Beagles in full cry and much more (with video!)

Photographer Samantha Beckett took this marvelous photograph of an Exmoor hound at the hunt's opening meet in England. The Exmoor hounds cross some of the world's most beautiful country.

THE houndbloggers had a busy Thanksgiving holiday, did you? The highlight of our weekend came on Black Friday, or what Clear Creek Beagles whipper-in (and second in command) Jean MacLean has dubbed “Thanksgiving Boxing Day.” The houndbloggers avoided the crowds at the shopping mall and took to the fields instead with the Clear Creek hounds.

It turned out to be a day of excellent sport, with several rabbits viewed (including one caught clearly on video!) and tenacious hound work by the beagles, who puzzled out the lines despite windy, sunny conditions. And just listen to that cry! We got several dramatic runs, and a couple of those are on the video above.

The Clear Creek Beagles aren’t the only hounds that have their own videos. Recently we’ve found some nice videos and images from Exmoor in England, and we thought we’d share them with you while we wait for an end to local deer season and our return to the hunt field with the Iroquois hounds next week.

The Exmoor Hounds

Nic Barker and her friend Samantha Beckett, a photographer, have been providing beautiful photographs and high-definition videos at Nic’s blog from Rockley Farm. The blog entry with Sam’s photographs from the Exmoor hounds’ opening meet is here, and to see the Exmoor’s opening day video, click here.

Tribute to a Foxhound

Finally, we recently read a moving tribute to a retired foxhound named Quasimodo, who died in August. It reminded us of our own hounds who have passed away, both here at Beagle House and at the Hound Welfare Fund. Can hunting hounds retire happily from a pack? As Quasimodo, our own Mr. Box, and countless others have proven, the answer is an emphatic yes! And Quasimodo’s owner Dorothy speaks for us, too, when she writes:

Good huntsmen talk about “the Golden Thread” of communication they have with their pack of hounds in the hunting field. I have, I believe, been blessed by something very real and of that sort with each of the individual hounds I have had the privilege of stewarding in their retirements. They each in their own particular way have found a particular place inside of me, a feeling as unique to each as their markings and their voice. I have known them each, intimately, by ways of knowing that come about not unlike the things of truth or faith or hope.

To read the rest of the tribute to Quasimodo, click here.

We hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving (and that you didn’t forget to share some of that turkey with your own hounds!).

Hark to the horn–hunt season’s almost here! (with audio)

HUNTSMEN are amazing for all kinds of reasons. Personally, I’m impressed by the fact they can blow into a hunting horn and have something other than a raspberry come out the other end.

HEYTHROP HORN CALLS AND HOUNDS IN FULL CRY

I came across this audio of “Gone Away” and “Blowing for Home” while looking up some information on England’s Heythrop Hunt at their website, and it put me in a hunting mood. If you’re in the midst of trot sets and trying to get yourself and your horse fit for the coming hunt season (heck, depending on where you are, you might already BE cubhunting!), hark to this musical reminder of why you’re doing all that fitness work–and why it will be worth it!

As a bonus, the third button on the Heythrop audio is even better than the horn calls. It’s the Heythrop hounds in full cry.

The Disappointed: the Beagle House hounds thought the horn was calling them

The Disappointed: the Beagle House hounds thought the horn was calling them

To hear the horn and hounds, click on the link above. The first two buttons (labeled “One” and “Two”) are the horn calls; button “Three” is the pack in full cry. Oh, yes–you might want to turn the volume down slightly (or not!) and hold on to your house hounds. Mine came racing from the backyard to my desk, looking for the action all those hounds were yelling about. They were pretty disappointed to discover the quarry had gone to ground in my laptop. Sorry, guys.