Fox hunting has been around for many centuries. It is a tradition that stems back to the 1500’s where hunting foxes was an activity done by many, who used to ride horses and with the accompaniment of many hunting dogs, would proceed to hunt foxes. Presently, fox hunting has been the subject of controversy as many animal rights groups have shown their disdain of hunting animals by trying to get fox hunting and other kinds of animal hunting banned. Many people believe that animals provide humans with the necessary meat to live.
These animals are slaughtered daily and their parts are sold in markets, groceries, and other convenient sources of meat. Foxes in general may not be an ideal dish served in many cuisines; however, foxes are still the same animal as pigs, cows, and goats are. The point is: foxes are not endangered species; therefore it is okay to hunt them. Animal rights activists and pro-fox hunting believers all have their specific points and we shall leave that to the various governments to decide and judge. The fact remains that fox hunting was a tradition; therefore, we shall explore it.
Hunting foxes, like all animals, was done as a type of sport. Men were the hunters and foxes were the prey. The art of this activity required people to use horses as well as hunting dogs to go into the woods or countryside in order to hunt foxes. In this art there was a hunt staff that consisted of Masters, Huntsmen, and Whipper-in.
MastersThe Master had the job of coordinating the whole hunt. Since there were many members of the group, it was the task of the master to manage the hunt committee or group. His job was to locate foxes for the group to hunt. Another job of the Master was to lead the committee into the forest or hunting ground where he had the sole task of coordinating with whoever owned the land. Hound breeding was also another task of the Master. The Master saw to it that the hunting dogs were well-fed and well-trained.
The assistant of the Master is known as the Whipper-in. The Whipper-in, like the Master, had many tasks. Among them was to make sure that the hounds obeyed the commands of the Master. They also cared for the hounds during the hunt, making sure that the hounds were not endangered in any way. The Whipper-Ins were tasked with using whistles to attract foxes from their hiding grounds and into the vicinity of the committee. Their job was to yell “Tally-ho” whenever they spotted a fox.
The Huntsmen together with the Whipper-Ins were in charge of physically hunting down the foxes through the use of rifles. They also had the responsibility of collecting the trophies, which were the dead bodies of the foxes.
Present day hunting
In today’s day and age, there are many methods by which people hunt foxes. These methods have been used for many years and are actually effective in hunting foxes. One of the more popular methods of fox hunting nowadays is the use of cars instead of horses. Hunters would actually use an off-road vehicle like a 4×4 truck and they would hunt the foxes from their driver seats. To aid them in baiting the foxes to come out of their place of hiding, men would use special whistles to attract the ear of foxes in the wild.
As the fox gets closer, the hunter then proceeds to aim his special rifle and shoot the fox. Other methods require the use of steel traps that hunters would strategically place all around their hunting ground while luring the foxes out with their whistles. If a fox got trapped in these camouflaged steel traps, the hunters would then proceed to kill the animal with their rifles.
The art of today’s hunt is actually very entertaining. Hunters have so many useful accessories that they use in order to lure their pray near enough to kill them. They even make use of fashionable camouflage outfits which vary in thickness, depending on the weather and climate. Their accessories are comprised of various guns, lighting equipment, telescopes, infra-red vision, steel traps, and many more. The duration of the hunt can take half a day to almost a few days depending on just how prepared the hunters are. This is why many hunters take tents and clothing with them just in case they have to camp overnight.
Present Day Fox Hunting Tips
There many methods by which hunter hunt foxes. In these methods, experience is the greatest asset of a hunter. An experienced hunter will know every way to kill a fox efficiently without wasting any time or resource. Among many of the tips that an experienced fox hunter will tell you is:
- Hunting foxes require hunters to blend in with their surroundings so as not to be spotted by the fox. The first tip would be to secure good camouflage clothing to enable you to blend in with your environment.
- Communication is essential in baiting foxes. You should invest in a good fox whistle that you can buy in your nearest gun shop or hunting shop. These whistles save you a lot of time in waiting for the animal to come out of hiding. Without this, you may have to wait for hours upon end before the fox comes out of hiding.
- If you do not have the ideal whistle, high pitched noises will suffice. Try to mimic the sound that turkeys make.
- Invest in good lighting equipment. Most fox hunts last through the night, which you will need proper lighting if you wish to see your pray. Foxes are very silent animals that you need to have proper lighting to see them move.
- Always bring more than sufficient camping material, food and water. You never truly are able to tell how long your hunt will take. For some people, it takes a few hours but many of the time it takes much longer.