Wild boars in the bush hesitant for the presence of canai ..
Wild boar hunting - We have been waiting a long time for this day. Today we go to the Cassio di Terenzo area on the middle Parmesan Apennines near Perdarolo not far from the Salti del Diavolo, the mountain area that goes from Monferrato to the Modenese Apennines. We will climb up to about 600 meters but fortunately the hunting area is easily accessible by roads, even asphalted up to certain points, and well-trodden paths therefore passable by off-road vehicles and quads.
My Italian hound Lela is restless, she can't wait to set out on the tracks of the wild boars, she almost seems to hear them from here. A few more clarifications from the head of the hunt and we leave for the area of the joke. It is a very large area in which there are not many escape trots therefore easily controllable from the strategically positioned posts. In this area the scrub alternates dense pine forests with more open areas with downy oaks and other local trees and above all chestnut trees, all scattered by an undergrowth of dense bushes and intricate brambles. On these mountains you can find all kinds of ungulates, roe deer, fallow deer and deer but this morning's tracing seems to have also shown the presence of a beautiful herd of wild boars and at least three large specimens that roam these hills so we expect a good joke. We are also lucky enough to be accompanied by good weather, we are at the end of September but it is still hot and this morning the sky is clear, there is no shadow of a cloud.
Everyone goes to the assigned posts and once in position Beppe signals the start of the joke on the radio. Considering the vastness of the area, with the huntsman, the elders of the team and the other canai it was unanimously decided not to dissolve big packs but only a few safe hounds. One is my Lela, a brindle Maremma dog who knows the job very well; then there are Willy and Argo, two Gran Bleu de Gascogne of his friend Luigi.
As soon as they are released in the pasture area, near some “live” rumatas, the hounds immediately catch their breath and become familiar with the hunting ground; the loudest voice is that of my Lela, she must have found something good, the other hounds are barking in agreement and a few minutes later the dogs begin to approach, quickly climbing a ridge. The barks are well articulated and hearing them alternate it is easy to understand how they are following the hirsute eagles; every now and then some of the dogs doubles the bark, making it clear how strong the olfactory trail left by the wild boars was, we are close, I listen to the juxtaposition with satisfaction and all that remains is to wait for the fateful stop bark.
But he doesn't wait long, in fact after a few moments of pause, probably to take the right position, suddenly the silence of the woods is shaken by the barking of the Lela followed in chorus by Willy and Argo ... "Found!"
The canizza begins with a succession of barking and barking at a stop, probably the wild boar is trying to wriggle to escape but the dogs hunt him at a short distance; “Nicola, he's coming to your side!”, The radio croaks; in fact, judging by the barking of the dogs, the wild boar seems to be coming from a dirt area a few tens of meters from me so I begin to move to find the right position with the clearest view possible.
Judging by the other yelps and barks I hear in the distance I imagine the canai with most of the hounds still on leash are having a hard time keeping them calm.
I hear the barking of the three hounds ever closer, the adrenaline rises and in my mind the thoughts begin to overlap but I manage to stay clear concentrating on that patch of vegetation from which I hear the dogs coming. It is from those branches that the wild boar will come out… I hope !.
I hold my rifle, a Franchi Xpress rifled barrel in 30.06, without losing sight of the bushes, I look in my pocket for a couple of cartridges and quickly put them in the two overlapping barrels. The sound of the receiver that closes perfectly gives me a sense of security and suddenly that sense of agitation typical of the adrenaline rush seems to have vanished, now everything seems calmer and the dogs are getting closer ... too close.
I definitely take up the shotgun ready to shoot but the dogs seem to have changed direction, perhaps they are going to meet another post; close to mine, about 300 meters away, there is Ambrogio, one of the oldest of the team and for sure he will not let it slip away. No, wait a minute! On my right I hear a noise among the brambles that makes me turn abruptly still aiming and after a few moments the dense tangle of brambles is torn apart by a hairy pitch-dark racing car that slings towards the clean pine forest like a cannonball just shot. In my mind there is suddenly no room for thoughts and the rifle seems to automatically follow the black silhouette of the escaping boar about 15 meters from me. There is no other time ... Fire! The animal rolls on the ground, I caught it but ... No, that black devil gets up and starts running again. I immediately try the second shot but I can only pan. I start to run and chase him but after a few meters I already lose sight of him among the trees and thick bushes. The dogs reach me and continue the race barking like damned still in pursuit of the animal. In the place where it rolled, there is a large stain of bright red blood ... so I really got it! The dogs will not take long to take it back so I give the news to the others in the team via the transceiver then together with the Ambrose we start to follow the tracks of blood and the voice of the dogs that now seem to have stopped barking and growling, maybe they have it found.
We walk about 600 meters in the pine forest and in fact we see at a short distance in front of us the dogs that surround the animal now lifeless in the bushes, a beautiful boar weighing about 70 kilos. Seeing him run so fast just before he had seemed smaller to me and I was quite surprised that I was able to hit him. Ambrose, patting me on the shoulder, congratulates, the sound of the horn marks the end of the first wild boar hunt and the elderly hunter tells me .. "And good Nicola, now let's get it back, it's still early, the day is just started and there are other wild boars to hunt ”.
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