Yesterday had its good parts and bad parts! There were 12 dogs entered. That consisted of 7 Salukis, 4 Borzoi, and 1 Ibizan Hound. Mystic won the hunt, Zorro (Mystic and Hunter’s brother) took 2nd, and Hunter tied for 3rd! We had beautiful courses with beautiful weather. All of the courses were probably about 1-2 miles long, and pretty consistent, one of them did have a take. The bad part of the day was that we weren’t able to finish on finals. This means that the placements are then based on preliminary scores. The area we were hunting at was very vast which is wonderful in terms of the dogs’ safety considering they can easily have 1-2 mile runs. But in areas this vast, it is hard to predict where the game will be, which is one of the reasons we were unable to finish the hunt on Finals.In Open Field Coursing, each course consists of two or three dogs. When a hare is flushed, the huntmaster will call “Tally-ho!” which is the signal to release your dogs (we use slip leads for a quick release). There is a judge who judges the dogs on the following:
- Speed: How fast the dog is compared to the other dogs in the course, and how fast they compare to the hare (if they are able to catch up with the hare fairly quick or if it just a long “tail-chase”).
- Agility: How well the dog is able to force turns or wrenches on the hare and how well the dog can make those turns (i.e. tightness and speed coming out of the turn).
- Endurance: How well the dog can keep up with the hare and other dogs during long courses (your dog can gain more endurance from more conditioning).
- Take: If the dog attempts or succeeds at taking the hare.
Overall it was a wonderful day and most importantly there were no injuries! However, today I am definitely hurting! The first hunt of the season is always the hardest and shows you how out of shape you are! We probably hiked about 10-15 miles (early morning to almost sunset).
How is everyone else’s hunting season starting out?