A good friend and hunter always said that he in his preserve was world champion of deaf, because there was no nook, after “so many” years traveling through them, that escaped his knowledge.
And he was right, because what happened to him, happens to you and it happens to me when we go out to our usual hunting ground, the same one in which, without having to sharpen eyes, resort to intuition or weave a strategy, our steps become automatons in the direction of each of those nooks that have given us experiences in the past.
And we fly deaf, solve impossible sets and set unattainable quotas for others, think according to who …
But how different is it when we “go again” to a preserve that we are completely unaware of and we take that so-called “scholarship wisdom” to an examination …
In my preserve I am world champion of deaf
As an example of the above, I am going to share with you two of my latest hunting adventures after the woodcocks.
One of them last Thursday, in my traditional preserve in Cantabria, where, like my good friend, I am also a world deaf champion, because after many years and many experiences, I am able to recognize each path and Every corner blindfolded
And a second day of hunting, in this case, the first in my new hunting ground in Castilla y León, in which all my previous knowledge was reduced to a quick glance of the environment from Google Maps …
Like night and day…
Thursday getaway with Figo to my preserve of Cantabria
It had been years since I went hunting on a Thursday and this tasted glorious for that very reason.
I allowed myself the luxury of having a quiet breakfast with my wife and the kids, I rode Figo in the car and at 09:00 I already hung the Bettinsoli from my shoulder, meanwhile it surmounted a small hillside that gave access to some very charming oak headwaters at this time.
There was the beautiful mountain, as it always is, lighting up that autumnal coloration that this season has been difficult to capture and with some humidity, very prone to the Lady.
At noon I had to pick up the girls from school, so I could not extend myself as I would like and I decided to go for a shot or what is the same, go to those areas that over 15 years have shown me to be favorable in this deaf entry time, without wasting a second in other less guaranteed locations.
After checking the head of holm oaks, I crossed the apex of a beech tree that allowed me to reach a couple of holes that usually house birds.
There was no luck, so I crossed the field to a heap of holm oaks, which over the years and as the trees have gained height, has cleared of geese and is now fairly accessible.
From there I took a path of cows that led me to another large hole of beech sautéed from a certain forest on the ground, with the intuition that there I could find what I was looking for, in addition to giving Figo the opportunity to cool off in the trough.
And as in my preserve, I said before, I am a deaf world champion, Figo was able to drink and my intuition did not fail me.
A sought and expected release …
Neither me, nor Figo, since dogs also enjoy memory and are equally great champions in their domains, so as soon as he reached the hole, he went straight to one of its edges and there, among the woods of his vertex, stood still like a statue.
As soon as I saw it, I knew what there was, as I also imagined the two possible escapes of the bird, which have not changed over the years and the sets, so I approached with some haste, but avoiding making noise, because it is not a place where the deaf can hold out longer than agreed.
He could bounce up, but chose to do it to the right. Encaré, I guided her briefly, I advanced the shot a little because it started with force and as a result of striking the trigger, it fell dry between some stones.
I’m sorry to disappoint you, but in return for the great feats that we often find on social media, it was not a particularly complex set, nor did it require multiple searches, nor did it demand too much from the dog, nor did it even present an excessively difficult shot.
It was as simple as we knew it could be there and it was there. How to know where I would try to escape and position myself in a way that I could solve successfully.
No more, no less.
Come, see, win…
The rest of the day was spent looking at the clock so as not to catch me with the time and as before, “jumping from want to want” and omitting everything else.
Shortly before reaching the car, I resorted to another of those “hot spots”, among a tangle of low holm oaks, plagued with geese and brambles, but which always provide shelter for the occasional woodcock.
This time it was no different, benefits of knowing in detail the terrain you are on, I insist, but luck eluded us and as we entered, the deaf flew without further ado, or the opportunity to block it.
For another day, Figinchi and I were happy to go home, after a little less than three hours of good walks and a better harvest.
Opening Saturday in Castile and Leon
But how things change when the preserve is unknown, especially when you have not had time to go to recognize it and you have to stick to a quick glance from Google Maps, trying to guess what it looks like and it stops looking interesting to walk.
To luck or death, that one said.
By the way, I arrived before dawn, so I did not have the courage to guide me and change “the original plan”, so I parked in the location that I had set for myself the previous afternoon and from there I started my steps, another time, accompanied by Figo.
We went up a fairly wide track that gave way to a forest of holm oaks to the right and left that we immediately decided to review.
We saw nothing, no trace and I was wondering where to go, so when I could, I looked for the heights to acquire a more real perception of the environment and go one way or the other.
Compared to how extremely closed and inaccessible my preserve in Cantabria is, it made me strange to walk through that clean terrain where you could afford short sleeves and shorts without fear of returning with your skin torn to shreds.
A luxury for a change.
Looking for resources, in addition to scholarships …
With the prevailing heat and the terrain quite dry, after two hours of walking, he had almost prioritized the search for water over that of woodcocks, as Figo began to cry out for a necessary refreshment.
In the distance I saw a track bordering a pine forest and I assumed a pond between the pipes, we went down to it and as luck responded positively, Figo was able to drink and I took the opportunity to rest for a few minutes and think about the next direction to follow.
When you do not know and do not accompany the sightings, it is easy for you to wonder if you are looking at the correct areas or it is simply that there are no birds, but of course, it is already more difficult to feel like a world champion of deaf.
Between the dryness of the soil and the fact that the pine forest was clean as a paten, I discarded the idea of reviewing it, we gained height and headed towards another holm oak forest that at first glance generated good looking for me.
With a leaf on the ground, some vegetation around it, stone … We could perfectly find some deaf crouching, but what we picked up was a partridge, which when starting it reminded me of the sound of my lawnmower’s motor when I start it to mow and also I immediately ran into a board that announced the limit of the preserve, so I walked foolishly, I lost my time and I had no choice but to turn around.
As I did not pay attention to the partridge, we continued to do our thing, learning as we went, uncovering the unknown and looking for those with the long beak, although without success, but with the whisper of some distant and sporadic shot, who knows if at the same time. Lady or Queen.
The scholarship wisdom goes beyond the knowledge of our hunting ground …
Five hours and thirteen and a half kilometers later, we arrived at the starting point, with little baggage, beyond a good beating, but some acquired knowledge that will be very useful for next time.
Even so, just after finishing, I got in the car to a couple of high areas from which I could see the entire hunting ground, its limits, its orography and in addition to confirming that I had not been too wrong with the area chosen at the beginning, I signed up for another couple of places that fill your eyes.
As a reflection, in the end you realize how strictly different it is to hunt the deaf in one biotope and in another, how favorable the experience is and knowing the corners, as well as the trails to access them, even the areas that report wait or their own limits, among many other things.
And also, reflecting, I think that to be “world champion deaf” you need something more than being moderately skilled hunting woodcocks in that preserve that you already travel even with your eyes closed …
A hug and the mountain!
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