A lot of hunts have all volunteer staff or at least some of the staffing positions are non professionals. So, it never hurts to let your MFH(s) know you'd like to reach out to help. Our hunt is always willing to put interested ones into training for future staffing assistance. The answer might be "No" but if you never put yourself out there you could be missing out on a whole new hunting experiance.
I think it all depends on how much hunting experience you had. Frankly it would be quite dangerous to have someone completely new to hunting whipping-in. When I had been approached by the masters to start apprenticing to whip-in I had been hunting for 5 years and walking hounds for one. I have now been solo for about a season and a half. So, I would say more information necessary!
It's psychosomatic. You need a lobotomy. I'll get a saw.
When I first started hunting, I immediately took an interest in the hounds. There were no staff positions open at that time but that wasn't why I was doing it. I genuinely wanted to work with them.
Eventually that turned into fill in fieldmaster jobs now and then, and also to fill in whipper in if one was gone, to being field secretary for 6 or so years. I started hunting 12 years ago, and now I am in my second season of being a full time whipper in, which is where I really want to be.
Our hunt is all volunteer staff except for the kennelman. Generally the thing to do is express an interest, then walk the walk. Show up for hound walking, take an interest in the hounds when hunting, make a habit of counting them, show up for bath and dip days, I even showed up sometimes to clean the kennels when we were short or if the huntman/jtMFH was tied up in the days before we had a paid kennelman.
It's ok to express an interest, but leave it at that. Even if you never get to be a real whipper in, you will still get an invaluable education about the hounds and the backstage part of hunting. I know working in the kennels enriched my hunting experience tenfold even before I became staff.
If you are any good the right people will notice and make a note of it, and these things take care of themselves.
Many people want to be able to call themselves whippers in for the glamour or whatever, but when it really comes to it they just want to showboat around in their red coat and not do the work. So talk the talk, then walk the walk, and when the times comes most likely your jtMFH's/ huntsman or whomever will remember.
"Perhaps the final test of anybody's love of dogs is their willingness to permit them to make a camping ground of the bed" -Henry T. Merwin
Asking the Master for a staff position - isn't that a major faux pas?
The Master might ask you to give it a go, after a few seasons of watching you in the field, but even then, no guarantees you'll pass muster. First hunt where I whipped in- several after a season at most on trial were gently told thanks, but no. First season I whipped in, it was in my black coat, fine by me of course, but for that very reason. (The prior season, I had been plucked out of the field now and then to go help out somewhere).The next season, Master asked me to get a scarlet coat- that was the message that I had passed the test.
Of course, some Masters are perfectly capable of appointing friends who are totally unqualified, but that's another thread.