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Hunt Report - Chadwick Farm - 3/7/21

Conditions: Sunny, low 30’s (after cold/frosty overnight weather) After getting rained out last week, the beagles were more than ready to hunt today. The pack of 3-couple moved off smartly and showed great enthusiasm along the front creekbed, with noses down and sterns a-feathering, but next to the big, dry grassy field in the morning sun, the beagles weren’t quite convinced they could sing about their findings. As we continued west behind the barn, whipper-in R. Mock got a head start to surround the covert and reported that in the vernal pools and wetlands, he viewed a mink or some such similar creature, so I angled the pack to the south in an attempt to sidestep temptation. We continued along quietly until Jenkins struck in the narrow part of the creekside. His packmates honored him and we had a good prelude of beagle song in this area for about 15-20 minutes. They worked hard here, under the briars, but ultimately could not own the line and no one reported a view , so we continued south, to the wider and wilder beds of the creek where the pack typically finds. I watched and listened, but with the dense covert, it was impossible to see anyone working. It was quiet for a while, but then Pike spoke enthusiastically. Uh oh! They had migrated west for that line and I was a bit behind…I was reassured that our great team of whips, including J. Roslan, S. Totten, E. Dickinson along with juniors E. DeYoung and friend plus C. Roslan, were already in position to keep a watchful eye on the beagles. I enjoyed the woodland jog westward, and then back to the east when the rabbit turned and circled. It was a wonderfully musical run, but Miss Bun somehow gave them the slip near where the creek bends just in from the back pasture. The beagles kept trying to solve their loss, and for a moment we thought they might have done so as they ran, tightly packed together, just in from the pasture fence line back to the north, Iroquois at the head of the line. But that hint of freneticism in their cry, the fast clip at which they were running, and the continuing link of vernal pools through this area worried me…was this our mink friend again? With no views of anything to create a positive ID, we sprinted a hundred yards or so to the path where the sunshine was causing a check, and we gently encouraged a try back to confirmed rabbit territory. The reliably rabbitty creek bed did not disappoint and we enjoyed another short burst of music. We collected the beagles at the next natural check, as the sun was getting higher and warmer, tongues were lolling, and the slower beagles were lagging just a bit. (Thank you E. Dickinson for helping to show a tired Smolder the way back across the creek!) We had a great time making some new friends with some first time beaglers in our field of about 12 and sharing details about our fun-loving pack and all of the great outdoor adventures we enjoy together. Thank you so much to our landowners, John and Caroline Redmond, for sharing their beautiful property with our hounds and hound-lovers…they made this memorable experience possible and we are so grateful!

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