This week’s been nicely eventful so far. With the likelihood of David Redvers and the Ledbury hunt ccepting our challenge looking pretty low, Three Counties Wildlife Crime Watch took on the job of getting our fox body from February 19th to a vet for post-mortem as they and the police (and, of course, us) would like to confirm the cause of death. Cheers for that!
Then on Thursday two of us headed out to Cornwall as one of the local hunts up here, the Heythrop Hunt (recently caught trying to dig-out by the Hunt Monitors) was having a joint meet with the Cury. The Heythrop hounds would be hunted by the Heythrop huntsman Charlie Frampton and it was an event too good to miss out on!
We rocked up near the meet, dropping small teams of sabs off on foot in strategic places in view of the covert the hunt were drawing. It seemed to take a few minutes for support to realise who we were and run to let hunt staff know. Hounds were speaking as they had picked up on a scent and whipper-in and support were holding-up on the other side of the covert (who suddenly looked very worried as a team of sabs turned up). We believe they had scared the fox back in, but very soon after good ol’ Charlie was gathering the hounds and moving them on, leaving that fox alone. Since the Heythrop were convicted of illegal hunting a few years back, they have been a little wary of cameras!
Good move on his part in that fox was left alone and therefore no evidence of illegal hunting was obtained. Bad move in that he proceeded to draw blank in almost every other covert he drew throughout the day – shame about having to leave that first one alone, hey Charlie? We can’t say for sure that there were no kills – we did lose the hunt for about 30 minutes at one point and terrierman Gary Morgan was out and about, so nothing is certain, but when we were near no sabbing was actually needed after that first draw, other than putting Charlie on edge with our mere presence, cameras in hand.
We had some odd comments from landowners who kept us entertained with their views on being hairy-nippled lesbians (it’s most fun being one on a Sunday of all days apparently…) but that’s about as exciting as the conversation seemed to get with the support.
It was great to meet new people and old friends alike and see an effective use of numbers and communication between foot sab teams and vehicles. Many thanks to Kernow Hunt Saboteurs for hosting us all at the hunt and to Somerset Anti Blood Sports, Dorset Hunt Sabs, Devon Hunt Sabs and the sab who came down from Swindon Hunt Saboteurs for being a good laugh, putting us up / putting up with us and all working well together. Thanks guys!
Yesterday saw a 3C sab meeting up with Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch to visit the Cotswold Hunt – watch this space as the report will be going up separately soon.