Glossary of Hunting Terms and Instructions

“Antis” – the pro-hunt term for anti-hunt monitors or hunt saboteurs

“Artificial earth” – a false earth used to encourage foxes to live in an area

“Autumn Hunting” – the early part of the season from around August to the beginning of the main season

“Babbler” or “Babbling” – a hound who speaks when it is not hunting

“Balled up” – a coursed hare has ‘balled up’ feet when they are clogged with clay

“to Bay” – this when a terrier barks at a fox in order to bolt it, or guide the diggers. Hounds also bay, or ‘give tongue’ either whilst hunting a line or marking an earth. To ‘stand at bay’ is when the fox (or deer) turns to face the hounds at close quarters

“Beaters” – people on foot moving in a line abreast to drive a quarry animal towards guns or hunters

“Beware hole” – for riders to be careful of potholes, etc. whilst riding – also pronounced as “war ‘ole” (ware hole)

“Biddable” – hounds are said to be ‘biddable’ when they are at their most responsive, e.g. after a check

“to Bink” – when a fox crawls on to a narrow ledge on a steep crag in oder to escape hounds it is said to ‘bink’

“Bitch” – female hound (‘hot bitch’ indicates a hound in season)

“Blank” – the hunt draws blank when they fail to find a scent or put up a quarry animal from the area they were searching – the covert can be said to be ‘blank’ and the day can be called a ‘blank day’ if no quarry was found

“Bobbery Pack” – a scratch hunting pack of local dogs including hounds, terriers, lurchers, sheepdogs

“Bolt” – to force a fox out of a drain, for example

“Brace” – two foxes / hares / game birds

“Breaking up” – the tearing apart / killing of the quarry

“Brock” – a colloquial term for a badger

“Brush” – a colloquial term for the tail of a fox

“Bye-day” – an additional day of hunting not on the meet card

“Cap” – the daily charge /donation for non-subscribers

“Car please” – shouted to tell followers to let a car through

“Casting” – hounds are cast to look for the line of the quarry (the scent)

“Charlie” – along with other names such as ‘Reynard’ and ‘Tod’, the name is often used instead of ‘fox’, thought to originate from the MP Charles James Fox

“Check” – when hounds lose the scent temporarily

“Chop” – the killing of an animal without a chase

“Clapped” – when a hare stops and hides herself by flattening her body on the ground

“Country” – the land which a hunt can hunt on

“Couple” – hounds are counted in couples, so 7 couple would be 14 hounds

“Coupled” – when terriers are shackled together using a small length of chain known as ‘Couplings’. These help keep terriers under control, preventing the risk of sheep worrying or the possibility of a terrier sneaking off to go down a nearby earth. Hounds can also be coupled, especially youngsters chained to older and wiser hounds

“Coursing” – hare coursing is the pursuit of hares by two dogs; ‘coursing’ can also refer to hounds hunting without noise – if a fox is in sight, for example, and they are no longer following by scent

“Covert” – a wood or other area where a fox might be hiding up or where a scent may be picked up

“Cry” – see ‘speak’

“Cur dog” – a canine which is not a hound

“Dig-out” – the use of spades or bars, etc. to dig into an earth or sett or other hole to find a fox. Terriers are usually used to locate the fox before the dig takes place

“Dog” – male hound

“Drag” – scent left by a hare or mink or, in draghunting, the artificial scent laid

“Draw” – putting hounds into an area and moving them through to try and find a scent

“Earth” – a fox’s home in the ground, also known as a ‘den’

“Earth-stopper” – someone employed by the hunt to block or ‘stop’ earths and setts before a hunt takes place in the area

“Entered” – an entered hound is one who has completed a season’s hunting e.g. a hound or terrier would be said to be entered to fox, they are now working foxes – either hunting their line or going into fox earths

“Falconry” – the keeping and training and / or sport of hunting with falcons or other birds of prey

“Feather” or “Feathering” – when hounds are on a line but are unable to speak to it

“Field” – the mounted followers

“Field Master” – the Master in charge of leading the Field

“to Find” – when hounds ‘find’ it means they have encountered the fox and made it move on. A terrier is said to find when it stops running and begins baying at the fox (usually trapped by this point in an earth or other hole / tunnel

“Flush” – the use of dogs to cause a quarry animal to run from its cover

“Foil” – smells or disturbed ground which spoils the line of scent

“Gate please” – passed down the line to alert te last person to close a gate

“to Gather” – when the huntsman blows certain notes on the hunting horn to gather the hounds together or to signal the end of hunting for the day – to ‘blow the gather’

“Given best” – when the quarry is allowed to escape

“Gone away” – when the fox leaves his earth or cover and the chase begins

“Good morning” – used at the beginning of the day as a greeting

“Good night” – to say goodbye whenever going home (even if it’s 1pm)

“to go to Ground” – when a pursued fox no longer feels safe fleeing above ground, he will head into an earth / sett / drain / other hole to escape the hounds. This is when terriers may take over

“Harbourer” – a local deer expert employed by a stag hunt to select a suitable stag for hunting

“Headed” – when the quarry animal is made to change direction / turn back into the hounds

“Heel” – hounds are said to be hunting the heel line if they’re going the wrong way on the scent

“Her” – the hunted hare is always referred to as female

“Him” – the hunted fox is always referred to as male

“Holding up” – can refer to the positioning of hunt supporters around a covert in order to keep the foxes and hounds within the covert during cubhunting or when hounds are kept in a tight group clos to the huntsman

“Hold hard” – may be called by the Field Master to stop the Field immediately

“Holloa” – pronounced ‘holler’ it is a loud, high-pitched, sound made to indicate the sighting of the quarry. It may be emphasised by the raising of a hat or replaced by a whistle

“Horn” – used by the huntsman to control the hounds – to encourage or call back – or to signify a kill, the end of the day or to call the terriermen in

“Hounds” – all scent-hunting dogs are referred to as such

“Hounds please” – to tell followers to move out of the way

“Hunt Staff” – responsible for working the hounds (e.g. huntsman, whipper-in, etc.)

“Huntsman” – the man who hunts the hounds

“Jink” – a sharp turn made by a hunted animal to evade the hounds giving chase

“Kick on” – if a rider stops or makes way for a Master at a gate or jump and the Master says you may go on ahead

“Laid on” – when hounds are introduced to a line

“Law” – the start given to a hunted fox / hare before hounds are released on to them

“Lawn Meet” – hosts provide refreshments at this sociable type of meet

“Line” – the scent left by a quarry / laid during trail-hunting

“Locator” – a radio device used to track signals from a device attached to a terrier’s collar before going underground

“Loose horse” – shouted if someone has fallen off and the horse is running away

“Made Worker” – refers to a hound or terrier which is so experienced it can be relied upon to do its job without further training

“Marking” – ‘marking to ground’ is a term for when the hounds will indicate a fox has ‘gone to ground’ – hidden up in an earth, sett or other hole or tunnel – baying, pawing at the ground, trying to get into the hole

“Mask” – the dead fox or hare’s head

“Master” – people responsible for the running of the hunt and talking to landowners, etc.

“Meet” – where the hunt will meet before going out for the day – a ‘meet card’ is a list of dates and times for each hunt meet

“Mixed pack” – a pack consisting of male and female hounds

“Mute” – a hound which hunts without speaking

“On point” – riders who keep watch at corners or edges of coverts or ride wide to look for signs of the quarry

“Opening meet” – the start of formal hunting – the start of the ‘main season’

“Overrun” – when hounds shoot past a change in direction of the line

“Own” – hounds are said to ‘own the line’ when they pick up a scent

“Pads” – hunting term for the dead fox’s paws

“Point to point” – a day of racing over fences organised by the hunt

“Puppy” – a hound who is new to hunting that season – when weaned, young hounds will be sent off to hunt supporters to be raised, socialised and familiarised with livestock and other dogs so that they are well-behaved when hunting begins

“Puss” – hunting term for a hare

“Put up” – an animal is said to be ‘put up’ when it is frightened into running instead of remaining where it is

“Quarry” – the hunted animal

“Ratcatcher” – a tweed jacket which is the official dress for mounted followers during Autumn Hunting and for visitors to a hunt

“Rate” – when hounds are reprimanded when they stray from the pack or riot, etc. and this can be accompanied by whip cracking

“Riot” – hounds riot when they chase someone they shouldn’t do – a deer, for example

“to Run Down” – to catch a fox on open land – to exhaust and out-manoeuvre it, often after a lengthy hunt

“Season” – the time period in which hunting takes place

“Seat” – a small depression in the ground dug by a hare in which she lays. Also known as a Scrape or Form

“Sett” – a badger’s home in the ground

“Sinking” – a fox is said to be ‘slipping’ when he gets very tired

“Speak” – hounds are said to speak, not bark, when following a scent

“Stern” – a hound’s tail

“Tally ho” – a term used by the huntsman to encourage hounds on to a scent – “tally ho back” or “tally ho over” or may be called by experienced members of a hunt to indicate where the quarry has run

“Tantivying” – riding cross-country, possibly jumping, when not engaged in hunting

“Throw up” – when hounds lose the lie and check, they lift their heads and look around

“Trencher fed” – term for hounds not looked after as a pack, but who live with individuals and brought together for hunting days

“Whipper-in” – hunt staff who helps control the hounds

“to Worry” – to kill a fox by throttling it and shaking it, either below ground using a terrier or above with hounds