Many pro-hunt people seemed to claim much expertise on this incident when posted by ourselves and Welsh Border Hunt Sabs on Saturday during a Cotswold Vale Farmers’ Hunt meet. A quick run down of events follows…
The Cotswold Vale Farmers’ Hunt met in the Sandhurst area at Moat Farm Bed and Breakfast on Saturday morning. Throughout the day, no surprise here, Simon ‘Scatterpack’ French lost control of a number of his hounds, the pack split on occasion and loose hounds were being gathered up all over the local area.
Two braces (pairs) of foxes were spotted inland down by the river. One of the foxes from the first brace ran south and crossed the road in front of our sab driver whilst the other was chased north. A second brace bolted from a covert where hounds were speaking and the line continued up into the hills.
Instead of spending time drawing the coverts atop the hills, he quickly took hounds back down the other side and across country. When we caught up with him again, he was making phonecalls, whilst holding half the pack up on a double blind bend of a road, trying to find out where the rest of his hounds were.
It was at this point that we heard from our friend from Welsh Border Sabs that she had found a warm, dead body of a fox near to where hounds had been spotted and where the terrierman’s quadbike had driven through near the hills. The same area where we caught terriermen Nick Hodges and Ben Hughes last month after we believed hounds had chased a fox into a hay barn where he sought shelter. Hodges had been seen ‘slyly’ pointing out the location to Mike Smith whilst Hughes was spotted searching for the fox at the barn.
With the fox being relatively clean and still warm with what appeared to be a bite puncture wound in her throat, those who found her thought she may have been caught and killed by a single hound (there are numerous stories of single hounds over the years going off and doing their own thing whilst the rest hunt as a pack). Unsure as to what had happened, we posted what we believed could have occurred and took her body for a post mortem.
Comments in their hundreds came in on the photos, including many pro-hunters claiming that it was a clean rifle shot or a shotgun wound. With the puncture wound going into her throat, not her chest, from the front, the fox would have had to have been looking up at the shooter straight on and an exit wound would have been expected from a rifle shot. As for shotguns, there is usually more than one single entrance wound as shotguns shoot pellets.
With the post mortem results coming in this morning, it has been confirmed that it was indeed a shotgun wound. The trajectory was confirmed and the fox was shot straight on, through her throat and the pellets destroyed her neck, throat and caused severe damage to her chest area. There were post mortem bites to her face. It was confirmed that the shot must have been taken from almost point blank range.
So… an otherwise healthy fox, no injures to suggest that she had been hit by a car, for example, and was being put out of her misery, found shot at point blank range at an angle that would not make sense from a normal shooting poisition and with post mortem bites to her face.
Without accusing anyone of anything in order to avoid the inevitable complaints that we’re trying to make the hunt look bad, it would appear that she was either restrained or was backed up somewhere seeking shelter (i.e. in a hay barn between bales) and was shot at point blank range before being dragged out by a small dog and her body dumped nearby.
We will continue to talk to locals regarding what was seen on the day and may have further updates. If you have any information regarding the hunt, please contact us anytime. In the meantime, please support us if you can – paypal.me/threecountiessabs – as we pay for a lot out of our own pockets and rely much on the amazing support from our followers and friends (thank you!), RIP to the beautiful fox who was killed so horrifically and please also like and share Welsh Border Hunt Sabs as they are a great bunch of people, always a pleasure to work with.