Hunting is in a spot of bother

Tiddlypom

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 July 2013
Messages
16,397
Location
In between the Midlands and the North
For those who don’t ever venture into the Hunting board, it may be news to you that the hunting scene is currently in some turmoil. This is the thread about it on there.

https://forums.horseandhound.co.uk/threads/what-most-of-us-knew-already.797370/

For a few days after the publication of the leaked Hunting Office webinars, the mainstream media did not pick it up. That silence ended last night with a report on ITVs News at Ten.

https://www.itv.com/news/2020-11-24...ting-webinars-held-by-huntings-governing-body

Forestry England have now suspended all trail hunting licences whilst waiting for the outcome of the police and CPS investigation into the Hunting Office webinars.

This is going to run and run.
 

Clodagh

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 August 2005
Messages
18,632
Location
Essex
Real numpty question: why is fox hunting more fun than trail hunting, from a riding point of view? Doesn't it tend to lead to more hanging around, and more trying to cross impassable country, and generally more frustration?
I stopped hunting post ban. To me there is no point just going for a fun ride, which is trail hunting.
It is impossible to explain, though, I don’t get remotely interested in football but I understand that to some people it is very exciting.
 

palo1

Well-Known Member
Joined
27 July 2012
Messages
3,514
Real numpty question: why is fox hunting more fun than trail hunting, from a riding point of view? Doesn't it tend to lead to more hanging around, and more trying to cross impassable country, and generally more frustration?
Trail hunting is supposed to replicate pre-ban fox hunting as closely as possible so the runners/trail layers try to lay a trail that is authentically natural; hence close cover and ground that may be impassable for horses. Generally it is not impassable for hounds though and hunting was, for the purists, about following hounds and watching them work rather than for the riding. Obviously for many, many people the ridden element was the reason for hunting and those followers appreciated open country, longer runs and plenty of jumping. In some hunt countries that is how the country works anyway but for other packs, often less fashionable, the country was not so conducive to that sort of riding. That is sort of what results in slower going, more hanging around etc. I think that is why hunting in some places is so much 'smarter/more expensive' because you are more likely to have a good gallop and jump plenty. That is not how it is round here and never has been.
 

ycbm

Well-Known Member
Joined
30 January 2015
Messages
39,679
I really do not understand why, if they are going to the effort of having runners, do they insist on still illegal hunting. They are completely brain washed by tradition.
They have to appear to lay a trail, otherwise its obvious that they are hunting illegally. They aren't interested in trail hunting, they only want to hunt fox.
 

ycbm

Well-Known Member
Joined
30 January 2015
Messages
39,679
They just like killing things. Pure and simple.
I don't think it is that simple. I've been having discussions with hunters on this forum for many years now, and it's clear that there is a deeply held belief among many that hunting with hounds is genuinely the most humane and effective way of controlling the fox population.

I respect that view, and taking cubbing and obvious malpractice by some hunts out of it, I could almost be persuaded. But add those, and the anti social things some hunts (including drag packs) do when out, then I believe fox hunting is past its time.

Hopefully these recordings will make that a fact.
.
 

oldie48

Well-Known Member
Joined
15 April 2013
Messages
6,435
Location
South Worcestershire
"I respect that view, and taking cubbing and obvious malpractice by some hunts out of it, I could almost be persuaded. But add those, and the anti social things some hunts (including drag packs) do when out, then I believe fox hunting is past its time. "

I have to agree with this. I am the boundary of two hunts. Locally we have had a good deal of housing development which has led to a heavier volume of traffic everywhere, not just on the main roads, a lot of land is heavy clay and we seem to be having higher rainfall, particularly early on in the season and more land owners are reluctant to have big fields trashing the ground. We have an increase in flooding. It's pretty clear that one of the hunts does not hunt within the law, is frequently "off country" and is unable toarn horse owners that they will be around, which means they have lost a lot of local support. Attempts to join forces with neighbouring hunts have ended in bickering and disagreement. In 2019 they were affected by flu, this year by covid, I'm sure many hunts are struggling financially and tbh I think their days are numbered.
 

scruffyponies

Well-Known Member
Joined
1 March 2011
Messages
1,214
Location
NW Hampshire
Real numpty question: why is fox hunting more fun than trail hunting, from a riding point of view? Doesn't it tend to lead to more hanging around, and more trying to cross impassable country, and generally more frustration?
I have had the privilege to go out as a guest a couple of times pre-ban, a few times since, and more recently with a bloodhound pack. Not being a 'regular', I know there's much I don't see or understand, but from a rider's perspective:

There is something wonderful about the unpredictability of the chase - mostly you're lost, trying to keep up, and occasionally terrified. A fox doesn't stick to headlands; it takes a direct line sometimes, and gives you the gallop of your life. Every day is totally different, and the foxes for the most part seem to get away. Lest ways the only dead one I ever saw was caught in a snare.
Drag hunting as done by the fox hound packs (and the ones I have been out with were following the law) is as close as they can mimic a real scent to make the hounds work, and I'm not sure if they even tell the huntsman the exact route. It has the advantage of being planned to the extent that hazards can be avoided (e.g. road and rail), and you still see the hounds working, but loses a little of the adrenaline rush from being more predictable. In both cases there is some standing around, but you are watching and listening to the hounds (and the countryside around), and it's very pleasant.
The bloodhounds follow a runner, and the route is known. Whilst it's a lovely ride, you follow the headlands and it's more like a fun ride with no gaps between groups of riders. I found we were often holding back the horses to keep off the hounds, since runners, and bloodhounds are much slower than foxes. There seems to be more standing around, if anything, waiting for quarry to get a head start etc.
 

ihatework

Well-Known Member
Joined
7 September 2004
Messages
18,912
They just like killing things. Pure and simple. Also some of them are not good enough riders for drag hunting as its faster and has less stopping and starting and hanging around than fox hunting.
It is so far removed from being simple, that this sort of comment just highlights those that really don’t understand it and devalues the antis viewpoint.

Im not avidly pro hunting btw. I sit somewhat on the fence and probably lean more towards anti.
 

Sandstone1

Well-Known Member
Joined
16 July 2010
Messages
5,669
It is so far removed from being simple, that this sort of comment just highlights those that really don’t understand it and devalues the antis viewpoint.

Im not avidly pro hunting btw. I sit somewhat on the fence and probably lean more towards anti.
Sorry but I do understand it and I have been hunting. Can you explain to me how my comment devalues the anti viewpoint? Hunting foxes is illegal trail hunting is not.
 

LEC

Well-Known Member
Joined
22 July 2005
Messages
9,471
Hunting is a dying 'sport' - tbh its place in the world is a matter of time before it disappears and it will probably happen from imploding. More and more hunts need to amalgamate in order to survive. When rich hunts like the Quorn and Cottesmore looked to merge (though they didn't) then you know its only a matter of time. TBH the stupidity of the MFH doing this is just astounding. I don't know who sits in the office and checks the content but they should be chased on a trail and then shot.....

I am ambivalent about hunting and come from a strong hunting background and my childhood was spent hunting but don't really see the point of it anymore. Life changes and however much we fight it we have become a more urbanised society.
 
Joined
27 December 2011
Messages
5,333
Location
Shropshire
Hunting is steeped in tradition...and therein lies the problem. It's been said that "tradition is peer pressure from dead people " and I couldn't agree more. Anyone who thinks this is a "humane" way to control the fox population needs to give their heads a wobble. Im not against culling as such but hunting a fox with so many horses and dogs is ridiculous and most definitely not "sporting".
 

Equine_Dream

Well-Known Member
Joined
2 February 2015
Messages
973
Hunting is steeped in tradition...and therein lies the problem. It's been said that "tradition is peer pressure from dead people " and I couldn't agree more. Anyone who thinks this is a "humane" way to control the fox population needs to give their heads a wobble. Im not against culling as such but hunting a fox with so many horses and dogs is ridiculous and most definitely not "sporting".
Therein lies the issue....what is a humane way of controlling the population? Shooting is probably thought more humane but then a bad shot can leave the animal suffering for days. Some farmers also resort to poisoning which is an excruciating death.
It's something I've asked myself to. I used to be dead against hunting. Then met my husband who was from a farming background and saw some of the other side. I'm still not sure where I sit exactly on hunting. I have seen the damage caused by foxes and the affect it can have on farmers livelihoods, so I suppose I would go as far as to say controlling fox populations is a necessary evil.... but what is the best way to do that? I'm not so sure.
 

Crazy_cat_lady

Well-Known Member
Joined
14 January 2012
Messages
4,936
I see there is nothing on the Horse and Hound Facebook page about it....

If I could ever afford it I'd take a hireling out with the bloodhound pack but this would worry me they hunt fox still.

I would never go with a pack that hunts fox, pre or post ban its cruel and barbaric. If they need controlling, shoot them by someone who is a good shot. The fox would rather an instant death im sure than being chased for miles, terrified.
 

meleeka

Well-Known Member
Joined
14 September 2001
Messages
6,674
Location
Hants, England
Hunting is steeped in tradition...and therein lies the problem. It's been said that "tradition is peer pressure from dead people " and I couldn't agree more. Anyone who thinks this is a "humane" way to control the fox population needs to give their heads a wobble. Im not against culling as such but hunting a fox with so many horses and dogs is ridiculous and most definitely not "sporting".
This is how I feel. Dog fighting is also a tradition (and probably more ‘sporting’ since it’s one on one), but nobody in their right mind would defend that. The idea that is the kindest way to control the fox population is often at odds with the claim that participants rarely see a fox.
 

TGM

Well-Known Member
Joined
3 April 2003
Messages
16,009
Location
South East
The bloodhounds follow a runner, and the route is known. Whilst it's a lovely ride, you follow the headlands and it's more like a fun ride with no gaps between groups of riders. I found we were often holding back the horses to keep off the hounds, since runners, and bloodhounds are much slower than foxes. There seems to be more standing around, if anything, waiting for quarry to get a head start etc.
I don't know what bloodhound pack you've been out with but that is certainly not the case in our area. My husband is a master of our local bloodhound pack and the typical day is certainly not like that at all! The route is only known by the quarry and the Master who organised the day, even our Huntsman doesn't know the exact route! Yes it is true that they stick to the headlands on arable fields to respect the landowners (and I would hope all packs would do that) but a lot of the hunting is over pasture land and they are certainly not slow!
 

LEC

Well-Known Member
Joined
22 July 2005
Messages
9,471
I once had a conversation with a huntsman who pointed out a copse that had been planted by them 'to encourage the foxes to breed'.

😒
There are thousands of examples of that in the countryside. Lots if farmers do this..... Whether its for shooting or hunting. Hedges that have been left, woods left, copses planted etc etc. Its also helpful when you get given EU grants under the guise of good management schemes.
 

ihatework

Well-Known Member
Joined
7 September 2004
Messages
18,912
I once had a conversation with a huntsman who pointed out a copse that had been planted by them 'to encourage the foxes to breed'.

😒
Yes, this type of behaviour and feeding foxes does somewhat impact the opinion it’s just about fox control. It isn’t, controlling a healthy population is just a small part of it. It’s also not about some bloodthirsty lust to kill. It’s a far more complex situation that LEC has summarised well why it is inevitable it will die out over the next decade, maybe/hopefully sooner.
 

Crazy_cat_lady

Well-Known Member
Joined
14 January 2012
Messages
4,936
Crazy Cat Lady FYI bloodhounds do not hunt foxes 🙂 they are not bred or trained for it and when they catch their "prey" i.e. the runner, they do nothing but lick them to death. So you could hunt with the bloodhounds with no fear of any foxes being harmed.
I can't afford it any time soon it'll be something I'll be able to do when I no longer have my own, maybe but that is good to know, so do they just not have any instinct to chase fox?
 

emilylou

Well-Known Member
Joined
2 February 2011
Messages
392
I don't have anything to say re: the original post. Apart from what a b****y mess.

But again, from a riders perspective, there really is nothing like it. I've never felt a truer sense of freedom than when being slightly lost, riding to the edge of my abilities, crossing all types of country following a pack of hounds. Its a wildness and sense of being at one with the environment around you with only your senses and wit keeping you alive (sometimes literally) that now doesn't exist in many other parts of life. That sense of freedom is lost so much in our increasingly regulated, urbanized, prescribed, nannying society- (which personally I am not willing to accept as the way of the future and hope to see change of the countryside being more valued and understood and the return and protection of more abundant wild places and wildlife- but that's a different topic entirely)
I've followed both trail and drag packs and trail hunting is much more fun. The rhythm of the day is different and less prescribed as the huntsman does not have knowledge of where the trail is set- with packs I follow usually trails are laid the day prior with further trails laid throughout the day depending on conditions.
I've also found drag riders to have less control and be more worrying to ride with as you get those who are out for a good blast and do not have control of their horses.
Its a huge and lovely community, I agree there are outdated views and malpractice within but for the most part, the majority are there for the love of the horse and hound, the outdoors and their friends within the community. I have never met anyone who I would describe as bloodthirsty and to understand hunting and hunt well you need a respect and understanding for the wildlife and country you are within.

When I was younger I was dead against hunting, I even campaigned against it. Obviously, now true fox hunting is against the law, but I have learnt lots about what hunting was since, and changed my views. Trail hunting should be as it says, -hunting a trail and I hope that for the future of hunting all packs will comply.
But as far as fox control goes, fox control happens regardless of hunting, the gun does not discriminate and kills far more foxes than hunting ever would and the snare and poison are worse.
The original enquiry that investigated hunting and eventually resulted in the 2004 ban agreed that hunting with hounds is the most humane way of controlling the fox population. Mainly because it IS discriminatory. A fit fox will easily outrun and outwit a pack of hounds, I've seen foxes run from cover away from hounds hunting a trail and then turn and lazily watch them, standing in plain sight in front of the field before casually strolling off.
Historically, hounds will typically only catch the older/younger/sick foxes, unless they are having a particularly good day. This leaves the healthy foxes free to carry on, improving the species overall, who will then 'hopefully' stick to wild prey (rabbits, pheasants etc) rather than targeting easier lambs and chickens as their abilities allow them to, thus making them less of a pest.
As well as this, simply running hounds over land deters foxes from claiming it as territory, thus reducing the number of foxes in an area that is hunted as the foxes perceive there to be less territory for them so do not breed as many litters, hence why hunting controls the population without ever sometimes seeing a fox- which is inarguably more humane and a good reason why trail hunting/drag hunting is still a valid form of control to some degree.

Of course, I am aware I am omitting the mention of obvious faux-pax of trespass, violence etc. which should not happen and disappoints me that is does, and those things are indefensible but trail hunting done well and done lawfully I hope does have a place in our future.
 

Equine_Dream

Well-Known Member
Joined
2 February 2015
Messages
973
I can't afford it any time soon it'll be something I'll be able to do when I no longer have my own, maybe but that is good to know, so do they just not have any instinct to chase fox?
A bloodhound is a different breed to a foxhound. From what I know (and I'm sure there are far more knowledgeable people on this forum who can elaborate further), bloodhounds are trained to track a scent, nothing more. Foxhounds are trained to track and kill. It's an instinct that has been highly tuned over the years of breeding foxhounds. Bloodhounds have no such instinct.
 

teapot

Well-Known Member
Joined
16 December 2005
Messages
30,928
I don't know what bloodhound pack you've been out with but that is certainly not the case in our area. My husband is a master of our local bloodhound pack and the typical day is certainly not like that at all! The route is only known by the quarry and the Master who organised the day, even our Huntsman doesn't know the exact route! Yes it is true that they stick to the headlands on arable fields to respect the landowners (and I would hope all packs would do that) but a lot of the hunting is over pasture land and they are certainly not slow!
See my local bloodhound pack releases the route map for the foot followers before the day of the hunt, so assume others have access to it if they want?
 
Top