Paul’s Start and Shannon’s End or The Best Hunt So Far This Season

Tuesday, December 30, 2014, Hawk's Reach (Ken and Amy Berry’s 2 p.m.)

The last two or three hunts have been in ideal conditions, low ceiling, wet ground and minimal wind.  Yet hunting has been difficult with no sustained runs and poor scenting.  Tuesday was a little windy, dry without clouds.  Temperature 37 degrees.  But it’s always a good day to be out even if expectations were not up.

Five staff with Huntsman Alf Caldwell, 12 ½ couple of hounds with 7 ½ brace of members and guests in three fields.

Caldwell drew Berry’s south.  Passed out of their farm to the party barn and big tree field without interest.  Near the Bra jump, hounds opened slowly in the drain next to Mullins’ old corn field.  Short spurts mostly south and north in the drain, but finally the pack decided he’d gone south.  Bickel hallooed a big dark grey coyote just south in the fallen down barn field going west.  The chase was on!

Running initially west then south, the hounds climbed scrub hill after their adversary. Bickel again saw our friend running up against the fence at Marcum’s.  Twice he tried to get through but to no avail, moving briefly west then finally continuing south.  Hounds arrived momentarily and at first confused by the fence and changes in direction and no doubt chaotic scent regrouped, then off again.  The chase continued down to the rut field ending with loss of the line.

Caldwell collected the hounds and headed north towards scrub hill.  The pack picked up some interest and went west towards the blue trailer, slowed, regrouped, reversed and dropped their cry.  At the west side of scrub hill, they opened in earnest at Michael’s crossing and ran north.  They headed through the bombed out woods, across the gravel road into the big covert turning west.  Saigon in the lead.  Continued west almost to the Bishop/Witten trail, then reversed and headed east.

At this point they were boiling and back into Mullins at the Bra jump.  They continued to Webb Road and across into Shelby Trails, now a little slower.  Past the barn continuing east picking up steam they headed towards Isaac’s, out of bounds.  Sharpe had run the left flank and stationed herself in front of them as Wiley came out with hounds close behind.  Sharpe turned him so he wouldn’t continue out of territory.  The hounds were halted, collected and home we went after several hours of running and gunning.

At the Berry’s there was a nice tailgate in the barn.  Although the weather was cool, we were all warm and exhilarated from the good day. 

Once again we proved weather conditions can never be counted on to stop a good hunt.

Respectfully submitted

Carroll Witten (First Field Master)