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Foxhunting in America -


Mounted foxhunting has existed in America since Colonial days. The earliest record of the importation of hounds to this country was on June 30, 1650, when Robert Brooke arrived in Maryland with his family, 28 servants and his hounds. By the early 1700's, mounted foxhunting was spreading rapidly in Maryland, Virginia and probably other colonies. Hounds were also used for other forms of hunting. Early planters with sporting English blood imported red foxes from England in 1730 and celebrated the event at Chestertown, Maryland. The sport has grown ever since, but its formal organization, as with other sports, did not begin until some years after the Civil War.


Through the years North American foxhunting has evolved its own distinct flavor which is noticeably different from the British. The most obvious difference is in North America the emphasis is on the chase. In Britain the goal is to kill the fox as populations of fox are extremely high and fox are considered vermin. Farmers with sheep farms want the animal numbers controlled. In America a successful hunt ends when the fox is accounted for by entering a hole in the ground, called an earth. Once there, hounds are rewarded with praise from their huntsman. The fox gets away and is chased another day.


In some parts of North America, including Georgia and Alabama, coyotes have become a nuisance and are destroying livestock. In those situations Hunts do attempt to kill the coyote with limited success. The coyote is bigger, stronger and faster than a fox.


On many hunts scent isn't sufficient for hounds to run at all. They cannot run what they can't smell. Even these slow days are fun as the scenery is always beautiful, fellow foxhunters are enjoyable and watching the hounds as they attempt to find the quarry is pleasurable. 

                                 -- Adapted from Masters of Foxhounds Association

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