The husband and wife team of Peter and Amanda Wilson are at the helm of the Grand Canyon Hounds, Flagstaff, AZ. Huntsman Peter, 34, grew up in Southern Maryland and Whipper-in Amanda, 32, hails from the capital of Annapolis. They first met through Pony Club and hunt the 35 couple hounds, which include American, Penn-Marydel and Crossbreds. They can be found jamming to alternative, bluegrass and classic country tunes while driving their Chevy through the desert.
e-Covertside: You hunt a variety of hounds. What is your reasoning behind this?
Peter: We don’t necessarily have one particular breed that we prefer, rather there seems to be a type that we have found works well out here. That type tends to be a tough gamey forward minded hound-long legged and light framed with a very good nose.
e-Covertside: How did you become involved with hunting?
Amanda: Peter hunted with local truck hunters of foxhounds, beagles and coon hounds growing up. We both were introduced to formal foxhunting through Pony Club.
e-Covertside: Name three things you never hunt without.
Amanda: Leatherman, live rounds, and my cell phone.
Peter: Piece of string, ace bandage, and a snack.
e-Covertside: What makes your territory unique?
Amanda: Dryness, vastness, and very little cover-which enables you to see hounds working almost all the time.
e-Covertside: What are your goals?
Peter: To continue to improve this pack of hounds.
e-Covertside: What types of modifications have you made/will you make for this territory compared with your previous experiences?
Amanda: Mainly keeping an open mind. Hunting in Arizona is very different in many ways than hunting in Maryland and we have found that being flexible in your thinking can be a very good thing. That being said, many of the same rules that apply to hunting back east apply to hunting in the west…you just have to not be too rigid in your approach and be willing to try new things.
e-Covertside: Any memorable experiences you’d like to share?
Peter: It is hard to single out just one memorable experience. We’ve had some very memorable hunting, but we have also had some memorable non-hunting experiences. Recently we hiked across the Grand Canyon with some friends and it was an amazing trip.
e-Covertside: What activities do you enjoy outside of hunting?
Peter: Drawing, painting, fishing, and other types of hunting.
Amanda: Eventing, fishing, and hiking.