Hounds are fascinating to watch, even after so many years at this game. Consider a recent Carrollton (MD) hound exercise, for example.
We were exercising the pack around the kennels and introduced our new entry, Emmy Lou, a blue tick Penn-Marydel that was recently drafted from a hunt in the Carolinas. I picked her up last week from Doc Addis who transported her for us from the Huntsman's Weekend down in Emporia, Virginia. She is a pretty, petite thing—timid—but seems to have loads of personality. We have all fallen in love with her, and she is getting used to her new home.
As we walked out, she ran about sniffing and exploring with the pack. Occasionally we had to tell her to "pack in," which she readily responded to. At one point as we were going up a rise, deer bounded out of the woods to our right. I turned to face our pack, and huntsman Dulany Noble told them to "steady up." She counted the deer: one, two, three, and up to eight, not more than fifty yards or less above us. Our pack watched intently but did not break. Suddenly Emmy Lou broke and went after them. My heart sank. Huntsman Dulany told everyone—canine and human alike—to steady up and she raised her new horn to her lips and blew a lovely melodic note. Emmy Lou stopped, turned, and came running back. We were so pleased, but here's the cool thing.
The pack broke—not to go after the deer but to go to their new friend and give her a piece of their minds. You could see the seriousness in them. They got to and surrounded her. In that silent hound language they told her she did wrong and then escorted her back to the huntsman. We were all smiles and praised our pack.
You could not rate Emmy Lou, as she answered the horn and returned even though she has not yet hunted or worked with our pack. She is still a puppy and will be entered this fall. We have high hopes for her and were exceedingly proud of our pack last night.
Posted April 17, 2013
This nice story of an experience in the life of a hound pack reminds us field members that foxhunting is not all about galloping and jumping across the country, but has its roots in the daily kennel routine. “A good pack is made in kennels,” every esteemed huntsman will tell you. All field members and most especially new foxhunters can increase their enjoyment in the field next season by walking out with hounds a few times this summer and simply tuning in to these wonderful creatures. -Ed.