I could not have hoped for a better closing meet. With some recent rain and still-damp ground as well as mild temperatures , the scenting conditions were on our side for a morning hunt through the borderlands of the village. One benefit of the unfortunate flurry of riots we had early in the season is that I learned not only exactly where Charlie Fox likes to travel, but also where all of the secret gullys, drains, and other landscape hazards are located. It made it easy to have a pre-hunt meeting, letting the whips know what danger spots they should look out for and when they could just let the adventure unfold. And, I might add, all of our wonderful helpers were right on time with their excellent work!￼ With the full pack out, our draw started at the far end of the polo field where we almost immediately had some music and two views. The rabbit ran out of bounds, but we continued to work the area because it was very likely she would circle back. Eventually, the beagles got very busy digging and marking in some dense undergrowth beneath some fallen trees. It seemed that our friend probably found a very good hiding spot so we let her be to look for another bun on the hillside. The hillside yielded some more cry and another staff view on the ridge. The beagles worked hard on the ridge, circled downhill, and then also ran west through the briars at the base. There was the telltale pungency of fox perfume in the air, yet the beagles ran steady and stayed on their rabbit line… I was so proud of them! We finished in the Sudbury swamp. Smolder led a brief but exciting run, but with a major road and multiple cur dogs menacing just beyond the borders of the swamp, we sadly could not fulfill this chase as long as we wanted to. We tried back within the confines of the swamp, but with the rabbit likely out of bounds and squatting now, all it yielded it was muddy socks and filthy beagles. We called it a day at the 90 minute mark and took the pack back to the kennels for breakfast and lots of praise. And my praise for them was both copious and genuine... earlier in the season, we had more than a few hunts that were riotous and strung out, but here they were, nicely packed up and oh-so honest and true. I’m going to sleep well tonight, and with a beagle song in my heart! Stay tuned for some fun off-season activities and let’s do it all over again in the fall… Thank you, everyone!
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