A Research Guide for Students by I Lee

Autobiography of Carl Kaas

A Member of the Dutch Underground in World War II

Chapter 12: Poaching

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Legally, the above mentioned party had the exclusive right to hunt, but here in Hamersveld it was the same as it was in every civilized or uncivilized country. There were lawbreakers, and in this case, the poachers.

In fact, to keep poachers under, or rather trying to keep them under control, a (boswachter) forest ranger was patrolling the hunting grounds by bike or on foot during the day and especially at night. His name was van Elst. To catch a poacher on the run, he had three steel balls tied together about a foot apart. If his victim was within throwing reach, he would fling this contraption around his legs. The poacher would become a good catch for the ranger.

But that did not deter Kees Horst from ensnaring the odd hare or shooting a good meal. On one occasion though he blew it and lost one of his best customers.

You see, when Kees had a good catch, he would take it to the local doctor, Dr. Staal. This particular time he had a nice fat looking hare. He took it to the doctor's kitchen help who paid him and then Kees took off in a hell of a hurry.

The maid didn't wonder too long. When she turned the hare over for cleaning, she saw his whole side was ripped away by a shotgun blast and the rest was full of buckshot. The doctor didn't appreciate it a bit and told Kees not to come around anymore.

Poor Kees, he died at an early age and left behind three small children and his wife. It was even worse for the wife with no income left from the hunt. How was a widow going to survive with only a couple of cows, a few pigs and some chickens? Well, she did not last long. The time soon came when she could not manage anymore and they took her to the place of the insane.

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