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!!
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.