Longreen Foxhounds Boxing Day Hunt

17 (8½ couple) Hounds Headed to Hughes Arkansas Dec. 26 for Boxing Day

The Longreen Foxhounds celebrated Boxing Day with a hunt at Shannondale Farm near Hughes, Arkansas in the Mississippi River Delta. The hunt fixture is mainly flat row crop farm land drained by deep ditches with culverts for traversing. Some of the culverts are big enough for the huge farm tractors used in this type of farming and some are only wide enough for one horse at a time. The soil has enough sand in it to make for good footing and the many tractor roads for galloping. This is good because galloping is what the eleven riders did a lot of that day.

There was such a dense fog that morning that Huntsman Susan Walker, MFH decided to delay moving off until she said she could at least see her hand in front of her face. A 10-15 mph warm wind picked up out of the south, removing the fog after the first cast in a ditch system between Millseed Lake and the Mississippi River. Temperatures were in the 60s, which made for difficult scenting conditions. The hounds couldn’t even carry scent in the ditches.

Susan recast in several locations, including the local dumping area where the coyotes usually hang out, but to no avail. Finally she drew Crooked Bayou, which feeds Millseed Lake in the north part of the hunt country. They hit the jackpot! A pair of coyotes came out of the thicket; one went north and one went west. The pack split and then one of those things happened in hunting that just astonishes everyone. The two coyotes joined back up, bringing the entire pack back together. Both coyotes ran to ground in a culvert and hounds and riders got to peer inside at them. Several young hounds on their first hunt got a nose full of what they are supposed to run.

Susan gathered the hounds and then received a call from Mike Ellison, out riding on his Mud Buggy, who had viewed a coyote out in the open. She roaded the pack to the site of the view and cast again. Another run commenced that took the pack and riders back to the bayou. Then another astonishing thing happened. Sitting on her white horse out in an open field watching the pack work, a coyote that the hounds were not running came across the field going in the other direction and came within ten feet of her horse. He was trying to get the heck out of Dodge!

Eventually she picked up the pack to call it a day. The GPS trackers showed that the hounds ran 18-20 miles and the riders covered about 12 miles, all in the span of about three hours.

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