CAN ANYONE GO HUNTING ?
The Essex Hunt are a very friendly group who particularly welcome newcomers to try a days hunting and if you enjoy it, you can subscribe just like you would to a golf club or other organization. Children are especially welcome and we have a good hardcore of Pony Club members who regularly attend.
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW ?
Most newcomers worry about whether they and their horse would be OK etc., etc., Most horses in their past ‘Life’ will have been hunted and normally settle in quite easily with ‘the field’, after all they are naturally a herd animal. However, if you are unsure, a green ribbon in your horses tail indicates its first few times out. A red ribbon will indicate to steer clear, as the horse may kick. It is possible to hire horses, and the hunt should be able to tell you who to contact.
WHAT DO I WEAR ?
A suitable hard hat with black velvet and preferably the ribbons tucked away (as only the masters and hunt staff display ribbons). A tweed coat for autumn hunting (September to end of October) and black for November onwards (hunting proper). A plain stock, cream breaches/jodhpurs and black boots, Speak to a hunt member if you have not got all the kit as newcomers are welcomed in any event.
CAN I JUST FOLLOW ON FOOT ?
Most definitely ! You are most welcome to just come and see the hunt. It’s a good idea when you first come to make yourself known to a hunt member when you arrive so someone can explain to you who is who, what’s going on and why. Often the meets start from a village pub or lawn meet, whereupon the traditional stirrup cup or glass of port and the odd sausage roll can be enjoyed.
All foot followers and mounted normally join the Essex Hunt Supporters Club (just £15 per year) Twice a year ‘The Essex Hunter’ booklet is distributed providing information on the kennels, hounds, news and forthcoming events (from the Hunt Ball, to a mouse racing night and inter-hunt rounders matches etc) A meet card is also provided. Shirley Luscombe is the Secretary of the Supporters Club and will be happy to hear from you. Please ring the hunt line for further details
THE ESSEX HUNT
Welcome anyone to join them – so long as you are interested in country sports. You are likely to learn a considerable amount about the management of the countryside and many of your questions will be answered. Most leave their first day hunting, whether on foot or horse with an exciting memory and the want to return !!
THE ESSEX HUNT STRONGLY ENCOURAGE EVERYONE INTERESTED IN COUNTRY SPORTS TO BECOME A MEMBER OF THE COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE.
AUTUMN HUNTING TIPS
Autumn hunting is very different to normal hunting. We still flush to a bird of prey, hound exercising and are setting drag trails, but these are shorter and move from cover to cover. Not only is the timing different but the whole structure of the day.
As it says, it starts in the Autumn, rather than winter, and the meets generally start at daybreak when the dew is lifting from the ground and scenting conditions are good. This is an important factor as we are here to teach the young entry their trade and as the ground dries out the scent is more difficult to follow.
Autumn hunting can be sociable (even if the timing is un-sociable) but please remember we are there to assist the huntsman not to hinder him.
Tip 1. Move to the cover’s quickly and quietly. We are not there to hold up the covert but to position ourselves a distance away (approx 25-30 metres) and observe.
Tip 2. Please be as quite as possible. You will benefit by being able to hear the huntsman and his hounds working.
Tip 3. If you see a fox alight from the covert. DO NOT SCREAM, SHOUT, HOLLA. If the fox turns back into the covert let the huntsman know by saying “Tally Ho back”. If he has left the covert, let him go but inform the huntsman with “Tally Ho Over”.
Tip 4. No whip cracking. Leave this to the professionals.
Tip 5. If young hounds take off on the line (other than a laid trail) of a hare or deer etc. try to cut them off and shout NO. Hounds understand very few words but this is one they should recognise.
Remember we are here to help the huntsman and enjoy the beautiful countryside at the very best time of day, and there is always someone around to explain anything you do not understand.