with Horse and Hound

How to Deer-Proof Hounds In a Wooded Country

fox.lge.leesAre hounds right?  /  Douglas Lees photoWith a new season approaching, and huntsman and staff seriously exercising hounds with the young entry, we thought this article on deer-proofing would be worth republishing.

An experienced foxhunter, recently appointed Master of a pack of foxhounds, recognizes that he has a deer problem. His hunting country is thickly wooded and accessible via trails. His staff is composed of an experienced amateur huntsman and honorary whippers-in. He whips-in himself, and has experienced first-hand the problems posed by the very nature of the country.

deer.leesOr are they wrong? / Douglas Lees photoThere are no discreet coverts to draw that can be surrounded by staff to stop hounds if a deer goes out. In the event of riot, staff is unable to gallop through the thick woods to get ahead of hounds and rate them. Or to even see which hound led the miscreants astray. He understands that he must first teach puppies what the proper quarry is, but he has no access to fox pens to even help him establish good habits from the start.

Thinking outside the box, he came up with the idea of using commercially available deer scent and fox scent as a tool to train hounds.

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