What happens on a day's hunting?

 

Prior to a day's hunting, the Masters will liaise with local landowners to ensure that they are happy for The OBB to hunt across their land on the day in question.

 

Then, on the morning of a hunting day, the Huntsman will select which hounds he is going to take with him and will separate them from the rest of the hounds in kennels, ready to transport them to the meet. 

 

Meanwhile, volunteer helpers are laying a number of trails for the hounds to hunt. They do this by using an artificial scent, which they drag across the ground. 

 

 

Around midday, followers and supporters of the OBB will gather at the meet, which might be a private house, pub or landmark. Refreshments may well be provided. After the hounds arrive, one of the Masters will explain to the followers how the day will run, before the hounds are taken from the meet into the country that they will be hunting that day. 

 

The Huntsman will 'cast' the hounds, encouraging them to use their noses to pick up on the trails that have been laid, or the scent of a rabbit. Once the hounds have the scent, they will start to 'speak' (barking in non-hunting terms!) and will follow the scent that they are hunting. The speed and distance they will run is governed by the scenting conditions on the day - on a good scent, a hunt could last for well over an hour and cover quite a few miles. On a bad scenting day, the hounds will struggle to hunt and will need more assistance from the huntsman. 

 

Hounds will hunt until early evening, sometimes until it is dark. At the end of the day, most followers who are still out will return to a house or pub for food and drink and to review the days hunting. 

© 2015 Old Berkeley Beagles LTD.