If you go down into the woods today, you’re in for a big surprise…

Posted: September 8, 2008 in Food, Life, Nature, Spain, Tenerife, Travel, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s a good time of year to order conejo en salmorejo (rabbit in sauce) in Tenerife.

It’s hunting season at the moment and every weekend the forests are full of hairy arsed hunters (Clearly I don’t know if they actually are hairy-arsed, it’s just a phrase that seems to fit when you spot a gathering of them amongst the pines e.g. ‘Oh, look, there’s a group of hairy arsed hunters’) and their Canarian hunting dogs. Known as podencos, these wiry looking dogs with long snouts (perfect for rooting about in holes) have the appearance of Egyptian hounds. They generally seem to be good natured creatures; a bit on the silly side, which personally I like in a dog. Their hunting methods seem to involve a certain amount of chaotic running around in circles which appear to lack any sort of organisation, but as rabbit’s a mainstay of just about every traditional Canarian restaurant, they’re obviously successful at what they do.

The hunters hit the forests from early morning, somewhere about 6am (this is deduced from the fact that a pair of them were hollering at their dogs just outside our tent last weekend – cheers guys).  By 10.00am most of the hunting seems to be over; dogs are squeezed into cages on the backs of Toyota Pickups (far too many to a cage) and the HAHs lounge around the forest floor, drinking wine and no doubt chomping on their prize catches before laying down on the pine strewn floor for a snooze.
That’s usually when we stumble across them when walking in the forest around the La Caldera area. Although, you don’t have to wander far into the forest to spot them, the road to Mount Teide from Puerto is packed with hunters on a Sunday.

Last year our mate Bryan was with us when we emerged from a pine lined forest path to be faced by a posse of intimidating looking, unshaven HAHs all wearing the standard uniform – camouflaged fatigues.

“God, this could be a ‘Deliverance’ moment,” I mumbled out of the corner of my mouth. Bryan rubbed his hands together.
“Do you really think so?” He replied a bit too perkily.

As it happened, they were as nice as ninepence; the demented hunter look is obviously something that’s de rigueur for these guys.

Funnily enough Bryan’s due back for another visit tomorrow; smack bang in the middle of hunting season. I’m thinking that this is no coincidence.

  1. Hello & thanks for the backlink!

    I hope to be the proud owner of a podenco/greyhound one day, as soon as I’m living somewhere they’re allowed. Not for hunting purposes though.

    I used to own a whipped when I was living in Sydney. Sight hounds are such beautiful dogs. I’m thinking that adoption is probably the way to go…

    Incidently, they also hunt on Thursdays. 😉


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