Rules

 

Updated March 2013

Hunt Rules and Guidelines.

 

Please remember to bring water for your beagles as well as a collar and a lead. Wear comfortable walking shoes. We usually have a get together after the hunt so bring a snack and something to drink as well.

The point of the Rules and Guidelines are to educate new and remind old members of the process followed whilst in the field. Each hunt must be fun for human and hound, so these guidelines are very important.

The advertised time is the start time of the first line. Please be punctual and ensure you arrive a minimum of 15 minutes before hand to register and if new to get a temporary number.

When you arrive at the field, let you hounds from the vehicles and allow them mingle with the other pack members.  Make sure that you get you collar and bib on well in time for the start of the hunt.

HANDLERS: A maximum of 3 dogs per handler is allowed. More than that per person is too much to handle. If you know your dog is boisterous and you can only handle one at a time, please don’t get yourself in a tangle with more dogs. There are sometimes extra hands to help, but if you have a big pack, please try and bring someone to help you release.

 

    1. The Huntmaster will announce the start of the hunt.  Everyone is to have their hound on the leash.  (Your Hounds must be kept on ‘short’ leashes at all times.  The only exceptions are when the hounds are on the line (obviously), and when walking to the next release point, where dog’s that did not run the line, may run free of their leashes).
    1. All hounds must to be ‘bibbed’ in a jacket clearly indicating the number assigned to your hound for the season.
    1. The Huntmaster will then scent the hounds with the lure being used on that day.  The lure is normally a bag of pilchards which is dragged through the field to create the line.  Again please keep you hounds on a short leash.  The Huntmaster will come to you, don’t move toward the Huntmaster.
    1. Once the hounds have been scented, the Huntmaster and the team assisting with scoring will indicate the starting point where the hounds will be released from.  A rope will be laid along which you will line up to release.  Do not move to the release line until instructed to do so. NO PERSON OR HOUND MAY CROSS OVER THE LINE PRIOR TO RELEASE.
    1. Once the line has been laid, the Huntmaster will contact the pack with instructions to release the hounds.
    1. The release is very important and the rules must be closely adhered to. SHOULD ANY HOUND SLIP THEIR LEAD PRIOR TO RELEASE IT WILL BE DISQUALIFIED FOR POINTS FROM THAT LINE. THE ONUS
      IS ON THE OWNER TO INFORM THE HUNTMASTER.
    1. Once the call has been received from the Huntmaster, the responsible person at the release point will instruct you to lead your hounds to the release line.  When you are in position along the rope, hold you hound firmly by the collar and release the leash. Do this as quickly as possible.  The hounds are VERY excited by this stage and will be pulling wildly.
    1. When all the hounds are ready for release, the responsible person will count to 3 and blow the whistle, at which point you let go of your hound’s collar.
    1. VERY, VERY, VERY important at this stage is to remain where you are and in a crouching position, stay perfectly still and quiet.  The reason for this that the hounds might not get the scent immediately and mill around the starting line.  Any distraction may cause them to lose interest.  New dogs will also not always run immediately and may need to be coaxed by the other hounds already on the line.  Noise from the humans will cause them to lose interest.   DO NOT shout encouragement to you hound, as difficult as it may be to contain your enthusiasm.
    1. The hounds will then follow the trail to the end point where the team will score them depending on their position in the pack.  We award 1st to 5th place.  However every hound finishing the line will receive points as often the hounds arrive in small groups, and they then will receive the same points for the same placing.  Once we reach 5th place, every hound completing after that will receive points for 5th place.  The points are tallied towards the end of the year when the Top 10 are announced.  These Top 10 then compete in the end of year finale.  We also hold a prize giving where all the hounds are rewarded for their efforts.

 

  1. Once the hounds have completed the line, the humans can then make their way to the end point.  When you arrive there, immediately put your hounds on the leash and ensure that they have some water to drink.  The huntmaster will then read out the scores, and the process is repeated over again.

 

IMPORTANT: The dogs can become a little aggressive towards each other at times.  Please ensure that you keep them on short leashes at all the necessary times to avoid fights.