What I'm about to tell you is one of the funniest and most particular episodes I remember from the 2016 vintage hare hunting season. It was a Sunday, precisely November 27th. I was on the island of Elba with my father, a guest of my friend Graziano Signorini, for a weekend of hare hunting with mine Italian bloodhounds. As soon as we woke up, we looked out onto the balcony of the cottage where we were staying, with a view of the small gulf that looked like a painting, and we were both sure that the morning would be excellent for the hounds: clear skies, crisp air, a light sea breeze but that rarely it is not present on the island. Once on the melting point, a strong wind began to blow which did not make the smell optimal. Having detected the groundbait in a small field, the pack began the approach alternating the voice with passages performed only with the movement of the body. After about half an hour, Rina, the foreman, marked the doubles and in a few minutes the suit came to the spot.
The first stretch of sequela was carried out in a masterly and urgent manner, but after about twenty minutes a bad foul prevented the continuation of the sequel, which from then on became a quick tracing; but by now the fugitive had taken a good advantage and was seen crossing a small street. Having recovered the pack, we decided to move a few kilometers, where the day before we had found a hare but we had not been able to catch: that hare had a vice, that of leaving before the arrival of the hounds. And history repeated itself: as soon as they disbanded, the dogs made it clear that after the first scagni the wild had already left the den, towards the opposite direction from the one where we had placed the posts. The follow-up was good but this time too the hare got the better of it.
It was about 11 and, quite disconsolate, we were now convinced that that day the hare she would stay alive. But while hunting, as in life, hope is the last to die and so, on the advice of Graziano, we moved to an area near Capoliveri where the vineyards divided the sea from the rock of the hill. The hot sun had also warmed the ground, we had reached almost 20 degrees, with a significant difference in temperature compared to the morning. We disbanded three hounds: Fiamma, Diva and Zefiro, who had remained in the car in the first two rounds.
It appeared that the hunting dogs they heard better at the end of the day rather than early in the morning: in 10 minutes, with a well vocalized and fast approach, the three hounds arrived at the den and a scream rang out in the valley. I was positioned on a dirt road on the edge of the vineyard: I didn't have time to hear the find that the hare was already looking out from afar. I waited for him to come within range, and when he was about 50 meters away he paused for a moment, turned his head to listen to the approaching dogs, and took a sharp corner into the scrub. I tried the shot when I couldn't see it anymore. After a few moments the hounds arrived, in a few seconds they resumed the following from the point of the shot and while I followed with my eyes in the direction of the following I saw the distant hare trying to cross a net that divided a house from the vineyard where it had been found. I started running to help followed dogs to cross the net, Fiamma, higher, managed to jump it, while Diva and Zefiri helped them by raising the net. In the meantime, two shots fired by my father seemed to have put an end to that race. But no: the hare, injured, initially lost its tracks for about 5 minutes (in fact it often happens that, when injured, the animal is no longer heard well by the dogs), so much so that we thought it was already dead, but in reality it is. she was just squatting back at the starting point and after the recovery she continued the sequel, which from there became really exciting. After about 20 minutes, the three hounds came very close to the hare which, on returning to the den, was taken by my father. It was about one o'clock, and that day had ended with great emotions.
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