Despite a court ruling, the Znaeyms have never accepted the judgment that a particular strip of forestland is no longer theirs, and is, instead, the property of the von Gradwitz family.
The feud that has locked the families of von Gradwitz and Znaeym for generations began over a particular strip of woodland belonging to the von Gradwitz family that was wrested from the unlawful possession of the Znaeym family in a famous lawsuit. However, the Znaeym family has never relented in their claim that the land belongs to them. As a result, the von Gradwitz family has continued to vehemently accuse their foes of poaching on their woodland. In fact, these quarrels have embittered the two families for three generations. Now, with Ulrich von Gradwitz as the head of his family, the quarrels have become extremely personal between him and his boyhood enemy Georg Znaeym, whom he views as "a tireless game snatcher and raider of the disputed border forest." Certainly, the vitriolic hatred between these two men has perpetuated the feud.
...as boys they had thirsted for one another's blood, as men each prayed that misfortune might fall on the other....
Therefore, each night that the wildlife might be moving about, von Gradwitz and his men patrol this famous strip of woodland in the hopes of ensnaring the poachers.