I had refrained from bringing along my Nikon, because hunters are not necessarily the kind of folk who like to be photographed. I soon realized that this had been a wise choice, because these particular hunters seemed to be a little disturbed by their chance encounter with a wild boar at this unexpected spot. So, I'm illustrating this blog post with a beautiful photo of a live wild boar, in a typical muddy creek setting, that I found on the web.
— Richard Bartz
By the time the slain boar of Gamone had been dragged up onto the road, dozens of other hunters had arrived on the scene, in a convoy of vehicles. The fur of the black beast, which seemed to be sleeping, was spotless. But I was stunned and distraught by the appearance of the pack of four hounds that had participated in the final combat. They were covered in layers of pink blood. And I soon learned that it was blood from the dogs themselves, two of whom had been severely wounded in the encounter with the wild boar. But the hounds gave no signs of suffering. They appeared to be contented, in their ancestral element of wolves pitted against a ferocious prey. For the dogs, a little blood and patches of skin torn apart by the tusks of a wild boar were neither here nor there. My homely Fitzroy (accustomed to watching TV, spread out in my lap in front of the fireplace) was surely impressed by these bloody canine gladiators, chained up at the rear of their master's vehicle. Urban observers (and I count myself in their numbers, even though I inhabit the savage slopes of an Alpine environment) have lost contact with those archaic ages of bloody conflicts, perpetuated these days by the hunters and their hounds.
When I first settled down in Gamone, 20 years ago, I looked upon hunters, naively and stupidly, as uncouth and troublesome neighbors. I have understood, since then, that these men remain the surviving priesthood of obscure archaic forces that we must respect perpetually and maybe seek to control... but never condemn nor abandon.