The Wild Boar Hunt conceals ancient flavors that are lost in the nights of time, as well as the unwritten traditions and rules handed down for generations in the veins of the hunters who practice this exciting hunt for his Majesty, Il Cinghiale.
Dogs are barking in the distance, they are still very far in fact and I still can't tell if they are coming in my direction. I will have to wait a little while scanning the bushes and trees around me hoping to perceive a noise, a movement and finally that black spot silhouetted in the green, a wild boar. I feel a bit nervous in fact, it will be the excitement since it is my first wild boar hunt; for years I have wanted to participate and finally I had the opportunity to be part of a wild boar hunting team. I have to thank Antonio, a hunter friend who had told me many times about the hunts he had taken part in with the team he belongs to; last week Antonio called me to invite me to participate and warned me that for today's hunt one of the hunters would be missing and therefore a place would be free for me.
After rising early this morning at four with Antonio we gathered, together with the rest of the team, at the bar for the usual breakfast and then we all left for the hunting area; we have not moved much, we are on Montalbino, practically the mountain behind my house that as a child I saw as a giant sitting to protect the city. I have always heard stories of these woods a few kilometers from my home, my grandfather told me of a collection tank for the water coming from a spring that flows directly from the stone that often becomes a drinking trough for the wild animals that populate the mountain. Now I find myself far above that pool; after having parked the cars in the open space just above the old monastery, now Sanctuary, of Santa Maria del Monte Albino we began to hike up the mountain following the old paths that cut through the wood that covers it to climb higher and higher towards the ridge where it should be easier to find wild boars.
The canai obviously climbed even higher almost to the ridge of the mountain from where you can see the other side, that of Tramonti which slopes towards the sea, towards the Amalfi Coast; it must be an extraordinary sight from up there but today my job is to stay further downstream. I have positioned myself at the post that has been assigned to me, I am close to Antonio as I am new to both the team and this type of hunting; that way if i need help he can give me a hand.
For my first day at the wild boar I have to say that it was a beautiful day, the sky is clear and the air is fresh but pleasant even though it is December; maybe it will be for the trek made to get up here. I turn around a bit to stretch my legs then turn towards the top of the mountain in the direction of the barking of the dogs that are getting closer and closer; they will have smelled some animals, let's hope they push him to my side. I hear the dogs getting closer and I begin to look around me, peering better into the trees; the wood up here is mostly made up of downy oaks, holm oaks, chestnuts and some beech trees with the trunks not very close together, thus leaving a fairly clear view for a possible shot. The rays of the sun penetrate the treetops and a pleasant scent of wild rosemary is felt in the air; I realize that the ground at the base of the trees is covered by these plants, even very tall in some less traveled areas.
The dogs are very close, I begin to get nervous. I take a look at my Benelli Argo Endurance 30-06 caliber air rifle to check that it is loaded and working well; I had taken it a few months ago hoping to be able to use it soon on the wild boar and finally I had the right opportunity. Again a look at the trees around me, I had the impression that something was moving but maybe it was just my suggestion due to the tension. I take a look at my friend Antonio's side, from here I can see him thanks to the high visibility orange jacket but I can't tell if he has seen anything. Let's hope the wild boar doesn't have all this visibility and only notices me at the end.
Suddenly a noise in the bushes in the distance. Maybe I wasn't wrong, something really seems to be moving. I hold the rifle in the aiming position for safety and begin to peer into the trees. Suddenly from the bushes in front of me, about thirty meters away between a group of chestnut trees, I see a large black spot emerge, trotting right in my direction: it is he, the boar.
For a moment I find myself displaced, although I hoped I never imagined it could come this way. Suddenly he stops twenty meters in front of me, he seems undecided, perhaps he has sensed my presence. I will never have such an opportunity again. I try to leave the emotion aside and place the red dot of my rifle right on the back of the boar; a good deep breath and pull the trigger.
The sound of the shot spreads through the valley mixed with the cry of the wild boar that flees terrified in the direction of Antonio; I'm still aiming, I don't know if I hit it and I try to fire once more but apparently I didn't aim well and the boar keeps running until I lose sight of it in the trees. I spontaneously shout at my friend, "Antò stà arrivann nda'tte!" and a few seconds later I hear another shot that seems to come from Antonio's own post; let's hope at least he took it.
Apparently I was not wrong, I hear Antonio shouting "Got it!" making it clear that he has killed the wild boar, then he gives the news through the radio to the others on the team who do not waste themselves in compliments and jokes. It is already almost noon and the huntsman officially declares the joke over. I approach Antonio to congratulate him, after a while the others also come to lend a hand to retrieve the downed animal and take it down to the cars; it is a beautiful specimen weighing at least 100 kg.
For being my first wild boar hunt, I can't complain as I nearly killed a hundred kilo boar; I say almost because my first shot was not quite as empty as I thought: by examining the carcass well I could see that there were two wounds while Antonio fired only one shot.
For this time I really think I can be satisfied so we quickly recover the animal then everyone for lunch and to celebrate.
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