Conduct of a Drag Hunt – from the MFHA Guidebook & Rules
Mounted foxhunting must be simulated—not a steeplechase. The art of laying a drag line requires one to know how live quarry runs in order to simulate the actions and paths of its natural environment.
When hounds first arrive at the meet, they should be allowed to empty and settle around their huntsman before moving off. Hounds must not be laid on the line at the place of meeting, but should be moved off some distance and cast to pick up the line in a natural hunting-like manner. This procedure should be repeated after each check.
The drag must be of sufficient length to require at least one (1) check. It is recommended that drag hunts use a blank cast (no drag scent present) at least once during a meet. This allows the huntsman to call hounds back to him, thus reinforcing to hounds that all casts do not produce a chase. This practice makes drag hunting more like live hunting. At the end of day, hounds should be gathered around their huntsman to be counted, praised and allowed to cool down and settle before being trailered or kenneled.
Click here for a great article on drag hunting (No Fox No Worries by Kate Erickson published in the Spring Covertside 2013).