What a weekend! With a small break in the weather, a small group of riders drove out to Burwell. Huntsman Dave, Whipper-ins MFH Dave K, Bre O, Nancy E, Brit V and Becca F. Dolf rode up with Huntsman Dave the first day. 6.5 couple (bitch pack this time) and the field: ex-MFH Mary Lynn F, Tim and Libby C, Julia Sueper, Sherry Jarvis, Lindsay Condon, junior Calli Robinson and me.
We left from MFH Luke and Sam Matranga’s property. It’s cloudy, windy and a bit chilly. We hacked down the road about a half a mile, jumped our first coop, rode into the next field and BOOM! The entire field views the coyote as he jumps up and starts running. We only go a half a mile and we have a loss. We haven’t seen the coyote leave the tall grassy field, the hounds are circling, screaming, back tracking and suddenly they’re screaming-they have found him hiding in the grasses. They nip at him and slobber him and give him a good scare. Huntsman Dave calls off all the hounds and Dolf stays back trying to encourage the coyote to get up and move off. He is successful and he heads for home-he was young and will go home to rethink his logic of laying down in the grass to hide from 13 hounds.
We keep heading south and the hounds are hot-they’re working hard. We went probably about 1 mile, jumped a few coops when the hounds pushed out a brace of coyotes. Huntsman Dave is whooping and encouraging the hounds, they’re screaming and we’re flying across the fields (I think a couple riders were screaming ) We eventually had a loss and Huntsman Dave collects all the hounds and we turn for home. We came back to the original field and I took the field all the way to the far west end of the field (instructions from Huntsman Dave and MFH Dave) Dolf was riding next to me and it’s so interesting to hear him explain hunting. I have so much fun just riding, but understanding hunting-wind, game strategy, hound work and how to keep the field in view of the hounds and potentail coyote viewing, without interfering with the hounds or the staff-is a giant part of hunting. Always fun riding with Dolf =)
We met at the Sandstone for a marvelous meal and afterwards some went over to the Northside to finish off a great day.
Sunday was a sunny day, very little wind and much warmer! We left from Packards and as we are preparing to mount Huntsman Dave comes and talks to me about his strategy for the beginning of the hunt (The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men)
Hunstman Dave has a new horse -he bought him 10 days ago and hasn’t even ridden him yet . His plan is to take the lower road, avoiding the coops and if I want I can take the hill side and lead the field over the coops, I can meet him in the valley below. I opt to follow him. I went up the hill once a couple of years ago and lost the huntsman when the hounds jumped a coyote.
We’re trotting along, Plan A is unfolding nicely…..a then a long comes a coyote! The hounds erupt, we take off running and we pass the gate a a dead run. Then I see whipper-in Nancy move ahead of Huntsman Dave-she is giving him a lead to the coop! Up and over and onwards! Plan B is now in effect. We have another long chase until we have a loss. We met up with the whoppee wagon (Larry S and Blaire B). After a nice rest we start hunting again, somewhere along the way the hounds give voice and we’re off again. We come to a coop with a wire over the top, whip Brit V takes wire off (from the top of her horse!), whip Bre O asks me to give Huntsman Dave a lead over the coop, but hisvery green horse is tired, there are riders opening the gate, so he takes the gate and gallops up over the hill and we give chase behind him. We ride all the way to the far south end of the country-watching the hounds flying over the hills. We have probably ran 3-4 miles. They finally have a loss and he collects all the hounds and we ride back to the trailers.
Everyone is pooped – what a GREAT weekend!
Next Sunday we are beagling at John Kruger and Mary Lynn Forst house in Arlington.
Do you need ideas for Christmas presents? Hanukkah? We have beautiful calendars available. Contact Bre O if you would like to buy some firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great week =)
NHH Honorary Secretary