Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pond Day Wit Stag Hounds in France...

Up early for the first staghunting day in France.

They use
boneless hounds.

Hounds moved off and drew, as my companions talked at the rendezvous I walked in towards the draw- had a feeling the stag might head my way. And, pow! Here he came- and another! And two more! Four strong spring stags- no hinds, which was strange to me. Perhaps the old man had run them off, and they had a little herd of their own.
I swear, there were stags there just before the camera clicked...

Hounds settled on one, and were off. This day set a pattern, R. was driving and made the decisions about where to go. To start with,
into the headlight of another car at the meet. Fortunately an old one- put a note and some euros on the windshield, and off!

We waited a long time on a hill over a marsh, hearing nothing. This pack hunts a somewhat less manicured part of the forest, on more vertical ground. These pictures show examples, it is very like the terrain at home.
Then a bunch of hunting cars came by, so we followed.

Into the main street of a little village!

All the cars were parked and their occupants out, so out we ran- to see…

That’s right, a stag and half the pack in a garden pond!

Round and round they went, the hounds tried to get to the stag but he evaded them every time. The banks were too steep for him to get out easily, and the hounds who didn’t care to swim kept running around the bank.

I particularly liked this one volunteer supervisor-

The stag did not yet seem tired, more mystified than anything to my anthromorphic eye.

“Why are you people pestering me? Go away, I have stag responsibilities to perform!”

But of course eventually he would have become exhausted.

The staff did the right thing…

Five minutes law and hounds were put back on. Is it just me, or does the huntsman make one want to send the army to Brussels?

Well, hound- only ONE managed to hold the line! It may have been intended not to keep hunting this stag, I don’t know. But if they meant to, it was an interesting display of the vagaries of scent.

And he got away clean. Well, as clean as he could get in a garden pond...

1 comment:

Barbara said...

Fine set of pictures. They really drew me into the action, as did the other photos of hunting in France you have posted. Thank you for sharing them.