|Beagling for beginners|
Beagling is ideally suited to anyone who enjoys being out in the British countryside, appreciates nature and is interested in working hounds.
Some dos and don’ts of beagling
DO… Newcomers to the sport should always make themselves known to the Master or Hunt Secretary. It is courteous to speak to the Hunt Secretary before the days hunting and ask if you can join the days events. The secretary will introduce them to other members of the field and most will be happy to explain the day and pass on their knowledge of hunting.
DON’T… It is often recommended not to take dogs out beagling at first, and it varies from one pack to another whether they are permitted at all.
DO…At every meet hunt officials and followers will greet one another with “Good Morning” even if after 12pm, and similarly bid each other “Good Night” at the end of the day.
DO… Listen to the hunting horn! The huntsman will direct the hounds, and the field will learn what is happening, with a hunting horn. Different notes and length of note will mean different things - the sound of ‘going home’ should be learnt quickly to avoid still being out in the countryside at 9pm having missed the traditional and always delicious after beagling tea!
DO… close gates and respect livestock and crops.
DON’T….. Hamper the work of the hounds, when hounds or huntsman are nearby, try not walk near them or chat to others too loudly.
DON’T … overtake the huntsman! When hounds are running, it is a courtesy to follow the huntsman, not run ahead of him. When a huntsman stops suddenly, try to do likewise as he has most often stopped for a reason!
DO… learn the various hunting terms and names of the hounds – it will be more fun if you do!
DO …. Always say thank you to the Master at the end of the day. Much more work and organisation is involved in providing a day’s beagling than you imagine.