Monday, September 25, 2006

The Sport of the Hunt

People often comment or inquire about how many times my Staghounds actually catch game. I tell them that the sport of the actual course is more important than having game in hand everytime the hounds are slipped. It is exhilarating beyond description to watch these magnificent hounds get sighted on target or game and race off in it's pursuit. With fewer and fewer people participating in this ancient sport of kings, I can tell you with absolute certainty that coursing hounds have no affect on either the hares or coyote populations. If I were to do this everyday for the rest of my life, it would have no affect. With hares, either Whitetail or Blacktail Jack Rabbits, depending on the openness of the terrain they are hunting in, the catch ratio seems to be about 1 out of 4. With coyotes, it seems to be slightly higher depending more upon the experience level of the quarry being perused. The younger sub adults are not able to fool the hounds or have the physical stamina to outlast them until they can give them the slip in a heavy brush area where the hounds become unsighted. Again, I would like to emphasize that the sport of the course is the most important part of the hunt and not the retrieval of game. That is a large bonus to a successful hunt but not the endall.

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