Last Wednesday, December 3, we had a "trifecta hunt" that paid off royally! Only six excited riders and three dedicated road whips joined the equally eager eight couple of red and white American Hounds for an unusual day of sport. Despite the rain the day before that caused the wet, slippery conditions, we had a blast listening to hounds and viewing the different quarry with only one minor accident.
We left Bonnydale with hounds packed up and hacked over to Greg Evans' farm. Cheryl, Elizabeth and Meaghan were whipping-in and spread out to cover the area. Judy and Susan protected our backs and road whips, Diane, Vicky and Eddie were parked at the "honey hole" observation spot where one can see down and across the Evans' cow field.
About 15 minutes after drawing the first cover and a bit of deer training on a crossing buck, Diane came over the radio with an animated "tally-ho". Eddie had been the first to spot our quarry. The road whips had a great view of a red fox crossing the field from the pond to the tall woods along the "foxpen cutover" area. Elizabeth helped me get hounds around Greg's house where his house dogs abound with the intent of protecting their farm and pulling our hounds off the job intended.
As soon as we were all safely through the narrow passage and before I could move hounds in the direction of the view, hounds hit the line and opened with fervor. That fox had been right up close to the house. Off we flew to try and keep up as they raced away. From then on we were just spectators, taking in the sights and sounds of hounds in full cry and the joy of galloping across the countryside.
Cheryl had moved further near the "loading dock" area and paralleled the pack as they screamed through the woods and circled across her path and into the cutover where they eventually loss their pilot. Over on a hillside they milled about looking. We think he had gone to ground in one of the many holes there.
Shortly afterwards we pulled hounds into the "foxpen cutover" that always produce some game. Hounds went round and round before leaving across the open Torrence fields for the tall pinewoods and "Meaghans trail". Soon after Judy and Susan tally-hoed a coyote, I saw him trotting toward me in the pasture along the woods line where Seattle and I stood quietly. He was of medium size and had a multi-gray coat. He was headed toward Boothe Road, where we didn't want our hounds to go.
So we stopped hounds before they even came out in the cowfield. They had gotten spread out in the tall woods which often happens on a coyote because they run so fast it becomes a race and spreads out the pack. We gathered them all and returned to the cutover. There they picked up on a grey fox line and we had the added pleasure of being right near hounds as they circled around multiple times and gave forth some more vibrant music. As their voices became intermittant and they struggled to hold the line, we called it a day and collected some happy, panting hounds. On the way in, Meagans horse, Blaze, slipped and went down but they both got up immediately and were fine.
What is amazing to me is that all three different quarry came from, lived in and/or ran to an area not more them 300 to 500 yards apart.
This time of year I'm so pleased to get out and we were exceedingly rewarded this day! Please see pictures below.
I want to wish everyone a Blessed and Merry Christmas. May you all have good health and happy celebrations with your family and friends.
Warmest Regards, Lili