Vincenzo returned from his morning outing with Fabrizio full of enthusiasm. For a moment I deduced that they had an interesting off-road game but soon they told me that later that day they came across a nice boar. They didn't manage to get him but they tracked him carefully, promising him a meeting soon. What better conditions for an afternoon outing, accompanied by Vincenzo and Fabrizio and the trusty 300WM?!
We arrive in the hunting area well before twilight, it is a hot Saturday in early autumn, a little too dry but bright and above all silent. The area in which we hunt today is magnificent because it is far from everything and everyone, staying here for a few hours always gives a good boost, regardless of the encounters with wild animals which are not always so obvious.
We leave the off-road vehicle and enter an uncultivated but easily passable field, the grass is now dry, luckily the months in which nature explodes with life to the point of suffocating anyone who tries to penetrate it are long gone.
We proceed in single file, at a certain point the small caravan stops: Vincenzo stops to pick up something. “It's a donkey iron. Who knows if it brings luck like a horseshoe?! In any case, a good basis for an expulsion!” Fabrizio rejoices. None of us are superstitious, yet finding Vincenzo instills a certain expectation about our exit. “Let's position ourselves as far as possible from the ditch where the boar disappeared this morning“- suggests Vincenzo-” It's not a given that he'll do the same route again but if he does, that's the safest place “. In agreement with Vincenzo we stand in front of the ditch that borders the woods. Heading west. When the sun goes down the view will be optimal. At the moment the light is still blinding but, we tell ourselves, it's not wild boar time.
I position my backpack and rifle in the direction of the ditch, ready to change direction based on eventualities, I try to look through the scope but the light dazzles me, I only see streamers of sunlight. We look towards the woods, without particular expectations, and without a visor on our cap we struggle, blinded by the sun. The same goes when I try to put on the binoculars.
I get distracted a bit while waiting for dusk, but evidently the influence of the horseshoe is starting to make itself felt…. “There he is! That's it! It's the boar! ” Fabrizio whispers almost in disbelief. The binoculars only offer me explosive rays of light like fireworks. I try to look through the lens, aware that between seeing and shooting I will only have a few seconds. Nothing.
"Look with the naked eye” suggests Vincenzo. And so the black shadow of the wild boar just over 200 meters from me emerges clearly. It's incredible how the tools that usually make visible what the naked eye cannot appreciate now prevent me from seeing what is so accessible and clear.
"Try to dodge the reflection of the light but hurry” urges Fabrizio. I put my hand over the optics, looking for an inclination of the head that allows only the images and not the reflected light to enter the eyepiece. The play of light causes bright stripes alternating with dark bristles to flash in the optics, an effect reminiscent of the Fata Morgana in the desert.
Finally I find the right inclination and the beautiful shape of the boar appears to me with a red dot just above the front leg. This image triggers the trigger without even thinking about it, and after a few faltering steps the boar collapses onto its side.
In the few moments in which he kept me suspended in his game of see-not-see, the sun traveled those few degrees on its arc that made it gain the branches of the tallest trees, breaking its light in the brown foliage. The twilight arrived unexpectedly and empty-handed, the gift of the forest, on this fortunate afternoon of early autumn, was given to us by the sun.