Wild Strongholds


“King of the Woods” is a captivating film immersing audiences in the heart of Austria’s majestic Alps. The red stag, revered as the king of the woods, takes center stage as the film unfolds the intertwined stories of four individuals deeply connected to the art and culture of hunting.
Philipp Harmer, Martin Neuper, Niki Riegler and Ed Hudson, share their profound respect for the red stag, whose roaring rut season echoes through the mountains. The film explores the thrill of hunting, blending the beauty of nature with centuries-old cultural traditions. Niki Riegler, owner of Hirter Brauerei and extensive forest lands, narrates the rich history linking hunting rights to property ownership, showcasing the enduring traditions woven into the tapestry of Austrian culture. Martin Neuper, a professional hunter, takes viewers on a journey rooted in family tradition and Austrian heritage. The film sheds light on the St. Weiter Wiesenmarkt, a traditional Oktoberfest celebrating agriculture and hunting. Amidst the festivities, traditions are upheld, echoing the spirit of a bygone era. As President of the CIC, Philipp Harmer articulates the cultural significance of hunting, emphasizing its role in wildlife damage control, conservation, biodiversity, and the innate human longing to be one with nature. Niki Riegler guides audiences through the enchanting Nockberge mountain area during rut season, where the red stags’ roaring symphony marks a highlight in Alpine hunting. The delicate balance of harvesting mature stags reflects a commitment to sustainability. “King of the Woods” captures a hunter’s first red stag, blending tradition, respect, and a deep connection to nature. The film paints a vivid portrait of individuals bound by their love for hunting, the land, and the intricate tapestry of cultural heritage.

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