Sunday, February 19, 2012

Hunt Week Day Three...

(Remember clicking on a picture makes it larger.)

So, off for another Hunt Week day.

The home team's hounds were hunting today.

I suspect this might be a good spot to watch,

considering who is standing here and looking left.

Sure enough, almost immediately hounds found- and out popped the safety orange fox! No you can't see him, as usual I was too slow on the button but he came out at the L of the covert, ran toward the road, and ducked back in near the wood fence. I holloaed, which was a mistake but he had already turned when he saw the action on the road.

This is a hard running and bold fox- last season he dashed right by the mounted field in an open pasture. Let's see if hounds hang on at his first hard right...

Yes, it's on! The road you see in these pictures runs east-west, south of and parallel to a river that is far too wide to swim. So the fox was in that narrow swathe of covert, bounded on the eastern end by an inlet from the river. That's where we zipped to...

to be caught up immediately bu a mounted whipper-in. We could hear hounds loud on our left...

and as I snapped that picture, he crossed behind us!

And hounds came along. One cutting the corner...

"Look, Boss! I'm first!"

He circled around south of the road, then crossed back north again...

and again bore east/right.

Toward the same corner, trapped by the water...

and all this on the road...

Hounds were right on him, he ran the beach of the river into a space maybe fifty yards by fifty yards.


Not what you'd think. Our huntsman, who loves to catch a coyote, gave him best. Not an easy decision with a whole field full of visitors, but for what my opinion is worth the right one. It had not been much of a run, and this fox is sort of a local character. He (or she, I have always thought this was a vixen) has to be strong and brave to survive the coyotes, we can run him again.

So south to draw.

And draw.

And draw.

And draw.

Nope, nuthin'.

A boy and his dog.

Back here again...

And they found, finally!!

A coyote, running right into the safety orange fox' covert!

East or west when he hits the river? We bet on west. So down to the bridge...

And surely enough, there he goes.

Whipper in on the job...

Ready to hold them up to get all on...

A few got past, but

there they go! One of my many hunting deficiencies is that I forget that I am in this country, where keeping the pack together is so important. My own past is so full of hunting where game is scarce and too fast (or hounds too slow), and so I default to that "Get hounds on, run him hard, stay in contact" style. Here, "all on" is more important, these hounds can catch up.

Although we had a #@$%^^& radio, it did not work so we got to do it the old fashioned way. Less effective but more interesting. He ran a biiiig loop, which we were just outside of all the way. The right position to whip in, the wrong one to take pictures.

When he finished his loop, he ran up against the river.

Sorry, Coyote, but thanks.

Clearly the excitement was too much for one hound...

And end of day.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Hunt Week 2012 Day Two...

A good grey day, pleasantly cool and damp.

The visitors from my old home pack are hunting today. That country is rocky, forested, and pretty vertical. It will be interesting to see how our (their? I am a member of both families!) hill climbing hounds handle this soft flat plough. At least we are fully staffed-

two huntsmen mounted, two afoot, and whippers in like crazy.

A fair sized mounted field, too.

Found in the first draw, and off. As usual with these coyotes he made a loop, running eventually into a swampy forest covert. I was on the road which runs along south of it, and sure enough out he popped. Um, no- the wrong one!!

Grr, he's still in there someplace.

And off across the field, east not south.

Hounds all on... But they couldn't hold it.

Now an hour and a half hiatus, which we spent trying to get two spun-out hounds into the truck. Cost me a packet and a half of petits beurres. So back to the hunt....

"Oi! That's my lawn!"

And the last draw, which was also the first draw

held a nice coyote who looped around and eventually

ran through the same part of the country.

Couldn't hold him either, so end of day. One of our visiting whippers in told me that her GPS showed 28 miles, where a typical day is 15 or 20. And her horse was not even tired! "Back home we would be breaking out the Banamine!" Vertical is MUCH harder.

I don't know what happened here. J. is pretty concerned...

As is everyone else!!