Friday, March 25, 2016

The Hounds Take Off Out Of Sight

The walk started off wrong right from the start. It was 37° after I had declared "winter is over" just a week or so ago. We were starting the morning walk at the latest time ever, a little past 11:30am.

Then without looking, for some reason I changed lenses on the camera before we started ... thinking I was taking off the 18-55mm and putting on the 55-200mm. I didn't bother to look at the size of lens I was changing to.

At the beginning of the walk but too far to return, I realized I had the 18-55mm mounted instead of the 200mm zoom. Only later would I realized that was a BIG mistake.

The walk started normal, nothing out of the ordinary and even as we approached the first corner where we veer right I didn't notice anything unusual.

Nothing looked different .... but in this next photo ... they are getting ready to sprint. You can barely see along the bush line straight ahead about ... about "1 o'clock" position.

Then in a split second .... Sadie and Stella were gone!!!!

To give you some idea just how fast they were running (sprinting), I was taking photos as fast as I could and these are the only ones I could come up with. You can click the photos for a larger view.

Due to the small 55mm lens, you can barely see Sadie and Stella at the bush line chasing deer that by this time are too far ahead of them to catch.

I always thought it might happen. It did happen when Sadie was a young 1 or 2 year old in the dead of winter and deep snow back around 2009 or 2010. That time I never found her but she did come back to the house about 6 hours later.

Today it happened again.

As I watched them take off sprinting faster than you would ever imagine a bloodhound could run, I saw a least 5-6 deer at the back of the field by the high power tower, along the bush line we walk ... they were "flying" to get out of the area ... all headed to Stella's "no fly zone" she visited a month or so ago. I saw around a total of 10 deer split into two different groups.

I instantly had two thoughts ... I'm not going to find them and I wish I had my 200mm zoom lens on the camera. I actually remained perfectly calm during this whole evolution. I mean what else could I do?

I would not be able to catch them, so no reason for me to run after them. I didn't need to scream their name because they wouldn't hear me and besides, if they did their focus was catching those deer, not obeying "come here' I didn't yell either.

When the last deer disappeared and both Sadie and Stella disappeared over the slight hill by the high power tower I slowly walked up the path, thinking of my options. I had no doubts that both hounds would follow the deer to the back of the 'no fly zone', jump over or get over the fence someway and chase those deer into the woods.

So I walked up the path ... mentally conceding defeat ... that both of my bloodhounds were gone!

As I got close to the horizon I didn't see Sadie nor Stella. I wasn't mad, wasn't talking to myself because I knew it just happened so quick and they did what they are bred to do ... flush live deer out of the woods or track and find the deer that had been shot.

As I crested the small incline walking on the return path ... what do I see but Sadie and Stella !!!!

They had probably backtracked to check out the scent because by this time the deer were long gone into the wooded area north of the field. As I called out their names - they came sprinting to me - looking and acting proud of the way they had chased the deer out of "their" field.

With them wagging their tails of joy, I patted both of them telling them "good dogs" where they immediately headed down the path to go home.

They still needed to check out a couple of more areas on the way back but basically this walk was over.

Times are always exciting with the hounds in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.


  1. Wow, kind of scary. If I had a dollar for every time my half-Beagle would take off, even after he promised he would be good off-leash, I would be rich. He lived to be old, no worse for the wear, but I know it took a few years off my life. I would leash him again, and after a few days I would forget he was fickle, he would promise, and I would let him go. Of course we weren't near any roads or anything, but it was still a worry. I love hounds, but Heelers are easier on that level.

    1. Yes, the hound breed and their noses make them a little different. Once they lock in on a scent their brains go into the unconscious mode. I'd never be able to let them off leash traveling. Your are right about heelers.

  2. No reason to worry about a Deer sneak attack with those two on the job. I bet they really enjoyed the chase.
    I am still happy with my Tamron 16mm-300mm lens, it survived the camera drop. I have it on my old D-50 for now.

    1. They might stop a deer sneak attack but they have a tendency to sleep through other house attacks like me. I can walk in sometimes and they don't even move. I keep thinking about your lens. I need only one with that range. My 55mm-200mm still has a tendency of not focusing in the 150mm-200mm range.