Fichtelbegirge, for example, we have the brown trout and the European bullhead, a tiny fish that lives hidden beneath stones. In the Isar River, we show the huchen, a fish of the salmon family that grows up to 1.30 metres in length, or the grayling, an endangered fish.
onesprime.de: You can pet and smell the animals exhibited at the museum?
Pretzl: In the petting corner, you can stroke the furs of a deer, fox and hare. At three smelling stations, you can experience what wild boars, foxes and ducks smell like. And you can listen to the sounds the marmot, deer and wild boar make. Children love this so much that parents tend to have difficulties getting them away from there to see the rest of the museum.
onesprime.de: What will the next exhibition be?
Pretzl: From mid-August, we will put on a big exhibition on hunting dogs. At the weekends, we want to introduce our visitors to live hunting dogs: pointers, earth dogs, such as terriers and dachshunds, and bloodhounds, who search for and bring back wounded animas so that they don’t have to suffer. And, of course, retrievers, who bring back shot ducks from the water.
onesprime.de: Hunting often has the reputation of being a cruel sport.
Pretzl: The main aim of our newly planned hunting section – where we present animals in their natural habitat, including all the dangers today’s man-made environment brings – is to explain the role of the hunter. The number of foxes needs to be kept reasonably low, other animals need to be protected. In summer, hunters, together with their dogs, search for deer kids in the fields to save them from being cut down by the farmers’ big machines. In winter, hunters feed the wild animals in the forest to ensure they survive the harsh season.
onesprime.de: Do you go hunting yourself?
Pretzl: I am both a hunter and fisherman. I go fishing in local streams and have been big game fishing almost all around the world. Three years ago, I caught some beautiful tuna in Croatia.
onesprime.de: Tuna is said to be endangered.
Pretzl: They are beginning to recover a little in the Mediterranean. There are strict guidelines you need to adhere to though. You may only catch a certain number of fish and only at specific times.
onesprime.de: Do you have a favourite exhibit in the museum?
Pretzl: For me, the most impressive diorama is the one with the golden eagles.
History of the German Hunting and Fishery Museum
The Deutsches Jagd- und Fischereimuseum was founded by Bavarian foresters at the beginning of the last century. The basis for the museum formed the world-famous antler collection by Count Arco-Zimmeberg, which was bought in 1933. After the war, the museum reopened in the Augustinerkirche (profaned in 1803) on Neuhauserstraße in 1966. Today, on an area of approx. 3000 m², the museum exhibits exquisite displays on hunting and fishing from the Stone Age to the present. Interactive media allow the visitors to gain an insight into the art of hunting and fishing in a playful way. The museum has a collection of almost 1000 taxidermied animals (fish, birds and furred game). The paintings, drawings, graphic art and the collection of glass and porcelain with various hunting and animal motifs are of great historical importance. The rich collection of hunting rifles with ornate engravings, inlays and picture reliefs form a beautiful treasure.
Address: Deutsches Jagd- und Fischereimuseum München, Neuhauserstraße 2, 80331 Munich
The Jagd- und Fischereimuseum on the internet: www.jagd-fischerei-museum.de