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Looking for a lodge with a pack of Beagles for traditional foxhunting in Northeast US

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Looking for a lodge with a pack of Beagles for traditional foxhunting in Northeast US

Old 02-06-2018, 06:10 AM
  #1  
Spike
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Default Looking for a lodge with a pack of Beagles for traditional foxhunting in Northeast US

Hello there, my family and I've recently relocated from the UK to Connecticut for work. When I was young, my dad, grandad and uncles would take my brothers, cousins and I on the traditional fox hunt on horseback using a pack of Beagles. Unfortunately, the fox hunt was banned in the UK quite some time ago, so I haven't yet been able to engage in this tradition with my own boys, who are now 5 and 8. Now that we are in the United States, where the political environment is a bit more conducive to such activities, I would like to take my boys on a hunt, and perhaps bring my dad out. However, I'm having quite the hard time finding a fox hunting club or lodge with their own pack of dogs. We have two dogs, a Spaniel and a Retriever who are our pets and hunting companions, however we only use them for upland hunts and wildfowling, even if they were scenthounds with the capacity to do what a Beagle does to find a fox, the two of them cannot safely take on the fox, they can only retrieve it once dispatched. Traditionally, hunting lodges and gentleman's institutions would maintain a pack of 10-30 Beagles for this purpose, because it's impractical for any man to maintain that many dogs for his own personal use, and because the nature of their work doesn't necessitate a close bond with their handler in the same way that a Spaniel's work does. However, I'm having a problem finding a lodge or club that keeps a pack, and it seems that most fox hunting in the United States is treated like an upland bird hunt, with one or two dogs to flush and retrieve, and a gun to dispatch. I enjoy that sort of hunting with birds, but my boys and I have done that many times and what I'm looking for is to take them on a traditional fox hunt. So, can you recommend a lodge with a pack for my family and I go to and hunt with? Obviously we would prefer to stay in New England, but I'm willing to travel as far south as Maryland and as far west as Ohio. It would be splendid if they also had their own hunting horses, we have two horses currently but they're Welsh Ponies, not really of the hunter type, and having to transport them back and forth is a real pain, however I'm more than willing to do it if we can find a proper foxhunting pack that doesn't keep their own horses. Thank you so much, have a wonderful day.
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Old 02-06-2018, 07:34 AM
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I don't know if there is such a thing in the NE US. There are traditional fox hunts in SE PA, "Red Coats" riding to the hounds. However, the hunts are done by the very wealthy with large land holdings who keep stables and kennels for their horses and hounds and it is invitation only and big social events and the average person does not get invited. I just Googled foxhunting clubs in NE US and there are several. I did not open and read each one bit they all seem to be for people who have their own horses and dogs .

Last edited by Oldtimr; 02-06-2018 at 07:38 AM.
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Old 02-06-2018, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Oldtimr View Post
I don't know if there is such a thing in the NE US. There are traditional fox hunts in SE PA, "Red Coats" riding to the hounds. However, the hunts are done by the very wealthy with large land holdings who keep stables and kennels for their horses and hounds and it is invitation only and big social events and the average person does not get invited. I just Googled foxhunting clubs in NE US and there are several. I did not open and read each one bit they all seem to be for people who have their own horses and dogs .

Thank you, I appreciate it. We can use our horses, but needing one's own pack might be an issue, it's one thing to have 2-3 gundogs of one's own that are also family pets, it's an entirely different thing to keep a personal pack of Beagles, that's a lot of dogs and in larger packs they bond with one another more than any human, so they're not really people dogs and a huge hassle to keep for most of the year when you're not hunting. It used to be that each college at Oxford and Cambridge, along with each of the good schools and social clubs would maintain a pack for use by alumni, students and members, but not anymore because of the legal reality and I don't know if anything analogous exists in the United States. Paying fees or anything wouldn't be a problem, if I could just find a club or a lodge!

When you say SE Pennsylvania, do you mean the Philadelphia area? That's certainly a reasonable distance.
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Old 02-06-2018, 09:48 AM
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The areas around Philadelphia, Chester Co, Delaware county Bucks Co. However, these people are multi millionaires, mostly old money, who do not embrace strangers and are very private in their social circles. I wish you luck.

Last edited by Oldtimr; 02-06-2018 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 02-07-2018, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Oldtimr View Post
The areas around Philadelphia, Chester Co, Delaware county Bucks Co. However, these people are multi millionaires, mostly old money, who do not embrace strangers and are very private in their social circles. I wish you luck.
Thank you, I definitely know the type, it's the norm in British hunting culture. Although, I am surprised that this sort of environment is so in American hunting, I was under the impression that US hunting culture was a lot of more salt-of-the-earth and proletarian.
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Old 02-07-2018, 09:50 AM
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Old money is the same world wide, they do not embrace commoners.
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Old 02-08-2018, 04:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Feirmeoir View Post
Thank you, I definitely know the type, it's the norm in British hunting culture. Although, I am surprised that this sort of environment is so in American hunting, I was under the impression that US hunting culture was a lot of more salt-of-the-earth and proletarian.
It is for the most part. Those who don't have connections can hunt on public hunting land. Those who are interested in spending some money can get in on a lease, club, or pay an outfitter to get on private land. Some people save a while and buy their own land to hunt, anyone with the interest can eventually pick up prime spots, regardless of their income.

I am pretty sure fox hunting with dogs & hounds is the exception rather than the rule. I do have a buddy in Virginia whose daughter wanted to get involved, he has some land, so he bought a pack of hounds and a couple horses. Of course, the daughter grew up, got married and moved away, he was able to sell or give the dogs away, but he still has an empty kennel and 2 horses that he has to feed and maintain for the next 20+ years.
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