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Out and about On the hunt in Graubünden

Hunting is more popular in canton Graubünden than anywhere else in Switzerland

(Keystone)

A church ceremony and festival in canton Graubunden on October 15 marks the end of this year's hunting season. The Hubertus Festival kicks off with an ecumenical service followed by a parade, brass bands and the sound of hunting horns.

The festival is a major event in Graubunden, which has 5,500 licensed hunters, the highest number in Switzerland. It's widely accepted in the canton that a "regulated" hunt plays an important role in nature and wildlife protection.

The service at St Carl's church in St Moritz will take a look at the hunt as a religious symbol. In Christian art, it was often portrayed as the struggle between good and evil.

In some cases, the devil was disguised as the hunter, and the hunted animal as the threatened soul. At other times, the hunter was an allegory of good and truth.

Game populations in Graubunden today are healthy. The three-week hunting season focuses mainly on red and roe deer and chamois.

The hunt is credited with controlling their populations, which had threatened to explode out of control in the 1960s and 1970s, threatening the region's fragile alpine forests with overgrazing.

The festivities begin at nine in the morning in St Moritz, with a procession of hunting trophies. And there's sure to be plenty of venison on offer in the party tent set up for the occasion.

swissinfo

Out & About in Switzerland is updated regularly to keep you informed of upcoming events, which may provide a different insight into the country and its people.

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