Deer caller Tasso Wolzenburg
Photo: Klaus-Peter Kappest, Touristikverband Siegerland-Wittgenstein e.V.
, born in 1965, is a trained forester and has known this terrain since childhood. As an employee of the Landesbetriebs Wald und Holz Nordrhein-Westfalen forestry agency, he tends the forest, offers guided tours and excursions and takes care of the red deer enclosure. He is involved in teaching school classes from all over NRW at the Jugendwaldheim Gillerberg forest youth hostel in Hilchenbach-Lützel and is currently assisting forestry management with the bark beetle problem. He is also a chainsaw artist and creates wooden sculptures of all sizes.
Deer: A fully-grown red deer is an imposing sight. Only the males have antlers, which they shed every spring. A completely new set of antlers grows in about 130 days – including rubbing. The antlers, which grow until the beginning of August, are bigger than the previous pair. The antlers are initially covered by perfused, hairy skin called velvet. At the end of the growing period, the stag scrapes off this skin by rubbing his antlers against branches and tree trunks. Hunters and wildlife biologists call this rubbing. The colour of the antlers comes from the colours of nature, so if the deer mainly rubs his antlers against spruce trees, they are very dark and sometimes almost black. If he lives among willow and birch trees, the sap tends to turn the antlers a lighter colour.