Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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New Pro-Hunting Organization Kicks Off in UK

 tihuk1A new pro-hunting organization focuses on communicating at the grass roots level.

In the belief that a grass roots organization could do much good for foxhunting in the UK, a group of us hunting enthusiasts have formed a new organization—This Is Hunting UK. We are not in competition with the Countryside Alliance or any of the hunting associations. Quite the opposite, we seek to find ways of working together for the common good of all forms of hunting.

The essence of our mission is to communicate fully and openly, directly with the public, by providing the information they require to understand more about the conservation, cultural, social, and financial benefits that hunting provides. However, there was one key question: how to give our effort a kick start? Believe it or not, it turned out to be the anti-hunting activists who gave us just the incentive we needed.

Hazards at Howard County

When the screw holding the paddock-booted foot straight on the leg of his prosthesis broke one day out hunting, his little daughter Wendy rode up alongside, pointed at the odd way his toe was turned toward the horse’s belly, and said, “Dad!” Bob, of course, corrected the situation by reversing the foot so it pointed more or less backwards. “Dad!” said the offended Wendy. “If you’re going to be like that, I’m not going to ride with you,” and turned her pony to join the juniors at the back.

Bob continued the day pretending not to notice anything unusual and at the breakfast following, parked his foot backwards on the brass foot rail at Jason Parker’s fancy bar. Harvey Goolsby, a new member but unable to hunt that day, appeared at the breakfast with his young sons, Kyle (four) and Crispin (seven). “How was the day?” Harvey asked Bob. “Well, the hunting was pretty good,” Bob replied, “but I think I twisted my ankle,” whereupon all eyes fixed on the skewed member. Kyle and Crispin’s eyes grew large as saucers, and one can only conjecture what thoughts were racing through their heads concerning their father and the hazardous sport of foxhunting.

Old North Bridge Hounds in the Footprints of Colonial History

62560516 ONBH 190Old North Bridge Master and huntsman Virginia Zukatynski and hounds leave the Mary Martha Chapel at Longfellow's Wayside Inn followed by piper Thomas Childs, the field, and guests after the Blessing of Hounds. / Jack McCrossan photo

by Patricia Jackson

The Old North Bridge Hounds (MA) held their Blessing of Hounds on the grounds of historic Longfellow’s Wayside Inn in Sudbury, Massachusetts on October 17, 2015. The blessing took place at Henry Ford’s Martha Mary Chapel on a perfect fall day in New England under clear blue skies and beautiful fall foliage. Master and huntsman Mrs. Virginia Zukatynski, hounds, staff, members, and guests joined together and proceeded past the Inn to the chapel for the blessing.

Spectators enjoyed the sights and sounds as Joint-Master Marjorie Franko led horses and riders over the brick pathways and across the old bridge, following the music of the bagpiper. Longfellow’s Wayside Inn has a long history of hosting foxhunts on the property, including the Norfolk Hunt, the old Millwood Hounds, Myopia, and Harry Worcester Smith's Middlesex Hounds. Situated on the Boston Post Road, one of the oldest commissioned roads in the U.S., much of it built along the two-foot wide Pequot Path used first by native Americans, the Wayside Inn has the distinction of being the country’s oldest operating inn, offering hospitality to travelers along the old road since 1716.

The Wayside Inn, made internationally famous by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s book of poems, Tales of a Wayside Inn, was run by the Howe family. Longfellow visited the Inn in 1862 and his book of poems was published the following year. In it he republished his poem, “Paul Revere’s Ride,” which contains his immortal phrase, “Listen my children and you shall hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere.” Henry Ford bought the Inn in 1923, restored it, and formed the charitable trust that operates the Inn today.

Foxes

Tred fox.piferRed fox  /  Illustration by Doug Piferhe Pennsylvania Game Commission has published on its website a series of excellent Wildlife Notes on nearly a hundred species of wildlife to be found in that state. With their kind permission, Foxhunting Life earlier republished their comprehensive study of the Eastern coyote, and here we present the Wildlife Note on foxes, once again with permission, which we believe our foxhunting readers will find substantive and revealing.

Red and gray foxes are small, agile carnivores belonging to the same family (Canidae) as the dog, coyote, and wolf. Both red and gray foxes are found throughout Pennsylvania. They are intelligent predators with extremely sharp senses of sight, smell, and hearing (a fox can hear a mouse squeal from about 150 feet).