A good way to spot the game in Ede? Then book an excursion through Natuurcentrum Veluwe [The Veluwe Nature Centre] and go on the road with the forester. You will depart by bike towards the forest to enter the wildlife resting area. The guides then take you on a walk to the lookout post. Here you have a beautiful view of a field and forest. Chances are that you will see a herd of deer grazing there and that the mother boars with boarlets will wander along.
By joining an organised wildlife excursion, you have a good chance of coming face to face with red deer, roe deer and wild boars. Unfortunately, this chance of an encounter is not a guaranteed, but it is increased as the guide is familiar with the right places.
De Wildkanseltocht [The Lookout post tour]
During the Wildkansel Tour [The Lookout post tour], a group leaves at the beginning of the evening on bicycles in the direction of the 'Resting Area for Animals'. A place you cannot reach without this excursion. The bicycles are then parked so that the remainder of the route can proceed on foot to the lookout post. Soon we have a couple of boarlets in our sights. They are scurrying along the footpath. We don't have much time to enjoy them, as the guide points out the possible danger of the mother boar. We walk on and see numerous deer and boars in the field between the trees.
The raised heads of the animals show that they have also detected us. The forester tells us that the animals are very alert. You should be quiet, because the animals can hear us from 200 to 300 metres away. The participants are also requested to adjust their clothing to suit the excursion. This means no light and strikingly coloured clothing. In a stealthy manner we continue our tour a little further into the forest. Until we reach the observation post. A beautiful wooden building with a glass wall that offers a wonderful view of a vast field. This is where it needs to happen! We take a seat on the benches...
De Wildkansel [The Lookout post]
De wildkansel De Hindekamp is located about 2 kilometres from het Natuurcentrum. This covered observation point can accommodate 40 people and is also accessible for wheelchair users. From the edge of the forest, a 'whispering path' leads to the entrance of the observation point.
Inside, visitors take a seat on a chair and have a beautiful view of the field from there. Meanwhile, explanations are given about this special area and its inhabitants.
Fawns & Boarlets
Our patience is not being tested this evening. To the left of us stands a large herd of does; female deer with one and two-year old fawns. The two matriarchal females are guarding the group and even seem to notice our presence behind the glass. The group calmly lies down and grazes. A little further on, at the back of the field, a group of sows with boarlets come trotting along. They stay for a while on the right side of the field. Behind them, a boar crosses the field. He is striking and a lot bigger than the females (sows) in front of us.
Did you know...
Facts about game from the foresters:
- A sow (female boar) is pregnant for 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days.
- In one year a sow can give birth to a total of 7-11 boarlets. This happens in 2 to 3 litters.
- Tip: a boar can only see straight ahead, so take a big step to the side when attacked.
- A deer is pregnant for 236 days.
- The fawn is odourless during the first 10 days and therefore untraceable for enemies.
- A herd of does consists of mothers, aunts and fawns from last year and this year’s fawns.
- An antler with 4 branches is called an '8-ender'.
- The more branches an antler has, the more food-rich the animal's habitat is.
n the meantime, the foresters tell about the antlers, the group formation of the animals, their living habits and the environment. The forester also mentions the nearby presence of a wolf. His enthusiasm on the subject proves to be well-founded... A few days later, the newspaper reports that a wolf has been sighted around Ede in the Veluwe. We won't see that wolf here during this excursion.
After an hour, we leave the game enclosure again. According to the guides, we certainly shouldn’t be dissatisfied with the spectacle of this evening.
Tips for spotting wildlife:
- Do not go in large groups and move around as little as possible.
- Wear clothes in natural colours, for example green, black and brown in a forest area.
- Do not use perfume and perfumed deodorant. Animals smell this and therefore stay at a distance.
- Take the wind into account. When there is a headwind, animals do not smell the presence of people.
- Do not feed game. Feeding robs the animals of their natural timidity.
- Binoculars make game viewing easier. Make sure that the sunlight does not reflect in the lenses of the binoculars.
- Put on a cap to cover your head.
- Observe the rules and information boards when entering wildlife observation areas and rest areas.
Wildlife viewing points in Ede
Would you like to know where the best place to spot wildlife is? In the municipality of Ede, you will find various wildlife observation points. Here they are:
- Bosje van Staf
- De Plijmen
- Zwarte Veld
- De Hindekamp
- Oud Reemst en Nieuw Reemst
- Kleine Heide en Grote Heide Deelen
- De Mossel
- Het Wekeromse Zand
Het Natuurcentrum Veluwe is located in a beautiful and diverse area: at the edge of the Ederheide on the agricultural estate "De Hindekamp". The alternation of heathland, woods, pools and ponds ensures a rich flora and fauna. De Hindekamp is a unique location and the only place in the Netherlands for all aspects of the red deer.