Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Spectacular Snowy Saturday with the Villiers-Cotterets

I often say that one thing I like about hunting is its relative timelessness. It’s been the same for hundreds of years, and hunters from eras long past would fit right in.

Generally. “Meet at the

cell tower” might give the Empress Eugenie pause.

But then again, lots of things did.

I wanted to hunt with Rivecourt, but they had le cough du chenil. Those bedspreads are dusty!

So off with the Villiers-Cotterets again.

“I ‘ave niege on moi nez!”

More snow today:

Le trompe:

And off. After seeing her performance last year and four days ago, I took chance and begged a very generous and skilled, dedicated lady for a place.

I may not have any game sense, but sometimes I can figure out who does!

We arrived at this carriere:

to see a few roe deer running from the racket hounds. On they came:

but hunting red deer, not the roe we saw. Off into the forest:

Alas it was biches, so regroup and draw again. The snow got heavier:

And hounds struck!

Our pilot dashed us to a recently cut section of the forest, which was exactly the right spot!

I swear, there was a stag right there a second ago, droit au gauche!

See? Hounds right on him:

And off into the forest. Back en voiture, barreling down the road, when BOOM! Stagboy crossed right in front of us, if we had been going even a little faster w would have hit him!

Easy to say, yet another "He was right there!" post, but here are his tracks:

He was to my eye a hunted stag, but a couple of other followers showed up and, I think, disputed that.

But you know how it is, two Frenchmen saying hello sounds like four Americans getting ready to have a bar fight.

Hounds came along in a few minutes and settled the question:

Interesting how much of a distance the stag had opened up, and how quickly.

Hunters a little behind hounds:

Then, as usual, looking for a good spot and waiting.

Hound music approached...

And, again, he was right there!

Into the forest:

We picked up a passenger:

Then, again. he crossed in front of us and then just inside the tree line along an open field:

He's coming...

THERE! A perfect shot, Stephan Lavoye watch out!

Then the usual dash, zipping along. Is he here? There?

And more, slipping and sliding while hounds crashed along out of our sight.

Then up into a village beside a little two room house.
There was a LeClerc (like the Home Depot of France) van in the driveway, and you guessed it:

The man came out, with his daughter who looked to be about 15, in a t shirt and ballet slippers. The daughter I mean.

Well, it was like the circus had come to their very own yard! There were only a few mounted hunters in at the end. One's horse tried for a nip:

And this girl on her (sadly outgrown and I could see why sadly) pony were among them, the toughest of the day.

Back to the Rendezvous.

But there are still hounds out! No radio collars here, either.

Recovered some,

Then back for the curee:

The Master had done exactly the right thing, invited Mr. Leclerc back for the event and then offered him the head for his wall!

And so we bid "au revoir" to the forest of Villiers-Cotterets...

1 comment:

Barbara said...

A magical day to remember for a lifetime.