Tuesday, December 07, 2010

A St. Eustache Buckhound Day...

The first day's hunting I had on my own in France was with this Roebuck pack. I just heaved up, not a one of them spoke English. It was one of those clear, ice-cold winter days, and they FLEW. The courree was deep in the forest after dark. The bottles came out, logs were thrown on the fire,... and they blew until nearly midnight in that crystalline, star spattered blackness.

Good times.

A St. Eustache Buckhound Day…

So, off with the buckhounds again. I think this pack’s motto is, “We hunt well and no one goes away hungry.”

I was almost first at the meet, only my Nivateur from last year was there before me. He is a tufter, and so was bringing his hound in.

This sort of view is always pleasant:




And inside:






The dog hut is a step up from my house, though a little smaller:


And thank you, Francois:


More tufters arrived:



Hideous weather AGAIN:



What I didn’t know was that this was St. Eustache day, which is St. Hubert for this pack. Our generous hostess made everyone very welcome indeed!

One of the hunters told me, “We do not have the Mass.” Depends on what you call a Mass, I expect. There was certainly a Cathedrale du Chevreuil:



And communion, whoa! For serious, among half a hundred dishes and wines, gateau where there was only enough flour to bind the sugar to the butter. And of course, the best apple crumble on earth! And:





But hounds were waiting:



On the Rapport. Note the man in the centre’s invisible horse:





And the cool wolf fur hat!

Love to see children at the meet. This one was very chic:






Although it was fairly cool, tradition was maintained:




Not only the sun threatened to melt the snow:




And we were off! In and out of the whitened woods and allees:















My pilot knew what Nashville was:


And where to go to find hounds. Unfortunately the action was usually some distance away, so although we could hear, there wasn’t much to see. At the point that picture was taken, for example, we were dead right and all alone. Hounds ran from in the forest toward us- he’s pointing to where it sounds as though the roebuck will break out. But she reculed across our front and we took a chance, a big loop around on a main road. A bit too large, because the hallali was over a couple of minutes before we arrived:




And back for the curee:





I really like the style of this pack. They are very light, the Master appears to love his hunting and his hounds, and they seem to return it. The joy of the day is evident on this lady’s face:

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