I would just like to brag on my eldest son, Vincent Dean. Tonight the fam came to see me working on the ATV. In driving about the hounds got out. Over the course of 2 hours we looked and found all- but not Ulysses. He is mostly blind, near completely deaf, and very pleasantly – but severely- demented. In what turned out to be a good idea, I grabbed the hunt horn. Neither I, nor Kristi, could blow that darn horn to save our life. Vinny can play it like a HARP. Over many trips around the property, to all the neighbors, and to the street – no luck. Vinny never gave up, even when you could tell his chest and his lips hurt. Finally when I had given up hope and was putting the atv to the charger, Vibny blew again and Kris heard a bark that sounded like him. We found him nearly a mile down the road, almost getting hit. He is tired, scared, but alright and at home! Vinny is who saved him. Once he was safely in the car, the emotion of the moment overcame him, me, ALL OF US! Needless to say, he’s happy, we’re happy, and we are all exhausted !Next time you see our young huntsman please share your thoughts! Many thanks to Mark L Smith for giving us the horn, and to him and Kalie Wallace for teaching him to blow it so masterfully That’s it, I’m exhausted.
The annual puppy auction is one of the highlights of the year for Shawnee Hounds. This year Stacey Silver, husband John and son Carter hosted the party at their home near Carbondale and what a party it was. Great food, great drinks and live music on their beautiful lawn!
Of course the best part of the evening was meeting the twelve newest members of the Shawnee Hounds pack. If there is anything cuter than a hound dog puppy, I haven’t seen it. With their long ears, wrinkled noses, puppy breath and sweet little baby grunts, these cuties stole the hearts of everyone present, and gave lots of cuddles to prospective bidders. We look forward every year to seeing the new pups grow into their paws and their heritage as prime foxhunting hounds, but we are especially grateful for this litter. Their mama Apache gave birth to fifteen puppies and unfortunately died immediately afterward. For the first 48 hours, all fifteen puppies had to be bottle-fed every hour and fifteen minutes. Twelve of the little orphans survived, thanks to heroic efforts by Shawnee members, Gail, Heather, Kalie and Anne, and an especially loving and generous white German shepherd named Rosa who took in the seven smallest, just after her own puppies were weaned. The other puppies stayed together at Mama Gail’s. Without the hard work and loving attention of Gail, Kalie, Heather, Anne and, of course, Rosa, these puppies would not have survived.
At Shawnee we auction off the right to name the puppies. This year each name started with the letter I. By having the same letter for every pup in a litter, the huntsman and staff can more easily keep track of the age and parentage of the hounds. For the auction, each puppy is presented and the bidding begins. Normally, after all the puppies are auctioned, the highest bidder names his pup first, followed by the next highest bidder down the line. This year because of the unusual circumstances, Rosa’s family chose their pick Izzy, followed by Gail, Heather and Kalie who named Ironman, Itonya and Igloo. The bidders then named the remaining puppies Ishamel, Ichabod, Indigo, Isaac, Intel, Ivory, Iceberg and Idjit. This year also featured a raffle, with the first prize winner naming a puppy. Other prizes in the raffle were a Shawnee Hounds coffee mug and a free capping fee. The auction and the raffle brought in $3150.00 for the hunt.
Cubbing is the informal beginning of Foxhunting. Shawnee hounds start their cubbing season in the middle of September when the weather starts to cool down for fall. Cubbing season is used to train the first year hounds (for Shawnee it will be our H litter this year, 2021) how to hunt with the pack, what is good scent and what is bad scent. It is also a time to train new horses about hunting as well. The scenting during Cubbing in the Midwest is often not good due to the warm temperatures often experienced here, so it is a great time to get hounds, horses and riders ready and fit for the formal season.
What is the Attire for Cubbing?
Since Cubbing is informal the attire one wears while hunting is a little different than during our formal hunts. This attire is known as Ratcatcher. It should be noted that Shawnee Hounds permits riders to wear short sleeve polo shirts and conservative color breeches when the temperature is above 70 degrees.
The following is the MFA guidelines for Ratcatcher Attire.
Informal or Ratcatcher Attire Gentlemen and Ladies Coat:
Tweed or wool in muted color, tailored and single or double-vented.
Breeches: Earth tone colors – buff, tan, gray or rust.
Hat: Plain ASTM-approved black or brown velvet helmet with chin strap is strongly recommended, ribbon up. (All riders at Shawnee hounds must wear an ASTM-approved helmet when mounted, there no expectations)
Shirt: Ratcatcher or other light-colored shirt. Stock tie (plain or colored) with horizontal pin or man’s necktie. A plain or patterned muted-color stock or necktie, with ends pinned down to remain tidy. White stock ties are not correct. Neckbands are also appropriate for ladies. Turtlenecks and polo shirts are usually reserved for children but are used in some hunts that experience extremely hot temperatures during autumn hunting season.
Gloves: Black or brown leather or string gloves. White is not correct.
Boots: Brown or black leather dress boots or brown field boots with laces. Formal boots with brown, patent or leather tops are not appropriate. Rubber boots are acceptable, as are canvas-topped (Newmarket) boots, and jodhpur boots with either canvas or leather leggings. Three-buckle brown field boots are also correct.
Spurs: Regular hunting spurs with no rowels.
Crop: Regulation hunting whip. Thong or lash may be removed. White whip or lash is not correct.
Little Alison on Midnight (retired Shawnee staff horse)
(L) Alison riding her hunt mount Scooter (owned by Lisa). (R) A young Alison riding Midnight, a former Shawnee staff horse, who is now retired from the hunt field.
We have a few new members joining us this year, so we’ve asked our human “first year entry” to answer a few questions to help us get to know them a little better. Our first featured new member is one of our junior riders, Alison!
Tell us a little bit about your riding experience. How long have you been riding? What types of riding did you do before joining the hunt?
I’ve been riding for about 8 years, I just did basic shows before joining the hunt.
What made you want to become a hunt member?
Lisa Owen talked me into joining and then meeting all the members and hearing stories of how thrilling the hunt is made me excited to join.
Can you tell us a little bit about your favorite hunt horse?
I used to take lessons from (Shawnee whipper-in) Lisa and ride her old horse Midnight, now I will be riding Scooter in the hunt field. Midnight was definitely my favorite horse, he’s a quarter horse/Tennessee walking horse, and I think he’s about 23 now but I never got to ride him hunting.
Do you have a favorite hound yet? If so, who is your favorite and why?
I don’t have a favorite hound yet but I love all of the G litter since they were the first ones I met at the puppy auction.
What else do you like to do when you are not hunting?
When I’m not hunting or riding I participate in Marching Band at my high school playing clarinet or marimba.
Now for an interesting fact – what is something about you your fellow hunt members would never guess?
I guess an interesting fact would be how musically talented I am and that I can play many instruments!
Thanks to some hardworking hunt volunteers, new telephone pole jumps have been installed to replace a few worn out coops at the Denmark fixture! Look at the crew hard at work and admire our new fences.
Check out this video from the first ever Shawnee Hounds’ Toilet Paper jump-off! Hosted by the Cummings, this lighthearted competitions was entertaining for both participants and spectators. The first place winner, Donna Hanford riding Lady Gray, walked away with a brand new toilet plunger to commemorate her victory!
Despite the intermittently rainy weather and sloppy footing, it was an educational day for those who braved the elements. Among the participants today were staff members on young/new horses, new hunt riders on experienced hunt horses, event riders, and more!
One of the challenges in preparing to hunt is getting both horse and rider accustomed to varying terrain and conditions and today was certainly a valuable lesson in that regard. It was fun to see both horses and riders gain confidence as the morning progressed.
Quite a few of us also practiced riding at different speeds within a group, changing places (leading vs. following), and leaving/returning to a group of horses, also valuable skills for a hunt horse to have.
“What can I say about Sherlock? He wasn’t an easy hound to adopt. He had been adopted before and managed to find his way back to the kennels. I remember the day Mark decided it was time for Sherlock to find a new home. We had just hunted the North Country fixture. Mark was loading the hounds into the trailer and Sherlock was the last one. You guessed it, Mark slammed the door shut in his face, grabbed his collar and asked me if I was ready to take him home. You should have seen the look on Sherlock’s face. Priceless. So I got a lead rope and loaded Sherlock into my trailer. All the drive home I kept thinking what have I got myself into. I really didn’t need another animal to care for.
Sherlock just managed to wiggle his way into my heart since my first hunt. Of course I didn’t have a place to keep him so I had to call AAA Fence and have them build a kennel. He was very shy and not used to being handled. I would take him for long walks around the hayfield on a long leash. After a couple months I decided he was ready to go on his own. He would explore the field with my corgi by his side. This was our routine for a couple weeks and then one day he was gone. Somewhere between our walk around the field and going back to his kennel he disappeared. I called and drove around looking for him. All my neighbors were on alert for him. He was gone. I called Mark and told him what happened. I knew he would try to go back to the kennels but the Ohio River was a pretty big obstacle for him to cross.
10 days later I was standing at the kitchen sink and heard him voicing. I looked out the window and there he was. Standing on the deck looking at me. That was the first time he came into the house. I sat down on the floor and he snuggled into my lap. He was thin and had blisters on his paws. I just couldn’t believe he came back. That was 2 1/2 years ago. After that day he was never locked in the kennel again. His doghouse is now under the carport by the house and he is free to roam the fields and woods. He has never left the yard again. He greets me every morning, hangs out in the barn while I care for the horses, walks around the fields while I bush hog and escorts me back to the house every evening. He has learned that petting and hugs are a good thing and demands affection when I come home from work everyday. Sherlock turns 13 this year.”
~ Lisa, whipper-in and Sherlock’s owner/retirement home