*** sabs rate hounds off two foxes * grumpy huntsman packs up at 2pm ***
It was a wet day for all as the area was water-logged but we knew the hunt would be out, so we headed out too – five of us from Three Counties Sabs, Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch and Ridgeway Illegal Hunt Watch arrived at the meet at 10am.
To be as effective as possible we quickly split up, driver on the road, a group of two inland and two others individually hidden up in different areas. On leaving the meet the hunt went to a large covert inland where the pack drew blank and moved to a smaller covert nearby. Again they drew blank so moved off again, limited as to where to go due to the flooded fields…
Hounds picked up in a small wood and a fox ran to the large covert the hunt had begun at, a sab inland rating hounds and stopping them until huntsman Philip Hague rode up and encouraged them on (after prioritising calling the sab a silly girl). Sab had given the fox a few valuable seconds to run and he was soon seen running down a hedgeline, spotted also by the whipper-in. Knowing that sab had fox on camera, hunt staff took hounds round another field and into the covert the fox had gone into from a different direction – often the hunt will ‘lift’ the pack and bring them round to where the fox has gone to pretend that they aren’t following his scent. Others were the opposite side of the covert and well placed to stop the pack if necessary.
Meanwhile there was some silliness from landowners who wanted a sab to give her name and address so that they could go and stand in her garden and accused her of hiding (in the middle of a large field) and of being aggressive, wanting her to film herself and report herself to the police… we’ll keep the footage in case anyone wishes to see the truth!
On again and across the road to Yew Tree Farm where hounds drew blank in crops used for shooting. As huntsman gathered the pack, hounds flushed a fox who darted out of the hedgeline he had been hiding in and hunt member Will attempted to block our sab filming him. She ran up the track and rated the majority of the pack, stopping several hounds and forcing hunt staff to stop the pack. No one seemed to be able to get the excuse right with Will claiming that the hunt had done what they were supposed to and stopped the hounds chasing the fox and another hunt member claiming that sab had stopped the hounds following a false scent. Huntsman drew the pack through a covert the fox had gone towards, another sab further up the track and able to intervene if needed, but they drew blank and he gave up and packed up at 2pm.
All in all a successful day and more clips may reach the internet soon, so watch this space! Support us if you like what we do – we’re currently in the market for a new camera if you have a spare few quid Paypal.me/threecountiessabs