I was talking with folks over the weekend that also hunt. We got into the topic of what part of the run a person liked best.
For me, it is when the first couple of hounds start to speak and then the rest come around and honor it.
I think it is two things. (1) Watching and listening to the hounds unifying around a common purpose. (2) The anticipation of what's next. Kind of like the moment before the roller coaster tips over the edge and takes the big drop.
I get goosebumps when the first hound strikes a line. I love the way the individual hound will speak, his whole front end lifts off the ground, mouth wide open and the frenzy for more scent engulfs the pack.
I love the anticipation of watching the fox cross an open field, hearing the hounds working the line as they approach the open field and knowing we're about to start FLYING as they cross the open!
Everything above I love!! But what really seems to get my heart pumping and skipping beats, Full Cry. It is such a primal sound. I love to watch, but truly, I love to listen. To hear the strike hound, and then others to honor it, to hear them when they have somehow lost and then found again. To hear them moving away an then circle back and know they are coming near. It is music to my ears.
For me the absolute best part of the run is when a hound first strikes. Someone speaks (hopefully the somewhat high-pitched voice of Egypt), someone else honors and before long they're screaming in full cry. Those first few milliseconds where the hounds find the line, before they really move off in a certain direction is what really sends the electricity up my spine (and my horse's!). Then Pirate and I shoot off to keep up with what will surely be a barn burning run!
It's psychosomatic. You need a lobotomy. I'll get a saw.