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Rosemack

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The Chase Magazine
November, 1982
Page Fourteen
 
Foxhound Characteristics
Carey Pickett
2426 Royal Lane
Helena, AL  35080
 
Having the Chase to express one's opinion through is an enjoyment.  Hopefully other hunters will express a better understand of foxhounds and their characteristics.  To begin - here is Part I.
 
In the intelligence category is Trailing.  Trailing has many forms.  It can be productive or a hindrance to a fox chase.  A hound which can identify a line, establish the correct direction the game was going, and then follow the line in the correct direction at a speed where the hound will encounter the fox, is valuable.  A hound trying to follow the scent in order to find the fox is a good trailing hound.  A lesser hound moves on the line without confidence and frequently will not locate a fox unless it is by mistake.  A poor hound moves slowly even when the scent could be followed at a greater speed.  Some hounds will run the track in both directions thus interfering with a good trail.  It seems a better nosed hound can locate a line, open a few times, but runs the line away from that particular point.
 
There are hounds which can run and re-run a line most of the night and this type will almost never produce a fox.  Some hunters call the hound which cannot move the line a potterer while other consider such a hound a babbler.  It seems probable that this type has characteristics of both, and is a poor foxhound.
 
Trailing provides an excellent occasion to judge a foxhound.  Normally it is the most difficult work a foxhound has to handle.  The hound finds a line often at angles, and the hound has to decide which way leads to the fox.  He should follow the scent close without running over the line or checking.  The hunter can watch a foxhound investigating a line.  If the hound is confused, then either the scent is too cold or layed-long or the hound has less intelligence than is necessary to progress forward.  If the fox hound run the trail a few yards, then stops and re-runs it again, the hunter can forget about having a race with that hound.
 
Judging a good trailing hound is a pleasure.  The hound can locate a line, decides it is fresh and responds.  IF it is a warm track, the hound opens with an exciting bark.  The good trailer will work the line by selecting the proper position to run the trail, usually down wind, and move out with a steady gait.  He will not gamble or guess, but will trail the track barking enough to keep incoming help informed of his progress.  When the fox trail turns and a real check is encountered such as a road or cliff, the foxhound will stop barking.  He will look close to the last fox scent, then widen out his area of search until the fox smell is located.  Once the scent is discovered the foxhound will give exciting cries and continue trailing.  The judge following a poor trailer will often see this hound totally stopped at a road.  Some poor hounds will trail up to a road, turn into it and run out of sight leaving the fox.  The important point is to give the hound time to show what he will do at Trailing.
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