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fox facts

An Introduction to Fox hunting


iest
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ttempt to
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ought to b
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pecifically
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rk
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The first u
square mil
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ts
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nds to
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of foxhou
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ntury Hu
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hte
plus 10 in
phy of ru
In the eig
and Wales
w geogra
e
d
n
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la
e
largest
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th
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s
ne of the
O
unds in
addres
.
o
ty
h
n
x
u
fo
o
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c
o
a
ks
te area in
is based in
ly 176 pac
rts which
nt a separa
proximate
u
fo
p
h
u
a
a
h
e
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w
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B
o
e
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e Duke o
There are
in size and
is called th
y all differ
d
e
n
h
la
T
.
g
d
n
n
E
a
Scotl
d packs in
recognise
g in its
and most
en huntin
th
.
e
e
c
ir
banned.
h
in
s
rs
d
te
has been
005 an
,
Glouces
2
x
ry
fo
a
a
l
ru
il
b
k
e
hase and
force in F
unds to c
ame into
o
c
h
t
c
t
n
A
e
g
c
n
s
of
g and the
The Hunti
fox huntin
h the use
it
n
o
w
,
s
e
s
rm
u
c
l fo
booklet fo
traditiona
d but this
te
n
u
h
re
a
als which
r
other anim
positive o
There are
d it.
e strong
n
v
u
a
o
h
rr
n
u
e
s
s
t
ft
n
o
e
issues tha
hat happ
h people
bout whic
w about w
a
o
,
n
e
k
u
y
s
ll
is
a
nsitive
ople actu
ng is a se
uch do pe
m
w
o
Fox hunti
h
t
bu
feelings,
negative
ng?
out hunti

UK

FOX HUNTING also takes


place in other countries...

Irelan

USA
Canad

France
Austra
li

s
t
c
a
f
fox
x in
erent species of fo ited
iff
d
l
ra
ve
se
e
ar
Un
There
s that lives in the
ie
c
e
sp
e
h
T
.
d
rl
o
the w
fox and has the
d
re
e
th
as
n
w
o
Kingdom is kn
lpes vulpes.*
scientific name Vu
In the UK, the red
fox is common in
both countryside and
towns.
The red fox is a very
adaptable animal, feeding
on all sorts of food stuff from
fruit to small animals and
birds. Often foxes will eat
rotten meat, known as carrion.

They are able


to live in Arctic
conditions as well
as near desert
conditions.

Foxes can cause problems to farmers by taking lambs,


chickens and other livestock and therefore numbers have
to be controlled.

* All the different


species of animals
in the world have
been given scientific
names that are the
same across different
countries and
languages to avoid
confusion.

Fox numbers
have always been
controlled by man
but in the past were
also killed by larger
predators, such as
wolves that are now
extinct in the UK.

g...

agin
n
a
m
d
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als n
m
i
n
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d
l
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w
y

Wh

The world we now live in has been created by us and the


populations of some species of wild animals, including the red
fox, need to be managed:

ble to

vunera
To protect other species that are
predation.

1.

To prevent over population bec


ause when
2. the
re are too many of any one spe
cies food


and habitat can run short.

3.

persing and
 o protect farm livestock by dis
T
dators.
reducing high populations of pre

To protect against the spread of diseases


which
4. can
break out when there are too many of any


one species.

5.

Because we have a
of wild animals.

lfare

duty of care for the we

Management or
pest control?
The management of
wild animals is different
to pest control.
Management aims to
keep a population healthy
and at an acceptable
level. Pest control, on
the other hand, seeks to
eradicate a population,
regardless of whether
individuals are sick, old or
indeed healthy.

Hunting with hounds


as a method of
management.

The act of hunting


is a combination of
recreation, wildlife
management and
pest control.

Hunting with hounds is not


so much about the numbers
killed, but the health and
population level of the
wild mammals left alive.

Hunts provide a service to


farmers and contribute to
conservation by keeping
wild animal populations
healthy and at an
acceptable level.

We know when
domesticated animals are
not well because we are
close to them, but that is not
the case with animals living
in the wild.

Other methods of control can be very efficient, but that


does not necessarily mean that they are always humane
or that they are removing the old, weak and sick animals.

At the end of a hunt, the quarry


animal either escapes or is
killed there is no wounding.

Wild mammals do
not feel fear in the
same way humans
do. Hunting is totally
natural to them.
Ther has never been any
evidence that hunting is
less humane thanother
ways of killing foxes.

g
n
i
t
n
u
h
A days pens?
p
what ha

Fox hunting happens in many different forms


but traditional mounted hunts meet in the
morning between 10.30 11am two, three
or four days a week depending on the size of
their country.

The Huntsman will present the hounds with an


area for them to draw and will then allow them to
spread out to search for the scent of the animal
to be hunted, in this case the fox.
Hounds have an excellent sense of smell
which is far better than that of humans.
It is a natural instinct for them to sniff the
ground to pick up a scent, just as wolves
do in the wild.
The Field will follow at a reasonable distance
away from the hounds to give them room to
work. The scent of the fox is picked up by the
hounds and they will speak producing a yelping
sound once they are following it; the chase.

After a chase, the fox will either be killed


outright or will escape unhurt.
Since the introduction of The Hunting Act in
February 2005 it is now illegal for a dog to chase
a fox, apart from in certain circumstances, so
instead of following the scent of a live fox a trail
is laid before the meet so the hounds follow an
artificial scent. Foxes can also still be controlled
using exemptions within the Act.

The meet is
the place where hounds, the hunt
masters and followers/supporters will gather and
this normally centers around a point in a village
such as the pub, the village green, a house
or a local landmark.

The meet nd gives


a
l occasion
is a socia a chance to chat
everyone ss conditions
and discu e day.
for th

The
ers
nt follow uitable
u
h
d
e
t
moun
at a s
l follow led by
il
w
)
ld
e
(the fi ance behind
dist
master.
the Field

huntsman The
which sign will blow the horn
a
and will lea ls the end of the mee
d hounds a
t,
the first co way to draw
vert.

The Huntsman uses a horn by


which to control the hounds and
send messages to the Hunt Staff
and the field. He will make sure
that hounds work together as a
pack by encouraging them with a
series of signals.

The Master(s) is in overall control


of the hunt and his or her word is final.
The Master will decide where and
when hounds will meet, what coverts
are to be drawn and when hounds
will go home. This role is often divided
between several Joint Masters.

The Field name given to all the


followers on horses who are controlled
by the Field Master. The Field Master
will ride at the head of the field and
all followers should keep behind him.
He is responsible for making sure
that the field does not get too close
to the hounds and that field cross
country in a responsible manner.

The Whipper-in there is often


more than one Whipper-in and their
most important duty is to assist the
huntsman in controlling hounds. They
are often used to collect hounds up
at the end of the day and to make
sure that they are kept together as
a pack whilst hunting the trail. Only
the Huntsman will give orders to the
Whippers-in.

Most Hunt Staff


wear red coats
(traditionally
called pinks)
when out
hunting which
makes them
easy to identify.

The Secretary is normally in


charge of the Hunt paperwork
in terms of subscriptions and
organising and promoting events.
Usually your cap (amount
charged for the day) will be
taken by the Hunt Secretary at
the meet and any problems with
landowners/broken hunt jumps will
be reported to the Secretary.

Important people in the hunting field

Some hunting terms

ers.
-subscrib
n
o
n
r
fo
charge
The daily
Cap
lost line.
arch for a
e
s
s
d
n
u
o
When h
ent.
Cast
se the sc
lo
s
d
n
u
e ho
When th
ers.
Check
n of farm
io
s
is
rm
.
e
s
p
d
with the
Two houn
operates
t
Couple
n
u
h
a
foxes
hich
tion where
within w
ta
a
e
g
re
e
a
v
f
e
o
h
T
other area
Country
a wood or

r
e
v
o
ed c
Pronounc
d.
Covert  ditionally were foun
a
tr
nd.
overt to fi
c
a
h
g
u
the quarry.
ds thro
ent line of
c
s
end houn
s
e
o
th
T
s
il
which spo
Draw
ed ground
rb
tu
is
d
r
o
Any smell
Foil
scent.
y.
hunting a
the quarr
y
re
b
a
y
ft
e
le
th
t
n
The scen
ngue whe
k or give to
Line
a
e
p
s
y
e
, th
o not bark
Hounds d

k
a
Spe

t
c
A
g
n
i
t
n
The Hu
0,000 people
r 2002 over 40
e
b
m
te
p
e
S
ort for
On the 22
ow their supp
sh
to
n
o
d
n
Lo
ugh
following
marched thro
lar fox hunting
cu
ti
ar
p
in
d
an
on
rural issues
g in a total ban
n
ri
b
to
n
la
p
nts
lliance
the Governme
Countryside A
e
Th
s.
g
o
d
h
march was
hunting wit
od rural rights
o
lih
ve
Li
d
an
rotest
Liberty
civil liberties p
st
e
g
ig
b
e
th
described as
tish history.
in modern Bri
nd

g Act
bate the Huntin
de
of
s
ar
ye
y
th
ry 2005.
Following man
on 18 Februa
e
rc
fo
to
in
e
m
finally ca
document
is a confusing
ct
A
g
tin
un
H
The
g with
nned all huntin
which has not ba
anged the way
dogs, but has ch
work.
in which hunts

The Hunting Act came into force


on 18th February 2005

Why did

the Gov

ernment

Some people d
it is need

o not und

ed

bring it

Hunting was wro

erstand h

in?

ow a hun

t works a

nd why
ngly thou
ght
ing it as p
art of a c of as a posh acti
vity and s
lass war
ome M Ps
Some people se
e hunting
as a crue
l sport
Some politician
s though
for their p
t that a h
olitical pa
unting ba
rty
n would g
et more s
What ar
upport
et
saw bann

he prob

It is confusing, fo

lems wit

h the Ac

t?

r ex
dogs but
illegal to ample it is legal to
hunt a ha
hunt a ra
re
bbit with
It is difficult to p
olice and
wastes v
aluable p
It does not prote
olice and
court tim
ct the fox
more foxe
e
fr
o
s are in fa
m
ct be bein suffering and un
d
g
er the Ac
killed
It makes it diffic
t,
ult for farm
ers to pro
tect their
It is class war a
livestock
nd create
city peop
s a divide
le
between
country a
nd
It bans a valuab
le wildlife
managem
ent proce
ss

Following the passing of


The Hunting Act many
people thought that hunting
would stop altogether.
However hunts have not
folded and are finding ways
to continue that are within
the law.
People now know more
about hunting and have
realised that it plays an
important part in wildlife
management in rural
areas. This could explain
why, since the passing of
The Hunting Act, hunts
have received a greater
amount of support.
Indeed, the first Boxing
Day after the Hunting
Act came in over 300,000
people went fox hunting.

n
o
i
t
c
e
Quiz s
A hounds tail is called a

stern

Hounds are counted in couples, 50 hounds are really 25 couple

number
is when out Hunting by the ttons
ne
eo
som
o
wh
l
tel
can
u
Yo
n, 4 bu
5 buttons for a huntsma
of buttons on their coat
er
mb
me
nt
hu
a
ns for
for a master and 3 butto

Out hunting horses that kick should wear a red ribbon on


their tail, and young horses a green one
at the meet and
other with good morning
ch
ea
et
gre
l
wil
ers
low
Hunt fol
k in the afternoon!
y leave, even if it is 2 ocloc
the
en
wh
ht
nig
od
go
say

All hounds have a name


and every one of them
knows their name

DID
YOU
KNOW?

WORD SEARCH

S P O T M A K E R S
R E E S N A F F L E
E E A E R A S E O R
M A D S C E R T P X
R O S T O I I L E O
A P H O R N M W A R
F I E L D A S H O L
E R D A D P I E A H
I A G B E A G L E I
P T E S S A B P U P

Season when hunting takes place


Farmers w
 hose support is essential
to hunts
Horn carried by the huntsman to
control hounds
Meet the start of a hunt, usually 11am
Hedge field boundary and natural jump
Trail s cent laid for hounds to follow
under new law
Master person

who runs the hunt
Basset, Beagle hare hounds
Field the hunt followers
Rat, Mice quarry
Whelp a new born puppy
Snaffle a hunting bit
Fox wild predator
Pad a fox or hound foot

Countryside Alliance
The Old Town Hall
367 Kennington Road
London SE11 4PT
Tel: 020 7840 9200
Fax: 020 7793 8484
Email: info@countryside-alliance.org.uk
Website: countryside-alliance.org.uk
2013 Countryside Alliance

Photography credits:
Country Trail Images
Michael Thompson
Tracy Broadbent
Auror Photography
Henry Whitbread