Clarksdale, MS--the golden buckle on the cotton belt
Each MFHA registered hunt is allowed to reserve territory with the MFHA that may only be hunted by it or with its permission. Landowner preferences do not enter in at all. The hunt has boundaries, but may only hunt where a landowner approves. This procedure came over from England and is necessary where there are/were several hunts in the same area, like Virginia and North Carolina. In the rest of the US and Canada, it's not nearly as important because there is so much more open space for so many fewer hunts.
If a hunt has registered an area, and (say) a landowner in that area decides to play with another hunt (there are always hunt office politics going on) AND the other hunt actually uses that area without the permission of the 1st hunt, then the MFHA has been known to and is actually supposed to deregister the offending hunt. There are some benefits for a hunt that go along with MFHA registration--insurance for landowners and the hunt, hound pedigree recording, possibly the ability to show at hound shows--so deregistration can be huge. An outlaw hunt is supposed to be shunned by members of MFHA hunts--so no joint meets, and so on.
Territory policies and MFHA regulations on this are sources of great discontent, since a landowner can only permit hunting or not; s/he cannot say WHO gets to hunt over land that is in a reserve.
"I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay." Thread killer Extraordinaire
The territory is merely divided - it's just lines on a map.
The masters are the ones responsible for cultivating relationships with each landowner and like all other hunting or use of land the landowner is the sole arbiter of who is permitted on his or her land. Or if anyone is permitted at all.
No question about that at all. The landowner is in charge and no one would ever suggest he or she could not exercise any property right.
I thought the territory policy was on the MFHA website but I can't find it.
I think if you called the MFHA someone might be able to provide better information. As far as I know the territory policy is there as a mechanism for "keeping the peace" among clubs - and should not be viewed as a means of dividing up landowners 50/50.
Some landowners don't just permit foxhunters, they permit deerhunters or other hunters. So it's also a way to make sure land isn't over hunted, which would violate the MFHA code of ethics as well as being unsound land management.
Hope that helps - but I think the best source of information on this subject might be the MFHA itself.
So what's the difference between a Farmer Pack and an Outlaw Pack?
There are lots of farmer packs, and they typically get along fine with recognized packs in the same neighborhood (unless the recognized pack where to not play nice and coopt all of their territory, but more often they make sure they don't interfere with each other). In many places (Pennsylvania comes to mind) the farmer packs were there first.
An outlaw pack is one that has willfully established itself in a recognized hunt's territory (often a splinter group from the recognized hunt- hunt politics bein' what they are) and in so doing incurs the wrath of the MFHA. That famously happened when Dr. Gable started a pack in Middleburg country (Snickersville descends from that original split, more or less, but is now off the 'outlaw' list).
Presumably the hunt that got dinged for a territory violation knowingly infringed on another hunt's recognized territory. That's a no no, even if the landowner says it's okay.
Mind you, hunting INTO another hunt's territory is generally okay- the hounds are allowed to keep after their quarry until they account for it or lose it- and then are gathered up and taken back to their own legitimate territory. Unless they have gone far and fast and lost their own staff...I know of at least once instance where a famous Virginia pack joined another famous Virginia pack halfway through the hunting day!
Imagine you are a master and it has taken you years to cultivate a relationship with landowners. There are things the landowner will not tolerate which are taken into account within the customs of that particular hunt. for instance riding around ploughed fields, not fording a particular creek, staying away from certain areas etc, etc. One day another hunt poaches your territory and abuses all those customs. Not good; that's why 1.) They get really pissed. 2.) There is a structure in place to maintain some order.
You also have to consider the maintenance that the "home" hunt is putting into those territories. We are clearing trails, building jumps, etc. So it can be quite annoying to have another hunt come in uninvited to enjoy the fruits of your labors.
know of at least once instance where a famous Virginia pack joined another famous Virginia pack halfway through the hunting day!
We were out basseting one day - great day - lots of rabbits. We were on public land and knew there were beaglers out too - not a pack but folks hunting with a brace or leash. We could hear the beagles speaking so we headed to a different areas so as not to disturb anyone.
There were rabbits everywhere - we had a good day. Beagles hollering and bassets howling long and low.... lovely hound music.
Huntsman blew the bassets in and they come trotting up - along with some beagles! We got a good laugh, seeing these perky adorable beagles trotting alongside our noble, serious looking bassets. Then we fussed over the beagles until the other hunters drove up and collected them. The beagles were happy to see their owner and hopped into the truck but I think they were sad to leave our tailgate - we do put on quite a spread.
Equibrit - I agree about the amount of work put in. One landowner was really ticked off that riders messed up his seeded fields and I don't blame him one bit. In my hunt - anyone who even steps one foot on a seeded field is beaten to a bloody pulp and the hunt makes full restitution along with a huge gift basket. I don't recall the last time that happened. No one wants to incur the wrath of the Master.
Turned out it wasn't us, as we suspected. Some people had moved into the area and were trespassing - recreational riders just using all the farms around them as their personal trail system. Can you believe that? Just riding all over the place, trespassing, ruining fields?
yep every day....property rights have no meaning to ATV riders in general
Don't get me started on ATV riders. The biggest trespassing problem I had was with those people. I have zero trouble with a hunter coming onto my land to retrieve his hounds or tracking/retrieving downed game. That's responsible behavior. But ATV's, hikers, kids partying - that really gets my goat. I once came home to find some idiots drinking and fishing down by my pond. Leaving glass and lures/hooks everywhere.
When I chased them off the land one of them had the audacity to ask me for 20$.
Lex - the territory policy is not related to the landowner's property rights. The property rights belong to the landowner exclusively and the territory policy is merely a policy within the MFHA designed to avoid internal strife.
There is usually a prescribed method of posting ones land, but that method differs from state to state and a landowner who wants to post his land correctly should look at the relevant code section. In this state, a landowner is not required to post his land, and many people dislike posting as they believe it mars their view of their land.
But posting still has nothing to do with the territory policy - posting is only done by the landowner to delineate his property line. It does not mean hunting is or is not permitted. A landowner can bar all, or some, or only allow certain kinds of hunting or recreational use.