With September creeping ever nearer, hunters in Germany are gearing up for hunting season. Some game has been open since May 1st, and wild boars are open year-round because there are so many of them and ASP (Afrikanische Schweinepest) is a constant threat. For further details about hunting seasons in Baden-Württemberg, see this link.
Each year about this time hunters have to take a look at their equipment, tools, clothes, and supplies and figure out what they can still use, what needs replacing, and what new products are needed. Then it’s time to decide where to go to restock.
Every student at a Jagdschule gets the Frankonia Jungjäger Startpaket, so M and I have gone to their store in Stuttgart several times in the past. Although it carries a wide variety of supplies, we always feel like we’re paying premium prices for the name, as they spend a lot of money on advertising and they are a big chain. We prefer smaller family-run suppliers with whom it is possible to develop a trusting relationship, as in you can get to know them and vice versa. The customer service in smaller, more personal shops is close to what you'll find in the U.S., something that most U.S. expats miss. Dare I say it’s nice to be on a first-name basis as well.
A few weeks ago we drove to a new (for us) hunter supply shop - Exondo in Meßstetten (Zollernalbkreis), owned and run by Mike Fortino. Mike is a hunter and Revierinhaber as well, so he can often tell you about the equipment he sells from firsthand experience. He has a deutsche Jagdterrier who spends most mornings in the shop.
Exondo sells clothing, especially the outer layers in hunter orange and camo, but he says his focus is more on the tools for hunting and personal advice and consulting. One of his strengths is night vision and thermal imaging devices and optics. If you tell him what you’re preparing for or what problems you’re having, he has ideas to get you where you want to be.Mike has an online shop where you can find out more about the company itself and what it offers, but of course a visit there is where you get the personal consultation and hands-on knowledge of the items you’re considering.
- Personal consultation, also by telephone and email
- I know who will be helping me
- Mike also speaks English
- Friendly, knowledgable and helpful customer service
- Free delivery with online orders over €100
- Dog in the shop (we were there in the afternoon, which is why I have no photos of him)
- He is located near the well-known Schrotpatronen dealer, Alfred Feistel, so we can do two errands in one trip