Since the selection hunting to the bald roe deer, three months have now passed. Numerous hunting-themed events have entertained us in the meantime, but all this talk of hunting has done nothing but raise the fever. We were waiting for June as the golden month in which the selection hunt for roe deer reopens, but the Italian mess in which Tuscany got tangled, has put assignments and openings in turmoil and so, the week of holidays reserved for hunting risks transforming in a lazy bivouac aimlessly. Now the rifle is here with us, waiting for a lucky twist.
"Tonight we go for a control intervention in a company”Begins Franco, the head of the district, over the phone, with his concise and completely formal manner. "What are you doing, are you coming ?!". He knows the question is rhetorical, at four in the afternoon we are already there. "The other night we took two, last week one ... the herds are there, everything is a bit of luck!”Maurizio tells us, as he accompanies us to our station. "The sows are crafty and lead the herds to do damage without exposing them to danger… ah, nature! But for the farmers it is a disaster!". While the off-road vehicle climbs on the dirt roads that flank the fields, we see the expanses of wheat, like a thick, attractive blond hair, covering the gentle slopes with their golden mantle. The last poppies dot this golden sea in red and, here and there, hideous patches of alopecia disfigure the landscape. For us they are just an unsightly effect of the harmful action of the suidae, while for the farmers those holes are money and sweat that go to the wind….
"Here, you have this station here"- Maurizio points out to us -"you can shoot from that corner down, except in the direction of the carriageway". Quickly he leaves us, and Vincenzo and I set out in the field to take up positions. The sun is still high, there is a lot of light and it is hot. We move silently avoiding talking. With a game of glances we agree to position a slightly raised point of the field, from which the view seems wider. I don't have time to put my backpack down when at the far left of my field of vision I notice a movement among the tall black bean stalks. Vincenzo noticed them before I did, and is already trying to open the rifle case without making a sound. Malefic gusts of wind arrive behind us, pushing our scent into the griffin of the wild boars. They look motionless, but they are sure to leave. "Hurry up, Vi ', gun your rifle!”I whisper incredulously that I have found the boars waiting for us in the field. At the slightest movement of him the black shadows walk towards the spot in front. They are not really running away but they certainly have no doubts about leaving their afternoon pasture. A whole herd emerges from the tall grass to get stuck in the brambles that frame the field. What a pity!
"You will see that sooner or later they will return"- Vincenzo confidently encourages me -"they rushed us and as a precaution they moved, but the temptation is strong and it is by no means certain that they will not succeed!".
I look confident, swerving at 360 degrees but with particular attention to the scrub that has swallowed up the herd of dreams… A somersault emerges from the most hidden corner that you can see from here, walks cautiously and almost without grazing. "Maybe it goes to the little one he left in this meadow”I whisper to Vincenzo. Always watchful she disappears after a few minutes, will she be back too? Maybe…. "What did I tell you ?!”Exclaims Vincenzo satisfied, while his binoculars point to the edge of the spot. A sow, after putting the griffin out for a while, has decided that it is time to finish the meal that was interrupted shortly before. With a leap it gains the lawn, where the particularly low grass allows to evaluate its shapes well and above all to see entirely the numerous striated that follow it. No way. Even if the law allows me, I would never shoot the sow with the young. I drop the binoculars on my chest and place the rifle on the tripod to enjoy the scene at higher magnification. "It's all a skein of wild boars!”I whisper to Vincenzo. I could try to catch a baby but the idea soon appears rather unhealthy: at 160 meters a striatum is not an easy target. The chicks do not stand still for a moment and then they are always attached to each other, with the risk of injuring more than one with a blow, it would not be an ethical shot .... The minutes pass, the crosshair is still on the sow, but the dog of theR8 he is unarmed. Two other sows arrive from the scrub, one is smaller, you can't see the udders ... "Here ...this Is good!" I think. Now all that remains is to keep calm and .... I wait for the chosen leader to deviate from the rest of the pack. This all takes a few minutes. They seem like eternal moments. Now my target is a postcard and has no other animals around. Finally the index finger gives its consent and, even before deciding to shoot, the 7 mm ball is already at the base of the boar's neck, which collapses on all fours without emitting a groan. The other elements of the herd are banned for a moment, until the adult sow gives way to an exit which, at this point, will be final for tonight.
We wait a long time before going to the anschuss. Shortly after the shot, the somersault from the bottom of the woods reappears, as expected. This time his pace is more lively. He walks in the direction of the dead boar, sniffs the air, takes two steps forward, one step back. She doesn't seem convinced, but she is curious. He barks, then backs away, every time he seems to be about to leave, he comes back near the boar… what a scene! The balance of nature known to her has been broken and, perhaps for the first time in her young life, she is experiencing death ... Shortly before dark we decide to approach the killed wild boar to pay the honors and take a customary photo. We quickly return to our station. Going up the slope of the field a strange trunk, with two symmetrical branches attracts my attention. Inforco the binoculars. I am speechless recognizing in that branching not a shrub but rather the mighty stage of a deer! Motionless, majestic, statuesque, the noble animal looks in our direction. I don't know what he can distinguish from down there, but he certainly doesn't look scared. He steps in place like the military in front of the general, stiff and with his head held high. It almost seems like a gesture of defiance. We look at each other, the three of us, for a time that seems infinite, like in western movies when you don't know who will break the stalemate to be the first to take the gun. He stopped, we more, and in the meantime the heart was pounding, in the presence of this marvelous crowned in velvet. He turns to the side, offering our astonished gaze his silhouette and virile dewlap, and then walks proudly and slowly towards the forest until it disappears from our eyes. I meet Vincenzo's gaze full of amazement and satisfaction. I am happy and grateful, not only for the felling achieved, but for the opportunity to experience nature so closely and from a privileged point of view that only hunting can give!
@Photo: Vincenzo Frascino