My father Judicaël always loved the countryside and its forests because he was born in Paimpont. He was looking around to purchase a wooded property, when during a trip between Marcouville, Eure and Pont-Forêt in Britanny, he had the opportunity to acquire Miserai in 1928. At the time, my brothers and I were students with the Jesuits in Evreux but we spent all our holidays at Miserai. We were fascinated by hunting both with shot guns as well as on horseback with hounds. The war came, separating me from my family for a long mobilization and captivity of five years.
In 1947, after the war, I moved to Miserai where I still live today. It is impossible for me to speak about Miserai without mentioning the origins of the “Vautrait du Perche” a big game hunting organization dedicated to chasing wild boars with hounds. I was one of the first witnesses and active members since the very beginning. My father brought to Miserai hounds donated by Régine, the only daughter of Count Alphonse de Falandre who died just before the war. Later on, more hounds joined the pack in Miserai’s kennel when the Baron d ‘Armela, a neighbor, enlisted in the U.S. Air Force during the war of 39/45 and as a result left his hounds to my father. After the war, my father started hunting again in the woods surrounding Miserai and joined forces with another hunter and neighbor in the person of Jean Renouard Larivière. At that time, they hunted on a small scale with a few friends armed with shotguns who killed boars right out of the lair. I wasn’t keen on this type of hunting, so one day, I decided to show up at the meet wearing the traditional dress code used by formal hunt clubs or “equipage”.
Surprisingly, my father found it quite to his liking, and we decided to get a team together to start our new “equipage”. We first had to decide what coat colors to wear. During my wanderings in Parisrue Richelieu, I stopped at the garment store “Prud’homme” where they showed me good quality material. I brought back royal blue and buff samples to Miserai. My parents invited the Larivières for dinner in order to decide what type of outfit we should adopt.
Everyone seemed to agree with my choices when Simone Lariviere said in front of my father “could we enhance the outfit withstripes?” and my father said forcefully “absolutely not!”. Finally, we compromised and the stripes remained on the vest. As far as the logo or “Bouton” is concerned, my father had a small bronze statue of a wild boar and suggested the idea of a boar jumping into a belt with the motto “Ecoute à la tete” or “Listen to the head of the pack.”
The hunting horn fanfare «La Miserai» was composed by my mother. Later on at the insistence of several members, the name was changed to “Les Echos du Perche. “:
“The “Vautrait du Perche” was born. Gradually my father let me organize and run the hunts. I got married in 1952 and my wife, excellent horseback rider participated in all the hunts alongside me.
In 1955, the hounds of Jean Renouard Larivière joined forces with Miserai’s pack. My sister Martine married during the summer of 1958, and my father decided to pass on to me the position of master of the hounds, in agreement with Jean Larivière.
During the four years that followed, we caught an average of thirty boars per season. In 60-61, 33 were caught out of 36 hunt days. I was launching and running a pack of 40 hounds, hunting 6 times a month.In 1962, my wife and I decided to move to Paris for the education of our children. Luckily my Emmanuel and Jean Larivière decided to continue the momentum, and the”Vautrait du Perche” became what it is today.
Thanks to their hard work and the hard work of Emmanuel’s sons as well as all the other members, our “Equipage” is today one of the most established and recognized big game hunting organization in France. Although unable to ride for a long time, and walking with difficulty, my passion for hunting is such that both my wife and I continue to follow the hunts by car twice a week during hunting season.
Paris le 10/02/07 Martial LEVESQUE