Welcome to 2024! The New Year has brought bitter cold temps and nasty wind chills to us. Woke up this morning to a balmy 7° but at least our wind has stopped. There are times when I think the wind has been blowing since October. We have a good 8-10” of snow pack down and rain is forecast the remainder of the week. Our mild winter has taken an abrupt turn.
We keep the thermostat in the kennel set at 50° but I’m sure at hound level it is probably around 45 or so but the hounds seem very comfortable. The heat is more for me than the hounds! If I didn’t have it heated, there is no doubt I would spend less time with them. I have seen where people basically feed and water and head back into the comfort of their living room when the temps drop. I prefer to spend time with them every day, whether we run or not. The kennel is like my “man cave” where I can escape and recharge. I don’t have cell service in there although I do have TV (can’t miss playoff football and baseball games). Sometimes it’s just music on which seems to soothe the hounds some.
The snow we have isn’t conducive to running the hounds. Some places the crust will hold them, other places they sink in and it is brutal on their feet. Our rabbit numbers appear to keep declining. I continue to maintain a few around the house but most of my running areas are pretty bleak. I blame predators mostly and our wonderful PA Game Commission is considering a reintroduction of Pine Martens, so place another on the list. I guess the reintroduction of fisher wasn’t enough. Add those two to the explosion of hawks and owls and as my uncle would say: “It must be hell to be a rabbit!”
Hopefully we can get a female or 2 bred this spring. Jada, Mallory and Sierra are all coming into their own and are showing very good potential. I may also try Izzy for another litter before her time runs out. These hounds get old terribly fast, the years just fly by.
To the best of my knowledge, the last hound that Mike bred passed away recently, truly the end of an era.
We love getting pictures from those who run our hounds. Here's some recent ones
Three hounds that came from here, three different mothers, three different fathers. I wish I had that amount of game here. Massachusetts.