December 9, 2014

A group of hardy members and two guests gathered at the Long Run Farm Lodge this past Tuesday.  It was truly a “Barbour coat” day with the overcast skies and threat of rain showers.  If the adage of “the worse the weather, the better the hunting” was true then we figured this ought to be a barn-burner!

So we hacked up to Campbell’s barn to release twelve couple of hounds.  Following announcements and the introduction of our guests, the Huntsman cast the hounds into Campbell’s cedars.  Moving briskly along the cedars trail, the deep voices of the Penn Marydel hounds resonated from the covert.  Along the Campbell fence line the hounds kept circling as they finally settled on something down the drain into the Calving Field.  Moving north along the drain the scent line ran out at Dalton Run.  Here most of the hounds turned East and, as it was an acceptable direction, the Huntsman let them re-cast along one of the logging roads just south of the creek.   Working east, along Dalton Run it was not long before the choice in direction proved correct as Jane Caldwell spotted our quarry.   Watching the hounds, Jane saw our young entry find and overrun the line, only to be steadied back to the correct scent by the older hounds.  Here, the pack settled and Jane gave us a Tally Ho, which was followed by an explosion of hound voices on the scent line.

However, we were not on just  running one, or even two coyotes, but Jane had viewed four coyotes leaving Dalton Run and heading North.  Riding hard across the creek crossing, the Huntsman found hounds to be in the Cull de Sac cornfield.  Up middle ways, the hunted coyote, or coyotes it seemed, turned to the West crossing the Galloping Field, and then over to the Flat Rock Field.  Here the chase continued back in the un-harvested corn.  The corn backed off the speed of the chase but not the scent, as both Paul and Jane viewed coyotes running.  Lucky for us the hounds had settled on something running Westbound, saving us from a chase back South to US 60.  So up toward and over to Two Barns flew the hounds.  Then up and across Mud Alley, went  the staff and fields in pursuit.  Turning North in the Finger Fields, here the pack split.  A bunch went like a rocket due North, up into the Ballard Rogers property, while others chased something in, around, and thru Caudill’s Woods and cornfield. 

Gathering about half of the hounds after a foil near the Horseshoe Field, the Huntsman and with staff members, Paul Bickel and Shannon Sharpe, hacked North to the site of the annual Ballard Rogers Picnic to meet up with Jane and Annette Adams and, hopefully rest, of the pack.  However, we were missing hounds and had used up our horses in the earlier running. 

So we hacked what we had home to the kennels, and were “calling ‘em in” as we went.  Arriving back at the kennels, the Huntsman and staff toasted the grand day as the field members returned to the Lodge for a potluck meal before a warm fire in hearth.

So, I guess the adage is true.  Worse the weather, the better the hunting!

Respectfully submitted,

Alf Caldwell (Huntsmen)