"It is raining!!! How wonderful! Long last!". Two faces lift their bleary eyes from their medical records and look at me with a puzzled, almost alarmed air. My colleagues cannot understand what it means, and why of my childish enthusiasm. In this hot summer 2015, a rainy day risks turning the already intolerably hot air into a Turkish bath. "Ugh!" snorts my colleague, "we didn't need this rain!". Instead Yes!
It has been open there for almost two months selection hunting with wild boar in the province of Novara. So far my new area has given me a pleasant view, two new friends, an unknown number of mosquito bites and… not even a bristle!
Searching the fields sown with corn and soy, with my partners Teresio and Renato we look for some faint sign of the presence of wild boars. We have been going out every evening for weeks and, before setting out, we go to search some fields, woods, brooks, in search of the longed-for claw. But nothing, only roe deer.
In the gardens adjacent to our area which, however beautiful, is quite man-made (too much for my taste!) The presence of wild boars has been more often ascertained, and someone has even caught them in the act of crime while honoring the sweaty work of the farmers . Yet, in the hunting area they are neither seen directly nor indirectly.
“Now that it has rained well for forty-eight hours, they will not be able to escape their passages! We just have to be as smart as they are, reconstruct the movements of the herd and possibly shoot well! " Renato winks at me, with the intention of making fun of Teresio for an early season pan on a porcastro. One Friday afternoon we put on our boots and set off on a patrol. It is easy to forget that you are in Piedmont and transport yourself to the jungle with your imagination: mud, heat and mosquitoes make the environment hostile and the walk unpleasant, but our mission is clear. “Stop getting caught by these boars by the nose! They can't be flying! Somewhere they will have to pass! " I try to encourage my friends.
"This here is a mister solengo!" Teresio whispers, placing his foot size 46 alongside the powerful footprint that sinks into the mud for at least three centimeters. “If he's on the trail of the pack, we'll soon find them too,” I add, crossing my fingers in my pockets.
With a few more mosquitoes we go back to the cars, making an appointment for the next morning.
We are now in August, there is a month left until the closing of the selection at boar, and the three of us couldn't even get one! The small and amusing competitions that are established between the selection hunters of the neighboring areas do not tangle us in the least: the game bag was scarce for everyone, but for us it is now a matter of principle! So we agree that for this last month we will also go out at dawn, to increase the possibility of meeting with the coveted ungulate.
I leave Novara at 3.30 in the morning, it's Saturday and many young people dispose of their Friday night revelry chatting quietly under the doors and eating hot croissants. I pass them with the rifle on my shoulder and my boots, "Who knows what they will think?" I wonder. But my thoughts are fixed on that big footprint next to Teresio's boot.
At 4.00 o'clock I post the postcard. Teresio and Renato have already arrived, they live nearby and then at their age sleeping is less pleasant than mine!
We split up according to the positions agreed the night before: Teresio on the roof terrace on the cornfield, furrowed by the small road on which the claw was imprinted. Renato at the exit of the wood, on the border of the area, where the last sown fields merge with the offshoots of the park which begins less than a kilometer away. Me on the roof terrace overlooking the "field of roe deer" (so called by us because its soy attracts many goblins). From my position you can see very well the portion of the forest that acts as a "ring road" to access the fields, an obligatory stop, according to our calculations, for the return of the herd after the nocturnal pasture. It's still dark, it's not hot and you can't hear mosquitoes. These minutes of peace waiting for the morning (and not only!) Repay me for the sacrifice of the alarm clock.
When the sky turns cobalt blue I begin to decipher the shapes: the birches down there, a fox under my roof terrace, in the distance a train of black dots… wild boars! With binoculars I see almost nothing, I frame with the optics, whose brightness allows me to decipher the scene: a herd of wild boars, probably a large sow with porcastri around thirty kilos, is returning to the woods, without going through what I think it was a necessary step.
The estimated distance with the binotelemeter is about 300 meters. The idea of shooting does not come close to me, first of all for the distance but above all for the poor visibility. It is still too dark. In addition, if I fired now, I would risk changing the direction of the pack which, at a guess, seems to be heading right in the direction of Renato.
The roar of Renato's rifle confirms that my predictions were correct. A few minutes after the herd was out of sight, my partner's 308 ball hit one of the creeps. Nothing in fact, for me and Teresio, and one to zero even for the big boar that probably still roams the hills. "It 'sa small animal" we comment together, and in composing the remains with our eyes we pause to check the shoulder blades. Do you ever want that, since for months and months they left no traces ... they were really flying boars!