Last week I was a beater in an organized wild boar hunt in the Rambouillet forest. What this means is, wearing a bright orange vest, I walked in line (more or less) with other beaters toward the hunting line. The animals are pushed toward the hunters, who are under strict orders as to what and what they can not shoot. For example, that day we were hunting wild boars and foxes – both which were causing damage to the area. But the hunters could not shoot female wild boar over a certain weight (I have no idea how they judge this – or how a hunter can tell – they all look the same to me, big, black and hairy!) and there is a fine if the hunter shoots the wrong animal.
As we walked, I saw red deer, roe deer, wild boar, snipe, pheasants, including an incredible golden pheasant with a four foot long tail – and I got stuck in brambles, found a wonderful porcini mushroom that I put in my hat to carry (and we had an omelette the next day with it – yum!) and had a fun day. My dachshund, Auguste, was there hunting as well, and he had a wonderful day running about. His short legs were so tired at the end of the day I had to carry him out of the woods!

Not a porcini pushroom! but the porcini like to grow around where these grow – so when I see one of these, I look extra carefully in the area.

Beaters lining up before the hunt begins.