Image for A Tasmanian Story

“There is one trick that is probably tried more often than the average hunting man imagines and it generally means the end to the hunt.

A fox, finding his strength becoming exhausted from the chase, and the hounds getting nearer, thinks rapidly of the nearest drain he knows and makes straight for it.

Perhaps if he is young and inexperienced he may take shelter there, but the seasoned veteran is aware a drain is no place of safety. Besides which in his heated anxious state it would be very uncomfortable.

Therefore merely just putting his head in the entrance, he withdraws it and doubling back, jumps off at an erratic tangent.

Hounds naturally go straight to the drain and the scent left at the entrance induces them to mark the ground.

The huntsman dismounts and thinks this is a certainty, even though one or two of the older hounds in the pack do not appear as keen as he would expect.

A fox terrier and spades are procured and the process of eviction is commenced. The terrier is unworthily condemned as useless, and after lengthy digging operations there is no fox to be found.

Now very occasionally it happens another fox may have made that drain his home, so that when eventually he is brought to light, the Master of the Hounds and huntsmen are left wondering how it is that a perfectly clean fox has replaced the long-chased and bedraggled one they expected to find.”

[Reference: Foxhunting by Sir Charles Frederick & others - 1930]