You are visiting the "Derry Argue Article" page. Don't forget, click
on the "back" button to return to the "Timeline" page.
Mr. Argue was kind enough to give permission for his article to be
retyped and placed in this website. It was originally published in the
Shooting News and Weekly, January 2-8, 1987. The two images of
the Border/Beardie cross follows the article.
Fife foxes and Beardie Collies
by Derry Argue
"A LETTER arrived the other day from a
friend in Fife. He had been out lamping with his young Greyhound/Bedlington
bitch which is just shaping into a sensible worker.
The letter was a really graphic account of
three foxes encountered in quick succession. the lurcher managed to
exchange a couple of bites with one of them. However, apart from some
hectic sport, no actual catches were made.
Steve's letter closed with an invitation to
join him for a look over the ground a couple of nights later. Despte
being very busy with a lot of night work I phoned Steve up and made the
arrangements. It would be good to hunt for sport for a change.
I put a new film in the camera and looked
forward to an outing with the pressure off and the bag unimportant. When
I lamp alone (with dog, lamp, call and rifle) I can't possibly take
photos as well. Here was a golden opportunity.
After ten minutes on the ground we spotted
four distant eyes. One of the foxes slowly worked into our squeaking,
the other cleared off. The night was too light, still and quiet and the
foxes had been lamped before. Keeping still, with our backs to a hedge,
we squeaked patiently until the eyes slowly became a silhouette and then
a fox, facing straight down the .22 scope at 30 yards. It was an easy
shot and the fox didn't run for more than a few seconds before falling
at the woodside.
In the gloom it seemed the fox had indeed
reached the wood ahead of our two lurchers and Steve and I were in the
act of trying to order the dogs into the trees to find it. At that
Fielder latched onto it. It was lying dead on the stubble at our feet.
As our only serious intent was to start Steve's bitch on fox, we called
her from the wood. When she spotted Fielder with the fox she went in like
a demon, making my wee hairy whippet look a bit soft. Indeed such was
the larger dog's fire I hauled mine off in case they fought over the
prize. It was pretty obvious Steve's dog was a hard case which should
enter to fox very easily.
Indeed at the other side of the wood we
called up another and had a bit of a mix up as Steve slipped his dog
just as I was going to squeeze the trigger. It wasn't a very long slip
but the fox streaked off for cover, Steve's bitch after it and me trying
to slip Fielder. Fox, dog and dog disappeared over a brow in line.
Nothing was seen or heard for some minutes. They obviously lost it,
presumably without making contact.
So we came very close to entering Steve's
bitch but she'll have to wait for another night.
Steve has plenty of foxes to choose from,
we saw several during the two hours. What about the camera? Why no
photograph? I'd left the damn thing in the van!
By the way, Steve has just bought a farm
pup and a long net. The collie is a first cross Beardie/Huntaway and
Steve hopes to train it to the net. He's the sort of modest bloke who is
always asking advice about the game but, by the way his lurcher is
turning out, he obviously has the knack himself.
I look forward to seeing how his collie
Caption: Front - Border/Beardie cross and
behind is a pure Beardie Collie.
Caption: Border/Beardie cross which is
probably more common than a pure Beardie Collie.