So while at the farm we were able to witness something that I never even knew existed anymore. We saw the opening day of Hunting Season as well as the Blessing of the Hounds. Now, if you’re like me… when I hear “Opening Day of Hunting Season” I think of Bubba with a shotgun up in a tree-stand waitin’ on Bambi to come ’round the corner and have her pretty little head blown off — this is not the case. It was quite sophisticated as you will soon see.
I came into this not knowing a single thing about any of this — I can’t really claim that I know much more… so I will attempt to explain to you what I saw. Basically, if my understanding is correct, this is what happens — Everyone meets at this very old cottage where a lunch is served and everyone is looking down-right fancy. Riders and non-riders get good and shnockered-up on liquor, beer, and wine and then start getting ready to set out on the hunt. A preacher blesses the hounds and then First, Second, and Third Flight is determined and announced (announcing who will ride in what order). Then men and women gather on their beautiful 17 hand thoroughbred horses (worth more than my college tuition, I imagine) and follow the hounds out on their search for coyotes or foxes. Now I didn’t know this, but the hounds actually kill the fox and/or coyote… but the goal is to follow the scent. And we found that the scent was not so strong this first hunt.
Once the riders are off chasing after the hounds, everyone else goes “Hilltoppin'” — meaning that you have to hunt the hunt. You go and sit on top of hills in search of the riders chasing after the hounds. A horn is blown by one of the riders indicating their location. There are also riders called Whips who sit atop the mountains and search for the hounds to tell the other riders which direction they should continue on. Here are some of our pictures below.
Waiting to see if we could to hear the hounds or horn and see the riders.
So after we found the riders we went and discovered another landmark close by…
I hope that you’re thinking exactly what I’m thinking… Oh,that’s right, it’s a Teepee. Oh it wasn’t originally put there by the Native Americans. It was absolutely bizarre… but I guess that’s what make people so interesting. We’re all into something a little… different. I have to say, they were quite beautiful on the hill over looking the “holler”.
We were even lucky enough to find the Whip. Looking and listening for the hounds. Doesn’t it look like something straight out of a movie? It was wonderful.