14th January: Cotswold and Ross Harriers

We had a few days off last week with the weather playing havoc for a few hunts here and there – the lanes by the Ledbury Hunt kennels on Friday morning were a difficult drive for anyone not in a 4×4… we know!

On Saturday 14th January, some of our group met up with Welsh Border Hunt Sabs and paid a little visit to the Ross Harriers hunt while a couple of us met up with some of Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch to monitor the activities of the Cotswold Hunt who were over near Turkdean again.

Check out Welsh Border Sabs’ video here – we will share their report when it goes online, but please ‘like and share’ their page as well :)

A few weeks ago, the Cotswold Hunt blocked setts in the Turkdean area before a meet. Just a week earlier many of the same setts had been blocked by the Heythrop Hunt, and the same foxes faced being hunted once again – see the report here.

With the police having come out to unblock the sett entrances and keep an eye on the hunt, it would appear that terriermen and supporters had been asked not to block one of the setts and instead were found standing around it having conversation – a tactic seen at some hunts when the landowner does not want setts to be blocked or the hunt are worried about being caught. With people standing around the sett, foxes are unlikely to run to the sett to go to ground and escape the hounds.

We got footage of the sett and the men around it, then left before hounds drew through the wood – we didn’t want to help them do their jobs by being extra bodies in the area. The landowner came to have a word, but quickly left when confronted with questions about the sett and illegal hunting.

Hounds did not manage to pick up properly on a scent in the wood and moved on to other coverts. Supporters were heard as they holloa’d a fox (or perhaps a brace) and one sab managed to get the hounds to lift their heads when she also holloa’d (obviously away from the line of the fox) meaning they lost the scent for some time, giving the fox time to get further away.

Meanwhile, another foot team were back in the original covert, supporters having left the sett alone, and responding to another holloa from other supporters. The same fox or part of a brace (pair) of foxes? As the fox ran past them, they sprayed the line. One supporter made a show of entering the wood and pretending to lay a trail, but his efforts were wasted when the hunt then bypassed the wood completely, attempting to pick up on the scent of the fox elsewhere. They failed.

Across the A40 now and into an area where other setts had been blocked, but the scent must have been patchy as they struggled to pick up fully. So back on to, down and across the A40 they went (Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch should have footage of this). They packed up earlier than we expected, hopefully having had less of a fun day than they expected and we headed off to report a number of offences.

As always, thanks to CIHW, it’s always a pleasure to work with you. Please check out and ‘like’ their page. Please help us out with expenses (fuel normally being our highest cost) if you can at paypal.me/threecountiessabs Thank you!

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