Whoa! What's this? It's night time.. this jackrabbit, being nocturnal, should be happily munching on vegetation... not running for his life! What could cause this non-standard behavior?
Well here's a clue. Scottish
poacher uh, "entrepreneurial game harvester"*, Matthew, has the spotlight, and he knows how to use it!
And after a few trial runs the hounds, including Mona here, learn to follow the light, because that's where the jack is.
The biggest difference between day and night coursing is the course. Races are usually short, especially if the guy on the spot can't keep the hare in the light. From 7:30 to 10:30 last night we probably released the dogs on a dozen jacks.. maybe more, as I lost count. We drove only about 5 miles in that time, which brings up the other big difference: No Walking! (It does get a little tiring putting the car in neutral, hitting the parking brake, grabbing the camera, and jumping out the car over and over and over again.) The above is one of two that were caught.
Photographing this activity is just about impossible, so when I saw that image with Mona and the jack so close, and in the range of the flash, I was ecstatic, no matter that it's out of focus, and a little overexposed.. it's exactly what I was hoping to get on this little project.
By the way, for those who are interested, this activity is perfectly legal as long as no one is carrying a firearm. Dutch, being on the NM Fish and Game Commission made sure of that! And in this particular area, we'd be more likely to be confronted by the Border Patrol than the Game Warden.
*Thanks to Scottish native, Andrew at Regal Vizsla , for the politically correct terminology ;^)