Sept 1 Hunt - FASTEN YOUR SEAT BELTS

... THE SEASON IS ALREADY HEATING UP

66 degrees, lots of dew not much humidity.  Alf Caldwell MFH, huntsman, brought 15 couple. Five staff and only about twelve riders in three fields.

The venue had changed from Crooked Tree to the lodge because of the corn and difficulty maneuvering around it.  We moved out at 8 AM to old reliable, Campbell’s Coyote Cover.  We shortly struck heading first north then west.  Immediately Sally McLaughlin, third field master, viewed a grey coyote.  He ran east on Dalton Run and then either he reversed or hounds lost and went heal west.  Caldwell collected hounds.  He drew the hemp field and then up towards Horseshoe field.  About halfway up, the hounds struck and headed through horseshoe north then turned in Junie’s woods west.  He continued his run west as the cry crescendoed.  When at the gravel road to Allen’s house, huntsman and field viewed a small grey coyote with two hounds close on his tail.

Now it seemed every whipper-in viewed as he ran through Cauldell’s woods.  He ran a merry chase back and forth until finally exiting south.  Across the lower Dalton fields.  Initially it was thought he crossed Dalton Run going south towards Brooks Lane, but Jane and Marilyn saw him slipping through the jump field heading east.  After collecting ourselves, we headed into Cauldell’s again. 

Slower now, the hounds were following scent through tall beans.  The pack looked like a pod of Dolphins in the waves with their heads popping above the beans intermittently. Now past two barns again south to Dalton Run.  Running fast east to Crooked Tree corn where they again slowed because of the crop and difficulty picking up the scent. Wiley must not have realized the venue had changed as he continued to run east towards the barns and the original fixture.

As the pack continued east the cry became less and less.  Finally by the equipment shed at the east end of the corn they lost. As they dribbled out they were collected and roaded to Webb where Birdie had the hound truck waiting. Our count was 12½ out of 15 hounds.  The rest being collected by staff.

Those of us from this part of the country hacked home, the rest to the lodge to wash horses, tell tales and savor the day.  The hounds are keen, the staff sharp and the riders game.  Can’t wait for the next time out.

Respectfully submitted

Carroll Witten, First Field Master