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Hounds – from the Miami Valley Hunt website

In speaking of hounds, there are certain ways of speech which distinguish those who know from "them what don't." This is so of sports generally - no sailor would speak of a mast as a pole, although it is one. Hounds are hounds, NOT DOGS. However, correcting a non-foxhunter who calls a hound "dog" is in bad form. Hounds are counted in "couples". A male hound is known as a "dog hound." Likewise a female hound, no matter how exemplary, is known as a "bitch." A hound has a "stern" instead of a tail. When he moves same, he "feathers his stern." A hound never barks, he "opens," "gives tongue," or "speaks."

Hounds In Covert Photo by Darcia Johnson HOUNDS IN COVERT (pronounced "cover") - When hounds are in covert, the huntsman will place himself so as to best influence their movements in drawing for a fox. You should, of course, remain with the Field Master. Never go "ahead of the draw". If the huntsman turns and comes back toward you, STAND STILL with your horse facing the hounds. When a hound finds a fox, if you are listening and not talking, you will hear him "speak" and sense the thrill which stops in their tracks all who hear it. The other hounds flock to confirm the find, and the huntsman decides quickly whether to cheer the other hounds on or to await a more reliable witness. Once satisfied, the huntsman cheers the hounds together and gives a series of short sharp blasts called "doubling the horn" to call hounds together. While the fox is ringing about the covert, the whippers-in are probably posted at spots where they can view the fox if he leaves. Stay with the Master who knows the country and will do his utmost to keep the field in view of the sport.

GONE AWAY - The fox goes away and the whipper-in's cap goes up as he canters to the line: the huntsman blows a series of short and long blasts. Many a fox has turned sharp at a fence row, proceeded a few hundred feet, and sat watching in obvious amusement while the field, their eyes on the next jump and not listening for the faltering of the cry as hounds overran, have galloped across and completely obliterated his line and then formed a perfect barricade against hounds and Huntsman in their attempts to cast. Remember also that hounds are trained to react to movements of the huntsman's horse and that movements of other horses distracts them, so stand still at a check and watch what the Huntsman does. Normally he will stand still and watch his hounds while they make their own cast and will only interfere after they have definitely failed. He then picks them up as quietly as possible and makes his cast. Let up hope that the cast is successful and the hounds hit off the line. The huntsman gives a cheer and "doubles his horn" to collect any wide ranging hounds and to warn the field who should be STANDING STILL behind where the hounds have checked instead of following the huntsman about and interfering with his cast.

It is the responsibility of the rider to keep away from the hounds.

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