Il snipe it is a species under observation, but substantially not endangered. This is the summary of the findings collected by the Migration Office of the national Federcaccia (for interested parties: [email protected]) published in the Quaderno n. 3/2015. And therefore the scarce presence of September-October of the current season is reasonably presumed to be linked to the unsuitable conditions of the sites. Conditions resulting from the penalizing strong summer drought, to which an exceptionally hot October was added, unfavorable to pace (from the hunter's point of view) in the classic period of migratory movements. News had been received from some Tuscan friends of an appreciable presence of long-beaked goats immediately after the opening, which however ended in a short time and came to a halt in the migratory transit. Already numerous contingent movements? In these cases, one could perhaps expect a relatively long period of decline, postponing the "recovery" of the season at least until the end of October. Or anticipation of one or more migratory routes for purely occasional and impromptu reasons? The prophecy of the crystal ball says, as always, that ... it can only be seen afterwards! A few early foggy days were thought to be a prerequisite for some loss of wild animals, but ... if the fog is low and the sky above it is clear, the "rule" no longer applies. In short, we'll see.
Il snipe it begins to move towards the end of July and beginning of August, and if the environmental and climatic conditions are suitable for stopping, at the end of September-beginning of October the hunting season can usually be said to be open. These are the days of the decline of the "new" snipe, the "good" ones, those on which the dog, if he knows how to set the nose-brain combination in motion, can get a bit of his bones. The beginning of the season directs the hunter's steps towards the points that experience has shown as preferential for the encounter. Absence or little presence of game on those points means poor pace. If, on the other hand, the encounters are fairly regular, then it means that the pass is open and the hunt can spread over all the available ground to look for further opportunities.
Snipe hunting is methodical and (very) movement hunting. If you hunt with the dog it is necessary to face the terrain with the wind in your favor, and this sometimes involves having to do some “dead” turns, so you can take more steps to get yourself in the best possible conditions for the auxiliary's nose. In the paddy field there are those who even use bicycles for this, managing to move on the banks of the "drawers" more quickly.
When you take a lot of steps, the weight has its… weight! Light weapons, semiautomatic or overhead doors that are. But a nice side-by-side or a classic over-and-under, that is double trigger, are anything but outdated and contribute to giving hunting that chrism of sustainability that is so much needed today. Avoid unnecessarily powerful cartridges which, apart from shoulder and cheek ailments, are completely unnecessary for the snipe given the vulnerability of the game. The “old” 32 grams should be ignored (a fast 28 grams from clay pigeon would also be fine in the first barrel), reaching 34 in the (really) cold season. And then shoot within range, it is useless to look for the “crazy” ball after thirty-five meters, when a snipe may well have the right to go about his business. As for the lightness and agility of movements, clothes are also very important. The modern fabrics give enormous flexibility of equipment, light and at the same time cool or warm depending on the season, with a versatile trisacca to complete.
We were also talking about the auxiliary. Hunting with the dog or without? Before a technical choice it can simply be a forced choice, that is, depending on the possibility of having a place for the dog at home. That said, the great Adelio Ponce de Leon wrote in his “Il sncaccino” that rather than hunting with an unsuitable dog, it is better to hunt without it. Now, hunting a high-ranking game like the snipe without the dog almost means "spoiling" the game. But the dog has to be the right one. No one is born learned, and therefore the dog must arrive at the snipe after a careful schooling on the quail, wild (when wild!) Of all respect and preparatory to the refinement of the firm, a necessary top-level requirement on a neurile wild like our long-beaked beak. . But it is fundamental, as we said above, that the head is connected to the nose, indeed it almost comes before the nose. If these conditions do not exist, or if you expect not to be able to carry them out for any reason, why not divert to a good Labrador who will be of great help in carrying over and in any recoveries?
Even today, despite everything, snipe hunting can give satisfactions and open spaces. Classic wild, difficult and therefore engaging. Wild important for hunting and canine. If you "love" him, let him drop in peace in pasture before sunset, putting the rifle in the scabbard.