Seven in the morning, today I'm not along that lake with ducks. Today is the day Young hunting, the appointment is at 8.00 and I'm taking it easy. But a message triggers me: it's Paolo, the "boss". "I'm in Lodi, wake up!". But holy shit! I get dressed, make the dogs dirty and off I go like lightning. I arrive at 7.45, but we have to wait for the latecomers… At the bar it seems that warm croissants are more inviting than pheasants along the humid banks of the Adda, but Gianguido, the “caccino”, reminds us why we are there. We move in caravans, we look like the vans of the great research tests, and punctually someone gets muddy. But the feats of the Panda 4×4 combined with the deeds of the young Trentino mountain man Matteo turn a problem into laughter. Meanwhile the other group, already experts in the area, begins to hunt. We divide into three groups: the people from Bergamo, the people from Parma with the "boss" and the unlikely couple, but with many things in common: an Apulian transplanted to the mists of Cremona and a Trentino man who has seen more deer than pheasants in his life. Let's go! It's now nine o'clock between one "bagola" and the next, the people of Parma have a young kurzhaar and two Bretons, one each, and they go along a dressed stubble.
The "boss" left his excellent pointers at home to spin a young kurzhaar "to do", I send them to the left bank of the Adda, to go up. The undersigned does the same thing: I take Aria with me, ten months young, obviously dachshund, with short hair, and I go along the Adda with Matteo getting off. The territory is the classic plain on the edge of a river: corn stubble dressed, ditches and dirty banks, a narrow strip of wood with locust trees, poplars and a few meager oaks (and unfortunately a lot of alien plants: phytolacca, false indigo, pumpkin prickly). Some pheasant that resisted previous hunts, smarter, already settled, can be found in this environment. After a few minutes we already hear the first hits of friends, I'm happy for them. But soon it's our turn too, masterful work of the little girl who brings out a beautiful male right on the edge of the embankment, in the midst of blackthorns and sorghetta. And Matthew does not forgive. We continue along the coast, knowing full well that the pheasants are harvested elsewhere. A little healthy masochism makes us prefer the difficulty of the encounter and then I want to make a good impression with those who have done a few kilometers. We arrive where the Adda flows into the Po, a magical place, meeting of routes and peoples, watershed of provinces (Lodi, Piacenza and Cremona) but also an important wildlife area.
Little hares and pheasants
We pause for a while to look at this show, a handful of mallards glide towards the right bank of the Po. And I imagine a nice stretch in the surroundings… But let's not get lost, we're here for the pheasants! Meanwhile, photos and videos of dogs on point are starting to arrive, voice messages full of joy and goliardia. Well, the right spirit of the day! We go up the bank to take us towards a grove where I know there are some mini-hares. The habit of checking tracks in common with our friend Matteo (both of us are also passionate about selective hunting of ungulates) makes us see the fresh passage of three roe deer. The young dachshund does not betray her instinct: she puts aside her immature training and begins to move away, without knowing the reason, following that faint effluvium like the song of Ulysses' sirens. Poetic… but we are left without the dog and without knowing where she is, with no small concern. Luckily her good sense of direction makes her go back to the cars, where she finds Paolo who puts her in the car and warns me. I breathe a sigh of relief. Meanwhile the group of people from Bergamo come towards us. We head towards the famous grove and three beautiful pheasant males are promptly placed in the hunter after three beautiful stops by the young Gianluca's kurzhaar Snow. It's 11.40, at 13 we have to be with our legs under the table. I warn the others and in the meantime Matteo and I head towards the cars, to take Aria back and skirt one last hedge. The expert Paolo, however, precedes us and with the boys from Parma manages to caress the feathers of three pheasants. Let's take a walk anyway.
Lots of good food
At 12.30 Giorgio, who is in the other area, calls me: "Costa, where do we meet?" and on the climax of the call obviously a mini hare starts and dribbles us. Giorgio quickly understands that it is better to end the call immediately: perspicacious… Another hundred meters and we are at the cars, the others are arriving, I change clothes because, despite the five degrees, we grinded out a few kilometers. Come on, ready for lunch! We are waiting for salami, pappardelle with shredded venison as requested by the undersigned who made the meat available (pulled pork is fashionable today, but we are rural and Italian). And then again polenta with deer (a leg of a veal hunted in the Piacenza Apennines) and with roe deer, in white with vegetable sauce; dessert, wine, coffee and coffee killer. Satiated like foie gras geese just gobbled up, we occupy our mouths only with chatter and laughter and we still spend a few nice moments of conviviality between teasing and compliments, stories and future projects.
Yes, because that's why we're here, that I decided together with my friend Giorgio Zanetta (Giovani Federcaccia Lombardia coordinator) to organize this day: strengthen old friendships, find new ones, highlight our values and analyze ways to communicate them in the future. And I would say that we managed to do everything, we will see you again soon. Special thanks to the AFV Belvedere company in Crotta d'Adda for hosting us and to friends Giorgio Zanetta and Paolo di Bella for their help. But above all thanks to the participants, who confirmed the success of the day. (Costantino Gentile, Young Federcaccia Lombardia)
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