Monday, May 21, 2012

Different kinds of foxhunting!

I lived with a foxhunter for 60 years. In his last years he was not able to hunt but it was in his blood through and through.
                               Elbert out by the barn with one of his hounds

His style of hunting was the ordinary 'country' kind, the men turning their dogs loose to track a fox (red, usually) while they sat around a campfire drinking black coffee and listening to the dogs bark.

                                                     A Red Fox

The conversation often ran like this:

hunter 1: 'I believe that's my Susie out front'.
hunter 2: 'I think you're right Sam. She has a high pitched squeal you just can't miss.'
hunter 3: 'Wait, guys. My Tomcat is about to catch up...... Listen.' (the voices grow silent as the men turn their ears in the direction of the dogs running) 'yep, he's in the lead now. I could tell that deep whoop of his anywhere.'

And, so it went. The dogs almost never caught a fox. My husband said that the dogs he owned had never killed a fox. It was never about killing an animal. It was the sport of whose dogs ran the best.  

                                               Riding to the hounds

There are other types of foxhunting... the kind where the hunters dress in traditional hunting attire (hunting pants, red jackets, black boots), mount fancy horses and the dog heads out in search of the scent of the fox. It is quite the social event where both women and men participate. Most women do not like sitting around a campfire, swatting mosquitos during the summer, freezing during the winter. It certainly was not my 'cup of tea'. But, the social aspect of riding to the hounds holds an interest for many women. If you remember, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, was an avid foxhunter who rode to the hounds.

I had never seen a 'riding to the hounds' hunter in person myself. Imagine my surprise one day as a bunch of us loaded into our car to have a family dinner out and there by the side of the road near 'Four Square', an early 19th century plantation, were several hunters. Of course, I was crammed into the middle of the back seat and the only picture I got was this awful shot..... out the back window!!

                                    Hunter in front with red jacket - two other hunters follow.
A bit further down the road, the rest of the hunters were already at the barn dismounting their horses, getting them ready to load into trailers for a ride back to wherever they had come from.

This post is linked to Our World Tuesday



  1. I am having issues with my computer, so two of your photos didn't come up. I don't know why, but this has been going on for over a week now! I just can't figure out what could be causing it. I get maybe half the pictures people post! :-(

    LOVED this post, though! The picture of Daddy just made me SMILE! And what fun to see the foxhunters and their horses! Wow, Mom!

  2. Sweet pictures and memories.....aren't we blessed to have them!!!

  3. Latane, you just get better and better! This is very interesting! There are horse farms all around here and they have fox hunts. I have seen the men and women in their red jackets and black hats unloading their horses. I like the pic of Elbert and his dog.

    Hope you are have a nice spring.


  4. This is a post I'll have to show to Jeep! He will understand and appreciate it as he used to raise foxhounds to sell. Of course, he also was a fox hunter. Very interesting post!

  5. Interesting post about Fox-Hunting... I was aware of both ways of doing it ---but love the old country way the best!!!!!


  6. Oh Latane, this is SO Cool! I can hear the "hounds" now!

  7. That must be the life, riding in the fresh air, everything tinged with excitement. No fear of falling off the horse and breaking something, just getting out there and doing it. In my dreams...and in my reading. I'll never forget readiing the Marguerite Henry horse stories. She made it all so real I felt as if I were right there in that little buggy/trap? behind the horse. It was exciting.

    Maybe I would be a good candidate for the campfire wives club of fox hunting! except for the mosquitoes...

  8. Where I grew up, there were many hunters like your dad. This post made me smile. I've just adopted a new puppy that's supposed to be border collie/husky/aussie but this guy was saying he saw hound in him. Asked if he was an "ARoooo" barker or yipper?

  9. That's an interesting post - foxhunting is something I've never thought of trying. We have foxes in my area.

  10. Welcome to Barn Charm =)

    Beautiful barns & horses, both favorite photography subjects for me!

    Thank you much for joining =)

  11. What an interesting post!
    It's nice some fox hunting is just listening where nothing is harmed. :)

  12. This is interesting. I've heard and read about fox hunting, but I don't think there has ever been any around here. If there has it's the kind where the men sit around the campfire and let the dogs do the hunting.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog and your nice comment.

  13. My husband kept coon hounds for years and hunted coons -- it's a guy thing for sure. Wonderful photos! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. Much appreciated.

  14. I love reading your posts and recognizing the name of a nearby place! Four Square is just "up the road"!
    They've also had fox hunts on the grounds at Bacon's Castle, but I've never been there to witness one. I can imagine it's very impressive.

  15. And that anonymous comment prior to this one - was mine. (Fingers hit the wrong keys!)

  16. Wow! Real hunters on horseback. I thought that was a thing of the past. Thanks for stopping by at my barn. Enjoy the weekend.


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