Friday, May 28, 2004

Hot day digging, but fun

It hit about 90 degrees today, so the dogs and I started early and ended early.
Sailor and Mountain busted a fox out of hedgerow (I think it was lying up top), and I watched it leap over a trunk and disappear running away. About 15 minutes later another fox -- or perhaps the same one -- trotted out of the hedgerow and skeedaddled up the plowed field towards the next farm over which I also have permission to hunt. I took a picture, but without a zoom it's just a speck.
When I whistled for the dogs, a very large deer busted out of the hedgerow next to where I was standing -- it had been lying up less than 15 away feet from me, and the whistle was just enough to finally spook it. 
As we left the hedgerow, I watched the fox that had gone up the plowed field trot back down the other side, acting as if we couldn't see him. Actually, the dogs didn't see him, but I did. As I walked towards the direction of the fox, it slide into the hedgerow bordering the far end of the field and disappeared. The dogs picked up the scent when we finally crossed the fox's path, but they lost it when they found a live groundhog sette in the thicket. They worked that groundhog sette for a while before finally bolting it into the nearby barley.
I went to another farm and Mountain found a groundhog by herself (Sailor and I were checking a field sette). Mountain's groundhog was in a dry ridge that was mostly broken slate. It was a very shallow dig -- just 12 inches -- and Mountain almost succeeded in pulling the groundhog out all by herself. A few nips, but nothing serious.
We quit before noon and packed it in. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Virginia Fox Hunting

For anyone interested in a good read on Virginia fox hunting , see these two web sites:

Virginia is the fox-hunting capital of the U.S. but, ironically, most of out hunts kill no fox; it's just riding around and dressing up. We have some coyote problems however, and they are generally killed.

The "state dog" of Virginia is the American fox hound.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Coyotes, Jack Russell and Rabies

In September, near Richmond, Virginia, a rabid coyote attacked a man on his riding lawnmower. The man fought the coyote off with a big stick for 20 minutes before killing it with a shotgun (he missed with his .44 caliber pistol). This is the first rabbid coyote attack in the state.

In New York earlier this month, a Jack Russell was mauled by a coyote (the dog survived). The owners had seen the coyote "playing" with their russell in the pasture on previous occassions.