Monday, May. 27, 2024

The First Hard Runs Of The Season

Tryon Hounds
P.O. Box 112,
Tryon, North Carolina 28782.
Established 1926.
Recognized 1935.

Tryon Hounds met at the farm of Tom Black, DVM on Oct. 31. The Three Springs Farm fixture runs along Collinsville Road and is a mixture of dense woods and rolling fields. The first frost of the season lent a welcome feeling of fall to the area and this cub hunt. Drought plagued the region and scenting had been hard up to now.
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Tryon Hounds
P.O. Box 112,
Tryon, North Carolina 28782.
Established 1926.
Recognized 1935.

Tryon Hounds met at the farm of Tom Black, DVM on Oct. 31. The Three Springs Farm fixture runs along Collinsville Road and is a mixture of dense woods and rolling fields. The first frost of the season lent a welcome feeling of fall to the area and this cub hunt. Drought plagued the region and scenting had been hard up to now.

Jordan Hicks, in his first year as professional huntsman for Tryon, crossed over the wooden bridge below the first pasture and cast the hounds into a covert along a creek.

Within 10 minutes, the hounds found and were off, unfortunately in a direction not to be hunted that day. From the way they ran, Hicks surmised they were on a coyote, but the hounds had to be stopped before the game could be viewed.

Bonnie Lingerfelt, MFH, and Reed McNutt, honorary whipper-in, sped to the Green Fields development and did a great job of halting the hounds before they crossed Highway 14.

Hicks gathered the hounds and hacked toward the Collinsville Road area. He cast in a thick covert of pine near the road. The hounds struck and ran back toward the original creek, where they checked. Stationed on Collinsville Road, Deborah Bundy, honorary whipper-in and Louise Houston, MFH, tally-hoed a bobcat. At the same time, the hounds found another line and ran to the west behind Roger Smith’s property. They ran for a short while and then checked.

Hicks collected the hounds and crossed Collinsville Road at Ten Poles, where the bobcat had been viewed. At this point McNutt had to be excused as his horse lost a shoe.

The hounds hunted hard in the Mollywood covert for about 30 minutes, then hit a hot scent of red fox. Reynard took them on a loop in a steep bowl-like area, along a creek and through a swamp. Dean McKinney, MFH, guarded the back door. Lingerfelt watched Collinsville Road, and Bundy was deep in the woods at the crossing by the swamp. The music of the hounds filled the forest, and the hounds moved beautifully behind the game.

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The wily fox decided to take the route over the old dam and across the “S” curve at South Phillips Road. Kerry Holmberg, MFH, was riding with Hicks and viewed the handsome red as it streaked across a pasture with the lead hounds in hot pursuit. He followed the pack while Hicks cheered on the younger hounds. Tryon has an unusually large number of young hounds this year, and Hicks is careful to make sure they are part of the action.

The field had done quite a bit of running at this point and some asked to be excused. Others continued on behind Field Master Sara Holmberg.

Kerry kept all informed as to the fox’s whereabouts with exciting reports. The race continued through Love’s cattle farm. Kerry last viewed the fox jumping a hog-wire fence and disappearing into the piney woods above Marlboro country. The hounds were stymied by the wire.

Lingerfelt raced the long way around to the other side of the covert while Bundy moved to the end of the apple orchard. McKinney had the longest route to the action but found out that his new horse would run fast and hard. He covered the eastern edge.

Hounds circled for a bit, then worked their way into the piney woods above the Carolina pond. Eventually they pushed their fox out to the bull pens.

At this point, it was close to noon and Hicks decided to call it a day. The hounds had run for nearly an hour on this last chase and covered about 5 miles. Tired hunters and hounds gathered for a head count and to catch their breath. All hounds were on for the long hack back to the trailers.
 
Going from hot, dry days where it was hard to hold a scent to a day of super runs took its toll. There were some tired, happy puppies and foxhunters at the conclusion of this abundant morning. Still, Hicks, being a young and enthusiastic huntsman, had enough energy to blow a beautiful “End of the Day” as we ambled back to the trailers.   

Deborah K. Bundy

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