The privilege of hunting among good friends


Hunt as a family or hunting with friends, which is sometimes the same, is one of those privileges that should be savored more than from time to time and an added incentive to the many that already presents a good hunting day after the Lady of the Forest.

This is how I feel and the reason why it was marked in red on my calendar that November 20 when I was going to join two great uncles, the Monte Iñigo brothers, after a long time, to have a scholarship story to measures to count.

And boy did it have to be counted, although I don’t know if “it’s to tell …”

The privilege of hunting among friends

Between the ballast of my rear position in the Saja draw and that they chose from the first, we gambled to luck or death to coincide that November 20 in Valfría, which in the end, and according to the leftovers, could well have been any other lot more renowned or at least one about which he had previous knowledge, but the die was cast and the illusion through the roof, we did not need much more than to get together and make good any reality that presented itself ahead.

A quick coffee at the meeting point, dogs on the trailer and road towards Cabuérniga, meanwhile we were fixing the world and looking at the past, which almost always when you put it in perspective, comes out more to account than this nonsense of the present that surrounds us in multitude of cases.

Upon arriving in Fresneda and guided by the advice of a good colleague, knowledgeable about the terrain, it was not difficult for us to get the entrance to the mountain right. We went through a gate, we continued our march and after a few kilometers we were fooled by an oak grove that opened to the right and did not look bad.

There we parked, although at that time we did not know to what extent we were going to pay for the hazing …

Hunting among friends | Hunting Notebook

Gear, dogs and a wall of argoma …

We prepared without putting the charleta on hold and when we had everything ready, we released the protagonists of the day, Noah and Duna, the two setters of Xabi and Iñigo, along with Crono, who without ever having hunted together, made a good team, very coordinated and trustworthy.

We started the march through the oak grove, but shortly after starting to cross it we ran into its limit, forcing us to gain height, passing under a wire fence and ascending a wall of argoma that we are hardly going to forget.

Towards the middle we were already aware of the error, not to say shit, which sounds less fine, but between the time we were at that point of no return that prevented us from retracing our steps and the sight of a group of oaks at the top, we we encourage you to continue.

Iñigo climbed as goats do among the steepest hill forts, opening a path through some argomas that did not offer it, because I doubt very much that anyone in their right mind would have thought to ascend there.

Xabi followed him closely, overcoming obstacles with a certain solvency and while I was swearing in Hebrew, claiming the air that I lacked and “throwing my heart out” trying not to lose the brothers’ wake.

I am far from my best form because I have only been out a couple of times since the closure was opened, but I think that even in my best days, I could not have risen to the speed of these two …

Hunting among friends | Hunting NotebookHunting among friends | Hunting Notebook

When we already thought that we had left the worst behind …

Dominated the summit, with hot legs like the escapement of a Variant and after a few minutes of inevitable rest, we recomposed the strategy from the good perspective of the lot that the altitude offered us, we unsuccessfully checked the oaks that we had seen when climbing and we headed towards the opposite wall, over which a stream ran down, in the direction of an area that seemed much more attractive and interesting to hunt.

But the hazing did not stop there, because the journey was a literal leg-breaker between the unstable terrain and the scree that we found when we crossed the stream and plunged into the oaks that we had seen from afar.

We finally managed to leave them behind without incident and with all the bones intact, but it took us almost two hours, from the beginning of the day, to reach a headland of beech interspersed with holly trees that rose near the road …

How nice it would have been to park directly there, we all think aloud, even the dogs themselves, I would say, although luckily they still can’t speak.

Hunting among friends | Hunting NotebookHunting among friends | Hunting Notebook

Traces, chazas and some tension …

Nor did they really seem to complain, since the search for deaf people did not stop at any time and regardless of the complexity of the terrain, but now we were all more comfortable and eager to find that first issue that we longed to solve.

In addition, although without great fanfare, we could hear some sporadic shooting, so it was clear that there were deaf people, which increased the spirits and enthusiasm of the crew.

Suddenly, after a short time, the dogs changed their attitude concentrating their instincts on a hot that had probably left some deaf minutes before, accompanied by a chaza that came to confirm the theory.

We began our search by hunting in hand from right to left and from left to right, descending as we reached the limits of the grove, but although there was some small sample attempt that put us in tension, the truth is that we could not find the objective.

Who knows if that hot one had actually been the scene of any of the sets that we had heard before we arrived …

We kept going down until we found the road and we got among some hazelnut trees in order to “burn the last cartridge”, which we actually heard it hitting again on the other side of the Valfría Channel, so that around one-thirty in the afternoon, We decided to end a more than unsuccessful hunting day, what eye, in no case did it end there …

Hunting among friends | Hunting Notebook

Scabies with pleasure does not itch, they say …

I must admit that I liked Valfría, especially after discovering it in the wild, because now I would be clear about where to park and where to guide my steps.

It is a huge lot, with areas of interest that seem very prone to picking up deaf people from the beginning, beautiful to look at although worryingly plagued with argoma … The day the few remaining cattle disappear, I don’t know what will become of our mountains and this there are those who are not yet able to understand it.

We left him behind with laughter and talks, which never really left us, on the way to the second part of the day, the gastronomic one, which, unlike the number of sets, is rarely scarce.

We ate well, we drank better, we enjoyed a great after-dinner and we continued chatting and laughing, because hunting with friends encompasses much more than a mere day in the bush, especially when you surround yourself with good people like Xabi and Iñigo.

Hunting among friends | Hunting Notebook

We will repeat the privilege of hunting with friends, without a doubt …

We will repeat next year, who knows if in Valfría or in any other lot, because good habits are not convenient to lose and maybe, just maybe, we will even enjoy the luck that this time eluded us and instead of suffering as rookies, Let’s go back with some good cast under our arms to tell …

A hug and the mountain!

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