Holy Mama Jama, what a weekend!
MFH Steve (Flat Creek Hounds) and MFH Susan Satterlee (Harvard Hounds) invited NHH and our hounds to come and hunt their country this past weekend. This country is West of Joplin, MO. All of our hunting was in KS.
MFH Monte and Diane (his detailed itinerary was a life saver for our group!), MFH Dave K and Becca, Huntsman Tyce, Hilary and Finley, Ex-MFH Mary Lynn F and John K, Nancy E, Helen S, Libby and Tim C, Deb G, Camie S, Larry and I accepted their offer and traveled on down for a unbelievable weekend of hunting, fun, food and fellowship. It was, at least in my book, a top ten hunting event!
First of all, the weather was FABULOUS!! 55-70 degrees, sunny, barely any wind. Such a welcome respite from our frigid weather that we left 5 hours previous. Friday our fixture was the ‘dumps’. This is where coal was mined from 1963-1974 by Brutus, an 11,000,000 lbs machine. This left the countryside with rolling hills, deep ponds and over all wild and untamed brush.
The coyotes run pretty freely through that country and our hounds were hunting that day. Because of the dense underbrush and narrow passageways we traveled on the roads quite a bit. Ex-MFH Kathleen Sandness was our Field Master and she did an excellent job getting us around the countryside to afford us the best view. Which we did! We viewed a coyote running at full steam through the open field until he ducked into a tree line. We picked our way through the underbrush and as we were waiting somewhat quietly in line we heard a coyote barking-presumably at us and the hounds-almost like he was saying #!?@*! I’ve never heard a coyote talking back while we are hunting =)
The hounds took off in search of that belligerent coyote and the field went to the road. We eventually headed home when the hounds chased the coyote into one of the ponds. Huntsman Tyce collected the hounds and returned to the trailers.
Our horses were hosted at Frank and Sana Shaget’s farm. They have a lovely place, giant pastures (our horses are back slumming it today at our mud hole), big stalls with runs for Mary Lynn and John’s horses. Frank has the coolest Man Cave!
All the other horses were lodging at Satterlee’s barn and it was beautiful as well. We only saw it at night when we went there accidentally, but it was big and well set up to accommodate horses and trailers.
Everyone (about 20 riders) gathered at Steve and Susan’s beautiful house for a lovely dinner: Salmon, bread (I ate 5 slices), salad, lasagna, chicken tetrazzini, lemon and chocolate tarts.
Their house is so beautiful, rather an eclectic collection of books, paintings, various hunting pieces, comfortable furniture, a fireplace, all rolled into a home that you would picture in Fox Hunting Countryside Magazine. Needless to say the camaraderie was outstanding!
Saturday, MFH Steve S hunted his hounds. He has 6 hounds that he has had since they were pups and he has done all the training. What an outstanding job! Those hounds were so game and tried so hard. They ran until they were spent, giving all they had. This is a different fixture- wide open grazing fields, lots of water crossings, some ditches and small ravines.
What a day of hunting! The first coyote we viewed, the hounds weren’t able to keep on the line. Not a problem, 10 minutes later they pushed another one out of this newly planted wheat field that had a huge grass patch in the middle. The field, led by MFH Susan S (she did an excellent job taking us all around the mud holes, ditches, keeping us safe and still giving us the opportunity to view the hounds working) was on one side of the fence. We watched MFH Steve tally-ho, galloping hard behind his hounds, pointing his cap. Does it get any better??!?!??
The coyote is flat out, his tail flying behind him, heading away from us, and suddenly he takes an abrupt right hand turn and hightails it down the fence line towards us with the hounds hot on him. Huntsman Tyce is whipping in today and he races behind the hounds yelling to cut the coyote off! I turn Indie, throw my cape over my shoulder, kick him into a gallop, jump the coop, land behind the second hound with my eye on the coyote. I’m going to cut him off-somehow-I’ve heard talk on how it’s done…..my thoughts are interrupted by Tyce yelling at me to not get in the way of the hounds. My one nano second of being cool (at least in my mind) is over L I hear MFH Steve hollering to leave the coyote alone. Tyce and I tear off in hot pursuit. Good Golly Miss Molly, that Coyote is FAST! I see Hilary and Whipper-in Bill Sipps trying to turn the coyote (they didn’t hear MFH Steve). That coyote is dodging, slipping, running, turning. What a specimen! The hounds are giving it their all and by now I’m starting to cheer on the coyote! Hilary is our last defense, he escapes her, slides through a hole in the fence and runs into territory that we don’t have permission. Everyone cheers, the field has galloped the fence line, down the road and meets up with all the staff (including me J -even though I’m an escapee from the field and I apologize to MFH Susan S for my behavior. )
MFH Steve and staff praise the Flat Creek hounds for a banner run. MFH Steve collects the hounds and off we go looking for more coyote. Once again we view and the hounds give a good hard effort, but the coyote is fresh and the hounds are spent. MFH Steve calls it a day and we turn towards home.
We are all invited for dinner at Steve and Susan’s. Salad, beef tenderloin, chicken tetrazzini, twice baked potatoes, some type of rolls and asparagus wrapped in something flaky. Once again, they have outdone themselves!
Sunday morning we meet at a place called the mud hole. There are about 24 of us, including staff. Same open grazing ground with 4 coyotes viewed by riders as we’re tacking up.
We trot off and Huntsman Tyce takes the hounds to one of the places that we jumped a coyote the day before-blank. Then to the same wheat field and yep, you guessed it: out comes a coyote. The hounds are on and screaming. I can’t really remember the whole chase, but we ran and ran. I think we lost and then viewed either the same or different coyote and ran more. Basically a giant circle. At one point, we jumped a stone wall, crossing the road and then I saw MFH Steve ahead in the next field, so I jumped the next stone wall and galloped to catch up. The hounds are on and screaming, MFH Steve tells me to go ahead and to gallop to the top of the hill. Away I go! I keep galloping and I see Huntsman Tyce, whipper-in Bill S and whipper-in Hilary flying across the fields!! They finally pull up and so do I. Then I hear Tyce on the radio calling me to stop the four hounds that are leaving the pack. I race off (Indie has been so honest, willing and fast) but the hounds are really just heading to a pond to cool off. So I don’t do anything, but it was still fun to hear my name on the radio-in a good way!
Huntsman Tyce waters the hounds and horses and after a long rest, he wants to give the area one more sweep. I make a casual remark that I hope no one views…..
We are blank and we return to the trailers. Ex-MFH Kathleen is hosting a tasty brunch. Bread, chips, dip, a delicious soup and homemade chocolate cookies!
If we are ever invited again, please try and clear the days on your calendar to come down and ride. What an absolutely, fantastic weekend!
My riders of the trip: Tyce and Hilary Mothershead. Those two can flat ride! It’s fun watching them tear across the fields. They were well turned out and their horses were beautifully groomed.
Larry came and took some great pictures. He has such an eye for beauty.
For a slideshow of more great images, go here: https://onedrive.live.com/?cid=5dbc41d6251f36cc&id=5DBC41D6251F36CC%211646&sff=1&authkey=!AFveNOTebiRaDsU
Carine and Indie
P.S. We beat Monte to the fixture on Saturday and Sunday…….just sayin’
P.P.S. My techno friend, April Goettle has put all my email addresses into something called Mailchimp. This should prevent the random dropping of people from my email list. She also had me do everyone’s email on Bcc to keep your email addresses safe.