Wilson Hunt (Lakeview Farm) March 31, 2015

A hearty group of foxhunters assembled at Rob and Patti Wilson’s on the last day of March.  The temperature was 73, the sun was bright, and the wind was blowing with gusts as high as 29 mph (according to the National Weather Service).  Huntsman Alf Caldwell, MFH moved off with a small pack of 7-1/2 couple of “old reliables” and headed west drawing coverts on Wilson’s and Harp’s.  Nothing much was expected and nothing much happened.  No one said much about the bad conditions because, as the philosopher says, “he who prophesizes a bad day’s hunt is an abomination”.

Anyway, we passed the big lake on Irwin’s and turned north to draw an east-west covert at the far west end of the country.  The hounds picked up scent and headed north out of the covert through a harvested corn field.  The hounds picked up steam and voice and headed in the direction of a new jump into Eden’s that was installed last fall.  At that point whipper-in Paul Bickel viewed a tan coyote approach and clear the new jump, including the rail – about a 4’ obstacle.  The coyote veered north east where it was viewed by whipper-in Marilyn Glattstein .  He then circled back west with the hounds in hot pursuit, but was able to give them a foil near the party barn lake at Eden’s.  Huntsman Caldwell gathered the hounds and headed toward the Eden/Bohannon jump where we met up with the fields and whipper-in Jane Caldwell who was car whipping.

We then drew coverts along the Bohannon-Edwards line as far as the gas line, then turned south back into Irwin’s, and then along the Irwin/Wilson line.  There was a limited amount of “action” heading back west with the hounds doing very well considering conditions.  Huntsman Caldwell gathered hounds and worked coverts through Wilson’s down toward the Raque muddy crossing, and then across a big hay field on Wilson’s.

Once we crossed the hayfield the hounds were cast into a covert where they struck and headed hard south east toward the 16 acre bottom field along Bull Skin Creek.  Whipper-in Lisa Eifler viewed a small gray coyote cross the field and head up the side of a cliff.  Huntsman Caldwell cheered the hounds on around the edge of the cliff while whippers-in Bickel and Glattstein watched the coyote sit down on the edge of the cliff as if he was taking in the view of the 16 acre field and creek beyond.  Bickel climbed the cliff on the south side while Glattstein stood watch over the field.  Pursued by the hounds the coyote took off south along the edge of the cliff where Bickel tried to head him west to keep him from crossing Antioch road.  Wanting nothing to do with this plan, and being about 20 feet from Bickel and his horse, Mr. Coyote kicked it into high gear and made an end run in order to head south east toward the Antioch bridge where whipper-in Jane Caldwell was waiting.

Fortunately, the coyote made two left turns – first heading across Bull Skin Creek and then due north along the east side of the creek.  Whipper-in Laura Willem did a great job of keeping up with hounds and reporting on the action as the coyote made progress across uncharted territory.  He was viewed multiple times by all fields as he headed north until he eventually turned south west into a wooded drain that leads back toward Bull Skin Creek.  He then skirted along the southern edge of Raque’s toward the muddy crossing, passing between whipper-in Eifler on the west and whippers-in Bickel and Glattstein on the east – along with most field members.  Field Masters Witten, Mills and McLaughlin did amazing jobs keeping their fields up with the action.

Mr. Coyote, no doubt being a bit tired and having created a little room between himself and the hounds, took a leisurely stroll up the draw toward Rob’s mother’s house.  He stopped several times to consider his options looking east and west as he continued his slow journey south.  As the hounds grew closer (“all on”, except Janet – who can be excused for her advanced age and matronly figure) the coyote picked up speed and headed toward an old barn near Mrs. Wilson’s house.  He passed through the barn and headed straight south toward the trailer parking area, and then he turned east toward the Anderson’s driveway.  He somehow squeezed under a tight fence and headed right toward the Anderson’s front door before turning east again. 

The exhausted hounds remained at Mrs. Wilson’s barn, no doubt thinking Mr. Coyote had taken refuge there (this barn is also a known hideout for a fox so the hounds might have found something just as interesting as the coyote). Huntsman Caldwell collected the hounds at the barn and escorted the hounds back to Bertie and their awaiting chariot for the ride home.  The fields and staff provided a rousing “Three Cheers” for Master Caldwell and his hounds.  Thrilled hunters retired to Patti and Rob’s for a great meal and tall tales of the day’s adventures.

Respectfully submitted,

Paul J. Bickel III, MFH
April 1, 2015