Monday, November 3

La Caccia - The Hunt

Jason has found a new hobby - hunting!
This is the time of year when small birds migrate from Northern Europe to North Africa. Italians in  this area love to hunt these small sparrow-like birds. They are looking for palomba, tordo, storno, merlo & colombaccio - I have no idea what these would be translated in English.

(One of the small birds)

The best part is the hunt is here, in our backyard, in the hills surrounding our house.  Every morning expect Tuesday & Thursday (hunting is prohibited on these days so the birds can, quote: ‘recharge their batteries”) you hear the shots being fired...

Jason was invited by our good friend, the Cardiologlist, Dott. Gaggi.

They head into the woods at 6am, ready for the hunt!  They take the little tiny hysterical Fiat Panda (4 wheel drive with knobby tires) that is older than us!  The car is somehow able to climb straight up into the hills, in “roads” most suitable for horses or a big off -roadin’ truck...not this little old beater car!

They have built about a dozen blinds where you sit & wait for the birds to passover. Let’s just say that Jason does not have a good poker he sees the birds flying over, he still gets too excited - nudging Gaggi & flapping his arms & a bit too loudly ‘whispers’ birds - there they are! Gaggi fires back ‘ferma’ or ‘stop, your scaring them away!”

Up in the hills, into the woods there is a funny little hunters house where this rag-tag group of vecchio (old) men meet. They have a whole setup out in the woods - a homemade hunter’s cabin/shack - with cured meats hanging from the rafters, a little stove, bbq, table & chairs & a fully stocked cabinet with plenty off food & booze to feed the hunters! A big boys club house! 

They hunt together every possible morning - sharing stories & jokes (in dialect) and a big fat breakfast at the huntin'!

( The hunters above: Basilio, Olavo, Umberto, Valter, Gigi & Gaggi.  Jason is about 30 years younger - but loves it!)

Needless to say, this is Jason’s favorite part - normally it looks something like this - sausages & pork chops over the grill, a wheel of cheese (everyone cuts off huge hunks with hunting knives), homemade wine & caffe correto (sempre -always sambucca) & of course grappa! This is a HUGE breakfast for Italians who normally eat just a pastry with an espresso.

After his first hunt Jason went shopping & bought the complete hunters outfit...

For his next time out he was welcomed with laughter & geers as he arrived in the proper atire. Now he looks the part!

Each & every day can be an adventure! Even though Jason hasn't shot anything yet & is technically not allowed, he is the gloried hunting dog, running out into the brush to look for the little birds - but he is loving it! And looks damn good doing it!

... its a great fall day, misty & foggy, the leaves are all golden & we've got a deer to butcher (seriously!) and birds to clean for eatin' too!  we're so country now its hysterical - we seriously have a fresh killed deer hanging in our cantina right now! 

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