It was a normal Sunday morning like every other Sunday morning. The only real difference is that it’s now October. You’re probably wondering why just one month would make a huge difference – on a Sunday. It makes a difference if you’re a runner and enjoy Sunday morning runs that are traffic free.
It was beautiful this morning when I decided to tie on my runners and head out in the beautiful Autumn morning. At around the 2k mark a slight stitch came into my side and I ignored it – like I usually do, it goes away. I was just about at my half-way mark – 3k away from home when I heard the familiar jingle-jangle in the bushes.
I couldn’t see them, but I could hear them. I’ve seen these dogs in these mountains several times on my runs and they have never attacked or even come close to me. I continued to my half-way mark when I heard voices.
That’s right! It’s October – open hunting season has begun in Sardinia. I stopped running and settled for a walk as I wanted to hear where the voices where coming from. The voices were not far in the distance and the jingle-jangle of the dogs’ bells were close – too close. Then I heard it.
It was close, too close. Probably only 10 meters away from the point where I stood. The sound was deafening and I was scared. I hit the pavement with such speed it made my head spin. Still on the ground wondering what my next move would be I notice a hunting dog jump out from the bushes. He saw me – I saw him and I froze. He watched me for what seemed like an eternity until he realized I’m not the prey and he returned to his duties in the bushes – with the hunters.
I stood back up and turned around, the half-way mark will have to wait for another day. I tried to run. I was running but it was very dreamlike – like I was stuck in quicksand; my legs could not carry me fast enough. I ran, I cried and I hoped to all heavens I wouldn’t meet a cow or horse in the road.
October is the start of hunting season in Sardinia and I’m generally aware of this – but this morning the sky was blue and the sun was shining – I was itching to get out and run my wonderful 6k in the early Autumn air.
They were probably hunting for Woodcock, Snipe, Cesena, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Redwing, Wild rabbit, Fox, Lark, Pigeon, Crow, Quail, Dove or BlueJay. It’s permitted to hunt these fine animals from October – January on Sunday’s and Thursday’s only.
My case is this – why not post the hunting days in the local supermarket, the bars, the church, the post office and the newsstand? I’m not the only person that runs/walks along this road – there are plenty of elderly folk who enjoy a morning stroll along the same 6k as I, I even passed one such gentleman this morning.
I will never get used to hearing rifle shots in the mountains. I will never get used to the fact that I cannot go outside because it’s hunting season – and maybe just maybe – one stray bullet may find its way to me.
What do you think of hunting season in Italy?