Rancho Fiasco Working Terriers

We have a lot of requests for a website and this seems like the next best thing. We will post information about happenings around Rancho Fiasco including hunting stories, litters, pictures of some of our terriers and various trials and events we participate in.

Monday, February 05, 2007

A Good Day of Foxing

Met up for breakfast with some terrier hunting friends, Greg B, Brent and Gary. Planned our outing, gulped a few strong cups of coffee and headed out the door. A very nice Colorado day. About 30 degrees, plenty of snow and the sun shining bright. Got to a first sette which was under a large Ponderosa Pine which had produced foxes before. Plenty of sign that this sette was being used as there were well worn paths of muddy tracks over the snow going in and out. I entered one of my Russells, Polar and he was struggling to get into this tight earth. Spent the better part of a half hour digging the entrance hole out to squeeze his butt in. Once he was in he would open occasionally and would be moving all over the sette. We felt sure that it was probably a small vixen that was giving him the run around. After being in for half an hour or so I figured that this would last all day and he was making no progress pushing her into a stop end. He is not prone to false marking and so I pulled him and we entered one of Brent's terriers. She did the same thing. After a bit we pulled her out and entered Greg's terrier, Cogburn. This was a crafty little fox as Cogburn is a handy sized little terrier and even he could not manage to get to her. Decided to leave the sette intact and move on to another location. Stopped by a 2 hole sette that was active which also happened to be right outside some peoples livingroom window. We could not dig that one and get away with it, so Cogburn checked this one and unfortunately no fox home this morning. Off to the 3rd sette. This one was high on a creek bank that Greg and I had dug before. Last winter, his Russell, Chisel got in on a skunk and stayed with the darn thing for nearly 3 hours. That evening it was 10 degrees and bone chilling cold. Took us about 4 hours to dig 2 five foot holes to get him out. There were several times we thought we had lost him but out he came and he was ok.
Yesterday morning was a different story. The same hole was covered in deep snow and there were well worn paths of muddy paw prints going in and out of this sette. The smell of a male fox marking the entrance was strong and Polar went to ground immediately. Within a minute he was marking this fox and then quite. Boxed him and he was moving deeper and deeper into the sette. After 15 or 20 minutes he settled into steady work about 20 feet from the entrance and 4' deep. The bunch of us cleared about 18" of snow off the ground about 6' wide and tried to stick a spade into the earth. Hit it like a concrete sidewalk. We had 2 good digging bars with us and we were to get a good bit of practice with them. Hammered our way down an inch at a time. This was the hardest dirt short of NE, Oklahoma I have ever attempted to dig. Took us nearly an hour to get down to him and fortunately we ended up digging one of the places Greg and I dug last year. Got down in a perfect position right between Polar and the fox.
My terrier was being reminded that foxes have a good set of teeth. He got the usual muzzle punctures and lip wounds that are characteristic of fox work. Polar was in this sette for a good long while. He finished his job and we pulled him and thought we would introduce one of Brent's terriers to the fox. Blocked the hole with a spade and entered her. The fox in the mean time thought he would leave but met up with Brent's terrier on the way out. She had him stopped and worked on him for another hour. Back to digging a second hole. Got plenty more practice on those digging bars. About 2-1/2' down and we broke through to the terrier. About this time the fox decided he had put up with enough of us and squeezed out the hole beside the spade. This boy was really full of attitude as he ran off about 75', stopped and postured sideways standing straight up glaring at us as if he were saying "F___ You and the horse you rode in on!" Off he then ran across the creek bed and stopped and looked back at us again with the same look of contempt. He was a big handsome dog fox with a bright red winter coat. A nice animal to keep in the gene pool for sure. We backfilled the holes and stopped off for a buffalo burger and pitcher of beer, or two, and talked about the days dig. It was a great day of terrier digging with some good friends.