|B. J. Korol, Crickett, M.F.H. Patrick Butterfield and Dugan|
|Sherry Buttrick discusses the game plan with huntsman, Matthew Cook|
We walked down to an open field above the river and watched the hunt for twenty minutes. When the hounds went into the next field, we quickly walked back to the car and drove off after them to get a better view. We made a right turn onto an unpaved road with a sign pointing to "Percy Woods" about a mile down the road. We got out and watched and listened for about 15 minutes before Sherry said she was going to the next field. Granell Delaney had joined us, and the two of them started off at a good clip. I hesitated for a minute before going after them, which was a mistake. As I ran after them to catch up, I realized I wasn't making any headway whatsoever. I shouted to them, to let them know I was behind them, but they hardly turned to look back. The country they hunt is extremely hilly, and as I was walking down the second steep incline, I was thinking to myself, "I have to walk UP this on the way back!" I kept expecting the "next field" to materialize at any moment, but all I could see through the trees was Pat and another rider on the road - way up on the next hill with Sherry and Granell not far behind them!
|Whippers-in negotiating a steep hill|
I finally reached them at the top, where they had stopped to listen, but no sooner did I get to them, than they took off again. I was pretty winded and had to take a minute to catch my breath. At this point I was thinking I must be terribly out of shape, even though I walk five days a week at the Manasquan Reservoir.
Thankfully, it was pretty level going at the top until we reached a clearing by a house. Percy Woods perhaps? Sherry and Granell bounded down a steep hill to the right of the path, but I heard the hounds somewhere off to the left and decided to wait and see what unfolded. The hounds were on a coyote (they pronounce it without the "e" on the end) and were in full cry! They ran right past me. I didn't see the coyote, but I saw the pack. The huntsman was hard pressed to stay with them. He rode by three or four minutes later. The field had been running hard as well.
|A couple of stragglers. I know just how they feel!|
|Ex- M.F.H. Tom Bishop demonstrates his inimitable style - in a comfy chair, smoking his pipe|