What a day, and it started off with a BANG for two riders when they opened their tack room doors, the wind RIPPED it out of their hands and the door FLEW OFF the hinges! The saving grace was that their vehicles were spared.
One of my riders ended up helping Deb Robinson in the whoopee wagon when her horse spooked in the wind and stepped on her foot– twice! I was beginning to wonder if we should scrap the day, just eat the food that Deb R. brought and talk about hunting instead!
Huntsman Dave brought out the hot bitches– some were in heat, some were coming out, but they were all ready to hunt. Whipper-ins were Bre O., Nancy E., Helen S. and Samantha M. MFH Dave K. led third flight, Becca F. led second, and I led first.
We had 20 riders in the field and with several guests in attendance, MFH Dave K. took a moment, along with Huntsman Dave and myself, to review some basic guidelines for the day. Thank you to Becca F. and Bre O. for always bringing out guests and introducing them to fox hunting! With all the young riders that have been joining us, the median age is now about 35. =)
We hacked east all the way to the little wooden bridge. Continuing east, Huntsman Dave turned south into Big Jim’s pasture. We rode to the top of the hill, and while riding through the cornfield stubble, the hounds started humming around– things were building. We headed east again and the hounds flew into the stand of trees and started speaking, for what little we could hear with the force of the wind. We jumped the coop and galloped down the field and up the hill, hot on the heels of the hounds as they flew up the hill. We got to the “Honey Pot,” a big area of trees that we have repeatedly pushed coyotes out of over the last several years. BOOM! We were rewarded with a big, grey, heavy-coated coyote that jumped up and ran north with the hounds HOT on his heels, and we, the field, galloped in swift pursuit. =) The coyote ran right in front of the third flight– they had a perfect viewing. Then that wily coyote turned so the wind was at his back and the hounds had a loss.
Huntsman Dave called the hounds back and carried them back to the same trees. MFH Monte and Diane A. had viewed another coyote that headed south when the hounds bid on the other coyote that headed north.
Then BOOM! Out jumped another coyote, a smaller, lighter-colored one, again headed north, but then it made a loop to the south. Unfortunately, most of the hounds were still in the trees, with the exception of the young bitch, Lyse. She ran hard and gave it her all! Huntsman Dave tried to call the other hounds on, but with all the wind, they couldn’t hear him. Wyatt S. was able to watch the coyote disappear over the hill and head southwest.
The field regrouped and had a great time talking and laughing about the great day so far! Suddenly Wyatt S. looked over and saw another coyote (maybe the same?) trotting out of the trees about 800 yards away. It trotted up the hill and headed east towards the same stand of trees! Again, to the ‘Honey Pot!’ Huntsman Dave gathered the hounds and carried them over, and we all saw the coyote, but the hounds are scent hounds, not sight, and the wind was not in their favor. They were unable to pick up the scent. We gathered around and watched as the hounds searched and tried when suddenly this pony caught on fire and he STOPS. DROPS. And ROLLS. The rider is fine and so is the pony when he realized he was only sweaty– silly pony.
Huntsman Dave collected the hounds, and we met up with the most awesome whoopee wagon. We look for two things while out hunting: coyotes and the whoopee wagon. =) After three viewings, two fast chases and enough wind to last us for a while, we rode home.
Thank you Deb Robinson for a fabulous lunch– we ate every single piece of food!
My rider of the day is Jules Morgan. She came as Blaire Bogard’s guest, and she rode first flight, jumped everything and stayed up front! I think she’s hooked. On a side note, I have never seen Blaire so disheveled! All that fast riding in the wind– most of her hair was everywhere but in her hairnet. =)
Huntsman Dave has bred NHH Daisy to NHH Winter. Daisy is a wonderful, hard working bitch, and Winter is a beautiful stallion hound that Huntsman Tyce traded with Tony Leahy and the Iroquois Hunt. He is also an excellent hunting hound, and we should have some beautiful pups who will bring us many years of great hunting!
Have a great week!