fhl logo
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13

Quarry

Hunting Secrets Revealed!

fox and moon2.blingeeFor any huntsman, staff member, or field member, wouldn’t it be helpful to know the specific time intervals on any given day when the fox or coyote is most likely to be afoot? And when it is most likely to be lying up? These times vary each day according not only to the phases of the moon, but are influenced also by how closely the moon rise and moon set correspond to the times of the sunrise and sunset in your particular hunting country.

Wouldn’t it be helpful also to know which specific days of the month you will experience average, good, or best conditions and the recommended time intervals for hunting on those days? There is a fascinating resource on the web that many sportsmen and women—hunters and anglers—use to advantage.

Epp Wilson, MFH and huntsman of the Belle Meade Hunt (GA), refers to this calendar regularly. “The game table predictions are more accurate than not in our experience,” says Epp.

The Eastern Coyote

coyote1.piferIllustration by Doug Pifer

Early in the twentieth century, at the behest of western ranching and agricultural interests that were losing stock to predators, the U.S. Government instituted program after program designed to erase the wolf, grizzly bear, mountain lion, and coyote from the landscape. The programs were mostly successful in their purpose: the wolf, grizzly, and mountain lion were driven nearly to extinction. The coyote, however, was the one predator that not only survived the pressure, but increased its population and its range. How it did that is one of the mysteries of the animal world.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission has published an excellent study of the eastern coyote (Wildlife Note 39), which we believe readers—even those familiar with the species—will find substantive and revealing. We republish it here with the kind permission of the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

The eastern coyote has stirred as much interest and emotion as any other animal in Pennsylvania. Seeing a coyote or hearing the howl of this wild, wily animal is a great reward of nature to many people. Others fear this animal just knowing it is in the wild. Some sportsmen dislike coyotes because they think the predators kill too many game animals. Trappers and hunters find coyotes to be especially challenging. Some farmers lose livestock due to coyote predation. The coyote has been referred to as the brush wolf, prairie wolf, coy-dog (misnomer) and eastern coyote.

The eastern coyote, Canis latrans, is found throughout the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada. Recent research shows the eastern coyote is an immigrant, the origin of which likely involved interbreeding between coyotes and gray wolves. Analysis of DNA suggests coyote-wolf hybridization has occurred. Other studies indicate that the eastern coyote is intermediate in size and shape between gray wolves and western coyotes. As a result, the eastern coyote exhibits different behavior, habitat use, pelt coloration, prey preferences and home-range sizes from its western cousin. The eastern coyote is the largest canine found in Pennsylvania. The following information pertains to the coyote in Pennsylvania and throughout northeastern United States.

Rare Red Fox Sighted at Yosemite

sierra nevada red fox.npsSierra Nevada red fox / National Park Service photo

It’s been one hundred years since a sighting of the Sierra Nevada red fox has been confirmed in Yosemite National Park. Also known as the High Sierra fox, it is a subspecies (vulpes vulpes necator) of the red fox (vulpes vulpes) and was captured on camera in Yosemite in mid-December, 2014. The California Fish and Game Commission declared this exceedingly rare subspecies threatened in 1980, and it could receive federal protection under the Endangered Species Act this year.

The Sierra Nevada red fox is slightly smaller and darker than the more common red fox, which is non-native to California. It’s range is limited to alpine and subalpine meadows above 4,500 feet.

The Coyote: Thriving Through Persecution

dr. stanley gehrtDr. Stanley Gehrt and an anesthesized coyote in metropolitan ChicagoThe Belle Meade Hounds in Thomson, Georgia will once again stage their annual Hunt Week—Gone Away with the Wind—this season from January 18 to 24. As before, the week will be fun-filled with hunting, parties, a hunt ball, and the camaraderie of the field.

As a bonus, this year’s affair will feature a fascinating presentation by special guest Dr. Stanley Ghert, Associate Professor of Wildlife Ecology and a Wildlife Extension Specialist at Ohio State University.

Dr. Ghert, who has enthralled foxhunters at MFHA meetings over the years, will talk to Belle Meade Hunt Week attendees on Thursday morning, January 22, about his special subject of research—the coyote. This much-aligned animal has survived and even flourished over the past hundred years despite the best efforts of the federal government to eradicate it.

Early in the twentieth century, at the behest of western ranching and agricultural interests that were losing stock to predators, the U.S. Government instituted program after program designed to erase the wolf, grizzly bear, mountain lion, and coyote from the landscape. The programs were mostly successful in their purpose. The wolf, grizzly, and mountain lion were driven nearly to extinction. The coyote, however, was the one predator that not only survived the pressure, but increased its population and its range, slowly expanding eastward and covering now the entire country. How it did that is one of the mysteries of the animal world.

Close Encounters with My Vulpine Friends

 barclay.signWith over two hundred years of involvement with various different types of hounds under our belt, you will understand it was and always will be the number one rule in the Barclay family to have the greatest respect for our quarry species, be it the fox, deer, or hare. The pleasure they give us is immense, and this comes from not only close observation on a hunting day but during the summer months when they are all, in their own distinctive ways, equally fascinating.

It is the fox, however, that has taken up a very large part of my life, and hardly a day passes when he doesn’t enter my mind in one way or another. And more than likely he will be discussed at some point, especially when he is being blamed for eating someone’s prime poultry! Whenever foxes are talked about, however, it is generally with a large degree of affection, except of course on the day a heinous crime has been committed in his role as the ruthless killer!

My pleasure in writing this has come from looking back and remembering moments when my vulpine friends have behaved in ways that remains etched on my mind. In the past I have recollected their somewhat strange habits after the death of a particularly well-loved character. This enters another realm, although there are places where both realms meet and it is then when it really does become all the more fascinating!