Too Good To Be True…But It Is: Tuscan Wild Boar

September 2, 2017

I’m lucky enough to be approached to sell sport by estates. And often their pitch for their sport proves accurate…mostly when it doesn’t sound too good to be true. As those of you who’ve been my guinea pigs on trips from the Arctic Circle to New Zealand know, I rigorously test each and every venue before adding it to the portfolio of sport we offer (or rejecting it).

So when an email pinged in offering lots of boar, a world’s top 10 vineyard and a fully staffed converted farmhouse in Tuscany ‘just outside’ Pisa, my ‘too good to be true’ antennae were at full alert. Several phone calls and drinks at The Goring later, and I found myself on a flight bound for Pisa.

Few destinations have caused as much excitement in the Day household …so why so much fuss about a farmhouse in Tuscany?

Tuscany is renowned for its beautiful scenery, and the estate is no exception with views from the terrace out over olive groves and vineyards to the sea, and Elba and Corsica in the distance. The vineyard, from which one white and four red wines are produced, is plagued by boar. Years of careful nurture and pruning can be undone in an evening by a boar on promenade through the vines.
If boar’s been on your bucket list, but you’re put off by the idea of shooting a running target with a rifle, or calculating the by the kilo trophy fee of an animal on the move, then this could be the boar stalking for you.

See the sunrise and the sunset with stalks from a high seat or off sticks at either end of the day. No trophy fees or bag limits means you know exactly what your sport is going to cost before your plane leaves Britain. There’s something liberating in being limited only by your stealth, skill, and what Mother Nature sees fit to show you. In twelve months of exploring Tuscan boar, I’ve made four trips and we’ve seen plenty of boar and had success stalking them every time. And over sun-drenched days, trips that were about the pursuit of pig morph into relaxed revelations as fine wine and the delicious local foods work their magic.

Having tortured the guinea pigs with cold meats and cheeses, pasta, truffles and even a chance to eat the wild boar known locally as cinghiale (pronounced chingali), we’ve put together a package as a starting point for anyone interested in a slice of Tuscan life.
Day 1 – Arrive in Pisa and make the 35 minute transfer (and you thought it was too good to be true) to the estate. Zero rifles in preparation for the morning’s stalk. And as it’s thirsty work and there’s no better way to decide what you’d like to be drinking for the next few days than a wine tasting, we invite the man who makes these award-winning vintages to share them with you. Followed, of course, by an evening meal.

Day 2 & 3 – Early starts are par for the course if we hope to catch boar on their way to bed. So after coffee and biscotti, we’re out after the boar. Breakfast on the terrace greets returning stalkers, and the day stretches out before you to be filled with exploring the estate, little local mountain villages, Tuscan beaches, or just lounging by the villa’s pool.

When the heat of the day abates, we shed our holiday togs in favour of stalking appropriate shades and take once more to the olive groves and vineyards in pursuit of marauding boar on the hunt for their breakfasts. As the moon comes out over the Tuscan landscape, we return to the villa for another sumptuous repast of local delicacies and wines on which to blame the scale of our tall sporting tales.

Day 4 – After a leisurely breakfast, the staff will return you and yours to Pisa, replete with Italian hospitality, fine wine, and boar-based adventure.

Of course this is just a flavour of what we can offer. Obviously, this can be adapted to meet your requirements. With the proviso that no stalking takes place on Fridays or Tuesdays as these are Italy’s closed days, helping to prevent over persecution of the quarry.

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