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Hunting for the first time, I'm terrified

403 replies

FirstHunt · 26/01/2013 18:14

Am hunting on Monday it.l be the 4th time I've ridden the horse though he has hunted, I've popped over some small jumps in the school but I've never ever jumped a hedge, will I have to jump? if I don't jump am I likely to be left behind massively that's something he really doesn't like. I don't mind popping over small stuff but not huge hedges etc.

OP posts:
SabrinaMulhollandJjones · 29/01/2013 18:16

As said upthread, 'hunting within the law' is just exploiting a loophole within the law which says that if you come across a fox 'accidentally' it can be legally ripped to shreds by hounds.

The Huntsmen are meant to call their dogs off in this situation but there is plenty of video evidence (also upthread) that they do not.

BinarySolo · 29/01/2013 19:26

Agree Sabrina. This 'hunting legally' thing is really quite annoying as if you go on a fox hunt now then you're clearly prepared to risk the hounds catching and killing a fox and therefore breaking the law.

I don't condone the bullying tactics, but I do understand where the anger and frustration of the balakava clad protesters comes from.

BinarySolo · 29/01/2013 19:37

Just watched the video and there's no attempt from the hunt to call the dogs off the fox until the lady grabs it. Even then it's ambiguous as to whether they're shouting leave it at the hounds or the woman.

Also the hunt supporters filmed the hunt monitors, so if as has been claimed up thread, he monitors released the fox themselves why is there no footage of this? And an RSPCA prosecution too.

Backinthebox · 02/02/2013 14:20

I'm not going to comment on the rights and wrongs of hunting a prey animal, as there are very strong emotions on each side. What I am noticing though is that there is as much defence of the balaclava-clad protesters aggressive and bullying tactics as there is of the right of hunters to hunt within the law.

I am another person who hunts who has been subjected to aggressive behaviour by those who feel the need to hide their faces. When I go hunting I take pride in my appearance, wear my best clothes and present my horse in a clean, trimmed and plaited way. It is drummed into us early on that manners are essential, and that you cannot be too polite when out hunting - to the other members of the hunt, to the general public, and yes - even to saboteurs. The saboteurs, otoh, are for the most part surly, rude, grubby-looking sorts - when you can see their faces!

Why, if the hunters are the ones taking part in the illegal activities are we so happy to have the police around, to stop and chat to the public if they ask us what we are doing, willing to have our photos taken and published on the internet by friends, official photographers and passers-by? Why, if the saboteurs are upholding the law and are taking part in legal activity, are they the ones who cover their faces, shun photography, and scarper when the police show up?

I have had to shield children from saboteurs - I put my horse between an 8 year old child and a bunch of men who were following her with camcorders. In what other situation can you imagine it being acceptable for a gang of men to stalk and film a child? I also had to get a 13 year old boy (who looked a bit older than he was and was on a horse) away from a group of sabs as they were threatening to pull him from him horse and 'f*cking beat him.' Their language is foul and abusive, even when confronting children. I've seen saboteurs punch an adult friend in the face, breaking his nose. Our old huntsman was badly injured when the sabs poked his horse with sticks and when it reared up they pulled it over backwards onto the rider, breaking his ribs. Article here. Weirdest of all, my friend (who is huntsman for a pack of bloodhounds - who hunt a runner with a map over a pre-determined trail) has been subjected to abuse and had eggs thrown at him by apparently clueless antis! Every hunt has tales of unacceptable behaviour from saboteurs.

So what I would like to ask the defenders of the antis here is - if we are hunting within the law, and most hunters genuinely do and set out with full intentions to hunt within the law, how on earth do we get across to those who disagree that we are perfectly entitled to do what we are doing? As someone said in an earlier post;

"it is horrible, frightening and unnecessary - they are self appointed vigilantes looking for a crime where there is none."

The majority of hunters are not out there to deliberately flout the law in a rampant blood-crazed way, despite what many anti-hunters think.

Lasvegas · 02/02/2013 19:10

Back in the box those are awful stories. I can't believe people would deliberately pull over a horse and break its ribs. I don't understand how the same people can feel sorry for a fox and on the same day injure an innocent horse. Maybe these sabs are not animal lovers rather anarchist type people or the type that 20 years ago would have been football fans/ hooligan.

Skittish · 02/02/2013 19:45

I'm always astounded by the depth of anti hunt feeling. Where I live and with my circle, everyone is pro hunting or hunts. It's just how life is. We all hunt within the law . Hunting is as much a part of life as riding and horses are. It's just what we all do. Shock

Backinthebox · 02/02/2013 19:54

Sorry, Lasvegas, I wasn't quite clear - they broke the rider's ribs, but they did injure the horse by poking it with a stick. In other cases (but not in hunts I know well,) the sabs have deliberately attempted to use a fox-scent or horn calls to try and get hounds to cross a railway line or road. Some (not all) of them believe that the occasional animal 'martyr' is acceptable if it is for the greater good - a stupidly misguided way of thinking! It is difficult to find news reports dealing with these instances, because the hunt saboteurs themselves flood the internet with stories of how they were using their horns and scents to try and 'save' a pack of hounds from crossing a railway line, when in fact the best person to stop the hounds from danger is the huntsman himself. Any actions by outside parties only lead to confusion and further potential danger.

Many of the more well know attacks occurred in the immediate years after the ban but there has been a rise in recent months. In January Horse and Hound reported a number of frightening attacks by masked men - in one case a man with his 10 year old daughter was beaten to the point that his skull was fractured. Story here.

You are right about it being more of an anarchist movement than one which supports animal welfare. The Labour party is quite happy to acknowledge that the vote against hunting was one that was class motivated rather than animal welfare related. I'm convinced that not everyone who goes sabbing is as interested in the animal welfare as they are in the action!

Skittish · 02/02/2013 19:58

The class issue makes me laugh!
The hunting and horsey friends I have come from all walks of life.

VerySmallSqueak · 02/02/2013 20:11

I have come across very obnoxious behaviour from members of the Hunt when the hounds have come into my garden and been running all over the place,scaring my children and animals,completely out of control.

I would also be terrified going out hunting,OP,if I was with people as undisciplined and rude as those that I have come across within the Hunt.

Lasvegas · 02/02/2013 20:11

Back in the box. Glad it wasn't the horses ribs. Obviously the sabs shouldn't have poked a horse, who the hell does that, pokes a rose till it rears FTF. By same token I don't condone poking any man or beast with a stick. I wish I was at the standard to ride on a hunt. Wouldn't care if it was a fake fox or a a scent of a real fox. Surely hunting is like Xcode it about testing the rider and horses skill not about killing a fox.

Backinthebox · 02/02/2013 21:17

"The class issue makes me laugh!
The hunting and horsey friends I have come from all walks of life."

Exactly. I come from a very working class, non-horsey background. Doesn't stop other people thinking I come from a privileged background though.

VerySmallSqueak · 02/02/2013 21:47

It's surprising how often the Hunt is out and about all over the country lanes,behaving very recklessly with their horses and hounds, with little regard to the traffic around,much less pedestrians.

Definitely cause to be terrified. It's a bloody free for all at times.

badgeroncaffeine · 02/02/2013 22:04

Me too skittish.

Really it's a method of pest control. the same people opposing it would kill flies, mice or rats in their house.

I've never hunted but would if I had the time and money. I support the local hunt though and occasionally follow on foot.

ravenAK · 03/02/2013 01:16

'Really it's a method of pest control. the same people opposing it would kill flies, mice or rats in their house.'

You do understand that foxes don't actually require controlling? What with them being territorial animals? & if they did, it'd be the world's least efficient 'pest control' method, since 10x the number of foxes killed by the hunt are killed crossing the road?

I'm fascinated to see comments describing hunt protestors as 'surly, rude, grubby-looking' sorts.

The people the protestors are monitoring are a group who've made it clear that they would very much like to indulge in cruelty to animals legally for fun, &, failing this given overdue legislation against their antics, are amusing themselves by 'acting out' a cruel sport in the hopes of having that anti cruelty legislation repealed, & more immediately, in the hope of 'accidentally' committing a cruel act against a wild animal.

They have all the moral authority of a gang of teenagers tying a firework to a kitten's tail & sulking that they're only allowed sparklers these days & it was much more fun when you could do bangers.

I doubt I'd be terrifically un-surly to someone I knew to be involved in hunting foxes with dogs. I'd aim for civil but certainly not polite. As for grubby - well, I know who looks grubby from where I am. Ugh.

VerySmallSqueak · 03/02/2013 10:33

Well said,ravenAK.

Backinthebox · 03/02/2013 17:15

"with little regard to the traffic around, much less pedestrians"

You've never seen a group of riders suddenly merge into single file as the call 'Car please' goes up from the rider closest to the car. It's utterly drummed into us that our hunts' reputations are based on what the public see and perceive of us, therefore we must be polite and not cause inconvenient wherever it is humanly possible.

RavenAK I merely comment on the hunt sabs we have around here. One of them in particular is a man we call Rasputin - he has slightly mad-looking eyes, dirty matted black long hair, long blackened finger nails, and his clothes are always dirty. Not in the 'I've been out jogging in the mud but will wash these when I get home' sense, more the 'I've sweated for the sake of the fox in these pants - I'm never washing them again!' sense. He does not wear a balaclava though, so fair play to him. Frankly, if you see him even look at you, you duck, hide, wander off. He has the look about him of someone who would attack you just because he happened to catch your eye.

As for this paragraph;

"The people the protestors are monitoring are a group who've made it clear that they would very much like to indulge in cruelty to animals legally for fun, &, failing this given overdue legislation against their antics, are amusing themselves by 'acting out' a cruel sport in the hopes of having that anti cruelty legislation repealed, & more immediately, in the hope of 'accidentally' committing a cruel act against a wild animal."

So much lack of understanding I don't even know where to begin.

Did you have any erudite thoughts on how to defend a gang of full grown men in face masks videoing an 8 year old girl? Or the masked chaps who beat a man senseless in front of his 10 year old daughter?

I go out hunting without intention or 'hope' of catching a live animal. I DO have a need to ensure that the fox population is controlled on my property - last year I went out to my chicken run and found a vixen and her 3 youngsters inside, having scaled a 6ft high fence, and they had killed or maimed nearly 20 chickens. Thankfully my children were not with me, as they like to feed the birds with me. It may be lovely to let the foxes go where they want but the world does not work like tah I use a mixture of cage traps, snares, and a man with a big gun to kill them. Is this more acceptable? They are certainly legal.

DolomitesDonkey · 03/02/2013 20:22

On the very first page of this thread there was something sneery about "posh country cunts" - it's a stupid class war and those idiots probably buy battery chicken from Waitrose in Putney. Boo fucking hoo.

As for "blooding children" - omg - that's akin to saying "all city kids are ragamuffins, urchins and work up chimneys". Where do you even begin to get this nonsense? Have you been reading too much Enid Blyton?

ravenAK · 03/02/2013 21:04

@Backinthebox - I've said, any number of times, that I don't defend unpleasant behaviour on the part of hunt protestors. At all.

That sort of thing pisses me off enormously, because it allows the 'well, yes, we do rip animals to pieces for fun, but see here! Blokes in masks! Behaving appallingly! Therefore, we fox-rippers must be lovely!' fallacy which seems to pass for argument amongst the hunting fraternity.

& you can control the fox population legally on your land all you want, of course. Just don't insult our intelligence by claiming that you + a big gang of your mates + a fuckload of horses & dogs is a cost effective way of doing it. Chicken really isn't that expensive.

VerySmallSqueak · 03/02/2013 21:11

Back unfortunately it has been my personal experience that huntspeople on horses can be all over the road in front of our car.I have also had to hang about while walking with my children (who were very scared of dogs at the time) because the pack was in the road with no sign of a Hunt member controlling them.

It's rude and arrogant,and I am glad to hear that you take measures not to do this.

FWIW,I also keep chickens and have lost a fair few to the fox over the years.

I still believe and have always believed that fox hunting has no justification whatsoever.

My feelings of horror and disgust run strong and deep.

VerySmallSqueak · 03/02/2013 21:31

The weird thing is that even when fox hunting wasn't banned,the gamekeeper still needed to shoot the foxes that were taking the pheasants for the shoot.

Then the pheasants are shot,with numbers of them being disposed of uneaten.

Where's the point in it all?

Oh yes.


SabrinaMulhollandJjones · 03/02/2013 23:23

VerySmallSqueak - quite so.

Backinthebox · 03/02/2013 23:54

ravenAK you say:

"you can control the fox population legally on your land all you want, of course. Just don't insult our intelligence by claiming that you + a big gang of your mates + a fuckload of horses & dogs is a cost effective way of doing it. Chicken really isn't that expensive."

Firstly can you point out to me where I have said that I use a big gang of my mates and a 'fuckload' of horses and dogs to control the foxes on my land? Or where I even mentioned anything about the cost? I was quite explicit about the methods I use, and at no point has a fox ever been hunted with a pack of hounds on my land.

Secondly, to say 'chicken really isn't that expensive' is a ludicrous comment. Does that mean that it is OK for me to keep chickens and not make efforts to prevent the fox from killing them because chickens are cheap and foxes are wild and that's what they do? FWIW I value my chickens - much more than you can appreciate, by the sound of it. I have spent a lot of time and effort breeding them and trying to maintain purity of old breeds. It's really disheartening to check on your birds one day and discover that several years of breeding efforts have been killed for whatever reason it is that foxes kill many more than they can eat. Two of the breeds I keep have taken me years to find enough unrelated stock of sufficient quality that I can use for breeding. Your comment is a cheap one (pun intended.)

I reckon any insult to intelligence going on around here is being done by you - your second paragraph attempts to put words into my mouth too.


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ravenAK · 04/02/2013 00:14

You can make all the efforts you want to protect your chooks, & I don't blame you in the slightest for doing so.

I'm a bit baffled by the somewhat overdone outrage at me saying that hunting with hounds is not a sensible or cost effective method of safeguarding chickens, though.

It seems like we're in agreement over that at least.

Backinthebox · 04/02/2013 07:56

I would say outrage is a bit of an overstatement, more a weary, exasperated request for you to point out where I said (as you clearly state) that I claimed fox hunting was a cost effective pest control method. Hunting in it's present, legal form - which combines the public face of trail hunting within the law alongside the engagement of various forms of legal vermin control such as shooting and trapping - is a convoluted and expensive way of doing things.

Many people still enjoy the ability to ride across land that farmers would not otherwise allow them to ride on (the farmer is able to access the hunts' fallen stock and vermin control services for free - our hunt even provides a rat control service for free to anyone who asks! Rentakill, and even the council, would charge you.) It's a quid pro quo - the farmer benefits, and allows the hunt on his land. My horse is used regularly by a member of a bloodhounds hunt staff - they are loosing meet after meet this year because farmers gain nothing from bloodhound and drag hunting, and the higher speed and jumping involved in these hunts is not good for the wet ground in weather like we are experiencing.

I'm quite OK with antis having their thoughts and opinions, and I defend the right of anyone to make reasonable representations in defence of their beliefs. But I am quite within my rights to be irritated that you are trying to put words into my mouth. Point out where I said it was a cheap pest control method and I will back down. I have often found that empty vessels make the most noise, and much of what you can find on the internet about hunting, the ways things are done and how how the law is being upheld or not are posted by the saboteur community. I begrudge having false statements attributed to me, whatever the subject.

VerySmallSqueak · 04/02/2013 09:05

I also lost a line of chickens I had bred.

Even if hunting that particular fox responsible was an effective way of dealing with the problem,there is no way I would resort to chasing it with hounds until it was exhausted and terrified. Not now,not ever.

I am a countrywoman. I respect life and I respect nature.

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