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Hunt Week HUNT!!!!

When you have guests, you always want to show them a great time.  Our hounds were up to the task of giving the field of 84 riders a fast and fun day.  The field left the fixture followed them through the cow field and first field went over the coop at the top of the hill when over the radio I heard "they are gone!!"  And we basically followed screaming hounds for the next 3 hours.  And the views - first got one immediately as the coyote crossed the trail as we headed down to the swamp.  at the yacht club,  the coyote turned left back toward the lower cow field and we followed going out over the lower cattle field coop then back across it toward the beehives taking the "sand" coop along the way.   Meanwhile, third was still in the lower part of the cattle field where they could see the coyote going back and forth out of the cover and then Barbara saw it  breaking up across toward Averitt Valley..  So first field got to jump back out and then listen to the incredible hound music as they moved with the sound. First went out over the coop at the top of the field and ran out to the road.  The game had turned, so back we went over the coop into the cow field, down the hill and a pause waiting to see which way they would go.  The sound was going away - so back over the coop at the bottom of the cow field and then over the sand coop and toward the beehives.  

The hounds were in the swamp - screaming and moving the quarry back toward the sand coop.  This is when 2nd field got the view as the coyote came out of the swamp and ran up the side of the hayfield.  And this is also when our excellent huntsman's skills came into play. The hounds were not coming out of the swamp.  One hounds was in there saying "he is here" and the other hounds were honoring, but Joseph knew that hound was wrong.  He sent Barbara back to get that hound to stop so he could draw the rest of the hounds forward -- and they came out and took less than a minute to find the line and we were off again.  Safely galloping up the road side of the hay field and crossing at the top and off on the chicken house trail.  we followed hounds toward the chicken house - but they turned and took us back past the gun range and to the base of Bob Jackson's drive where Kim and Caitlin had seen it go from the hay bales to the swamp.  Again, Joseph had to get the hounds to not run either heel line or possibly on a different coyote - but the hounds wanted to go to Chalkbed.  He was able to get them together, put them directly on the line and into the swamp they went.  The fields were all there, hearing the hounds work from one end of the swamp to another and back, circling and circling.  We ended up on the hayfield side of the swamp- looking back across "Beaver Dam" - and that is when first got its second view.  The coyote ran across the far end of the dam and was going back toward the chicken houses.  

The field went all the way past the chicken houses and the road - and the coyote turns around back in country so back we go.  At this point I followed the sound of the hounds and we ended up at the corner of the swamp opposite the camp grounds- and deja vu, the coyote ran back toward the cow field and Averitt Valley.  Joseph had found a very young whip, Sophie on a 12 hand pony, dressed perfectly in jods and carrying a hunt whip.  She followed him along as we run back up through the trailers.  At this point 84 riders are whittled down to 5 intrepid folks, who helped me hunt the hunt across the road and all the way out to Blackbird, where we followed the sound of the hunt horn - bushwhacking through till we caught up to Joseph and young Sophie.

Amazingly, one by one, hounds returned to his horn till we had over half the pack.  As we moved back toward the meet, Sophie ably makes sure the hounds stay together (no kidding, a few of those hounds were ready to keep hunting).  

All the whips had a few views, the car whips had a few views. It was a helluva day! Can't wait till Tuesday!!

Freddy

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