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Hound Walks And Cubbing


2013/10/01


Huntsman Amanda McGee (center) assisted by MFH Tommy Brannon (mounted) and MFH Peggy Hart on a sunny day at Oak Grove Hunt Club’s new fixture in Hudsonville, MS.

Hillsboro Hounds Huntsman Johnny Gray leads the pack of foxhounds over a coop on a September Cubbing Hunt near Franklin, TN.

Hillsboro Hounds Huntsman Johnny Gray leads the pack of foxhounds over a coop on a September Cubbing Hunt near Franklin, TN.

Gretchen Pelham photos: East Tennessee foggy morning hunt and Tennessee Valley Hunt Penn-Marydel Hounds.

Gretchen Pelham photos: East Tennessee foggy morning hunt and Tennessee Valley Hunt Penn-Marydel Hounds.

By Tommy Brannon

Mounted Foxhunting season starts in early fall with Cubbing, but hound work is a year-round project. Summer and early fall hound walking helps get the foxhounds in shape for regular foxhunting, as well teaching the hounds to bond with the huntsman. New entry are trained to pack in, kennel up, and come when called.

Hound walks are also a good time to accustom horses that are new to the sport to those canines running under their feet and their baying, or “speaking” to the scent. It is also a good occasion for members of the hunt to get to know the hounds and to accustom their horses to the foxhounds. Many hunts in the mid-south allow members to follow hound walks, mounted on horseback, and to sometimes help with the hounds.

Some hunts begin their season with Staff-only hunts to help train hounds, while others dive right in when the crops are in, and the weather turns cool enough for decent scenting conditions.  That first hunt can take on great excitement! 
When Cubbing season finally gets started, the informal cub hunts are used to train young entry and incorporate drafts into the pack.  During hound walks, a hound may be so biddable that he marches in step, but one never knows how well he will hunt until he actually hunts!
 

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