• Jess

Hunt Report - Windy Meadow Farm - 2/13/21

The recent cold snap we’ve been experiencing has made stepping out in the early mornings feel something like a page out of a Jack London novel, so we decided to try an afternoon hunt at Windy Meadow Farm, in the hopes that the midday sunshine might bring us a few degrees of warmth.

While it was still cold as we trudged through the snow to draw the first cover behind the pond, the almost immediate cry of the beagles let us know that it was just warm enough to hold scent, and an exciting day might unfold. The beagles had trouble owning that first line, so we tried back-and-forth, attempting to thoroughly cover every square inch before ducking through the pasture fence and crossing the path into the next covert.

The beagles spoke again and blasted north. Whipper-in J. Dickson, stationed at the far north end of this covert, got a view and reported that the rabbit was heading almost back into the path of the pack. The clever rabbit somehow bobbed and weaved and managed to hide herself well. We zigged and zagged back-and-forth through the area with some occasional speaking, but no confident runs. Just as I was ready to get discouraged, whipper-in J. Roslan holloa’d and reported that our bun crossed back into the first covert. I encouraged the beagles, who made their way southbound again. We came out of the covert a smidge too far west, But it did not take the beagles long to figure that out. Right in front of the field, for everyone to enjoy the hounds’ accuracy, Pike lifted his head and let out a most incredible cry, and instantly the rest of the pack flew to him and got right onto the line, screaming back into the first covert where the rabbit had run.

Back-and-forth we went through the first covert again, but that little rabbit had more tricks than we did and I assumed we lost her. So as I stood in the path between the two coverts, trying to consider our next move, that rabbit ran right back across the path again into the second covert… And away we went with one more good, honest run. She evaded us again, and at this loss, we decided to call it a day as the temperature was dropping and we knew we had a cheery fire and hot tea waiting for us back at the barn.

Our gracious landowners, the Dickinsons, spoiled us with (literally!) all the finest tea in China. Our Master of Beagles had some wonderful tea sandwiches waiting for us, and there were also some tasty treats from field member H. Sanford. Even though it was quite cold, we were all having so much fun that it was truly difficult to work up the motivation to amble home.

On days like this, I really don’t know what’s better… Our beagles, our hosts, our staff, our fun-loving field, or our dodgy rabbits. It all added up to an outstanding day for the Chagrin Valley Beagles and friends!

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