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Hunter Without A Hunt

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  • Hunter Without A Hunt

    Hello Foxhunt Forum,

    Foxhunting has been the center of my life for a long time. Unfortunately, I have recently resigned from my hunt due to "differences of opinion over management style."

    So I'm wondering if others have had an unpleasant departure from their hunt, what they did for an afterlife, and whether they figured out how to counteract malicious masters circulating rumors and bad-mouthing them around the hunting community.

    Also, if you have had this experience, and are not close enough to another hunt to hunt regularly, have you been able to keep your ties in the hunting community by visiting when you can, and capping around? Is this working out for you, or do you feel like (and get treated like) an outsider because you are not a member with a hunt?

    Conecuh

  • #2
    Ah, the joys of hunt politics are something I don't miss at all, living now in a huntless state. When I left the hunt with which I no longer wished to be associated, I simply went to another nearby hunt of my choice. The rumors, I mainly laughed about, they were spread far and wide by two particular individuals known to not let the facts get in the way of a good story!

    I live at least an 8 hour drive from the nearest hunt, but do manage to cap around now and then, and happily have invites all over the world that I have in mind when I count frequent flier miles. So no, not being a member doesn't make me feel like an outsider, in fact I seem to be a guest whipper-in more often than I would have expected.

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm relatively new to hunting. However, the politics in any club or organization are often what destroys them or prompts membership to leave. If the leadership in your former hunt finds others take the same path as you , you may resume hunting with them in a year or so with limited involvement .

      I would have NO concerns about riding with another hunt. Take the high road and don't get involved with the gossip and the revealing of "dirty little secrets".

      If you ride to hunt, then your love of the sport will help you get over the initial trepidation. Enjoy those hounds!
      Live life to the fullest-ride a standardbred!!!

      Comment


      • #4
        I've always been treated like the red headed stepchild - so I just learned to let go of my attachment to wanting to feel like part of the group. Now I just show up, mount up, ride, and go home. If there is gossip or rumors or other worthless drivel going on behind my back - I just let it go in one ear and out the other. If folks think that I'm that important that they need to talk about me - I figure they need to get a life.

        If you enjoy hunting with dogs/hounds, and there is no mounted English style hunt near you, have you thought about taking up a different sport? Lots of folks follow on foot, or have bird dogs, or hunt their own hounds. (see my post on issues with hound training - though I'm an idiot I'm thoroughly enjoying working with my own dog).

        Just a thought. If you're interested, I'm sure folks here could help you find something. I ordered some stuff from a site called gundogsonline - and there were all sorts of links for hunting with dogs.
        Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
        Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
        -Rudyard Kipling

        Comment


        • #5
          we feel your pain!!

          Been there, done that! It's a major way of life for us Virginians with our high concentration of hunts! We practice the "after life" in a big way around here! Everytime there's a master change, huntsman change or even a fieldmaster change; there's members who leave and go to another hunt. I can't tell you how many former members of my first hunt I run into at the other hunts! EVERY hunt goes through this every few years. Different factions seem to come to power and there's always somebody who leaves. But we are oh so lucky! There's LOTS of wonderful hunts to join/experience in our area. Lots of opportunities to guest or attend their activities. It's WONDERFUL! All the fun with out the work, politics, involvement. There are a # of professional guests in our area and I say why not! If that's what floats your boat. Do it! Smile a lot, turnout well, be a good guest and you'll always be welcome! Support the activities of those hunts you like. You're gonna find that there are wonderful people in every hunt! Oh yeah...and some snobs or others less likable but mostly the hunting community are great, great people with open arms!

          But many of us long for that higher level of comraderie & socialization that comes with membership and working elbow to elbow with people we like. Many of us long for becoming familiar with a pack or a huntsman or a territory. So for them, joining IS the answer. Earning your colors with another hunt IS something to be proud of! Go for it! Perhaps you'll learn that there may be a price to pay for a higher level of involvement in a hunt ie: political pain. But that work can be rewarding! So maybe you'll be less involved in your next hunt. Pull back a little. No guilt! Support, do your share ,but don't have high expectations. People can let you down sometimes! What's that saying about what happens when you have 3 adults in a room? Politics?!!

          Personally, I've always admired most those foxhunters who've spent a lifetime in their one hunt. How did they do it? Ask them! Remember it's your choice to any level of involvement. Don't over think it! Just go hunting! With whomever, wherever you can. Lifes too short! Our hunting years are too precious! We won't always have a good fieldhunter to carry us! We won't always have our health!

          Yessiree, been here , done that!

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by Beverley View Post
            ... The rumors, I mainly laughed about, they were spread far and wide by two particular individuals known to not let the facts get in the way of a good story!

            I ...do manage to cap around now and then, and happily have invites all over the world ...not being a member doesn't make me feel like an outsider, in fact I seem to be a guest whipper-in more often than I would have expected.
            Thanks for the encouraging words. I was heavily involved as a whipper-in for years, so I will definitely miss the staff-type involvement, but like you, I have invitations from all over, so maybe I'll just try to take a couple of trips a year and get my "fix" that way.

            What do you think was the final result of the rumor-mongering ... did people pretty much figure out that they needed to "consider the source?"

            Conecuh

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              [QUOTE=wateryglen;2427938]...many of us long for that higher level of comraderie & socialization that comes with membership and working elbow to elbow with people we like. Many of us long for becoming familiar with a pack or a huntsman or a territory. So for them, joining IS the answer. Earning your colors with another hunt IS something to be proud of! ...! Just go hunting! With whomever, wherever you can. Lifes too short! Our hunting years are too precious! We won't always have a good fieldhunter to carry us! We won't always have our health!

              You are soooo right on all counts. I have a lot of friends in VA hunts, so I know whereof you speak. At least ya'll have enough density that you have some alternatives.

              Whipping in for a number of years, I loved knowing the hounds, the territory and the game so well. You can't recapture that by capping around, or joining a new hunt. But you gotta go with what gives you the most peace of mind, I reckon.

              Comment


              • #8
                What part of the country are you in ?
                Crayola Posse * Aquamarine

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  [QUOTE=promlightshine;2427490]...If the leadership in your former hunt finds others take the same path as you , you may resume hunting with them in a year or so with limited involvement .

                  ...Take the high road and don't get involved with the gossip and the revealing of "dirty little secrets". ..

                  QUOTE]

                  I have vowed to never bad-mouth my old hunt (no matter how deserved and suggested to the leadership of my old hunt that they reciprocate. Unfortunately, the courtesy has not been returned.

                  The first point you make ... that hunts "learn" from their bad behavior ... raises an interesting question. With a large hunt (long history, turnover of leadership, multiple masters) I could definitely imagine that the organization evolves, or at least goes through cycles.

                  But can anyone think of an example where a small hunt with a single master ever become anything better than what it was, as an organization? I'd be really interested in everyone's take on the degree to which a more-or-less private pack can evolve into a self-sustaining organization, or is it pretty much doomed to live or die on that one person's whim?

                  Conecuh

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I hunt with a great small private pack and a lovely group of people. While I am sure the benefits of a big club are great, there are a lot of fixtures that we can hunt that the big hunts can't. For lots of reasons, ie the big hunts have ticked off a couple of landowners for one reason or another and there are just a few of us (under 10-12) trooping through property as opposed to 30 or 40 horses. We have a great time, great hounds and very little drama !
                    Crayola Posse * Aquamarine

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Conecuh View Post
                      What do you think was the final result of the rumor-mongering ... did people pretty much figure out that they needed to "consider the source?"
                      Oh, pretty much. It's not a complete day in Virginia Hunt Country without at least one outrageous rumor!

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by justhanginon View Post
                        I hunt with a great small private pack and a lovely group of people. While I am sure the benefits of a big club are great, there are a lot of fixtures that we can hunt that the big hunts can't. For lots of reasons, ie the big hunts have ticked off a couple of landowners for one reason or another and there are just a few of us (under 10-12) trooping through property as opposed to 30 or 40 horses. We have a great time, great hounds and very little drama !
                        Sounds idyllic. I have often thought about how much fun it would be to get a small pack together with a small group of friends, and form a farmer's pack.

                        Where are you located?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I am in Maryland. Where are you ?
                          Crayola Posse * Aquamarine

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by justhanginon View Post
                            I am in Maryland. Where are you ?
                            TN unfortunately

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              What area of TN are you in?
                              Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Oh bummer, I am sure you would love our little group. I am sure you'll find your way where you are. Everything in my life seems to happen for a reason.
                                Crayola Posse * Aquamarine

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  You can ride with us mere mortals!

                                  I absolutely agree with the cyclic nature of hunts/memberships/masters/staffs etc. Even hound breeds for crying out loud! Full american packs become crossbred or PMD or english and vice versa. Lotsa crossbred packs these days.

                                  And I have seen what have been mostly private packs improve with a broadening of their organizations. Sometimes those MFH's are actually glad to have others step up to the plate. They get tired! Sometimes all it takes is a strong club president or another mfh. Or an additional source of funds even. I think it's a double edged sword to be entirely dependent on a single owner or master or landowner. There are pros & cons to really small hunts and huge hunts. Some are more socially oriented than others which might not have any social life but only hunt.

                                  And yes, Conecuh, I suspect it IS harder for a whip to get "displaced" than us mere mortals. You gave so much and worked so hard to provide folks like me a great hunting experience. Thank you for that! There's probably a LOT of emotion & time involvement it's hard to walk away from easily. But you might just enjoy riding with us in the back of the field, smiling, chatting (woops did I just say that!!??!! ), watching & knowiing what's going on out there. No pressure! Time to bring along that greenie! No need to hunt when the footing/weather is awful. You can stay in bed!! Go in when you want! No need to keep horsies mega fit, bla, bla, bla!!! And often, your next hunt will welcome you with open arms as a formerly proven hunt person and might offer you a job after a season or 2. Happens lots around here!!!

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by wateryglen View Post
                                    ... I have seen what have been mostly private packs improve with a broadening of their organizations. ... I think it's a double edged sword to be entirely dependent on a single owner or master or landowner. ...
                                    And yes, Conecuh, I suspect it IS harder for a whip to get "displaced" than us mere mortals. You gave so much and worked so hard to provide folks like me a great hunting experience. Thank you for that! There's probably a LOT of emotion & time involvement it's hard to walk away from easily. But you might just enjoy riding with us in the back of the field, smiling, chatting (woops did I just say that!!??!! ), watching & knowiing what's going on out there. No pressure! Time to bring along that greenie! No need to hunt when the footing/weather is awful. You can stay in bed!! Go in when you want! No need to keep horsies mega fit, bla, bla, bla!!! And often, your next hunt will welcome you with open arms as a formerly proven hunt person and might offer you a job after a season or 2. Happens lots around here!!!
                                    Wateryglen, thank you so much for your post! It gives me hope in several ways! And yes, it has entered my mind that if I hook up with a hunt in a less involved way, I can take the youngster out and let him learn, take the oldster out and just relax, and actually socialize instead of being off somewhere having to pay utmost attention all the time. Hmmm ... sounds like fun. (Imagine that.)

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      No hunt 4 U

                                      Well good luck with that. We have had quite an upheaval in this area, in the last 3 years we have gone from 3 hunts to only 1. When the hunt I was whipping in with closed up shop 2 years ago , I took the next season off ( 2005-2006 ) and completely enjoyed it. I made new horse friends and started doing other activities with organized trail riding. Didn't miss foxhunting much at all especially on those mornings when only staff would have been present! This past season I joined a hunt I left 4 years ago and I discovered that you cant go back home - people change, staff changes etc.

                                      Right now my plan is to hang up the hunt gear and call it quits for good and not join next season - its not worth the time and expense the fuss and the politics and B.S. for me to foxhunt anymore.

                                      I had 8 good seasons and a lot of good times but I think that I have changed and maybe the other people have changed and its just no fun anymore. Maybe a more time off and I will get a hankering to go back , who knows?

                                      I unsubscribed from FOL and Topica and the Yahoo hunt lists a few months ago and will probably be an infrequent visitor to this board, but there are other topics here on COTH that are interesting to read about.

                                      So best of luck to you and I hope you find good times in whatever you set out to do in the future.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I'm tooo sad!!

                                        OMG! Foxhunt4me - you can't!! You're one of my favorite posters! We need you around!! Please don't give up the baby for the bathwater (or however that goes!). You've always been so wise......

                                        Just do this! Hunt just a few times a year. High Holy Days when the crowds are large and you'll get lost in the midst & socializing!! AND they'll be feeding you!!! Don't take it all too seriously - the hunting I mean. Don't be harsh on them. Just smile & care less!! Don't talk to the people you don't like! Don't even look at them. Conduct yourself with dignity & class and those folks will envy you! Nothing drives folks crazier than success!!! Enjoy the day with your horse, enjoy the land, the sounds, the houndwork. Go home immediately afterward if it's too painful. Separate the hunting from "the hunt". Or you may prefer the hugely unattended bye day/awful weather day hunting to get your fix. Try carfollowing! Then you can drink coffee, eat donuts and be as snarky as you want from the seat of your truck!! (who me? NEVER done that!!) and leave when you want without the problems of horsie/dress etc. This is especially fun with a good friend!

                                        Too many people get the "hunt" (the organization/people) confused with "hunting" and if they hate one they assume they have to hate the other. Not true......

                                        Try another kind of hunting - foot packs, coon hunting, deer hunting, something with hound dogs!!! Go to the pound, get a few beagles and have at it!! Please don't leave us Foxhunt!!

                                        Comment

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