We arrived late at the meet but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise as the hunt had left and thought their murderous activities would go unnoticed; sadly for them, we were soon close on their tails.
We worked relentlessly to keep the hunt in our sights. The first half of the day saw the huntsman on foot attempting to work his hounds through thick coverts with us making sure he didn’t get up to any mischief. Despite the fact they would maintain that they were simply trail hunting, trails cannot be effectively laid through thick covert. And whilst they were following ‘trails’ and we were following them, a helicopter was following us as the hunt felt they needed protecting and at the taxpayers expense no less (a pricey sum of more than £1000 an hour to be in the air).
After managing to keep close to the hunt, we soon watched as they started pushing their hounds through a large area of woodland. The terriermen were close by keeping an eye on us but also waiting incase any fox was to break. Sure enough, within a few minutes a fox shot out from the covert and the hounds had soon caught it’s scent. With our hearts in our throats, we managed to get in a great position. The fox sped straight past us and we were able to ‘rate’ the hounds back to the huntsman and cover the fox’s trail with citronella spray. We, therefore, gave the fox valuable time to get away to safety. In all the years that our group has been sabbing, we have never come this close to seeing a kill first hand.
As a result of us spoiling their bloody fun, the terriermen tried throwing their weight around but we stood our ground and pushed on back in pursuit of the hunt.
For the rest of the afternoon we continued to intervene and kept the hounds from effectively hunting foxes. The stubborn hunt stayed out way past their bedtime but we were there every step of the way, but we were very much relieved when they finally packed up their exhausted hounds.