(Remember, you can click on the pictures to enlarge them.)
So the OFH hosted visitors. I was fortunate to have three days out!
First, the Friday and our hounds. (I can say ours now, I think.) Sloppy and cold, and it looked like rain.
Getting the plan:
Tembo showed off his new coat:
A.J. suggested that we might watch out for a strike on the part of the pack, demanding warm jackets.
Dashing around to try to get to hounds...
And they did try!
A pretty good bit of running for a while, but things just died out. Grr.
Next day, a mixed pack. And an extra huntsman!
So, off to the first draw. And on the way to it, hounds opened! Into a covert, and out the south side on a coyote.
Meanwhile, on the north side out popped two!
The field swung out, then back- the race was on.
Hounds couldn't hold on to the southbound critter. No problem, up to ours, and away:
He crossed the road east, and I thought he'd turn north and along the river. Wrong agin, south. Then a loop west, across the road, and- a silver singleton this time, out of the same covert! A little slip north and east and then:
No , this is not number 307 of my ongoing "There was just a coyote here, really!" series...
Yes, they are still back there...
But a fair distance. First on the scene was our spare huntsman. Lifting his hat to show where the game went, as one should:
"They are going to have this one! I'll eat him myself if I catch him first!"
I don't know. Those hounds are pretty far behind.
Again I ventured to wonder if he'd swing north. There was a little flutter that way, but back south. Hey, it worked before! And again, west across the road:
And north again! Well, it worked twice before. Crossing the same field east? You bet:
A little faster this time!
I wonder how much better A. J.'s shot of this 'yote is than mine:
"Sheesh, what is WITH you people! L8r-"
" I am not EVEN taking my hat off this time."
Hounds were farther behind than before, and Wile E. did not look beat to my eye. Between the soaking ground and his jinking and turning, he was lengthening his lead.
I'm always beating the drum of how scent varies from hound to hound, and here was what I took as an illustration. When hounds came across the field, they were on his track, but spread out like a cloud. And they weren't really running in the classic sense- drifting and swirling around, and fairly quiet. This picture gives an idea:
But then from the back edge of the field we could hear one hound- a fairly high pitched voice. Along she came, dead on the line, head down, and speaking at every stride. To my mind, the scent in that field at that minute was just no big deal to two dozen hounds. But to that one, it was the thing!
She came straight, right through the rest of the pack. They got the message and fell in.
Alas it was not to be. They lost him on his third try in the woods. Unless, as I believe possible, our extra huntsman caught and ate him!
No way he'd have kept it to himself...
Good boys and girls!
A moment for sincere and respectful condolences from one professional to another on the silver coyote's escape:
And then on to the next draw. In the brilliant "Parkinson's Law", Cyril Parkinson scoffingly suggested that if the ordinary trends of bureaucracy he was outlining held true, a day might come when the Royal Navy had more Admirals than ships.
That was intended as a ridiculous and impossible straw man, but it actually has come true.
And now because of stupid Parliament and its jackass laws, the D&S and QSH have more staff than hounds.
I don't think we'll get that way any time soon. But...
here's one per couple and a half!
That was pretty much end of day. Hounds worked well together as far as I could tell. The visitors and home hunt didn't pick different coyotes and run in opposite directions at least. And a fun hunt party to round off the Saturday!
I stayed in a remote cabin that night, courtesy of a very generous fellow hunter. And had my very first experience like this ever!
I woke up...
(No, not what you think.)
AT THE MEET.
No driving required. Shock.
This was at the N. F. H.
Pretty day, alas:
A lot of scampering! The pictures are pretty lame- shots of the truck roof, grass, sky, random tree branches. We moved out, my pilot believes in getting there!
Did see a pretty self cast by these hounds, coyote came arrow straight into one side of a big jungly covert and turned ninety degrees right handed in he middle of it. They worked it out just fine:
Covered some distance:
Hounds, as these do, worked hard and there was much running. We didn't catch this clever and woods-bound coyote:
But he had a good workout.
One funny incident. The G. L. E. are still in effect. Pictures available on request...