As the others have said; Masters and Hunt staff automatically have them, then they are 'awarded' for services rendered (especially if not a mounted person). Basically, they are awarded at the discretion of the Masters and committee, you have to be invited to become a member (anyone can be a subscriber) and as a rule, people feel very privileged to have them; you can't just go out and buy them.
I was just wondering what people wear if they a visiting another pack or hunt with more than one? Would you wear a hunt button that you have been awarded when out with any pack and for how long are you able to wear it?!
The normal I believe is if you have been awarded the button, you are eligible to wear it for the rest of your life (unless you do something so evil it is revoked!)
You usually wear the button of the hunt you are a subscriber/member of when visiting another hunt. It's not unknown but quite unusual for someone to be allowed to wear more than one button anyway, but you must never wear both of them at the same time so I've been told.
If you visit another pack you should actually ask the Master or Secertary if you may wear your colours. These are an extra to buttons it is just courtesy to ask rather than assuming you can wear them to another hunt.
Thank you for your replies! I have not actually been wearing my hunt button when riding out with other packs! I just didn't know I could! I ride with a drag pack (can wear it there no probs should i wish!) and a private pack (can't subscribe - just a cap at each meet!) and I just really wasn't sure about wearing it with the private pack regularly - I am sure they wouldn't mind, but I am not exactly a visitor to that pack so it just didn't seem right to be wearing my very obvious buttons (coloured collar!!) I am guessing they wouldn't mind but when there ar eso few of us out would look decidedly odd!!