Headed out this last weekend to do a bit of free coursing. CJ, Jack, and Spirit were the three that went with me, along with Flagg, who was moving to his new home. It was an easy drive up, had dinner with Misty and then back to the hotel for the evening. The babies slept in their crates, CJ had the whole hotel room to himself and settled in for the night with his rawhide bone.
Early the next morning we hit the Denny’s for breakfast, then out to the field. Misty had her two 3/4 Salukis and two GH. We ran my babies first and left hers in the truck. This was mainly in case the babies headed for the horizon and we had to jump in the trucks to retrieve them. Much easier to load one dog than to load five.
As soon as the leads came off, the three took off in a dead run, just getting the yee-haws out after being crated. I started working on whistle recall, since I knew that CJ would come back, and hoped the babies would take his lead. They did. After a little exercise, they started settling down and we started to hunt.
CJ brought up the first rabbit, he was well in front (the babies had stopped to smell of something interesting). Jack and Spirit did see the rabbit, and got in on the chase, but were never a real factor. They lost the rabbit after about 1000 yards.
Everyone recalled, had a drink of water, and off we went again. The babies now knew why we were here, and started hunting in earnest. They were casting back and forth in front of us, ears up, paying attention.
It took about an hour for the next rabbit to come up. This was a good one. It was only 20 feet in front of the babies, CJ was behind (he found a cactus that needed peeing on). The rabbit came up with ears up, but soon decided that it had best haul some ass, dropped it’s ears and engaged warp drive. Jack and Spirit were close behind, forcing three turns on the hare before it turned into a tail chase. CJ caught up, the rabbit turned again (not forced) and they headed for the horizon. Jack was pouring on the coal, and Spirit reached down inside and did a go-by on her brother, sucking the hair off of him as she passed. She couldn’t sustain that speed, and her brother passed her and pressed the hare again. CJ had faded left, apparently assuming the rabbit was going to turn again, but it didn’t. They went over a rise and out of site, coming back into view a far ways out, still on the hare. They finally lost it. Course time, just over 90 seconds. Not bad at all for two babies their first time out. They recalled perfectly to the whistle, all came in for a drink and we leashed up. Two rabbits was plenty for their first time out. Their growth plates are not closed yet, and I don’t want to overstress them.