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Opening Meet 2020

Opening meet is the start of the formal hunt season.  It is a day for members and subscribers to clean up their formal attire, polish their boots, clip and braid their mounts and gather to be part of the Blessing of the Hounds.  

This year, Whiskey Road had over 50 people meet at the Jackson fixture with the Reverend Joseph Morano presiding over the blessing.  The hounds were active, seemingly unaware that they were being blessed.  It was another hot day, so after the blessing and all photos were taken, people removed their jackets and then followed the hounds to the first covert.  But no one told the coyotes that they needed to appear and though Joseph put the hounds in on the hillside, the first swamp, the field and the further hillside and other swamps, no coyotes were found.   Then, he moved the hounds toward the chicken houses and they began to scream!  Not just a chirp here and a response, but a complete full cry. 

The fields followed the hounds and we could hear them moving toward Kirkland.  That is when the views started and when we realized that the hounds were chasing one coyote, but that another four where moving in the area.  Lynn Smith viewed, then third field viewed twice â?? all in the hay field, not the direction the hounds were moving.  Then as the hounds moved through the cutover and across Averitt, Betsy Minton, who was on Kirkland and others viewed another coyote. Meanwhile, the hunted coyote moved at speed across the Jackson farm toward New Holland Road.   The huntsman and the field were blocked by a gate â?? but whips, Kim Hardiman and Barbara Nelson, who were further along the road - were able to keep up with the lead hounds and eventually get them stopped.  Meanwhile, the minister- thatâ??s right â?? the minister!! was driving the hound truck and was able to pick up a few hounds who had diverted on the Kirkland coyote â?? and then Minister Joe and Joseph were able to pick up the leaders for a well-deserved ride back.  They were appropriately cheered by the group who were enjoying an open air â??picnicâ?? lunch and a bloodies and mimosas bar.  

In Covid approved fashion, the members were all seated in a large circle- chairs spaced at about 6 feet.  We were pleased how many social members came out to join in our opening, particularly former Master Mel Haas.  Great thanks to all who helped put this opening meet together. 

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