Friday, November 12, 2004
Sitting Bull's Revenge
If you want a real test for yourself and your terrier, you have to go after special quarry in a very special way.
So special, than anyone doing it this way should be riding the short yellow bus to school.
We're in that period between the first week in November and the third week in December when groundhogs are still about, but increasingly rare as they move off into their deep dens in the woods, half collapsing the entrances in order to keep out water, wind, and predators. Fox are starting to dig their dens, but they are not yet occupying them -- at least not on an Indian Summer day when the temperatures are approaching 70 degrees.
Beth and I headed out on one of her farms, checking settes and coming up blank until the dogs marked on a large field sette. They were very interested, and so I scooped out the entrance and Sailor got in about 12 inches before coming to a dirt wall. I yo-ho'd through that, but is was surprisingly solid and thick, with just a bit of space at the top.
Sailor moved forward and stopped again. I boxed and got her at only 2 feet. She was only four feet in, but I sunk a quick hole to find out what the obstruction was. I found the hole had more dirt in it, and punched through that, and again it was surprisingly thick with just a small gap at the top.
We did this again and again, with both Pip and Sailor digging on and pointing the direction, but never baying. The dirt was soft and the den pipe shallow, but the pipe was backfilled down most of its length.
Eleven holes later -- after we had essentially trenched the entire den -- we found out what the dogs were after. Sailor went in for the kill, and with a mighty effort drew the enormous beast.
Sitting Bull knew it would come to this. He said that "When the Buffalo are gone, we will hunt mice, for we are hunters and we want our freedom."
All I know is that this kind of hunting is too tough for me. Eleven holes! Never again, right dogs?
The rest of the day was more odd hunting, but that, as they say, is another story.