*** blocked badger setts found around meet * hunt blatantly attempt to chase fox * hunt believed to be back again the following day ***
We got a late tip-off about the Heythrop Hunt on Tuesday and headed over. They used to have their opening meet (and then their ‘posh day’ throughout the season) on a Wednesday, but changed it to Tuesday to try and avoid us several seasons ago, breaking a long tradition!
This season reports suggest that they were out on Tuesday and then again today (Wednesday) in the same area, same foxes being chased, same badger setts tampered with. Due to finding blocked setts on Tuesday, sett-checkers associated with Gloucestershire Badger Office went out to check others today… and also ran into a hunt! Meanwhile reports were received of hunt members on horses surrounding a car in a nearby area and intimidating locals trying to get to work! Police have been informed of all of the incidents. Meanwhile one of our sabs is checking setts around the Worcestershire Hunt meet in Dormston which our friends in West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs are at – both of our groups have been out several days in a row – please give them a like
We caught up with the Heythrop not long after second-horsing and a sab went inland to keep an eye on them. The hunt drew blank in coverts in an area towards Maugersbury for some time before hounds picked up on a scent and gave chase. There was some dodgy behaviour around a hedge and, whilst going to intervene / check out the location, sab inland also found blocked badger setts – others will be checking more of the area in the next few days as we know of several setts which the hunt may have blocked.
As the hunt headed up towards the road where our driver was, a fox was seen running from the area and into a field next to the road. A hunt supporter further along scared him back, maybe intentionally, maybe accidentally, and the fox ran back to the tree line he had come through, but then out into a covert the other side of the track. Hounds followed his scent on and off into the area and went into the covert, picking up the line but following it the wrong way and into the field where the hunt supporter had headed the fox.
Sab made a drama about the fox running that way so that the hunt would waste time going in the wrong direction and give the fox extra minutes to escape and, sure enough, huntsman encouraged them on. As they reached the area where the fox had turned around, they obviously lost the scent as it did not continue – huntsman Charlie Frampton took hounds further on to try and pick up on the scent once again, but going further away from the fox. Sab driver told hunt members that she had sprayed citronella there, making them think that that was why they had lost the scent.
The hunt were only out for another 40 minutes or so as it was getting late and this whole episode had taken some time. The police have been informed about their behaviour today and the blocked setts. If you have any information regarding the Heythrop Hunt (or other hunts in the area) and their activities, give us a shout on 07891 639803. If you like what we do, like and share our page and posts and, if you can support us financially, chuck us a few quid using paypal.me/threecountiessabs