Found the meet, cool and frosty.
And at DAWN, which is when it ought to be.
Lovely stout hounds-
Past Tara. Last time I saw this house it was a wreck, it and the grounds are immaculate now.
The Huntsman assigned me to follow a pilot, who sent me around the corner to a road.
But wait, what's this?
Thank you for spotting me just right, Jimmy.
Fortunately I remembered that this crew doesn't holloa before opening day.
Turns out that ANOTHER brace had come out of that first covert, and the huntsman wanted to chase them.
I was introduced to a lovely follower out for her first day's hunting. I told her friend that it would have been better to just give her heroin. Less disruptive to her life, cheaper, less alienating from society.
Which is a much higher requirement than they have for the readers...
Hounds rattled around back and forth for a while, sounding good. Heard a horn call, around the bend, to see this...
What is this, 1988?
Draws continued, not much luck. Down into a cool little glade to regroup and count up.
Clearly a graduate of the Staghounds school of hound counting.
Get back to him!
That's better. Jackass.
Off over into another pretty valley. Again with the deer, hounds paid no attention.
Drawing up and down these woods, hounds speaking but just not able to hold on for long.
As in England, I was not startled to hear my pilot make references to history- "Mosby's second in command lived on that farm".
There was a pretty good bit of The War up and down this valley. The best kind really, stitch up some uniforms, go rob Yankee trains and burn their stuff, go home at night. Good thing that beast Sheridan was elsewhere.
"The Yankees burned that mill." 1865 was not yet 2 long lifetimes ago, memories of oppression last. Shame our current Generals and Politicians didn't grow up amid the grandchildren of insurgents.
Past a goose pond...
And winding up.
Our future sorts out the day.
And as I took my end of day picture...
I heard what sounded like a terrier yipping from the far side of the house, and BOOM, hounds were off!
Whippers-in sprang into action, but hounds were focussed!
Oh lord, they have killed our host's dog...
Whew, no. Turns out that as the field were returning, someone playfully reached out and squeezed a child's knee. The youngster laughed- that was the terrier like sound- and hounds took off.
And of course came right back.
Now that sounds like a mistake at first blush, but consider. I mentioned holloaing before, and that's very important with this pack, especially at this time of year. Remember the no holloa before opening rule? They want to avoid chopping cubs, and so hounds are kept very much on their toes to ensure that they can be readily called on, and off, as the situation demands it.
And they did dash to a high pitched human cry.
So what might have seemed like a training failure was actually not one. Now if we can just get a bit more holloa recognition experience...
All in all, a fun and interesting cubhunting day.
And need I say it, as always, friendly and welcoming people.