with Horse and Hound

Going Home

black.ron.portraitCumbrian foot hunter Ron Black, a purist.“I am a native Lakelander,” writes Ron Black, “with roots going back to 1700, the fourth generation to follow hounds, with ancestors who stood on the cold tops at dawn, moved the heavy Lakeland stone to free trapped terriers, and also carried the horn on occasions. Hunting will not come back in the foreseeable future, perhaps not at all, but for three hundred years hunting and the church were the central thread to many communities. This is a part of the story.”

Ron Black has been a regular contributor to Foxhunting Life with his stories of hunting in the rugged fells of England’s Lake District. Foot hunting—the only pure way to hunt, Ron insists. And this, he also insists, is his farewell story.

I sat in the lee of the big boulder and watched the rainstorm disappear down the valley. Signs of its passing were everywhere. Small runnels of water ran down the fell side, water dripped off the crag behind me, and I was soaked. Oblivious to the rain, the huntsman remained out in the open, one foot up on a small boulder, his coat open to the waist.

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