Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Didn’t Know Old Ariat Could Run That Fast!

Photographer Gretchen Pelham was simply photographing a beautiful scene of huntsman Ryan Johnsey standing by the cornfield with the Smoky Mountains in the background. She had no idea she had caught a hunting drama!

coyote, foxhound and huntsman in the shadow of the Smoky Mountains

Limestone, Tennessee, on the banks of the Nolichucky River (translation: “the River of Death”) under the shadow of the Smoky Mountains. It was the first staff hunt of the season. I had picked up a few puppies and our ancient hound Ariat hanging out at the trailers and put them in a section of corn that I knew was close to the pack, still searching for game. Both puppies came right back out of the corn but Ariat started boo-hooing on a line. The pack soon joined her and off they went.

About an hour later I was sitting on a hill on my horse, listening to the pack circle and roar by me again, and all I did was take a burst of photos of Ryan Johnsey, MFH, our huntsman, with the Smoky Mountains in the background. That’s it. I saw Ryan and the mountains through the lens. Nothing else.

Innocence and Expectation

monmouthshire nextgen.lucy clarke

Innocence and expectation, tenderly captured by Lucy Clarke, is what your editor sees in the expressions of these Monmouthshire foxhound puppies in southeastern Wales.

Baily’s tells us, “In 1695, Mr. Powell kept a pack of hounds that hunted anything. Mr. John “Squire” Lewis, Master from 1738–88, married Miss Powell, kept hounds at Llantilio, and hunted fox, hare, and otter. From 1788–1832, hounds hunted fox and hare. In 1832, Mr/ Lewis wished to give up keeping hounds, and Captain Stretton, then quartered at Brecon, volunteered to take them. Mr. Lewis presented him with the pack, which was installed in kennels near Abergavenny. Captain Stretton hunted hounds from 1832 to 1835. The Monmouthshire Hunt Club was established about 1835. The Hunt Club ceased to run the Hunt in 1945, since which time control has been vested in a Committee of farmers and representatives of the Hunt Club.”

The pack composed of English and English-Welsh crosses is the property of the Committee.

Out of the Stick Pile

graham on the stickpile.mediumClick image for larger version. / Joanne Maisano photo
Following the foxhounds of the Blue Ridge Hunt from their meeting at the Reid Family’s Stonebridge fixture the other day, photographer Joanne Maisano got herself in the right place at the right time. Camera in hand, watching hounds mark the stickpile, Joanne shot an action sequence that wildlife photographers dream about. Be sure to click the image for a larger version. You don’t want to miss the expressions on the faces of every living creature captured in that single moment. Not a word of text is necessary!

(Front to rear) fox, hounds, and huntsman Graham Buston

We’ve selected a series of photos from Joanne’s action-sequence to present a slide show of what transpired, and one version of what might have been running through the fox’s mind during its escape. Click on the readmore link (below, open to everyone), then click on the first image (below) in the sequence.

Late for Dinner

fox hunting vole

No, not a diving contest, though a pretty one. The winning photograph in the Comedy Wildlife Photography Contest is Angela Bohlke's photo of a red fox hunting for a vole in Yellowstone National Park. Bohlke won a seven-night safari in Kenya as well as a camera prize package from Nikon. Next year’s competition opens on June 1, 2017.

Posted January 10, 2017