I’ll be back!

The Blog Party will be at Reid’s in Parker, CO, east of Denver, the weekend of June 11. Regular blogging will then resume. I couldn’t have quit if I wanted to with all the response!

Health continues iffy: PD under control at the moment, but apparently a bad case of spinal stenosis is next on my plate. Meanwhile, in one of those ironies that life hands us, I have found an excellent affordable Purdey.

One thing I must note in this quick reference: the death of Herb Wells, greatest coursing photographer who ever lived, in his eighties, in Alpaugh CA. If Dan  Belkin was responsible for founding that odd colony, Herb kept it alive, and was its soul. Here are just a few images to remember…

The last 3 are a sequence; the hare flips, and runs away

Saluki Lahav’s greatest catch, in front of three GOOD greyhounds

“The most sensitive hare portraits I know are done by an old saluki man in southern California– just shots of peaceful jacks.” Me, in an old blog post here…


New Coursing Book

To See Them Run: Great Plains Coyote Coursing, with text by Utah folklorist Eric Elaison, splendid photos by Scott Squire, and a long introductory essay by me, is finally out from the University Press of Mississipi… and about time! Our efforts have seen us, for about five years (more?) right through a couple of academic presses and out the other side, as Plains coyote coursing was seen as too retrograde for modern audiences, or, even sillier, presses demanded material on non- existent “Native American Coursing”. (A quote: “I was leading my greyhound and whippet. As I passed two Native Americans, my wife, who was following, saw them pointing at the dogs and saying ‘there goes dinner’.”

It is a really beautiful “Coffee Table Book” AND a thoughtful text– a great gift for hunters and students of dogs and the Old Ways, for Christmas or birthdays. I can truthfully say we are all proud of it as well as relieved that it is finally a book. I will add more photos later but wanted to get this post out. One complaint: Amazon will not let me list it under my name, on my page, although those who have introduced my books routinely list them on their Amazon pages. Perhaps a word to the publisher?

Before the Fall; Legends of Winter

Rare archival footage from pre- revolutionary Russia of real psovaya borzois catching a wolf, with assist from scenthounds, while greyhounds (galgos? ) look on.

No fear if you are squeamish about blood– as often happens today,  at the end, the hunter is going in with a forked stick to pin the wolf and catch it alive…

Coursing Poem

The sporting poem lives– in several forms, but I like it that it does in our own vernacular and non-academic culture, not just as a barely- living remnant in England. By Dave Isely, of the threatened California coursing culture, sent by his wife Robin:

Best Coursing Photos of the Year!

Terence Wright sent these pics from the Albuquerque gang last night. His, Greg’s, and Warren’s dogs at least are represented, and Greg’s gyr cross Spook.

 I am envious– come on down! Meanwhile, right click to enlarge as always.

I believe these last two are double grandchildren of Ataika and Lashyn.

UPDATE: the black dog is the Kaeppler’s, of Persian and English stock- thanks, Paul D.
Our local rare blacks , from Kazakh stock, tend to have white and tan marks on the front of their breasts; not like an Arabian “tanpoint”, less anyway… a bit of  inheritance from the taigan, their mountain cousin? Shakula says of such dogs that they “have the blood of the ancient dragon,”

Good Run

Tavi, and Tavo Cruz’s Luna, bred on a Dutch Salmon longdog out of our Kyran. Yes, we do use wrong names sometimes. Remember how I said big packs are sometimes less effective? This was a three dog run; they caught the hare shortly.

Always click right or double for bigger photos. Shot by Shiri…


The following will need little comment, but it is unusually illustrative. The little red tazi with the gray face is Larissa, an Almaty dog in origin, Ataika’s daughter and we hope the next mother- to- be. The cream male is Tavi, the intended father, a mix of Kazakh genes and Russian.

What to notice is how the greyhound types dominate at first– I used to say that if a hare was caught at or before a quarter mile it was my late Plummer lurcher– but gradually the salukiformes’ endurance wins out– a catch after a mile needs tazi genes I think.

Please double or right click– these are worth enlarging!

Of course, dominating the hare doesn’t mean you are a social lion– it was his big old housemate Gaddi the Afghan who brought the hare to hand!

UPDATE: a friend thought I meant tazlukis are superior coursers, or that longdogs have no stamina. Not at all– I think that a mixed pack is the way to go., and ran one in my and my hounds’ time. Good grey crosses regularly take jacks closer than most “oriental sighthounds”; if a course goes to four miles, which happens in this country, they will still be in the race, but their Asian relatives may well be ahead. I have never owned a dog of either type to quit, though for all I know some may. These longdogs catch plenty of hares and one has tazi genes; they have speed and stamina.

(Track greys are still another story– very fast and very quick to burn, run like hell in a straight line, and break easily. Many don’t have the wits to come back. Great crosses, sweet pets, dumb as a bag of rocks…)