Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Fox-hunting, as a sport, has been carried on for about 200 years. Before that time foxes were treated as vermin. [Fox.] They were driven into nets or run to earth and dug out. A certain Mr. Roper seems to have been the first "huntsman." He managed a pack of foxhounds for the Duke of Monmouth and Lord Grey, and afterwards, with the Duke of Bolton, owned another. His death, in 1715, actually took place in the hunting-field Among the earlier established hunts were the Charlton, the Brocklesby, and the Sinnington, The Belvoir pack dates from 1740, and the Pytchley from 1750; and Sir Philip Jennings hunted foxes in the New Forest about the same time. In early days the hunting "countries" were much larger than at present, one of them (the Berkeley) extending from Bristol to London. Hounds used to meet soon after daylight and track the fox by means of the line he had taken on returning from his search for food. The time of meeting is now usually about 11.0 a.m. The fox is drawn from cover, has a little time to get away before the halloo is given by the whipper-in, and is then run. Much depends on the "scent," which is very uncertain. A hunt consists of a master, or committee; a huntsman, who, if he is a professional, has the management of the kennels; one or two whippers-in, a studgroom to superintend the stables, and various feeders and helpers. Gamekeepers are given a reward for stopping "earths." The Duke of Beaufort, Sir Watkin Wynn, and other masters undertake the whole expense connected with their pack; but a subscription of the hunt is more general. A special fun'd is set apart for compensation to those whose poultry have been injured by foxes. In 1889 there were 154 packs of foxhounds in England, 17 in Ireland and 9 in Wales. The cost of keeping a pack of hounds is very considerable. Cub-hunting begins soon after harvest, and regular fox-hunting lasts from about November 1st to April 1st. The sport has been introduced in India, where the Peshawur Vale hounds and those of the Maharajah of Mysore are the chief packs; in Canada (Montreal) and Manitoba, and also at the Cape, in Bechuanaland, New Zealand, and Cyprus. In Florida the fox is hunted by moonlight. There is volume on Hunting in the Badminton Library, written by the Duke of Beaufort and Mr. Mowbray Morris.