This is a basic listing of the marks you might see used by Music City hares. Music City hares have a habit of importing trail markings from other hashes, so pay attention in circle and ask for clarification if necessary.
Trails can be marked in flour, in cornmeal, in chalk, in toilet paper, or any combination thereof.
Harrow or poof/dollop of flour – pointing you towards a trail but possibly not the correct one. If there are three in a row of these, then you are ON ON trail unless you come to three lines or “YBF” in which case the hare has tricked you. Turn around and find the last check and start again.
X in flour, chalk, or whatever means you have come to a point where the trail diverges in any direction 369 degrees from the mark. Start looking around to find a true trail marking (see below) or more dollops or harrows.
The mark of a true trail is an arrow pointing in the trail direction with three lines striking through the body of the arrow. Hare-only mark (not to be used by the pack to indicate direction). This is it, baby; you’re on trail! Get excited (but keep watching out for checks or other marks that indicate a divergence from the trail).
Trail split – can be a Turkey/Eagle split, or a Goat/Salmon split, or any number of other clever names. Used by hares who either want to provide the r*nners with a longer trail and keep the griping by walkers to a minimum, or a way to divide the pack and stretch out the trail.
Ah, the sadness of the YBF – the three strike marks indicating that you have been foooooooled into thinking this was a true trail. Sure, there were three (or more!) dollops or harrows and you trekked on, excited that you found the trail! The hare decided otherwise… go back to the last check and start looking again.
Song check! Usually requires 2-4 hashers to gather up and sing a song. Can be fun to hear other hashes’ versions of familiar tunes. Not sure what song to sing? Check the songbook.
Be Very Careful – used when you’re going to cross a major road or encounter a potentially tricky situation (dogs, farmers, muggles, etc). Nobody wants to earn their I.D.I.O.T. patch more than once.
A hasher’s second favorite mark! BEER NEAR!
A hasher’s favorite mark! BEER HERE! Beverage should be within a few feet of this mark. If the hare isn’t sticking around for the beverage stop, the nectar may be hidden under brush, leaves, or so forth. Transportation and storage of nectar differs by kennel – anything from trash bags with ice to vehicles to coolers are used.
The end of the trail and the start of closing circle. Mill around, grab a beverage, wait for the DFLs to arrive (unless you are the DFL, in which case, where the hell have you been? We’ve been holding circle for you!)