top of page

The land of the wolves

Updated: Jan 27, 2023

In the past, the forest of Russy, Boulogne and Chambord formed a single entity.

The forest of Russy became independent recently with the development of the small neighboring town of Mont-près-Chambord.

During a short walk along these paths, at the crossroads of the Patte d'Oie in Saint-Gervais-la-forêt, go back in time and immerse yourself in the forgotten stories of these forests.

For example, did you know that the wolf was hunted here ?

There were so many of them, that a legend tells that the name of Blois, would probably come from Bleiz in Gallic which meant the wolf.

There was a time when this place was the Land of wolves.

Notice the famous coat of arms of Blois chosen by Louis XII: an evidence!

And in your opinion, in the Middle Ages,

what was the most feared animal by the people ?

Obviously it was Him!

Although the boar, the snake or the bat were among the terrifying animals, often associated with the Devil, but the champion of all categories was indeed, the wolf !

Why ?

First of all because it seems to be more intelligent than the wild boar, more cunning and much more difficult to spot in the woods, and therefore, to pursue and kill.

Then the wolf never lives alone. With his pack, he moves and hunts. They can surprise you and follow your tracks for several kilometers and, most terrifying of all, it is the only animal that dares to attack man (mind you, that's what we thought at the time!).

Also, contrary to the dragons and other monsters of the tales or legends, one could frequently come face to face with a wolf

(and if it was of very dark colors, it became even more terrifying).

The imagination and the fear of the inhabitants grew by listening to the numerous stories told by travelers or following the numerous dramas that occurred at the crossroads or in the fields.

This fear, carried to the wolf, did not cease and this explains why

wolf hunting was practiced here. This activity, organized by the lords,

quickly became a tradition of high distinction.

For example, François I was in the habit of offering his most loyal

political allies a wolf hunt.

The forest of Boulogne was for a long time a privileged place for this highly sought after practice. But unlike the roe deer, the wild boar or the fallow deer, the wolf was not hunted with a pack. It was caught with traps or on the lookout after having attracted it with some carrion. Hunting was more difficult and "strategic".

As quoted by Jean de Clamorgan, creator of the Louveterie de France and writer of a treatise on wolf hunting, published in 1574, "out of a hundred thousand hounds that France feeds, not one is capable of taking a wolf out of the woods".

Today the wolf, which has enjoyed a bad reputation for a long time, is no longer to be feared. It has practically disappeared from this land and those that have been seen recently seem to flee from man.

Translation by DeepL



bottom of page