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heads up to georgia hunters

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  • heads up to georgia hunters

    i saw an interesting news piece on fox smuggling last night in atlanta. here is a link to the show:


    the piece focuses on a north carolina man that smuggles fox and coyote to sell to fox pens, which subsequently allow hunting by hounds. while the investigators make it clear that the transgressions reported in the segments do not deal with open range fox hunting, i thought it noteworthy to point out as there has already been negative press around the piece.

    as land up and down the east coast is swallowed up by developers, more and more foxhunting communities are and will continue to look towards fox pens as a way to keep their sport alive. these reports villanize the sport, and foreshadows dark days for sport in the southeast.

  • #2
    You should forward this to the US Sportmen's Alliance.


    Good catch - thanks for posting.
    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
    -Rudyard Kipling


    • #3
      Oh my gosh.

      I know the guy on that video,part 1.

      His family used to make big bucks on foxhounds for field trials.

      None of this surprises me,it upsets me that some hunts use these pens for puppy training though.

      I wont say anymore here.

      This is bad press at a time that we do not need it.
      \"I have lived my life-it is nearly done-.I have played the game all round;But I freely admit that the best of my fun I owe it to Horse and Hound\".


      • #4
        Originally posted by fernie fox View Post

        None of this surprises me,it upsets me that some hunts use these pens for puppy training though.

        I wont say anymore here.

        I'll probably regret this, and I certainly don't want to start a flame war, but why does it upset you that some hunts use this for puppy training? It seems like a safe way to train youngsters to run fox and not riot, in an area where they are not in danger and can be easily encouraged, easy to get to them, they are safe from roads, won't get lost and left out overnight, don't have to worry about running under horses, etc. - something I would think most huntsmen would appreciate.
        ~~Liz Williams, Snickersville Hounds~~

        "I'll thank the Lord the life I've led Was always near a Thoroughbred"
        -Paul Mellon


        • #5
          Well, I think that is against the rules of the MFHA for starters unless I am mistaken. It also doesn't seem very "sporting" to me either.
          "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


          • #6
            Originally posted by Jaegermonster View Post
            Well, I think that is against the rules of the MFHA for starters unless I am mistaken. It also doesn't seem very "sporting" to me either.
            The MFHA does not encourage the use of fox pens, but they don't prohibit it, as long as the pens are run in accordance with state law, or, in the absence of state law, IAW MFHA guidelines. Those guidelines are pretty specific regarding the conditions under which the foxes are kept, cared for, and hunted.

            The MFHA is also very clear that fox pens are not to be considered 'sport'. I agree. All I"m saying is that, properly run, they have a place in the toolkit for training young entry. If your hunt does not need/want to use them, fine, but they can be useful in some circumstances. Please don't fall into the AR trap - divided, we fall.
            ~~Liz Williams, Snickersville Hounds~~

            "I'll thank the Lord the life I've led Was always near a Thoroughbred"
            -Paul Mellon


            • #7
              Oh - I just checked email and I got my weekly Outdoor Report.

              Here is an excerpt that might clarify a bit. Evidently the people operating the facilities in question were not exactly ethical to begin with.

              [FONT=Verdana][SIZE=2]VDGIF Chief of Law Enforcement, Col. Mike Bise, said, "We had long suspected that permits were being violated, but it took some time to gather sufficient evidence to launch a full-scale investigation. Once we got in, we saw that the problem was more serious and more widespread than suspected. Some of the closures were for minor violations, but others may result in criminal charges." Investigators found that careless management of the fox hunting operations was leading to animal deaths, and the capture of more wild animals. The investigation is continuing.[/SIZE][/FONT]

              [FONT=Verdana][SIZE=2]VDGIF Chairman James W. Hazel commented, "I have been impressed with the hard work of our covert agents and conservation police officers in conducting this investigation. From what I learned, this is a closed society with access to the facilities limited to a very few people. Even the dog owners are often not allowed inside where their dogs are training or being scored." Hazel continued, "After being briefed on this case, I am deeply concerned about what may be going on inside some of these sites. Let me be clear that the activities inside these fenced enclosures are outside of traditional hunting."[/SIZE][/FONT]

              (emphasis mine)

              Here is a link to the DGIF press release if anyone has any questions - or wants to follow the story. http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/news/release.asp?id=153

              I'm glad they've been caught and hope they will be prosecuted. Good job by law enforcement. Folks will differ on the efficacy and ethics of fox pens - but there is no excuse for not obeying the law. It's folks like this that give hunting and angling a bad name.
              Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
              Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
              -Rudyard Kipling


              • #8
                I have hunted all my life.

                I have gone through,battling with antis,fought to stop them throwing acid ect on our hounds,

                Watched helplessly while a semi truck,headed straight for me and another whip,while we were trying to slow/stop traffic,he then ran over hounds on purpose.

                Killing 2 couple..

                Please dont talk to me about being aware of AR.activists,I grew up fighting them.

                To me hunting is a sport.

                Look at the numbers they are talking about being sold to these fox pens.

                Not a lot sporting about that.

                Yes there are supposed to be bolt holes,but when they are blocked off to get a better run for the hounds.

                Is that sport,I think not.

                I truly hate the anti's,and the loss of hunting in UK has affected me and my family greatly,part of our heritage is gone.

                Hunting here is definately different,cubbing is the time we trained young hounds,alongside steady older hounds to learn their job.[in the UK]

                I hope this "awakening "will put training the old fashioned way back in vogue.
                \"I have lived my life-it is nearly done-.I have played the game all round;But I freely admit that the best of my fun I owe it to Horse and Hound\".


                • #9
                  fernie fox -

                  I think the point (from what I read from my states' game dept) - is that the pens in question are NOT operating within the law. Some appear to not have had permits, others not following state law and regulations concerning the health and welfare of the animals - and then there is the issue of interstate trafficking in wild animals.

                  In my mind - nothing which a lawful or ethical hunter would get anywhere near.

                  The DGIF press release did state that in some cases, the hound owners were not aware what was going on. I hope, had they known, they would have taken their dogs and gone home.

                  I didn't think either the link I posted to the VA DGIF, nor the OP's link - really gave enough background for a non hunter to develop an informed opinion. The average Joe could easily assume all hunting with dogs is conducted in this manner, for example. Not only that, but that all hunting is done without any ethics at all.

                  At least the head of our DGIF stated that these acts were outside traditional hunting. However, I doubt a press release by a gov't employee will get as much airtime or bandwidth as a Fox New video. Too bad. It just spreads misinformation.
                  Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                  Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                  -Rudyard Kipling


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Hopefully View Post
                    Please don't fall into the AR trap - divided, we fall.
                    Believe me when I tell you that I am about as not AR as one can get. I've been hunting for 10 years, and served as staff as well.
                    But I also think we need to keep our "sport" away from those who are merely trophy hunting, as well as the "canned hunts", (which it sounds as though this foxpenning is) and is abhorrent, along with hog dog rodeos and the like. That is not sport. An association with those groups can only serve to hurt us in the long run.
                    To me, it is akin to allowing the dogfighters to help in fighting breed specific laws. They do not help the cause, they have caused the situation in the first place.
                    We do not need to be associated with them, that is harmful to our efforts as well. However, I agree that all true sportmen (which these folks are not) must remain united, many voices can yell a lot louder than one.
                    If these fox pen people follow the laws, then fine. But by calling it "foxhunting", this type of press can only serve to hurt us.
                    "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


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jaegermonster View Post
                      But by calling it "foxhunting", this type of press can only serve to hurt us.
                      Mounted Foxhunting is the minority. Fox pens are not the bad, horrible, evil portrayed by Mr. Travis as one would believe.

                      Regulations are there for a reason and many of these pens were cited not for neglect or cruelty but for paperwork violations. Now there are always exceptions to the rule, but most pens are decent places. The same bad press they are getting right now we have gone through over hunts releasing bagged foxes into a pack while the pack dispatches the fox. If you need to see a video of that just log onto You Tube.

                      The foot foxhunters do more to promote and protect the sport of foxhunting than mounted hunters have ever done. They are on the front line and perhaps we cannot realize that because in order to see it, we need to dismount off our 18.2H perches.

                      Regulations are required and rules must be adhered to. I have my own thoughts on hunting in fenced areas. But if I need to support these folks because they, in-turn support me, then they have it.

                      If there is abuse and cruelty there, I’ll come down on them like I would come down on a kennel being cruel to their hounds.


                      • #12
                        I have limited experience with contained fox pens but will say that what I saw was a large 1000 acre pen with lots of bolt holes and areas for the fox to hide in , including houses, tubes and pipes. One day while picking up hounds after a hunt there was a fox who stood in the middle of the road just checking things out. Sorta like "are we done?"

                        Any pen that doesn't offer escapes will be required to purchase more prey than those who don't.

                        Why pens? It allows for training, controlled territory and of course a chance to view your hounds doing what they do best-hunting. It is also a gathering place for people to compare notes, watch hounds work and discuss our sport over lunch and while observing our hounds.

                        It is a unique experience .

                        What I found the most difficult was the hounds who live there only to hunt . Kept in individual kennels (walker hounds) only to hunt and do trials they , like the prey they are chasing are only a commodity. I suspect they have shorter lives and little quality too.
                        Live life to the fullest-ride a standardbred!!!


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by gkittredge View Post

                          Regulations are there for a reason and many of these pens were cited not for neglect or cruelty but for paperwork violations.
                          My understanding is that NONE of them was cited for neglect or cruelty. The worst charges were regarding interstate transport of wild animals. Let me repeat, in an undercover investigation of more than 40 fox pens in Virginia, not a single one of them was charged with neglect or cruelty.

                          Just for the record.
                          ~~Liz Williams, Snickersville Hounds~~

                          "I'll thank the Lord the life I've led Was always near a Thoroughbred"
                          -Paul Mellon


                          • #14

                            We agree.



                            • #15
                              FYI - that's not what the HSUS press release said.... and that's the info that went out to over 10 million members. Their press release said the "animals are torn apart for amusement" - or words to that effect. And of course - few ever bother to find out the facts - they just believe very word that org says as if it's straight from the burning bush.
                              Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                              Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                              -Rudyard Kipling


                              • #16
                                I do no hunting now and I stay on the other forums but I saw this post and couldn't resist. I saw this on the news the other night (living in GA) and I couldn't believe it. I use to have a beagle as a teenager and me and a friend would take our beagle pups to a puppy pen to train them to hunt rabbits. I have nothing againist these pens what so ever. I just couldn't believe that they don't call the dogs off sooner. The one video they showed of the dogs on the coyote was not very fair about 10 dogs to the one coyote and the people stood and watched for minutes before they called the dogs off?/ I don't understand that. If you want to shoot it then do so but don't let it be torn apart by a pack of dogs esp. when it has no where to go. Thats just MO though.
                                Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


                                • #17

                                  If the press coverage and videos put together by PETA, HSUS, and others was true, everybody who posts on this forum would be elbowing each other out of the way to be the first to bring anyone who practiced, or even condoned cruelty to animals in a hunting situation, to swift justice.

                                  Videos are routinely doctored to make some benign activity seem awful. Photos, too, for that matter. I haven't seen the videos you watched, so I can't comment on the specific actions you are describing, but I'm guessing it was heavily edited footage and not particularly objective or accurate.

                                  The pens in question are typically set up so that the fox, or coyote, has plenty of places to seek refuge. And, when there aren't hounds in the pen, the foxes and coyotes dine like kings. The owners of these pens certainly don't want lots of their animals being killed, after all, they have to pay somebody, somewhere, for animals to stock the pens. Do foxes or coyotes sometimes die in pens? Probably. Sometimes they are killed by packs of hounds out hunting too, often turns out to be a sick animal. A healthy fox typically ducks in a hole when they've had enough, and as for coyotes, I've seen them less than 50 yards in front of a pack of hounds for 4 or 5 miles- and then they've had enough of the game, turn on the afterburners, and just pull away like the hounds are standing still. Foxes and coyotes die in far greater quantities from disease, poisoning, being shot, and being hit by cars.

                                  The animal rights groups love to promote the concept of a fox or coyote 'cruelly' being torn to shreds by a pack of hounds. If a fox or coyote is killed by a pack of hounds, the death is typically by a broken neck from the first hound's bite. Instantaneous. If the hounds then tussle over the dead animal, that animal isn't suffering. It's already dead.


                                  • #18

                                    This is the site to the video that I was talking about with the hounds on the coyote. I use to run my beagles in puppy pens to train them and then we wouldn't go to trials. I see nothing wrong at all with that. I just thought that video was bad. They do edit for though and I think they make it sound much much worse than it actually is just check out the video. BY NOOO means are they all like this just this one
                                    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


                                    • #19
                                      Please please please don't think I'm knocking this sport. I'm not one bit I use to do it just not foxes and hounds. I loved it and it was so exciting that your dog gets the win or your puppy finally finds a rabbit. I meant that one place looks kinda fishy to me. But then again you never know.
                                      Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


                                      • #20
                                        There is no mistaking the video you saw. You are correct there were a boat load of hounds on the one coyote. What we don’t know is if the video is from a fox pen, staged or taken from a trial outside the pen. We assume that it is from a competition from inside a pen and we assume it is from the pen in GA. But we don’t actually know. I recall seeing a PETA video of animals being skinned – ALVIE. Horrible video. I also recall seeing a video of a person standing on the head of an animal killing it while blood came out if it’s nose presumably from the skull in the process of being crushed. I was outraged. And then it hit me. Wait, if this is an undercover video why did the videographer zoom in on the bloody nose and how did they know it was going to happen? Maybe the video was from China where that stuff routinely happens. The video while horrible, was either purposely taken or was manufactured by some animal rights organization to produce the shock factor. I do not put it past the ALF, PETA, HSUS or any other of the wing nuts out there to make a video like that for the benefit of their own cause at the expense of the animal.

                                        As to the video of the hounds all pulling on the coyote. Yes, bad to see. It also happens just like that in the wild too. That is how a pack of coyotes take down a deer or other game. When is the last time you screamed at National Geographic for airing a tiger killing an Antelope? What that video did show was that no hound in that entire bunch was worth a damm because no hound actually took hold of it by the neck and dispatched it. That may sound cruel of me to say, but a good hound does its job professionally and swiftly. What is on that video will get the public in an outcry and that is what it did. Should the hounds have been called of sooner, I cannot debate that issue I was not there. Perhaps.

                                        The video also shows that this pen was under attack from a divorce and I don’t doubt that had something to do with the bad press. Bolt holes being stopped up and too many hounds in a pen. Yea, not a good thing.

                                        I think what we are seeing here is the worst of two worlds being combined together by the media looking to sensationalize the situation. We have the reports from the Dept of Wildlife in several states doing stings on pens and live animal sales. Then you add a divorce, then you add a video from wherever and however old, then you add a reporter who has his own agenda, stir well to a boil and you get a sensationalized report that has the wow factor and gets Mr. Travis on the map.

                                        We all do horrible things everyday and if a microscope was turned towards any of us, oh the reports of horse abuse. Your filthy stall, I cannot believe how little turnout you have, wait only one horse, but they are sociable animals. How can you be so cruel? Next the camera pans from your horse standing outside on a cold wintery day in its heavyweight blanket and the wind is howling, The camera follows the tree tops bending in the arctic air through the window of your home to find you curled up in a lazy boy with a cup of coco in front of a roaring fireplace. Now who is the cruel one?

                                        So we need to question the fox pen video. There is always two sides to a story and everyone has an opinion.

                                        The mounted foxhunting word does not use pens very much. – rarely in fact. The foot foxhunting world is much larger than us and has much more legislative power. It is in our best interest to stand shoulder to shoulder and weather this storm together.

                                        I’ll add the same disclaimer as you, I am not knocking anyone, just making a statement.