As often happens with beautiful things, it all started by chance: a dinner to honor the game of previous hunting adventures and the good fortune to end up next to Susy, an elegant Austrian lady, now resident in Italy for some time, passionate hunter of mountain. After the excellent dinner, over coffee, I revealed that I was interested in going to chamois hunting, preys I had never hunted before, and I took the opportunity to ask for some suggestions. After having told me some of his most beautiful trophies in a very engaging and detailed way, he tells me that he would have liked to invite me to Austria so that I could have the "baptism of fire" right in his homeland. I thanked her, replying that I would be happy and honoured, but I must confess that, in my heart, I thought it would remain no more than a very polite gesture.
Some time later, when I had forgotten the pleasant evening, I received a call from a mutual friend who had organized the dinner, telling me that the invitation to Austria had been confirmed and that we could decide on a couple of options to check availability. Mistrustful, I immediately thought of a joke, but his insistence, and above all remembering Susy's kindness, convinced me. We propose a couple of dates and, within a short while, the much desired confirmation arrives, let's go!!
I would have had the opportunity to go chamois hunting, even on the legendary Austrian mountains and at the same time I realize that I should have done many things before leaving.
The days passed quickly and, close to the trip, attention was focused on monitoring the weather, due to two orders of related problems: the first, which clothing to bring, as the extraordinarily mild temperatures made it difficult to pack a suitcase and, closely connected, the altitude at which we could have found the chamois, because the heat would have forced them at high altitude and this would have meant a physical effort for which I was definitely not prepared!
I decide to leave checking the calibration of my rifle for last Sabatti Saphire 30.06, combined with the 152 gr MRR balls. had them loaded specifically for long and taut shots by a dear friend. I complete the trim by mounting on the picatinny a perspective Konus ABSOLUTE 5x-40×56 ZOOM, definitely important in terms of magnification, but very bright and stable even using high zoom levels. A few days before departure Susy informs us that unfortunately she will not be able to accompany us on this hunting adventure but it is recommended, with firm insistence, not to cancel the trip because in any case she would also have entrusted us into the hands of her beloved nephew Ludwig.
The journey by car lasts about ten hours, but in two it is almost pleasant and, when we finally arrive at our destination, the landlord welcomes us immediately putting us at ease. We spend a very pleasant evening with him and his wife, also a passionate hunter and excellent cook of game. But anyhow my mind is already projected to tomorrow when I can finally go hunting! Once in the room, the tiredness of the journey takes over the emotion and I literally "pass out" in bed! The appointment is early in the morning, it's still dark and the air is fresh but certainly not like the season would require. A coffee, a couple of pleasantries and we get on the jeeps, each headed to his hunting ring, but not before having exchanged a dutiful and very appropriate Weidmannsheil. The morning light slowly begins to illuminate the mountain tops and the outlines of the peaks can be glimpsed.
I'm elated, I can't wait to begin my search on foot, knowing full well that I would pay dearly for my reckless excitement. When we finally leave the off-road vehicle, daylight has taken the place of darkness, I can fully appreciate the beauty of the surrounding landscape and to my great surprise Markus the gamekeeper lets a beautiful female Bavarian hound named Frida get out of the back of the car who will accompany us faithfully throughout our adventure.
We begin the climb and I, with a steady pace, try not to fall behind too much, while Markus discreetly, realizing my lack of training, increases the search phases with the binoculars to give me the opportunity to catch up with him and catch my breath. After more than an hour of climbing, we finally see the first chamois. There are about fifteen of them, 16 to be exact, at a distance of about 500 meters. I am enchanted to look at them through binoculars, they are beautiful. The distance and the position, unfavorable for attempting to shoot them down, require us to approach but, at high altitude, with little shelter, it is not easy to approach without being seen. We then begin a wide turn, slipping sideways and thus hoping to get within range. For some time the chamois go out of our view, and the question that hammers in my head is whether, at the end of all this journey, we would still have managed to find them grazing.
At one point the good Markus, who obviously anticipated me on the climb, lies down on the ground and begins to "snork". With difficulty I try to speed up my pace and I reach him. I lay down next to it and I too begin to observe the scene. Out of breath doesn't help me stabilize my vision, but I immediately realize that, even if we always have them above us, we are in a more favorable position. Finally I get the response, he points out a chamois slightly away from the group, rather close to one of the peaks. The time has come! I get ready, start arranging the rucksack to find the most stable support, position the rifle and start looking for it with my Konus scope, taking full advantage of all the magnifications available, until I frame it well in the viewfinder. At that point the doubt assails me if the head I had in the cross of the optics was the correct one.
I look for references to be clearer in the description and thus begins a question and answer that, looking back on it today, makes me smile. But anyhow, the emotion, and the desire to avoid embarrassing figures, makes me be cautious. Finally, when I am convinced that I have the right animal in my sights, it starts to move, forcing me to reposition myself. I see it, I follow it but I no longer find it in an optimal position for a clean shot and above all never stopped again. After a while he disappears behind a rock, now practically on the summit, and I never see him again. Despondency assails me, on the one hand I feel embarrassed for not having been able to seize the right moment and having let myself be seized by insecurity, on the other I repeat to myself that, after all, I behaved ethically, before shooting I wanted to have the certainty that the boss was the right one and above all I resisted the temptation to shoot at a moving animal, an unacceptable attitude in this type of hunting. We still stand still, for a few minutes, to wait in case the chamois retraces its steps, then we pick up our backpacks and get back on the road.
After another abundant hour of walking, we meet another small herd of 7 chamois, we observe them carefully and, even I who am not an expert, I notice that they have a strange behavior, different from the first ones, they seem more nervous. Markus assesses our position and thinks it unlikely that they could have seen us. Not being able to shoot, we decide to move, always with great circumspection, to have a wider view of the area below as well. We stop again and realize the reason for so much unease: halfway up the mountain, on a steep path, a group of hikers were approaching the climb, not caring about annoying the chamois and unaware of the presence of hunters. The game warden didn't get upset at all, he had an absolutely natural attitude telling me that, since it was the weekend, people often go to the mountains to walk and enjoy nature… same spirit but different goals from ours. Continuing our journey, we cross them and stop to talk. They asked us how it was going and at the end they also wished us well Weidmannsheil. I tried to imagine if the same scene had happened to us and, if the exchange of pleasantries, would have been so cordial and friendly. I will remain with this doubt, even though I know the answer!
The presence of tourists around led us to consider interrupting the "search” and to take the road back. However, I took the opportunity to sit down for a few minutes to catch my breath, eat something energetic and to take some photos and videos of the beautiful surrounding landscape. Walking back to the car, my thoughts turned to the other hunters and how it was going.
After a long walk, obviously exhausted, and anyone who says that the descent is less tiring than the climb has never been to the mountains before, we finally got to the jeep and set off again for home. Quick shower and immediately for breakfast where we all gathered and, finally, I was able to satisfy my curiosity, discovering that in the end I was the only one who didn't shoot. While, with a little friendly envy, I tried to console myself thinking that I would have had another opportunity the following day, not even the time to finish my thought that, surprisingly, we were offered an afternoon outing to his majesty the deer . Suede and deer pairing, completely unexpected! Our answer, naturally obvious, was not long in coming.
After a dutiful "penny” (ref. "after-lunch nap" in Roman dialect) around 16 pm we headed towards the new hunting area, much less demanding than the one in the morning. We entered a splendid wood illuminated by the last rays of a warm sun where there was a roof terrace overlooking a small clearing (Photo_10_Austria). Unfortunately, the wait did not have the desired success, and slowly my hopes faded together with the light of day, until the moment in which the gamekeeper decreed the stop. Resigned, but still grateful for the opportunity I had, I went back to the car, once again betting everything on the next day.
We ended the busy day with a hearty dinner and a chat over a good whiskey. The next morning I was woken up an hour earlier than the previous one, which made me think that we would have gone further by car or that we would have had to walk more!
Wake up at 04.30, in a short time ready and loaded to face the day. Departure and, after about 45 minutes by car, climbing up a little road slightly wider than a mule track, we began our ascent on foot, still in the dark, helped by the light of a torch. After having crossed a wood and come out onto a clearing, now without vegetation and in full light, looking out onto a small hill below us, we see a chamois a few hundred meters away which sees us and starts running to get away, however giving me time to film it with the mobile phone! The steep climb was becoming more and more demanding for my legs, already worn out from the previous day. Markus the gamekeeper, by now he had understood my pace and was, I imagine with disappointment, adequate, always preceding me by about twenty meters, which are an infinity uphill!
Finally he stops and shows me right in front of us a small herd of chamois where, however, there are no huntable animals. So let's start the climb up to a first ridge overlooking a wide valley. Below us, on the rocks, he points out two chamois to me but he warns me that we couldn't have done anything, as any recovery would have been impossible. We continue to the foot of one of the peaks and right in the middle, on a small ridge about 300 meters away from us, we finally cross what I hoped would be my opportunity for redemption. After a short but careful observation I receive the ok. He suggests we get a little closer to reduce the distance, assuring me that we could do it with relative peace of mind by walking inside a small gully. Arrived at about 150 meters I place the backpack and start the search in my Konus optics. This time it's definitely easier to select the target, it's lonely and there's no way to confuse me. The time has come, I frame it and try to keep the crosshairs firmly on my lens. I'm excited but quite concentrated. I take a deep breath, expel the air and pull the trigger.
The shot from my Sabatti echoes in the mountains, it makes me jump, but I can still see the chamois rear up, take a few steps and then roll down, disappearing among the rocks. My gaze meets that of the gamekeeper waiting for a nod. I see him linger through the binoculars, a few seconds go by, which seems infinite to me, then he turns around, looks at me, takes off his hat, holds out his hand and finally compliments me, Good luck!
It's not easy to describe that moment, only those who are hunters can decipher that set of emotions that alternate after a kill. We wait a few minutes and begin to head towards the place where we assume the animal fell. My anxiety was at its peak, I wanted to run but the will to keep myself in check and, much more, the lack of energy, held back my impulse. Arrived we begin to look and, between two rocks, we see it. We lay it down carefully and I can finally admire it.
It's beautiful, in that moment the adrenaline drops and emotion takes over, I realize my eyes are watery. I look at it, I stroke it while Markus takes the twigs as usual, one carefully places it in the animal's mouth and the other hands it to me, not before having dipped it in the blood of the first chamois of my life! At that point I feel authorized to take my inseparable flask out of my pocket to toast with happiness!
Once the euphoria has passed, we look at the entrance of the shot and I realize, with satisfaction, that I have made a clean and precise shot. We treat the animal's remains on the spot and load it into the backpack and begin the descent. I propose that we alternate in the transport downstream and Markus, certain of the fact that if he had given in to my request he would then have had to carry us both on his shoulders, with polite Austrian firmness he makes me understand that this is not the case.
Once at the car, before returning, I have a few more photos taken, even if those images will always be in my memory.
We all arrived home practically at the same time and with great pride I was finally able to show the good result of my hunt, enjoying the compliments of the other hunters who weren't so lucky this time.
Immediately after lunch, the hosts said goodbye to us to return to Vienna, but not before having offered us another afternoon outing with the deer, this time on the lookout, without stopping at the roof terrace. Unfortunately he didn't have the same lucky outcome as in the morning.
The adventure was now over, the next day, early in the morning, we set off again towards Rome, both enthusiastic about the wonderful experience. I'm here today, trying to convey my suggestions to you, well aware it's a difficult undertaking. It comforts me that every Hunter is aware of how strong and intense the emotions felt while hunting can be and keep in his memory the images and feelings of every hunting adventure.
I will never stop thanking those who gave me this wonderful experience, and once again I have proof that sharing a passion easily gives birth to new and sincere friendships!
Weidmannsheil at all!
- SAPHIRE SATURDAYS 30.06
|Action material||Ergal 55|
|Lock and Shutter||3 tenons, chromed steel|
|Tank||Metal, removable – Capacity (rounds) 3 cartridges|
|Look||Adjustable rear sight, fixed front sight|
|Optical attachments||Integral Picatinny rail to the action|
|Rifling||Sabatti MRR (Multi Radial Rifling)|
|Barrel length||61-65 cm / 24 ″ -25.6 ″|
|Rod material||Steel, cold hammer forged|
|Muzzle diameter||15 mm / 0.59” – Thread with thread cover|
|Weight :||3,3-3,4kg / 7.3-7.5lbs|
|Length||114-118 cm / 45 ″ -46.5 ″|
- Cartridges loaded with 152 gr MRR bullets.
- Konus ABSOLUTE 5x-40×6 ZOOM
|MAGNIFICATION BY DIAM. OBJECTIVE||5-40×56ZOOM|
|RETICLE||MODIFIED MIL DOT|
|FIELD OF VIEW AT 100 M.||7.3 A 5X - 0.9 A 40X|
|EYE RELIEF MM.||91 MM. 5X - 92MM. At 40X|
|OUTPUT PUPIL MM||8 A 5X - 1.4 A 40X|
|TRIP VALUE AT 100M.||1/10 MIL|
|ADJUSTMENT RANGE AT 100 M.||20 MOA|
|MOUNTING DISTANCE MM.||182.8 MM|
- Konus Text clothing – https://www.konustex.com/
The trousers designed by hunters for hunters
The hunting trousers are produced in 7 versions, with different characteristics, each designed to "satisfy" the different needs of the various types of hunting.
We chose the model GAMEXEL extension, very thin, light and waterproof trousers, made with particular attention to detail, which are especially appreciated in the finishes, such as the heat-taped seams that prevent the passage of water and cold and a comfortable elastic waistband that allows easy adaptation to the single size. Internally the garment is lined in mesh, and the bottom of the leg is completed by a strip of flap Velcro.
Three pockets, one back and two front, all with concealed zip.