Saturday was glorious. It was one of those clear and crisp winter days that invigorate the soul with the icy clean air filling your lungs while the watery winter sun shines low on the horizon. The frost under foot gave everything a Christmassy feel although it would seem goodwill to all men was definitely lacking somewhat. I wonder what the percentage of hunters follow the Christian faith? Do you think they justify their actions by the text in Genesis 1:26 or are they just a bunch of bloodthirsty junkies obsessed with killing wild animals?

I joined up with sabs from Northants, Notts and Derby to see what the Cottesmore Hunt were up to. It’s a pretty big hunt and also one of the oldest and after Saturday I can confirm one with some of the most arrogant riders. Lots of youngsters out with them as well. I always considered encouraging children to commit a crime as some sort of child abuse but I guess they have to indoctrinate the next generation of killers somehow. They’ve certainly got the rudeness off pat. Even the youngsters were pulling faces and shouting abuse. Charmers one and all and it’s easy to see how their superiority complexes develop.

It's not a car it's a chocolate tea pot

It’s not a car it’s a chocolate tea pot

The Cottesmore use the loophole in the Hunting Act of flushing to a bird of prey, in this case a Golden Eagle. However said Golden Eagle and handler were usually miles from any hounds and certainly not ready to engage in any hunting activity of it’s own. The hood never came off and it spent most of it’s time either in the box or precariously trying to stay on it’s handlers fist as he drove a quad bike erratically one handed. Not a great example of falconry and I’m pretty sure something you’re not supposed to do on the public roads. Birds of prey will only hunt if they’re the right weight and hungry. I’d wager this bird was well fed and unlikely to fly after anything. Eagles need big open spaces so hunting the hounds through woods is clearly in breach of the act.

For my own part I ran miles, got very muddy and had lots of lovely cuddles with the hounds who are always pleased to see us (it’s the only affection they ever see) and managed to save some wildlife. I was also hit by a horse and the local Gamekeeper tried to kill me with his Landrover. Shame I didn’t get it on video but I was diving out the way at the time and doing my best not to end up under his wheels. The police were their usual pointless selves, their local Wildlife Crime Officer (PC Draper 1350) happy to sit in her car or mingle with the support. Later on she ever denied she was the WCO and they were just using that particular vehicle. Yeah sure, we believe you.

Quote of the day came from the Huntsman: “I’ve never killed a fox in my life”. Needless to say we treated that with the contempt it deserved. Anyway, enjoy the video and feel free to share.

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