A FOX HUNT
IT was on one of the first snows, one fall, that I shouldered my gun and went forth in search of foxes. I had reached the top of a hill when I heard a hound barking, which told me I was not the only one out after "reynard." I proceeded on in that direction until I finally came out of the wood into a pasture on the top of a hill. Beyond was mostly cleared land, which gave me an excellent view of the country. I could see hunters scattered over the country, some in groups of two, three, or four and others alone.
I assumed it was of no use for me to advance further in a territory so invaded with fox hunters so I stood still to watch results. I heard loud talking and considerable cursing, and then noticed a hound coming through the fields to my right, and presently two or three fellows started toward me.
Soon after some more hunters started toward me. The fox had already reached the hill and gone back the way I had came. We followed in general order, and after traveling some distance, one fellow said "Hark! Listen He is coming back," and sure enough he was. We quickly concealed ourselves, some behind trees, some behind rocks and others behind knolls, thus establishing a line of defense or offense which, considering our excellent marksmanship, would be quite equal to that of any line on the front of the European war.
In this manner we waited the approach of the fox, which advanced toward our line and passed between me and my companion on my right. The brush was so thick that I did not see reynard, while my companion saw him, but while waiting for a better shot, he disappeared entirely.
The members of this line now opened up a general discussion, which soon became easier when it was realized that the fox was running straight back to the other hunters, who had "entrenched" (so to speak) themselves one-half mile in the rear and acted as a reserve force. We were soon enlightened by the report of a gun and then others, followed by heavy reports, which fairly shook the hills and told us they were using heavy artillery. We waited for the barking of the hounds to cease, which, however did not, but continued on out of hearing, which told us that the fox had broke through the second line of defense works and had now occupied the territory in the rear. To say there was an army of disgusted fox hunters would be putting it mild. I did not say much, but satisfied myself with the idea that had we got him, the net proceeds to each individual after being divided among that army would be little to lose, and if the ammunition expended was first figured out, it might find us in debt. I went home.
M. E. Ballard.
Sullivan County, N. Y.
Fur, News. Fur News, January 1916.
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