Friday, May. 24, 2024

A Close Call With A Buck Makes For A Remarkable Day

Goshen Hunt
15865 A.E. Mullinix Rd.,
Woodbine, Maryland 21797.
Established: 1957.
Recognized: 1960.


Goshen Hunt got to share the second of a series of perfect hunting Sundays with the New Market-Middletown Valley Hounds (Md.) on Oct. 21.
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Goshen Hunt
15865 A.E. Mullinix Rd.,
Woodbine, Maryland 21797.
Established: 1957.
Recognized: 1960.

Goshen Hunt got to share the second of a series of perfect hunting Sundays with the New Market-Middletown Valley Hounds (Md.) on Oct. 21.

Hounds began hunting right away, after 42 riders and 161⁄2 couple of hounds had set out and huntsman Robert Taylor had cast the pack into a cornfield. Within minutes, we were rewarded with a fine view. Our honorable treasurer Anne Butcher, who is known for being graciously composed at all times, suffered just the briefest lapse as she called “Oh, look, there’s the… er, tally ho!”

Hounds hunted furiously back through the kennel woods and around to the trash pile again, giving second field master Roger Pederson the opportunity to tally ho the view. With two views in such short order, we were at risk of becoming blasé. Never fear! Mother Nature had a couple of surprises in store for us.

While we were checked at the top of the hill in Waredaca’s event field, we were astonished to see a fox emerge from the herd of turned-out horses, and saunter straight toward the hounds. His leisurely pace gave insight as to how the term “foxtrot” was derived. Unkind words were passed to the effect that he was perhaps not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

A veritable chorus of “tally ho’s” arose from the still-numerous field. One amongst our hunting pack proved to be a sight hound, as Atlas viewed his prey and brought the pack onto its line.

Off we charged, on the world’s shortest run. In a heartbeat, our wily fox had gone to ground in a spit of undergrowth, where he knew, with sufficient certainty to tempt fate and taunt hounds, his earth lay. He’s still having the last laugh.

Mother Nature’s second surprise of the day proved to be the most remarkable incident in my entire hunting experience. We were checked briefly in the woods of Waredaca, just below the coop leading into Tusculum’s fields.

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As MFH Holly Hamilton paused to ascertain which way Taylor and the hounds were headed, a large buck bolted out of the woods, from the direction of the hounds, obviously in a great state of panic. He was headed straight for Hamilton’s horse but must have decided he could not get through.

He veered, lowered his head, and charged straight for yours truly! I will never forget looking down upon that great rack of antlers poised over my horse’s loins. Had I had the presence of mind, I could have touched them without dropping a rein. Later, at home, I noticed what must have been the buck’s spittle dried on my mare’s flank, just where he glanced off her.

My adroit little mare stepped her quarters over, with perfect nonchalance, and the buck brushed by without impaling us. I’ll never again begrudge the time I spend teaching my horses to turn on the forehand.

With no time to digest this amazing turn of events, we were off. I rode immediately after Hamilton, as her gallant ex-chaser sprang over the coop. Four strides away and 2 seconds after being T-boned by a six-point buck, my horse was all business, negotiating the coop with her usual proficiency, and coming to a soft stop on the other side as we checked. It was unanimously decided that she was worth her purchase price of $800.  She might even be worth $850.

Perhaps the best part of our hunting day was the privilege of hunting behind some of the finest staff in the American field. Our huntsman, Robert Taylor, provides such good sport so regularly, we have come to expect it. New Market-Middletown Valley member Sarah O’Halloran hails from Britain and said Taylor’s horn can bring a nostalgic tear to her eye, as it’s the only horn on this side of the pond which sounds like home.

Hunting is a hard game to call, and field master Hamilton’s unerring decisions, particularly along the bottom land by Waredaca, earned her the respect and admiration of several in the field. And who will ever forget the awesome sound of whipper-in Karen Jones holloaing a fox?   

Debby Lynn

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