Hunters of the 19th century regarded the golden eagle as a dangerous enemy, whereas it is highly protected today and considered to be a symbol of the Alps. Young lambs and fawns are a favorite on the “king of the skies” menu. In 1886, an eagle is said to have attacked and carried away a two-year-old girl when her parents were preoccupied with picking up berries on an alpine pasture at Hoher Ifen. Leo Dorn made the extermination of the raptor his life’s work: As the Prince Regent’s main hunter, he is said to have killed a total of 76 golden eagles in Hindelang.
Leo Dorn: climbing the Höfats
In order to get to the hidden and difficult to reach eagle nests on the steep cliffs of the Allgaeu Alps, the hunter had to be a courageous mountaineer. Leo Dorn and his friend Thaddäus Blattner climbed the western summit of the Höfats in the middle of the 19th century – several decades before tourists dared to the climb the difficult Grasberg.
Due to these wild ascents at the Höfats, Leo Dorn made a name for himself and even got the attention of the Bavarian Prince Regent Luitpold, who eventually appointed him chief hunter of the Hindelang hunting grounds. He was responsible for taking care of the red deer population and pursuing not only golden eagles but also poachers. Moreover, he accompanied the Prince Regent on his hunting trips.
The royal hunting cabin at Schrattenberg
Today, the former royal hunting lodges at Schrattenberg, which are located on a rock in the Hintersteiner Tal, are privately owned. An unmarked riding path leads from the lodges up to the mountain saddle (with alpine pasture). It was created as a pleasant ascent particularly for the royal hunting party.