A Howling We Will Go

This Sunday morning has been anything but peaceful.

Here in Southern Catalonia the hunting season is in full swing. This means that every Thursday and Sunday the hills are alive with the sounds of men shouting, whistles blowing and random dogs popping up all over the place.

Today it seems everyone had decided that the best hunting was in the mountains just above where we live. So from six thirty this morning there has been and endless swarm of vehicles pulling caged trailers packed tightly with hunting dogs. I won’t go in to the rights and wrongs of how these dogs are sometimes kept as I don’t want to be a ranter.

My three dogs have been trying to get my head to explode ever since!

Not only do they like to assert their ownership of the track by giving a good bark whenever a vehicle goes past (although even they gave up in the end) but it was the constant noise of dogs barking and men shouting that echoed around the hills that really set them off. The amount of traffic did stop the dogs chasing after anything as they were a bit overwhelmed I think.

For such a peaceful place the noise was incredible. All three dogs were constantly barking at other dogs they could here which set off all the other dogs in a never ending viscous circle of doggie noise.

The hunting packs usually consist of about eight or ten dogs that each are with a team of men. There are normally a few groups like this that split up and then head towards each other trying to flush out the Jabali (wild Boar) by the dogs chasing them out of the woods to be shot. Every time the hunters decide to pick our area we have problems for days with stray dogs turning up that got lost from the pack.

I assumed that with the amount of activity today there would be a huge score of Wild Boar on many a Spaniards table tonight. There must have been at least a hundred dogs and twelve men that came directly past our front door this morning.

At about one I decided to hang out by the track with the Dogs to see what came down the mountain. A few trailers with dogs and some with very big lumps covered with hessian which I assumed was Wild Boar. When someone appeared that I knew I stopped him for a chat. His name is Angel (pronounced anhell)what a fantastic name. Anyway we chatted and he said there was not as much Boar as last year but he said he caught three of something. I didn’t catch what the word was though. I asked if he caught three Boar. No, it was something else. He slid back the sacking on his trailer and pulled out three tiny birds that looked like sparrows!

I must say I was a little disappointed!