Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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By the Way

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Latest Foxhunting Articles

Ware – Rattlers?

Big Sky 5Big Sky Hounds Montana Hunt Country, Photo by Gretchen Pelham

There are many commonly used phrases to warn fellow foxhunters of perils when riding outside of the arena. Such as “Ware wire!” and “Ware hole!”. Out West, there has been a worrisome increase in rattlesnake numbers during this Autumn Hunting season. The Big Sky Hounds just announced they must cancel their next hunt and will move some of their future fixtures due to increased rattlesnake activity. They had a horse and hound get bitten just this weekend. Also, a Big Sky Hounds member was recently bitten by the most venomous rattlesnake in the world, with a one-in-a-million adverse reaction. 

Some research on bites from rattlesnakes with the Center for Disease Control found estimates that between 7,000-8,000 people are bitten by venomous snakes in the United States each year, with about five or 0.07% of those people dying. Horse mortality rates from snake bites are approximately 9%, mainly with small foals or unhealthy, elderly horses. Most horses get bitten on the nose due to their curiosity. This presents the complication of nasal passage swelling to a point that prevents breathing. The mortality rate for canines bitten by snakes is about 5%. There is a preventive vaccine and an anti-venom for canines. However, both options are so expensive that they are not practical for a whole kennel of hounds. 

Fair Warning – the two stories below will have two photos of rattlesnakes.

My Dream Job

I have respected Norman Fine for so many years, and when he offered me Foxhunting Life, I jumped at the chance.  I started my foxhunting career late in life, about 20 years ago.  I discovered that I loved the thrill of the chase, the challenge of the ride, the history of the sport, and the communion with the outdoors.  Most especially, I love to travel to other hunts. And I love to write and photograph those trips.  I’ve been taking at least one cross country trip a year to foxhunt. 

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