Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

Subscribe RISK FREE for complete access to website PLUS
twice-monthly e-magazine.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19

Fox Hounds

The Savvy Whipper-In

whipper-in3A good whipper-in can be the decisive ingredient in turning a mediocre hunting day into a brilliant one. If you need a better authority before agreeing with my premise, how about Peter Beckford? Here’s what he had to say in 1781.

“In a country full of riot, where the covers are large, and where there is a chase full of deer and full of game....I should prefer an excellent whipper-in to an excellent huntsman.... The whipper-in, if he have genius, may show it in various ways: he may clap forward to any great earth that may, by chance, be open; he may sink the wind to halloo, or mob a fox, when the scent fails; he may stop the tail hounds, and get them forward; and has it frequently in his power to assist the hounds, without doing them any hurt, provided he should have sense to distinguish where he may be chiefly wanted.”

I recently witnessed a great example of Beckford’s “without doing them any hurt” admonition. It was just a simple thing, yet after forty-five years of hunting it still made me shake my head in admiration.

Paint Not the Porch

hounds1Karen L. Myers photo

Paint not the porch while “walking” hound puppies.
Worry not how bad the porch looks.
Look to the future, a future without hound puppies, before painting the porch.
Paint not even the porch ceiling when hound puppies are on the premises.

Even if your husband has three new partners and he wants to welcome them
And, besides, his old friend Harry Poling is retiring;
Even if he has scheduled the caterers,
And his office has sent out two hundred and fifty invitations
To a garden party at your house,
Panic not!
Paint not the porch.

'Ware Flitters!

Just had to republish Andy's story as the cubhunting season draws to a close!

andy bozdan3Huntsman Andy Bozdan at the Tennessee Valley Hunt

When I was learning to whip-in I would watch the huntsman and the way he effortlessly walked his pack out in the spring and summer. This particular spring the swallows had arrived early and would flit low across the fields in front of hounds. To my surprise he let his hounds chase them.

Keen to learn, I asked why he did not want me to turn hounds back. He said that this was their time off, and he wanted them to relax and unwind.

'Ware Flitters!

andy bozdan3Huntsman Andy Bozdan at the Tennessee Valley HuntWhen I was learning to whip-in I would watch the huntsman and the way he effortlessly walked his pack out in the spring and summer. This particular spring the swallows had arrived early and would flit low across the fields in front of hounds. To my surprise he let his hounds chase them.

Keen to learn, I asked why he did not want me to turn hounds back. He said that this was their time off, and he wanted them to relax and unwind.

A few months later we were out for our first early morning cubhunting. Hounds were held up for a few minutes at the meet and then we move off across a huge stubble field toward our first draw. Huntsman and hounds were halfway across the field when out of nowhere came several swallows flitting down and in front of hounds!