with Horse and Hound

A First-Year Huntsman, Her Hounds, Her Sport

After the close of last season, professional whipper-in Erin McKenney was tapped to take over the horn at the Millbrook Hunt (NY). What’s it like to be a first-year huntsman following in the boot prints of a retiring, respected, experienced huntsman and long-time hound breeder like Donald Philhower? Butterflies, sure, but what goes through the mind of a huntsman responsible for giving sport every hunting day? Erin gives us a taste.

erin mckenney nov.lindsay baldwinLindsay Baldwin photo

November 5, 2020, 9-1/2 couple
It was a warm, bluebird sort of day with a dry wind which didn’t bode too well for scenting conditions. I took a smaller pack since it is a tight fixture.

I went with idea of taking older, slower hounds, with some younger ones for an educational day. I’m not convinced when young hounds are flying on a coyote that they’re learning a ton, except to keep up. The seasoned hounds may not be so quick under this day’s conditions, and the younger ones should have a chance to really get their noses down and learn.

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