Monday, April 06, 2009

We Go "Hunting"

"We are Fam-i-leeee"... That's Sandia and his sister, Maya in the image above. While she's longer than tall, and he's taller than long, the family resemblance is still unmistakable.

Maya's owners came down to Deming for the open house on Saturday, and became the first overnight guests in the cabin. They pronounced it very comfortable.

Yesterday morning we headed out to the well known big ranch with Dutch, and another acquaintance with some rookie Azawakhs. Recently, the jackrabbits at this location have been bountiful, to say the least. On this day, for whatever reason, they made themselves scarce. Maybe the increased coyote activity we noticed had something to do with it. We almost never see coyotes here, and on this morning, we saw 4 in the access road as we arrived, and later, two followed Sandia's aunt Camille back from her first run. The stopped when they noted the people in the equation, and returned to whatever nefarious deeds they were originally involved in.

On a typical recent day we would have run 6 or 7 jacks by 10:30, and been on our way back to Deming for brunch at the Campos. Yesterday, we were still struggling to find a 4th rabbit so everyone could have run twice at 1PM!

That's when we put Sandia and Maya off-slip to better scare up the hares. As the picture above shows, they worked very well together. Not straying too far, stopping periodically, then moving, right to left, left to right in front of the gallery. We'd been at this for nearly an hour and were walking in the direction of the vehicles when they took off at a run. Not an all out run, but purposeful, until they flushed a group of meadowlarks. Oh. Birds. And as soon as we relaxed again, Sandia was right on the butt of a jackrabbit! So they did see something.

They were quite a ways away when this race started, but Dutch released Phyllis, and the Azawakh was slipped and everyone was away. The pack followed the hare right towards the vehicles, which smart ones sometimes try to use as a "pick", but this fooled no one, as the 4 dogs stayed right on it.

They were out of sight briefly, then we could see them still in a group, way beyond the vehicles... a quarter mile for more. My binoculars were in my pack, so I was doing my best to see the course with the naked eye. I saw the dust cloud, then saw no more.

We waited for further developments, when someone said, "they're coming back." We started walking towards the trucks, as a couple of the hounds waited there. Then I heard, "one of them's carrying something". It was Sandia, and they'd caught the hare on a roughly two minute chase. Dutch, who had watched with binoculars, said Sandia would have won the course if he'd been judging it, but all 4 hounds would have had an assist in the kill, as the group was turning the hare every 50 yards or so. I've seen Sandia not bring the hare back when he wasn't the hound who picked it up, so I know he got this one. It will be in the crock pot by this evening.

So, here's the "money" shot I didn't get a couple weeks ago. He dropped it about 50 yards short of us.. I guess it felt pretty heavy after running it almost a mile, then carrying it back almost a half mile.

People are always discussing.... (arguing?) the difference between "coursing" and "hunting". My definition has always been pretty simple: If you go out with your hounds and don't bring back a jackrabbit... you were coursing. Yesterday, Sandia and his kin, and buddies went hunting!


  1. Hi Dan and Margaret,

    I'm sorry we did not had the chance to come. It is always a pleasure to read that the dogs has so much fun out in NM.
    We wish you many happy years in Deming and I have to say I'm a bit envious on the you live. If it was just me I would move to NM asap.
    lots of love from us overseas

  2. Well we miss you. Hope you make it cross the "pond" again some time. Guys at the Border Patrol station.. they say they miss you, too! ;o)

  3. When I make the jump I'm not sure I will pass by in Deming, way to dangerous for me :-)))

  4. D+M: looks like a successful day for all! incidentally, our two boys ran off a coyote this morning, too... in Van Cortland Park in the Bronx!

    all best

  5. just goes to show ya.. no place in the lower 48 where you can't find coyotes.. about a year ago I saved a news video to put on the blog about a coyote in downtown Chicago, but never got around to posting it. We have plenty in the neighborhood, too.

  6. I would be more impressed if they catch a roadrunner instead of the Coyote :-))

  7. Not a lot of roadrunners in Chicago.. or the Bronx ;o)