They are the face of the brand, always accompanied on their adventures by Franchi shotguns and hunting rifles. Here are the 5 things that (maybe) you didn’t know about Giulia Taboga, Andrea and Davide Cavaglià.
Young, smiling, and expert hunters, we got to know them through social media, exhibitions in Italy, television series, and the adventures they made us passionate about. The faces of Franchi, like every other hunter, know well that the art of hunting isn’t just taking up shotguns or hunting rifles, it’s love for the environment and for nature, knowledge and protection of the territory, joy of being outside with your dog and hunting companions.
With relaxed and tan faces, Giulia, Andrea, and Davide tell us, between one joke and the next, something extra about themselves, giving us also some hunting tips.
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HOW DID YOU BECOME THE FACES OF FRANCHI SHOTGUNS AND HUNTING RIFLES?
Giulia: “A few years ago, I think in 2012, I participated in an episode the Franchi show ‘Prime Emozioni’. At the time they were looking for young hunters in Italy available to hunt with the show’s lead. They found me through Facebook, and I remember that I accepted an invite despite my shyness. From there Franchi asked me to continue to collaborate as an ambassador… And look at me still here!”
Andrea: “From about ten years old, I skipped many Wednesdays of school to follow my dad and go hunting with him. I can say that I’ve never missed a Sunday. I grew up doing that. Hunting is one of my greatest passions, and when Franchi contacted me and invited me to Milan to talk about a possible collaboration, it immediately seemed like a great opportunity. Everything started a bit by chance, a bit by luck. I had just participated in a hunting catalogue, and once they contacted me… I accepted immediately!”
Davide: “I became a Franchi ambassador thanks to my brother, who started this experience three years before me. At the time I was still a minor, but as soon as I became an adult, I joined the group without thinking twice.”
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE DESTINATIONS FOR HUNTING HOLIDAYS?
Giulia: “My absolute favorite place is still Scotland! I adore deer hunting and woodcock hunting, and Scotland is a paradise for that. My favorite places are the Isle of Bute, a magical land and a bit on the edge of the world, and the whole area near Crieff, Highlands included, in which I also had the opportunity to go selective hunting with the Horizon bolt action. Among the hunting rifles, I use in the caliber .308 Win, and each time it proves reliable and precise.”
Andrea: “The type of hunting that I’m most connected to is bird hunting with pointer dogs. Every race is distinct for a type of point and position that is assumed. For me, observing dogs at work is always emotional! Thanks to my profession, I find myself in many stupendous locations for hunting with my Setter, among which Scotland and Crimea are two places that I hold dear. Crimea is one of the paradises for dog loving hunters, with its oak and beechwood forests and a great concentration of woodcocks. In Italy, among my preferred destinations for hunting are the Piedmont mountains, where I go hunting for black grouse, rock partridges, and white partridges.”
Davide: “Surely in Scotland, because for those that love Setters, the environment and density of animals allows you to enjoy it at 360 degrees!”
HOW DOES ONE TRAIN A HUNTING DOG?
Giulia: “I’ve had a Jagdterrier since 2007 that I used mostly for wild boar hunting and roe deer hunting. To train him, I took him, starting at a young age with me to hunt and in enclosures in order to get him accustomed to wild animals. I have to say that I was fortunate, because he had an innate gift and training him wasn’t at all complicated. Now he’s a bit old, and for about two years I’ve stopped taking him hunting. But he was really a great dog.”
Andrea: “Dogs, regardless of the breed, are trained by making them go out a lot and establishing a connection with them through many little things that happen during a hunting trip. The most important thing is having the possibility to put them in contact with wild animals, something that in Italy, unfortunately, is much more difficult than abroad. It’s also because of this that many hunters organize trips abroad, not only for the hunt but also for canophilia and training.”
Davide: “A dog is trained, if not from birth, almost. They start already at 4-5 months, teaching them to retrieve with a tennis ball, then to point with a tassel in the courtyard. When they’re 6-7 months, you use the first quail, carrying the dog around without tiring him too much. From then on, according to the type of hunt that you want to practice, you go into different environments. Doing a lot of hunting in mountains, we take them with us to build their confidence with the territory and its smells. Usually you wait for the summer or the beginning of autumn for the hatching of animals like wood grouse and rock partridge, a bit more suitable for young dogs, and you work with him in these 2 or 3 months 4-5 times a week. The real hunt is the most important thing, even if to prepare him best you need to focus a lot on the summer and autumn season.”
WHICH ARE THE SMOOTH-BARREL SHOTGUNS OR HUNTING RIFLES THAT YOU PREFER TO USE?
Giulia: “I can’t not mention the Feeling Woodcock, that I use in 20 gauge, a light and manageable over and under shotgun, perfect for hunting the queen of the forest. I go hunting for woodcock even with the side by side Esprit, with a natural grip and suitable for different types of hunting… A classic that’s always in fashion!”
Andrea: “Practicing a lot of selective hunting, both from hide and stalking, among my most faithful companions and hunting rifles, there’s the Horizon Black Synt, available with a detachable magazine in calibers .223 Rem, .243 Win, .270 Win, .30-60 Springfield, 6.5 Creedmoor and .300 Win Mag, to adapt to different habits and types of hunting.”
Davide: “I also use over and under shotguns a lot, both for hunting and for sport. To hunt I often go with the Feeling Woodcock Select, while to the shooting range I use the Feeling Sporting in 12 gauge, with Knurled chokes from 1 to 5 stars for the different shooting needs.”
IS THERE SPECIFIC PHYSICAL PREPARATION THAT YOU GO THROUGH FOR HUNTING IN THE MOUNTAINS?
Giulia: “I train all year in order to not find myself in trouble during the hunting season. I take long walks and go to the gym 3-4 times a week, to keep my muscles trained, which is fundamental! Being physically prepared is important even for a question of safety, because when you’re tired, you run the risk of making errors or underestimating the danger of the area and, as we know, the mountain doesn’t forgive. Hunting in the mountains is like this, it’s a mix of effort and sacrifice that repays you with unique emotions.”
Andrea: “Like with dogs, those of us that hunt at high altitudes try to keep ourselves in shape and go out even in the months when hunting season is closed, because otherwise, hunting in the mountains couldn’t be possible. It requires a lot of physical dedication and you have to practice based on different levels of difficulty… Every hunter knows that there are places a bit more comfortable and others that are more uncomfortable to reach. On average, a typical day requires 6-7 hours of walking uphill, and when night falls, your legs burn, and exhaustion is noticeable. Sometimes, actually, you walk for 12-13 hours with 1400 meters of difference in altitude, so good training is not just suggested, it’s necessary.”
Davide: “You have to constantly be in the mountains, go there always, walking, training your breath, because you can’t become a mountaineer overnight. I don’t want to say that you’re born a mountaineer… but those peaks, once they enter inside you, they become part of you, and their call will always bring you back up there, between the clouds and the sky.”