Saturday 7th September 2019, Cotswold Vale Farmer’s Hunt – Norton Court Farm, Prior’s Norton.
A very early kennelwatch meant a 4am start. They were blatantly cub hunting at the first covert using the tactic of holding up.
For those not aware “holding up” means surrounding a small wood or field of maize with people on foot and horse, shouting and making a noise (such as clapping, slapping the saddle, etc) in order to terrify cubs back into the hounds. Braver cubs and adults will flee.
Those who are more likely to panic will get killed by the pack.
It was an ideal place to use a couple of holloas (voice calls) and so a sab’ at the first draw did so and this seemed to befuddle the young hounds, slowing them down a bit. The new huntsman, Matthew Vater, took them away from the covert.
Not long after this the terriermen chased a cub back and the huntsman returned and put the pack in where the fox had been seen. Huntsman was vociferously saddle slapping as can be seen from the film!
Hounds were later stopped from hunting a fox by rating and cracking a whip. They were taken to where 2 lead hounds were hunting on a line and the pack picked up but put up a deer instead. They were stopped again by a sab’. The hunt then packed up.
Another group were seen monitoring from the A38 from later on in the day so the hunt were covered from both sides at that point.
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