27th October 2020 – Cotswold Vale Farmers’ Hunt

Children’s meet at Barrow

There was a trail laid (for our benefit than that of wildlife) but hounds were not interested, at all. Then Huntsman Matthew Vater went up and down drawing blank mostly round the hedgerows. At one stage hounds were encouraged on an active badger sett that has been dug out many times. They just had a bit of a sniff and left. Some deer were put up and hounds ignored them.

Then on the way back to Norton Court farm they spent a short time gathering the pack and a couple of hounds came back. The terriermen came back too and the hounds seemed very interested in their quad. And then they packed up, within 2 hours.

Another partially artificial earth/sett was checked and one entrance had hound prints on it. several entrances were freshly blocked, there were fresh boot prints, one plastic sack with bite marks on it and several entrances not blocked. This indicates that they may well have taken a fox from the sett by placing nets on the unblocked entrances. We do not know whether they succeeded in killing a fox or capturing one, or whether they just partially blocked the sett and that was it. The enthusiasm of the hounds all round the quad is concerning though and the early packup not drawing half of the coverts as is the norm.

This is also badger cull zone 1, now in it’s 8th year of culling. They started killing badgers here this year in early June. This is an active sett, interfered with in a cull zone, during the culling period.

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