BATTLE is one of the Iroquois pack’s younger hounds. A member of the BA litter we’ve been following since their birth, he joined the working pack in 2010. But he’s already distinguishing himself.
The March 5 hunt was a great one, Iroquois huntsman Lilla Mason reported. A gray fox led the hounds and the field of horses and riders on a rapid tour of the local coverts. “He came out of Bud’s covert and went to Tommy’s Dove Field, then through the Deer Covert, over to the Silo Pond Covert and on through the Cabin Covert, and then over to Murphy’s Covert, through Barker’s, and into the cliff behind the Schwartzes’ place,” Lilla said. “They finally lost the scent near there.”
Lilla collected the hounds, trotted them down a nearby road, and put them into a covert behind Pauline’s. “They immediately found a coyote, and we ran through Pauline’s Ridge, through Garden’s Bottom, through Gentry Cliff, over to the covert behind Robertson’s, through Athens Woods,” she said. “We went 14 miles in an hour and 15 minutes.”
On this outstanding day, young Battle came to the fore. “He’s always been in there doing the right thing, but all of a sudden that day he really came to life. He has the confidence to try to help on his own. When they would get at a check, he immediately would cast himself around like the older hounds do. Sometimes when a puppy does that they’ll keep looking up, like they’re wondering, ‘Am I going to get left behind? Do I really know what I’m doing? What’s the hound doing over there?’ They’re a little more jealous of each other. But Battle was doing what I call turning into a machine. That’s when they’re so efficient, and they know exactly how to frantically try to find the line again. They do it without even thinking; it’s instinct. He was just like an older, seasoned hound.
“He’s gotten to be so big and rangy and strong,” she added. “He was always a confident hound, but now it’s the kind of confidence that if there’s a problem on a hunt, he can help with it.”
Battle’s BA littermates also performed well. “All day, you could have thrown a blanket over them,” Lilla said. “Everyone stayed up, and everyone was a help. And it went so fast. They were awesome.”