Sunday, November 15, 2009
Back to Normal.
It took nearly a dozen trips to the open field this Fall to finally catch a hare, and as it was at this particular field last year, this was the first race of the day. It probably never should have even happened, and is a testament to the dogged (no pun intended) determination, speed, and endurance of today's pack; Dutch Salmon's Archie (above), Phylis, and Angie, and our one and only Sandia.
The call was long... way long. 50 yards out at least. But Sandia anticipated it, so I slipped him, which caused Dutch and his brother-in-law, Glen, to slip their hounds. We bitched about the distance they needed to catch up, which was compounded by the fact the hare was bee-lining right for the adjacent ranch, which meant they all had to slow enough, and duck their heads to dive under the barbed wire fence. All navigated the obstacle easily, and were still hot on the hare's tail as they crested a small rise and disappeared from sight about a thousand yards out.
They remained out of sight several minutes, and finally we saw Sandia and the girls returning, followed, much to our surprise, by Archie, who was packing the dead hare back to us. It was hard to tell which of the hounds actually caught the hare, because none of them were showing any evidence of having put their mouths on it except for Archie, who carried it all the way back, so he was proclaimed the winner. We think it's possible they actually went under two fences to bring this rabbit down, based on where we saw the dust clouds popping up while the hounds were out of sight.
We ran five jackrabbits today, in a bit less than 2 hours. A couple more were almost caught, but with each hare run, the hounds get a little bit more tired, while the hare is always a fresh one. Doesn't hardly seem fair, does it? Counting our trip out on Friday, Sandia, and Dutch's Phylis ran 9 jacks in the span of three days. This, of course, will only make them stronger. Plans are to get out to a different field later this week.