8th February ’20 – Worcestershire Hunt

* hunt annoy local landowners, trespassing in a garden and not informing anyone that they’d be nearby *

* hunt staff spend most of the day trying to find loose hounds *

* huntsman asks sab if “there is a way out of here” while in an area they’ve apparently laid a trail *

The hunt met in Inkberrow and as soon as we got the tip-off we headed over to the area and caught up with the pack not far from Stock Green. A fox made his escape from the pack through a wildlife reserve whilst the field (mounted riders) trampled up and down a driveway and various hounds ended up on someone’s lawn…

The pack went off after another scent, slowed down by a sab rating them (telling them off) and a supporter jeered at sabs that they were ‘miles behind’ – gut feeling paid off and the pack were soon back in the same area, sabs being able to spray foxes’ lines and rate the pack. Hounds were gathered once hunt staff caught up and they moved on.

A landowner with alpacas informed hunt riders on the road nearby that his alpacas were a bit nervous around dogs after one had been attacked (he hadn’t been given prior notice of the meet) and asked them to be respectful of that – hunt rider said they would be but made no attempt to contact hunt staff to let them know. A large fox escaped through his field, loose hounds straying all over nearby fields and another hunt rider was able to inform the huntsman by phone of the foxes’ location… priorities. A sab headed inland and was able to rate the pack when they picked up the scent… huntsman arrived a few minutes later and asked the sab if there was a way out of the area (just at the bottom of the alpaca guy’s garden). He was pointed in the direction of the road and told of the location of a few hounds close to the road… they moved on.

Half of the pack picked up on another scent in a field nearby, a sab on a footpath told off for trespassing, hounds struggling through a thick hedge on to a road on a scent (clearly not a false trail) and then lost the scent. Hunt staff arrived some time later and moved the pack on (minus several stray hounds who were vaguely gathered by a single rider and who then ran in front of cars and all over the roads).

We checked a local artificial earth (inhabited by badgers) and put up a camera in case of later hunt tampering, picked up the pack (minus several more stray hounds) near the church and followed them on foot back to Little Hollowfields Farm where they had an early pack up (after waiting for a guy in a white van to drop off 4 or 5 hounds he’d picked up for them – we suggest just keeping the pack together in future or not going out if you can’t control them).

Not a bad day, we stayed with the pack through most of it and saw a couple of foxes to safety.

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