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Longreen Foxhounds: Coyote in the Culvert


By Susan Walker, MFH Huntsman

For the first hunt of the New Year, the Longreen Foxhounds were hunted at Eastover Plantation, Clarksdale, Mississippi on January 5, 2013. All morning there had been light rain; it was a chilly 38°F as hounds moved off at 10 am just as the rain was stopping.  Blue skies opened over the first covert: the Cigar Woods, which was a blank draw, as was the next covert, Swamp Woods, and the next, the Twin Woods.  Now overcast with temperature rising slowly, Huntsman Susan Walker opted to hunt Chip's Woods from west to east. 

Just shy of reaching the Little Sunflower River, Huntsman Susan Walker cast the hounds into Chip’s Woods. As the pack approached the eastern half of Chip's Woods, voices declared a find, but after 5 minutes of hair raising cry, silence.  Susan then sent the pack to work the ditch north to the Cadillac Woods, a well known patch of woods with Geisbeck's catfish ponds north and Gable's ponds south. Young hounds jumped a deer on south side midway of covert, but were quickly foiled by staff and the three youngsters returned to the pack. Shortly thereafter, the vocal chorus declared the line of a coyote!  A strongly voiced “Tally Ho” came from Ani Carruthers, who had viewed near the catfish pond.

Hounds materialized from the dense covert and swarmed around Ani in silence. Noses to the ground, they spread out as Susan worked them west. Beamer, Yogi, and Zack hit the line about 100 feet further west and the pack flew away in full cry, leaving the woods to run the grass along the ponds, then dropping back into the woods, then breaking out along the woods' edge. The coyote then ran north from Gable's catfish ponds with Missy Stierle viewing just west of Palmer Rd.

Uh, oh! Huntsman down at this point. Susan’s horse Valor found a hole in the crossing west of Gable's ponds and went to his knees, as she rolled off his left shoulder.  As she remounted, she continued to hear staff reporting on the pack as the race continued. 

The pack close to his brush, the coyote flew to the woods west of the Geisbeck's house, bent east then north, crossing Reinhart Rd. Then he turned east toward Palmer Rd. just south of Charles Unruh's house. He crossed Palmer just north of the church then raced south back to Gable's ponds, viewed again by Missy and the field. The coyote dropped off the gravel access at the ponds and turned north once more.

Again, the pack's cry went to the tree line west of the Geisbeck's and turned north. This time the third field, formed by Dawn Hinton, Susan Gustafson, Nancy Manire, and Laura Tarver with Allison Crews, and young Georgia Dulaney  (age 7, out for her first foxhunt ), was ready for the coyote as he broke cover. They succeeded in turning the coyote, who opted to take refuge in a nearby culvert off to the side of Young Road. 

Now they stood back and waited center stage as half the pack still in full cry marked the coyote to ground in the culvert. As other staff, riders and hounds caught up, Susan blew “to ground,” cheering the pack and praising them for a job well done. Young Georgia got off her horse to stand by one end of the culvert so she could see the coyote inside; but she had to wait for several hounds to back out before she had a clear view. With some effort, hounds were extracted from the culvert and roaded up Young Rd to the trailers. 

The hunt covered a total of 15 miles that day, with 9 ½ miles of run. There were multiple views of the coyote and the hound work! And the coyote was left in his refuge for another day.

Cast of Characters:

Hounds: Panda, Biscuit, Yogi, Zipper, Zack, Zorro, Zinnia, Beamer, Bonnett, Butter, Bubbles, Bizzy, Crenshaw, Courage, Daisy, Emma, EQ, Justin, Future.

 Riders: Susan Walker, MFH-huntsman; Whippers-In: Hugh Boone, Chip Carruthers, Ani Carruthers, Missy Stierle; Road Whipper-In: John McClure; Outrider: Billy Anderson; Field Master: Jenny Haste; Hunt Secretary: Kim Michelson.
Field: Nancy Manire, Laura Tarver, Kim Williams, Kim Michelson, Allison Crews, Georgia Dulaney (age 7 out for her first foxhunt), Dawn Hinton, Susan Gustafson, Andrea Baioni. Photographers: Pam Gamble and John McClure. Support: Tracey Carruthers, Wes Lawson, Mrs. Dulaney.

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