(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Hunting"

VU^v-.C.C.O:™ 




TUFTS UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES 




3 9090 014 533 430 



Wu.:;;... . .- .^^ ....... .y of Veiennary yedicine 

Cummings Schoo! of Veterinary Medicine at 
Tufts University 
200 Westboro Road 
North Grafton, MA 01 536 



HUNTING 



BY 



LORD NORTH 



" / want you- to gj-ow up good countjy gentlemen, doing 
your duty to yo7ir Sovereign^ your country and neighbours, 
rich and poor, and fitlfilling all the obligations of your 
station, and versed in all those pursuits and occupations 
which make a country life so pleasant and happy.'''' 



LONDON 

VINTON & CO., Ltd., 
8, Bream's Buildings, Chancery Lane, E.C. 



ilCOz 



PREFACE. 



These Notes on Hunting, primarily written for 
and dedicated to his grandchildren by Lord North, 
were only intended for private circulation, but the 
advice given is so sound and of such a practical 
character — in fact, just what should be put into the 
hands of every young sportsman — that they were 
felt to be worthy of a wider publicity ; and so his 
Lordship has been prevailed upon to give the 
necessary permission to publish the Notes in the 
present form. 



TO MY GRANDCHILDREN. 



W7'oxton Abbey ^ 

September, 1900. 

When I had a bad fall in 1898 and was laid up a 
long time, I put a little book together of the notes 
I had made from my own observations and what I 
had learned from experience while hunting the 
hounds myself, and from the maxims of celebrated 
old huntsmen with whom I had the advantage of 
being acquainted. These notes are only intended 
as headings to draw the attention of young sports- 
men to what they ought to know and what they 
ought not to forget. 

In a reduced form I had a few copies printed in 
the early part of this year, but some of my friends 
were kind enough to say it was too short, so I 
have restored the original text, and I now dedicate 
the little book to you, my dear grandchildren, 
because I want you to grow up good country 
gentlemen, doing your duty to your Sovereign, 
your country and neighbours, rich and poor, and 
fulfilling all the obligations of your station, and 
versed in all those pursuits and occupations which 
make a country life so pleasant and happy, when 
you have leisure to follow them. Beckford says 



vi HUNTING. 

that Hunting is the soul of a country life, so I 
want you to grow up sportsmen — not, mind you, 
sporting men — for there is a vast difference between 
a sportsman and a sporting man — the latter is 
generally a very objectionable person. 

This raises at once the question — What is 
sport ? Sport is the wit, courage and endurance of 
man pitted against the instinct, cunning, courage 
and endurance of the wild animal. 

In England, then, hunting, shooting and fishing 
are legitimate sport. 

Hunting. 

Wild Stag hunting. 

Fox hunting, 

Hare hunting, 

Otter hunting and the 

pursuit of the carted Stag. 

As for this last, though I personally agree with 
Mr. Jorrocks that you might as well " 'unt a hass," 
I include it in the list of sport because the same 
qualities are required of man, horse and, to a great 
extent, of hound, for it as in other hunting, and in 
game countries, where Fox hunting is next to 
impossible, it is distinctly desirable. Such packs 
also afford great pleasure to the residents within 
their limits, and to those professional gentlemen 
who cannot afford time to hunt with Fox hounds. 
They are also the cause of large sums of money 
being spent in the districts in which they hunt. 



TO MY GRANDCHILDREN. vii 

Shooting. 

All wild shooting. 

But though the pheasant battue requires quick 
decision and skill in shooting, I rather doubt if it 
really comes under the head of sport. Still, it is 
useful in training the mind and eye to quickness of 
decision and action. 

Fishing. 

All fly fishing, trolling, and, I suppose, sea 
fishing. 



But what we have to consider here is the grand 
old national sport of Fox hunting. 

Hunting is a science, and you must remember 
that what is a pleasure and recreation to you, is as 
serious a matter of business to the Master of the 
hounds, and his huntsman and his whippers-in, as 
law is to the lawyer, or surgery to the surgeon. 

If you study the science of hunting you will find 
your pleasure wonderfully increased and you will be 
able to form a more just opinion of huntsmen and 
their ways. 

The great outlines and rules of hunting remain 
the same, but the application of them varies with 
the countries in which hounds hunt. Thus a quick 
mode is suitable to some countries and a slower 
mode to others. 

It is therefore well to visit other packs occasion- 
ally and see what goes on there, and so improve 



viii HUNTING. 

your knowledge of the craft, but for sport, it is far 
better to stick to one pack, taking the "good and 
bad " meets as they come. Selecting " good 
meets " often ends in disappointment. 

Study the nature and habits of the fox. Study 
the points of the hound, so that you may be able to 
tell a good-shaped hound from an indifferent 
animal. Study his nature, his habits and various 
qualities. Some hounds are better at finding a fox, 
some can carry the line over dry fallows and down 
hard roads better than others. Study their pedi- 
grees and you will find these qualities are hereditary. 
Learn their names, watch them at work, and you 
will find that what to the generality of the field has 
been a dull day's sport, " a good day for hounds," 
as some call it, has been a most amusing, enjoyable 
and instructive day for you. 

To pick up the above knowledge it is of course 
necessary frequently to visit the kennel. Huntsmen 
like people who really take interest in them, to go 
and see the hounds, and I have often heard them 
regret so few people come to look at the hounds 
during the summer months. 

By visiting the kennel you will also learn a 
lot about the interior economy ; the feeding, the 
doctoring of the hounds, and endless useful know- 
ledge ; and you will be surprised to find how 
absolutely ignorant nine people out of ten are who 
go out hunting, and how the most ignorant talk 

the most. 

Your affectionate grandfather, 

NORTH. 



HUNTING 



Hunt Servants. 

Hunt servants are in a somewhat exceptional 
position. They should never forget, and gentlemen 
should always remember, that they are the Master's 
servants, and not the servants of the public. 

All hunt servants, huntsmen, whippers-in, 
kennelmen, stud^rooms, second horsemen, should 
be sober, respectable, trustworthy men, smart and 
clean in appearance, civil and well-mannered. The 
character of the hunt may be fairly judged by the 
manners and turn-out of the servants. 

A huntsman should be keen about his pro- 
fession, good-tempered, persevering and patient ; 
firm in his opinion but not conceited — conceit is 
a fatal failing in a huntsman. He should be 
thoroughly acquainted with the nature and habits 
of the fox, and with those and the diseases of the 
hound. He should be fond of his hounds and 
always with them, walking them out and playing 
with them, and let him remember Captain 
Anstruther Thomson's excellent advice, " Stay at 
home with your hounds and wear a white neck- 
cloth." In the field he should be a man of resource, 
for a fox is a wild animal and cannot be hunted 

B 



2 HUNTING. 

mathematically, and able to adapt himself to the 
circumstances of the moment and not be afraid of 
being bold when boldness is required. It is there 
that a huntsman shows his genius. 

Of course huntsmen have their talents like 
other men. Some are better in the field than in 
the kennel, and so on, so you must not expect to 
get an absolutely perfect huntsman any more than 
anything else. 

A huntsman should be a good horseman, so as 
to be able always to be with his hounds ; that is a 
good careful rider, for the art of riding to hounds 
consists in being as near as possible to hounds, with 
the least exertion and fatigue to the horse. 

It is absolutely essential, and masters of hounds 
should always remember, that huntsmen and 
whippers-in should be well and safely mounted. 
They cannot do their work properly if they are not : 
and, indeed, their lives depend on it. 

That the whippers-in should be good is of vital 
importance to the pack. 

They should study their duties and perfect 
themselves in them, both in the kennel and in the 
field, and they should study their huntsman's ways 
so as to understand and even anticipate his wishes ; 
they should always address him as ''sir," and 
should work cordially together and whip-in loyally 
to their huntsman, doing their work quietly and 
efficiently, and they should be good and careful 
horsemen. 

The first whipper-in should certainly, as a rule, 
be with the huntsman when hounds are running, 



HUNT SERVANTS. 3 

but if they get awa)^ on the side where the second 
whipper-in is posted, he should go on with the 
huntsman, leaving the first whipper-in to bring on 
any hounds left behind. On the arrival of the first 
whipper-in the second whipper-in should fall back 
again into his place. 

If by any accident the huntsman is not with the 
hounds, the first whipper-in should go on with 
them till he comes up, but he must on no account 
whatever steal the hounds from his huntsman, and 
jealously try to kill the fox without him. 

The second whipper-in's place is behind, but 
not so far as to prevent his being able to render 
the assistance his duties require of him. 

He must be careful not to leave any hounds 
behind in cover, to stop and bring on any hounds 
which may have divided on another fox, and be 
for ever " making" his hounds, so that none may 
be away unnoticed. 

It is true that generally hounds which have 
been left behind either get on the line of the pack 
and rejoin it, or trot away home ; but being left out 
leads to all sorts of mischief and trouble — they may 
be bitten by cur dogs and so introduce madness 
into the kennel, &c., &c. Nothing in short is so bad 
for a hound as being left out. 

He should hover about observing which way the 
hounds are tending, and so place himself as to be 
able if necessary to head the fox from a cover, or 
drain, view a fox coming back, get on to some point 
where he is likely to be required, and so on. In 
short the duties of whippers-in afford a wide scope 

B 2 



4 HUNTING. 

for their talents, but it by no means follows that 
an excellent whipper-in must make an excellent 
huntsman, their duties being widely different. 

The boiler should be a man in whom implicit 
confidence can be placed. 

Nothing is so upsetting to a huntsman, when 
young hounds are coming in from walk, and 
distemper and yellows may be raging, as to be 
obliged to go out hunting in mortal fear of what 
may happen in his absence. 

He should be so far acquainted with the art of 
doctoring the hounds as to be able to carry out the 
huntsman's instructions perfectly, and in cases of 
necessity to know what steps to take during the 
huntsman's absence. 

Earth Stopping. 

Earth stopping is a very important matter, and 
in these days when the number of drains has 
increased to an enormous extent, is all the more 
difficult, because land owners like their own men to 
do the stopping, and occupiers are disinclined to 
allow others than their landlord's keepers, or their 
own men to do it, and neither of those are under 
the absolute control of the hunt, though they are 
paid by it, and farmers often trust too much to 
their men, who neglect to do it. 

It is well, therefore, to keep a list of the earth- 
stoppers and their districts, and deduct something 
from their pay whenever a fox gets to ground 
through their negligence in their " stop." 



EARTH STOPPING. 5 

" Stopping " means stopping the earths during 
the night. 

" Putting to " means when it is done in the 
early morning. 

Great care must be taken not to stop the foxes 
in, and this can easily be done by a lazy or careless 
man stopping the earths too late, and great care 
should be taken to unstop them at night. 

All main and large earths should be stopped 
for the season as soon as hunting begins, and 
opened as soon as there are signs of cubs. Great 
care should be taken when thus stopping them not 
to stop any unfortunate animal in. In the spring, 
then, they should be " put to " when necessary, 
later in the morning, so as to be sure the vixen has 
returned to her home and so avoid any accident 
happening to hen 

Drains should be run with terriers and then 
stopped at the beginning of the season with stakes 
or small drain pipes (which are best) made so as to 
allow the water to run freely. Iron grates are 
often stolen. 

The Hounds. 

Form your pack according to the country in 
which it is to hunt. 

Breed from the very best blood that you can 
get, but stick to the same sort. 

Without nose hounds cannot hunt, and without 
pace they cannot catch a fox. These two things 
must therefore be combined. 

A badly shaped hound cannot gallop, and with- 



HUNTING. 



out good neck and shoulders he cannot stoop to a 
scent. 

Good straight legs, with the bone carried well 
down, good shoulders, loins and thighs, back, feet, 
chests and with plenty of room for the lungs are 
essential points. 

Breed with plenty of bone, and never breed 




A FAULTY HOUND. 

from a faulty hound, however good ; but exception 
may be made in favour of a dog whose lineage has 
been so perfect as to justify the assumption that 
the defect complained of is accidental, but special 
care must be taken that the bitch he is put to is of 
perfect symmetry and inheritor of it, and remember 
a vice cannot be bred out. 



POINTS OF A HOUND. 



Points of a Hound. 

Feet. — Round and close like a cat, a wee bit 
turned in. 

Knees. — Big and flat. To be back at the knee 
is bad. 

Foreleg. — Straight, with plenty of good bone 



«iju"'tb>15L 




sai" ^ -,T^ 



A PERFECT HOUND. 

well carried down to the foot and quite straight 
and short between the knee and the foot. Bone 
may be very big without being ponderous, for 
example, the Belvoir Weaver entered in 1906 
measures : — (Girth 34J inches, Arm 8J inches. 
Below knee 5J inches, Height 24 inches.) 

Forearm. — Strong, with plenty of good muscle. 



8 HUNTING. 

If the elbows turn out a wee bit it does not much 
matter. If they turn in it matters a great deal. 

Thighs. — Big and muscular. 

Quarters. — Round and strong. 

Hocks. — Well let down ; big, clean and strong. 
There should be great length between the hip and 
the hock. 

Stifles. — Powerful and well bent. 

Couplings. — Short, as distinct from slackness of 
back and shortness of ribs. 

Back. — Broad, muscular and flat, not chopped 
off" at the stern, which should be well filled on 
to the back. A roach back, i.e., a bent one, is 
fatal. 

Neck. — Well set on ; muscular, long, arched 
and symmetrical. 

Shoulders. — Long and sloping, well back, strong 
at the withers, which should be narrow at the top, 
muscles flat at the side. 

CJiest. — Deep and broad. 

Ribs. — Strong, and springing well from the 
back. 

Head. — Not too flat ; long, strong and refined. 
Forehead strong and long. Jaws square ; under 
jaws are bad. Lips deep and loose. In bitches the 
head should be more elegant. 

Nose. — Large and nostrils wide. 

Eye. — In the dog the eye should be bold. In 
bitches more refined, but showing determination. 

Always ascertain personally the qualities of a 
hound you propose to breed from, and be sure he 
is good in his work and has plenty of tongue. 



POINTS OF A HOUND. 9 

The Dam is of quite as much importance as the 
Sire, even more so, for she g-enerally imparts all 
the good qualities of her blood more than the dog. 

Never breed from, or keep a hound because of 
his good looks only, and never breed from a mute 
hound. 

Do not be in a hurry to draft a young hound 
because he does not enter well the first season ; 
many such hounds turn out excellent hounds in 
the end. 

Some hounds become jealous, and so sometimes 
take to running mute. 

A babbler, a laggard and a skirter, are as bad 
as a mute hound. Draft them at once. 

Treatment and Training of Hounds. 

A puppy at walk should have plenty of good 
nourishing food ; but he should not be allowed to 
get too fat, as it is apt to make him crooked, 
and if distemper should attack him it will go all 
the harder with him. He should have full liberty 
and never be tied up. 

Give instructions that on the first sign of 
distemper a dose of castor oil is to be given at 
once and the huntsman informed. 

Puppies with distemper should be kept clean 
and warm, but with plenty of fresh air ; keep them 
out of draughts. 

Mr. Vyner in his " Notilia Venatica" recom- 
mends the following pills. I have found them 
excellent as a tonic after distemper. They make 



10 HUNTING. 

up rather large, but can be divided and two pilk 
given instead of one. 



Quinine 


. 24 grains 


Gentian powder . 


i oz. 


Bark powder .... 


ij oz. 


Cinnamon powder 


I J drachms 


Sulphuric acid 


8 drops. 



To be made up into 8 pills with syrup, one to be 
given every morning fasting. 

Feed your hounds each one according to his 
constitution, and so that they may run well 
together. 

Feed cold and thick ; but after hunting- luke- 
warm, with a moderate quantity of flesh, but the 
less the better and be very careful indeed about the 
broth, which is apt to turn sour if left in the copper. 

Take care your oatmeal is good old meal. 
New meal ferments and makes hounds purge. It 
should be thoroughly well boiled and become as 
hard as a rock after being poured into the coolers. 

In summer feed thin, plenty of vegetables, 
young nettles, &c., should be given, and sometimes 
use biscuits instead of oatmeal for a change. 

Don't wash your hounds, use brushes and hair 
gloves. As your young hounds come in from walk 
keep them separate from the pack and watch them 
carefully in case of any infection or rabies. Round 
them and physic and dress them in due time, and 
get the couples on them as soon as you can and 
walk them out on foot till they are ready to go to 
exercise with the pack. 



TREATMENT OF HOUNDS. ii 

Keep your hounds light and strong. The great 
art is to convert flesh into well-developed muscle. 
Keep their skins loose, and their coats clean, shiny 
and glossy. 

Give your hounds plenty of long steady exercise 
during the summer and show them all sorts of riot. 
Go out as early as possible in the morning, and 
have them in good working condition before 
cub-hunting. 

A huntsman should never rate or strike a 
hound. 

A whipper-in should always correct a hound on 
the spot. If he cannot get at him at the moment, 
he should wait till he repeats the fault and then 
correct him sharply. 

He should take care how he strikes a hound 
amongst others, as he may strike the wrong one. 

It is no use damning a whipper-in if things go 
wrong, it will only confuse and very likely irritate 
a man who is doing his best. Speak to him 
seriously and point out his mistakes to him on the 
first opportunity while going home. 

Never hurry your hounds in going to covert 
or returning home ; 5 miles an hour is about the 
pace. Let them have plenty of reasonable 
freedom. Nothing looks so bad as a pack of 
hounds whipped up close to a huntsman's heels. 

In going from covert to covert, and indeed 
when hounds are not running, avoid riding over 
seeds and wheat, &c., and breaking down fences 
and gates. 

Whippers-in should " make " their hounds on 



12 HUNTING. 

every possible occasion ; prevent their picking up 
bones, and see if any are lame. 

We know no more about scent than we did lOO 
years ago. It depends on the state and nature of 
the soil, and the state of the atmosphere, and 
therefore is subject to rapid variations, and I think 
also on the fox itself. 

Cub-Hunting. 

Some people now-a-days advertise their cub- 
hunting meets, but I think it is a bad plan, because 
cub-hunting is for the instruction of the young 
hounds, and the fewer people you have out with 
you, at any rate during the earlier stages of it, the 
better. It may, however, save a little trouble in 
sending round to the landowners and farmers where 
you are going, and who of course must be informed. 

In cub-hunting remember that not only your 
young hounds have to be trained, but your two and 
three year old hunters, in which the pack should 
always be strong, have to be looked after and kept 
up to their work, which is of the greatest possible 
importance to the pack. 

It is better not to take hounds into thick big 
woodlands until the undergrowth has fallen a bit. 
Hounds cannot so well, until it has fallen, force 
their way through it, the heat chokes them. They 
get dispirited and exhausted, and in well-rided 
woods young hounds may take to skirtling. 

In cub-hunting rout out your litters well. Let 
your hounds find their fox themselves, and when 



CUB-HUNTING. 13 

they find keep quite quiet. This applies also to the 
whippers-in. Let them stick to him and let the 
others go. The more cubs you kill the steadier 
will your young hounds be, but do not murder a 
lot of foxes in one place. A brace of well-killed 
cubs will do your hounds more good than a dozen 
mopped up ones. It is better to return another 
day and kill a brace more if it is necessary. It is 
best always to draw those places where you know 
there are litters. If cubs go to ground, dig them. 
It teaches your young hounds to mark them to 
ground. 

In an enclosed country never let them into the 
open till nearly the end of cub-hunting, because 
whippers-in cannot get to them readily and they 
may get into mischief. When you do let them go, 
if they get on the line of an old fox, do not stop 
them if you desire to do so, till they get to some 
natural obstacle, such as a park wall, or throw 
up of themselves. Stopping them is likely to 
discourage them. 

Teach your hounds to trust to themselves, and 
when you do assist them do so in such a way that 
they do not perceive it. It is a pitiful thing to see 
hounds staring up helplessly at their huntsman the 
moment they get into difficulties. 

You must, of course, encourage hounds, but 
mind how you do it. With too much encourage- 
ment, you may make them speak to anything or 
nothing at all. 



14 HUNTING. 



Drawing Coverts. 

In drawing big woods and coverts, draw up 
wind, or on a side wind, your second whipper-in 
should be handy to you, down wind, that he may 
hear what is going on and stop to you quick when 
necessary — your first whipper-in should be forward, 
but not too forward ; you can use your second 
horseman to watch particular points. When 
hounds are drawing whippers-in should be silent. 

In drawing small places, whether gorses or 
spinnies, make as much noise as you can to prevent 
chopping a fox. Drawing down wind gives a fox a 
better chance of getting on his legs. If you are 
drawing a succession of small breaks, send on your 
second horsemen, or people you can trust to view 
away any fox that may be disturbed in those which 
are further off. 

After a stormy wet night gorses are more 
likely to hold a fox than breaks, on account of the 
drip. 

Use your horn as little as possible. In a big 
wood you can use it more freely and have a 
particular note to tell them when you are away 
with a fox. They will fly to it. Do not blow your 
horn behind hounds unless you want to stop them. 
It is well also to have a particular call for the 
second horseman. 

It is said you should not leave a covert while a 
single hound remains in it. This may be carried 
too far and teach your hounds to hang. If hounds 



DRAWING COVERTS. 15 

are inclined to hang, keep moving on blowing them 
out. They will come to you sooner than if you 
stand still. Do not allow a hound to be struck or 
rated on coming out of cover. If you do he will 
only hang the more next time. 

It is better not to draw a big strong cover late 
in the afternoon, and indeed, it is better not to draw 
so late that you may be obliged to stop your 
hounds. When you do stop hounds from their fox 
make as much of them as you possibly can ; stopping 
them always discourages them. 

When hounds have been running hard in cover 
for some time and throw up, then is the moment to 
look out for him to break away. Most likely they 
have been too close to him for him to do so. But 
if he breaks, unless he is very beat, let him go. 
They will kill him quicker in the open. 

When a fox breaks away he should not be 
holloa'd till he is fairly gone. It is well to see him 
safe in the next field before holloaing him ; a holloa 
may turn him back if given too soon, and foxes 
sometimes go out for a field and run back under the 
fence again. Don't holloa a fox over a ride in 
covert till he is well over it, you are likely to turn 
him back by so doing. 

If you want a fox " held up " in cover, the 
whippers-in should stand well out in the field and 
tap with their whips against their boot or saddle. 
If he is to hold a fox in a particular quarter of a 
cover he must tap with his whip, but not shout, 
especially if hounds throw up, or he will get their 
heads up. 



i6 HUNTING. 

When gone away, the second whipper-in must 
see no hounds are left behind. If any are left, he 
should bring them on as quickly as possible, but 
without noise. In stopping hounds he should get 
to their heads, stop and rattle them back. Riding 
after them, cracking his whip and bawling is of 
no use whatever. If he has to turn hounds, after 
he has done so he must not then ride after them 
rating them, or he will drive them over the line, 
and in no case must he get between the hounds 
and the huntsman. 



Gone Away. 

Get away as quickly as ever you can with your 
fox, but if you have only a few hounds with you, 
stop them till the body comes up. If the body is 
tied to another fox, go back to it with the hounds 
you have got. 

It is very often better and quicker to go and 
fetch your hounds than to stand blowing your 
horn and holloaing outside a covert. It is best to 
get up wind of them, blow them out, and then lay 
them on the line. 

When hounds are running keep your eyes well 
forward to see what is likely to bring on a check 
and be prepared for it. 

Watch your leading hounds and if you see them 
turn their heads, remember it, as if a check quickly 
follows and the field is pressing on them, that is 
very likely the place where he turned. The tail 



GONE AWAY. 17 

hounds will often tell you how far they have carried 
the line. 

If you see a sheep dog or cur dog running back 
to where the hounds have thrown up, you may be 
pretty sure he has run your fox. 

If once a fox turns down wind he rarely ever 
turns up again. 

In hunting a fox, never be in a hurry and never 
dawdle. Remember a fox is always moving. Make 
up your mind what you have to do and do it 
quickly and quietly, and always remember what 
really is " forward," that is, what his point really is, 
and from which he has been driven from some 
cause or other, and which he is sure to make if 
he possibly can. This I think is especially the 
case in the spring, when there are travelling foxes, 
also after a long frost or snow. 

Checks are brought about either by the scent 
failing, by the fox having been headed and driven 
off his line by something or other, by being run by 
a dog, or by the field having ridden the pack off 
the line. 

Let your hounds alone, and never cast them till 
you see they cannot recover the line by themselves. 

When you do cast them, cast them well in front 
of you. This is not so easy as it seems. Hounds 
and huntsman must have great mutual confidence 
in each other, and the huntsman must be free 
from all pressure from behind. The late Lord 
Willoughby de Broke and Tom Matthews had this 
power over their hounds to an extent I have never 
seen in others except old George Beers. On a good 

C 



i8 HUNTING. 

scenting day and on good scenting ground cast 
them quickly. On bad scenting days and bad 
scenting ground cast them more slowly. 

The hounds nine times out of ten will have 
cast themselves up wind and have indicated by the 
way they swing themselves which way your fox 
turned ; but whether he turned to the right or to the 
left, it is almost a certainty that he turned down wind. 
If therefore they do not pick up the line by them- 
selves, prolong their up wind unaided cast, just to 
satisfy yourself he has not gone up wind, and then 
cast them down wind without loss of time. 

Make your casts wide enough and over the 
best scenting ground you can find. 

Remember your fox may have got in somewhere 
inside your circle. 

It is well to remember that a fox will pass over 
earths that are open and then change his mind and 
turn sharp back to them. 

Do not make any fancy casts until you have 
made all the orthodox ones. 

While casting whippers-in should leave the 
hounds quite alone. They are often too fond of 
interfering with them. Nothing sounds so bad as 
" Let 'em alone, Bill." 

Be cautious before going to a holloa. With 
most people every fox they see is the hunted fox. 
They will sometimes holloa because they see the 
hounds, sometimes because they saw the fox an 
hour ago. It is therefore often the quickest way in 
the end to send a whipper-in, or some one you can 
really trust, to make sure the holloa is a true one, 



GONE AWAY. 19 

that the man holloaing is doing so where he saw 
the fox, to ascertain for certain in what direction 
the fox was travelling, and how long it is since he 
saw him, and remember that generally they ex- 
aggerate the time, also that a fox nearly always 
turns as soon as he is lost sight of 

If you do decide on going to the holloa, go as 
quick as ever you possibly can, but do not start off at 
a mad gallop holloaing and blowing your horn ; if 
you do you will get your hounds' heads up, and 
when you want them to hunt they will be looking 
up at you, and be careful of running heel, when you 
lay them on. 

Lord Henry Bentinck, referring to a huntsman 
galloping off with his hounds flogged up to him, 
remarks : " Often enough in being whipped up in 
this way to their huntsman, when crossing the line 
of the fox with their heads up, they first catch 
his wind and then as a matter of course they must 
take the scent heel-way, the fox as a rule running 
down wind." 

Avoid " lifting " your hounds as a general rule. 
Sometimes, however, it is necessary to do so. For 
instance, you get on to a bit of very bad scenting 
ground, and are getting further and further behind 
your fox ; the pack can hardly work out the line, 
and you are virtually at a standstill. There is 
better scenting ground some fields beyond, and it 
is necessary to get on to it as soon as possible. 
Stop your hounds altogether, and take them 
quickly but quietly to the point you wish to lay 
them on at, but if that point is not far off, or sheep 

C 2 



20 HUNTING. 

or cattle are the hindering cause, then it is better 
to press them on than to " lift " them. 

Sometimes when a fox runs into a small covert 
huntsmen stop their hounds and hold them round 
it on the chance that he has gone through it, and 
so save a few minutes. It is far better to let them 
hunt him through it. You may change foxes or 
another fox may go away with your hunted fox and 
there will then be two lines, and so on. If, how- 
ever, the manoeuvre is adopted, let your whippers-in 
keep a sharp look-out that your hunted fox does not 
slip back. 

With a sinking fox and he running short, do not 
get excited, let your hounds work it out. Get their 
heads up and you will lose him. 

With a sinking fox, unless you are getting very 
close to him, if the scent appears to get better take 
care you may not have changed foxes, because the 
scent of a sinking fox is weaker than that of a fresh 
one. 

Old hounds know this, therefore watch them 
well. If they hold back you have changed foxes. 

If a fox gets to ground always cast carefully 
round to be certain he is really there. He may 
have tried the place — gone in for a moment and 
come out again — or gone right through. Through 
neglecting this precaution some extremely ludicrous 
scenes occur. 

If a beaten fox goes to ground it is better to dig 
him out if you can. People say, " Oh, spare a good 
fox for another day," but he will most likely die 
under ground. 



GONE AWAY. 21 

It is useful sometimes to dig a fox for the good 
of the hounds, especially if they are short of blood, 
but the frequent digging of foxes is likely to en- 
courage loafers to unstop drains, &c., in order to 
earn a few shillings. 

Always let your hounds have a good worry 
when they kill their fox. 



22 HUNTING. 



GENERAL NOTES. 

Mr. Jorrocks says " It Is clearly the duty of 
every man to subscribe to a pack of 'ounds even if 
he has to borrow the money." The late Mr. T. 
Drake, speaking of a certain gentleman, rem_arked, 
" He doesn't know the rudiments of hunting. He 
doesn't know how to subscribe." It stands to 
reason that those who hunt should subscribe 
liberally to those packs with which they take 
their pleasure. The Secretaries of neighbouring 
hunts should combine to prevent niggards from 
shirking their duties. 

Gentlemen should always turn out properly 
dressed for hunting. It is an insult to the master 
and the hunt in general not to do so. 

The present fashion of turning out second 
horsemen in a sort of mufti which makes them 
look like third-class helpers in a livery stable is 
most objectionable. If a gentleman can afiford a 
second horse, he can afford to dress his servant 
properly, that is in livery. 

There are three hints with regard to riding to 
hounds which are often forgotten. 

Take care at a fence to give the man in front of 
you plenty of room in case he should fall. 

If you want to wake your horse up on nearing a 
fence remember that the spur is likely to stop him 
and put him out of his stride, therefore apply it 



GENERAL NOTES. 23 

some strides from the fence, press him with your 
legs and keep his head straight. 

In riding at a fence in company always keep a 
fair interval between you and the next man, 
especially if on the left-hand side of him, for horses 
generally, if they refuse, run to the left, and you 
then will avoid a collision. 

In going to cover, gentlemen should always 
avoid doing damage by riding over seeds, wheat, 
&c., and should never disturb a cover Hkely to be 
drawn in the course of the day, by going through 
or near it. Motor-cars have come into general use 
since these notes were made. If you use one for 
going to cover always slow down when passing 
horses led or ridden ; always stop at least a mile 
from the meet, and never allow your car on any 
pretence whatever to follow the hounds. 

Gentlemen should never talk to a whipper-in 
when on duty, and avoid assembling behind him 
when watching a ride in covert. Conversation is 
sure to ensue, which is certain to take off his 
attention from what he is doing, prevent his 
hearing what is going on, and very likely head 
the fox back or cause him to let the fox cross 
unobserved. 

Gentlemen should never ride amongst the 
hounds, nor should they ride too close to hounds 
when going from covert to covert, and when 
running should never press on them so as to drive 
them over the scent. Many a time what might 
have been a good run has been ruined by this, nor 
should they follow a huntsman about when casting, 



24 HUNTING. 

but stand perfectly still. When a fox is being 
broken up they should keep their horses well away 
from the hounds. The smell of blood excites them 
and causes them to kick at the hounds. 

Gentlemen should watch hounds closely, and 
see and learn what they are doing ; many fancy 
they are on the line again when they are really 
only casting themselves forward, and begin to 
niggle on, which interferes greatly with the cast and 
is most irritating to a huntsman. 

If a gentleman is wide of the pack and sees the 
hunted fox and the hounds are on the line and 
within sight, he should not holloa, but wave his hat. 
If he lays down, let him be. 

If they are at a check and well within hearing, 
he should stand exactly where he saw the fox and 
holloa and wave his hat, but he must be very 
careful not to ride the fox. If they are out of 
hearing he should mark the place exactly and go 
and tell the huntsman as quickly as possible. 

Gentlemen, especially strangers, should always 
treat the farmers with courtesy. They are as a 
body most excellent, kind, hospitable men, who 
walk the puppies admirably, are always glad to see 
hounds, and even when they do not hunt them- 
selves do all they can to promote the sport, and it 
is through them that hunting flourishes. 

Gentlemen who do not farm themselves should 
purchase their forage from the neighbouring farmers 
if possible. I say if possible, because often farmers 
do not grow the necessary quality of oats. When 
possible, too, they should buy their horses from the 



GENERAL NOTES. 25 

farmers. It is by these means that hunting benefits 
the farmers. 

Enormous sums are spent in hunting which 
would be spent elsewhere were it not for hunting, 
and though some people cry out and say they get 
but little good out of it, still the whole country 
most certainly does reap the benefit, and in all 
sorts of ways profits by hunting, and would soon 
find out the loss were it given up. Hundreds of 
hunting men subscribe to Agricultural Societies, 
Horse Shows, etc., in counties with which they are 
in no way connected, except that they come and 
hunt there, and I would beg of them always to 
subscribe to the Royal Agricultural Benevolent 
Institution. 

A cheery word of good morning or good 
evening and a sixpence for services rendered goes 
a long way with the foot people out hunting, and 
these too can be of the greatest help and assistance 
to the hunt. Depend upon it, the more you keep 
in with them the better it will be for you. They 
are quite as keen as you are about the sport, and 
Masters should do all they can to encourage the 
good feeling and never disappoint them by meeting 
at one place and going off to draw at another. 

I would recommend young gentlemen to 
remember the following lines. The rhymes are 
perhaps imperfect, but the advice is excellent : — 

If jyou happen to think that the huntsman is wrong, 
And imagine yo?i know where bold Reynard has gone, 
Keep that thought to yourself^ for the language is strong 
That's addressed to the young British sportsman. 



26 HUNTING. 



HINTS FOR SECOND HORSEMEN. 

A second horseman should always be a steady, 
sober, trustworthy man, a good horseman, smart in 
appearance, sharp and quick-witted, should always 
think what he is about and keep his head on his 
shoulders. 

He has special care of the horses which are to 
hunt that day, and in company with the head groom 
and the farrier, see that the shoeing is all right, 
that the horses are properly turned out, and that 
the saddles, bridles, etc., are properly put on, and 
the girths and safety bars in safe and proper order. 

He should never be behindhand, but start in 
good time. Five-and-a-half miles an hour is about 
the best pace to travel at. He must not dawdle 
along, and on no account whatever stop at a Public 
House on his way to cover. Nothing looks so 
disreputable as a second horseman drinking on the 
road. 

In going to the meet and returning home he 
should avoid riding over seeds and wheat and 
doing other damage, and on no account pass 
through or disturb a covert likely to be drawn 
that day. 

If a horse should fall lame, and he cannot detect 
on which leg, he should trot the horse, which will 
most likely toss up his head as he puts down the 
sore leg or foot. 

On arrival at the meet, he should get his horses 



HINTS FOR SECOND HORSEMEN. 27 

into a stable or stackyard, get them to stale, 
examine their feet all round, get them tidy, and see 
to their girths, etc. 

He should keep a look-out for his master, so 
that on his arrival he may not have to look for his 
horses. 

He should communicate any instructions the 
groom may have given him regarding the horses, 
especially if his master has been away from home, 
and tell him how the horses came to covert, if they 
coughed, etc. 

He must remember that the master of the 
hounds is supreme in the field, and obey any 
instructions he may receive from him. 

He should remain with the hunt second horse- 
men, and keep to the bridle roads and lanes, 
carefully shut all gates behind him, and never jump 
his horse if he can avoid doing so. 

He should come up to his master when a fox is 
killed or run to ground, taking care never to ride 
into the pack. He should keep his eye on his 
master at a check, if the second horses happen to 
be near enough, that he may see if he is wanted. 
By keeping with the hunt second horses he will do 
less damage and his master will find him more 
readily. 

He should learn the country thoroughly, the 
names of the villages and coverts and their positions, 
the roads, lanes and bridle roads. Experience will 
soon teach him the probable run of a fox, and let 
him remember that a fox which has once turned 
down wind rarely turns up wind again. 



28 HUNTING. 

He should bear in mind the three following rules, 
though they apply more especially to hunt servants 
than private second horsemen. 

1. If he sees the hunted fox and the hounds are 
on the line and in sight, he should stand still and 
wave his hat. If he lays down, let him be. 

2. If they are at a check and well within sight 
and hearing, he should holloa and wave his hat ; he 
must take care not to ride the fox, but note exactly 
where he saw him and in which direction he was 
travelling. 

3. If they are too far off to hear his holloa, he 
should carefully mark the place and go at once as 
quickly as possible and tell the huntsman. 

He should get his horse to stale whenever he can. 

Never give a heated horse cold water or let him 
stand in the cold ; it is apt to bring on colic. 

When he is sent home when hounds are drawing 
a covert, he should wait till they have gone away 
for fear of heading the fox or doing other mischief. 

He should travel home at an easy pace, not slow 
enough to allow a horse to get a chill, nor fast 
enough to tire him, but he must not dawdle. 

He should ride on the grass by the side of the 
road when it is not deep. If it is deep, then, on 
the side of the road. If the horse is tired, the road 
itself is the best ; anyhow, always keep on the road 
when it gets dark. 

If he puts his horse up at an inn, he should 
throw the rug over him inside out, for fear of 
ringworm, &c. 

When he puts a horse up, he should loosen his 



HINTS FOR SECOND HORSEMEN. 29 

girths, take off his bridle, give him some chill 
water, that is very lukewarm water ; that is better 
than gruel, which is apt to turn sour, and give him 
a bit of good old sweet hay. On no account give 
him hay which is at all musty. A few handfuls of 
good oats are better than that. Pick up his feet 
and examine them all round and get him to stale. 
Some horses stale better after having had their 
drink. Ten or fifteen minutes is quite long enough 
to stop. 

On arrival home report at once to the groom 
what the horses have done, whether it has been a 
hard day or not : if they have coughed or fallen 
lame, hit themselves or been down, and if he has 
put up, and where. 



30 HUNTING. 



POULTRY CLAIMS. 

The claims sent in for loss of poultry have 
become a very serious question in hunting finance. 
Were you to see the enormous number sent in you 
would imagine all the poultry in the Empire was 
hatched and reared in your country, and all the 
foxes in England were collected in it to devour 
them. No doubt the majority of these losses are 
bond fide losses, but people forget that poultry have 
other foes than foxes. Disease, cats, dogs, rats 
and other vermin, to say nothing of two-legged 
foxes, are often the real culprits. But if they lose 
poultry they put it all down to " the fox " without 
enquiry. Many, too, are utterly careless about 
shutting up their fowls at night, which, of course, 
is exposing them to almost certain destruction. I 
regret to say, too, that there is a class of man in 
every country who desires to get a certain sum out 
of the hunt and sends in claims, expecting only to 
get a certain proportion. These claims are gener- 
ally fictitious, and fowls are charged for that have 
never been in existence at all. I have heard of 
men who, on taking a new farm, have calmly asked, 
" How much can be made out of the hunt .'' " Great 
care is therefore necessary in dealing with these 
claims, which should be at once investigated, and, if 
just, paid promptly. 

Foxes are often accused of killing lambs. 



POULTRY CLAIMS. 31 

Sometimes they do, but it is very often, indeed, 
that the real culprit is the shepherd's own dog. 
Shepherds often give the dead lambs to their dogs, 
and hence the mischief. One of the uses of 
advertising the meets is to enable farmers to know 
when to expect hounds, and so shut up their sheep 
and stock and prevent any accident which might 
possibly occur through hounds running through 
them. 



Webster Famiiy Library of Veterinary Medicine 
Cummings Schooi of Veterinary Medicine at 
Tufts University 
200 Westboro Road