Where I whipped in back east, 12 and a half to 15 and a half couple was the norm. And with that, two whippers-in was the norm, three max, and I handled those duties solo more than once!
Where I've hunted out in this neighborhood, it's been about that same number of hounds but with more whippers-in, 3 to 4 seems typical. Of course, we have wide open spaces and rugged country, so there are times when hounds and one whipper in might be ending up miles from everyone else, IOW, more is necessary.
Lynn Lloyd at Red Rock is among those (Midland back east another, at least in my experience) that hunts everything in kennels that can go, often 30 to 35 couple. She usually has 3-4 whippers-in with radios.
That would be amazing to see! I imagine they could really push when they got going. What type of hound?
At Red Rock, Walker Hounds (which would fall into the American category). Midland of course has Ben Hardaway's famous crossbreds.
Yes, 30 or more couple is impressive. 'How many' at a time can provide for an effective day's sport depends a lot on your quarry and your country. Part of why Red Rock hunts so many is they are in the high desert, always dry hence by definition poor scenting conditions. Scent won't last more than a few minutes versus hours in the humid east, for example. So, the more players on the team, the more noses on the ground, the quicker you can find whatever scent is there. Plus, rest assured the coyotes know exactly what their advantages are- and I've seen them simply lie down under a stinky juniper tree or sagebrush while the pack draws all around them- more hounds increases the chances that one will bump out such a wily coyote. Another factor is, again it's very rugged terrain, if the pack splits on a pair of coyotes and half the pack goes miles away in the other direction, well, you still have enough hounds to continue the day while one or more whippers-in go after the split (which, depending on terrain, they may not even be able to get back to huntsman with during the course of a 6 hour hunting day, even).
You can have some fun with as few as 5 couple, but to get sustained runs going would be harder. When the Waldingfield Beagles head out west from Virginia to hunt jack rabbits, they typically bring 12-13 couple.
maybe pvb zoe will check in to confirm, but we usually take out 8 or 8 1/2 couple of beagles.
we usually have 3 or 4 whippers in. if the hunt is a compass, the 1st two whips are in the nw and ne corners. the other whip or two ride behind the huntsman, sweeping back and forth if one, or taking the sw and se corners if two.
i've hunted with red rock, kingsbury harriers, and pvb where we put all 3 packs together. must've been 45 couple of houds or so. AMAZING.
if i can find pix, i'll post them. they may have to be scanned in, though.
We typically take out 13.5-15 couple, and usually have 3 whips. Experienced field members will fill in as needed during the course of the hunt to knock back or hold hounds if not enough whips are close by at the time.
We usually take out anywhere from 15-20 couple, depending on our territory we are hunting that day. We have 4 whippers in, usually two stay in closer to the huntsman/hounds and two take the farther perimeter where there may be some hazard such as a road or some other public lands where the deer hunters don't like our hounds in there.
Sometimes we only have 3 whippers in, depending on if someone has to work or is injured, such as tomorrow, we have one injured. But we do fine with three, and I have often whipped in alone, so we get it done.
We are a drag pack, and have American Foxhounds
"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
This isn't a time when there were THAT many hounds, but the three packs were blended. I couldn't find one of the huge pack, but I didn't look super hard in all the boxes and bags. This is January 2003.
In this picture, the harriers haven't been released from their trailer yet. So, you see the RRH and PVB hounds.