A passion for generations

Hunting with the Riatsch family

Auf Jagd im Unterengadin mit Familie Riatsch. Bild: Dominik Täuber.
It is a cold morning on S-chalambert, the high mountain ridge located on the opposite side of the valley from the proud Engadine village of Sent. Very slowly, Arina and her mother Seraina stalk up a steep slope to observe several chamois in the morning light through their spotting scope. It is precisely these moments, in the midst of nature, far away from everyday life, that the Riatsch family loves so much.
Auf Jagd mit Familie Riatsch im Unterengadin.

Tradition for centuries

Even as a child, Mario, Seraina's husband, went hunting with his father in Graubünden and thus learned a lot about the surrounding nature and wildlife in the Engadine from an early age. And as has been the custom for generations, he also passes on his knowledge to his children. His daughter Arina and his son Albin have also completed the obligatory and highly respected Graubünden hunting license. In many families in Graubünden, hunting is an integral part of the culture and it is impossible to imagine life without it.

Die Jagdhütte der Familie Riatsch auf S-chalambert.

A very special place: S-chalambert

The family's hunting lodge, idyllically located in a clearing, was built in 1961 by Mario's grandfather, uncle and grandfather. Except for the wood needed, everything was carried up from the valley on foot. Cooking is done on an old plate. The water is drawn from a spring outside the hut and the light is provided by kerosene lamps. It is the simple, quiet life in nature that the family appreciates so much and where they can always recharge their batteries.

Auf Jagd im Unterengadin mit Familie Riatsch. Bild: Dominik Täuber.

In the Jagdfiegber: Pure fascination

"I love being at our hunting lodge for a week. Without any luxury at all. Surrounded only by the soothing nature" raves Arina. "At the same time, we also enjoy family life and having time for each other," add Seraina and Mario. But perhaps the most exciting part of the hunt, the successful killing of the animal, often after a long wait, is also part of it.

Sich selbst versorgen können. Jagen im Engadin.

Be able to take care of yourself

After a targeted shot, the animal is gutted on site and transported to the hut or directly to the valley. In the fur it is then hung up for a few days in its own cold room. "This makes the meat much more tender," Mario reveals. Finally, a friend of the family cuts up the animal and everyone helps with the subsequent vacuuming and freezing. By the way, the leftover meat is made into delicious sausages. Bun appetit!

Benefit for flora and fauna

Hunting is not an uncontroversial issue. However, by regulating the game population, for example, forests are protected from excessive game browsing, diseases can be contained and an adapted game population can ensure the survival of animals in winter. Many hunting clubs also organize regular game days, during which hedgerows and fallow meadows are tended and young forest protection fences are erected and maintained.