あおあお6号 特集「獲物がいる」
aoao vol.6



A game in the mountain

At 8:00 in the morning, when I arrived at the meeting place, which was a farm-fresh market held in Shibuno Town, Tokushima City, I saw a man in an orange-colored vest. Soon, I found him to be Mr. Takashige Hasegawa, a member of Tokushima Hunting Club. Hunting dogs Mr. Hasegawa had nurtured and trained were sitting quietly on the bed of the truck, paying attention to us with an amiable attitude.
We further drove for about 15 minutes to a mountain.
The mountain in Hata Town, Tokushima City, where orchards are everywhere, was the hunting site on this day.


The hunting season is from November 15 to February 15 of the next year every year (to March 15 of the next year for deer and boars). From the opening day of the hunting season, Mr. Hasegawa went hunting every week. I attended their ‘makigari hunting (the hunting area is surrounded on four sides by hunters)’. They usually go makigari hunting in a group of three to four people. But, since we attended for data collection for an article on their hunting, two groups participated on this day. The members started a strategy meeting with Mr. Hasegawa who was a leader of the groups, looking at the mountain. “You will approach from that direction and you from this direction—–“He gave instructions to the others, pointing to some spots in the wide area of the mountain. First, each of them entered the mountain from a different direction to find so-called ‘mikiri’ which is a sleeping place of wild boars. They entered the mountain from a side path in the farming yard and proceeded on the trackless slope to reach the top of the mountain. On the way, Mr. Hasegawa pointed at the ground, saying, “Here it is.” He found a footmark while walking.





We walked for more than 30 minutes. I could see the back of Mr. Hasegawa and Mr. Nishiyama who chased a boar with hunting dogs as ‘seko’ even in the depths of the forest because they wore a blight orange-colored vest. They sometimes stopped and looked back to see if we could be following them, which gave me a secured feeling. I tried to encourage myself not to be left behind them. They never looked in their 70s. It was surprising that they moved so fast in such a mountain area with lots of ups and downs. The hunting dogs were running around, sometimes suddenly appearing from the bushes. They seemed to be enjoying the activity.

On the other hand, the hunters were waiting for the boar chased by seko at a dead end to hunt it, exchanging information with seko by radio. I wondered if the boar would appear or not. To find it, we had to keep up with Mr. Hasegawa’s party who were far ahead of us.

We managed to catch up with them at a flat place like a mountain summit and somehow paused for breath. Then, we were going down through deep bushes. We walked with only the head above the bushes as the bushes were taller than the height of our chest. The dogs were supposed to be near us but I couldn’t see them in such a situation. Suddenly, a hunting dog started barking. Although the barking stopped soon, I felt a tense atmosphere. I could see Mr. Hasegawa highly tensed from his facial expression while Mr. Nishiyama looked back and gave us a sign to keep silent. The shrub suddenly moved and a dog came out. That was totally unexpected for me.

For a while, we stayed there, checked the situation and then went out of the bushes to come into an open space of about four and half tatami mats in the woods. “Probably, the dog and a boar met here when the dog barked,” he said, checking the condition of fallen leaves on the ground. There seemed to be a trace of a fight between the dog and a boar. The two hunters stopped for a moment to check around, wiping some sweat. Sometimes, they reported the latest information on the situation by radio. The five hunting dogs were going into and coming out of the bushes. Looking back to the time, the reason why I didn’t have any strange feelings then was probably because I couldn’t concentrate anymore in a moment of relief after hard walking, which was much harder than I imagined. When I was relaxed carelessly, I heard the dogs fiercely barking in the depth of the woods, and suddenly, a black mass jumped out of the bush over there. It was a wild boar.



When the boar took one or two steps back, I heard a gun sound followed by another. The hunting dogs jumped to the boar from all directions. When I saw them attacking the bore, the boar already became weak and finally fell down on the ground. Mr. Hasegawa watched it. In his waste belt, two bullets were missing. Then, he ensured the boar was dead. The other members came to the scene, saying, “Did you get it?” They brought the boar tied with a rope to the foot of the mountain.

“Assuming where the target is, confirming that our assumption is right, and actually getting the target are the attracting features of hunting. I can say this now because our hunting was successful this time,” said Mr. Hasegawa with a smile. The members went home with a shared portion of their game.

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