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Hillsboro Hounds: Boxing Day Hunt


By Leilani Gray

With temperatures not getting above 28 degrees for the 36 hours before the scheduled 9 a.m. Boxing Day Hunt on December 26, 2020, it was decided to move the hunt back to 11 a.m.  The first cast was from Jim Reed’s hilltop field in the middle of Hillsboro’s hunt country with 19 couple of hounds.  Three mounted staff led the hounds to the first cover with 23 followers on horseback.  

The hunting was slow to start, with only a few deer bouncing around in front of the hounds.  Then the Huntsman Johnnie Gray heard a single hound speak and looked to see a coyote several yards in front of it! Within seconds the rest of the pack honored him and were away! 

Several minutes later the coyote turned right handed and crossed the ridge between fields of riders who all got a marvelous view.  The coyote ran one big circle back to the same valley where he was found, and hounds had an abrupt check. 

Fearing they had overrun the line, the Huntsman cast them up and over the ridge, where they were back again into full cry.  This time the wiley coyote decided to run the opposite direction.  After about an hour he was viewed again, this time as he went out of hunt country.  Hounds were picked up as he ran out of country and everyone hacked back to the meet.

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