Notes for a Young Huntsman by the Late Marquis of Exeter KCMG MFH

Burghley Hounds 1958 -1968


  1.  Know all your hounds by name and make friends with them.
  2. Never hit a hound if your staff are about to do it for you.
  3. Remember they are like jealous affectionate children.
  4. Do not pick one out for special attention. It will lead to jealousy amongst the others and can lead them to killing it.
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    Lord Exeter and his Burghley Hounds

    Lord Exeter and his Burghley Hounds

  5.  Get them used to your voice and whistles as soon as is possible.
  6.  Your Kennel Huntsman must get them completely fit.
  7.  Remember hounds are like humans and have off days too.
  8.  Remember they loves the man that hunts them more than the man that feeds them.
  9. Be punctual at all your Meets to ensure you greet your farmers etc.
  10.  Draw a big covert upwind and a small covert down wind. This can avoid chopping a fox.
  11. Use your horn and voice well in woodland. Your hounds then know where you are. This is important if the hounds split and it will keep fresh foxes out of the way.
  12.  Draw slowly. Your hounds don’t try if you are too quick and become fearful of being left.
  13.  Hounds rolling at a Meet normally mean a poor scent.
  14.  Foxes often run the same line throughout the season.
  15.  Do not wait for your tail hounds. Keep a special note on the horn and a holloa for the ‘Gone Away.’
  16.  Let your hounds make their cast first before touching them and then cast them quietly.
  17.  Be very quiet at a check in the open.
  18.  Always keep an eye open for the fox. It is extraordinary how often one gets a view in open country.
  19.  Try and see what made him turn.
  20.  A beaten fox always turns down the wind.
  21.  A sudden redoubling often means he is retracing his steps.
  22.  The hounds can smell where he has gone when you can’t.
  23.  Be patient on a poor scent and persevere as long as you can. Scent may suddenly improve or you may work up to him.
  24.  When hounds have made their own cast, you should at least know where the fox has not gone.
  25.   Be immensely patient with a beaten fox. More are lost at this point than any other.
  26.  Don’t let your tail hounds play about behind the others.
  27.  Remember some land is always bad scenting.
  28.  Try to get your hounds to come to you without being pushed on.
  29.  Save your horse when you can, particularly by choosing the going.
  30.  Don’t jump a big place if there is a small one nearby. If however there is no way out and hounds are running try anything.
  31.  Try and keep in a position to see all your leading hounds and to see where they check.
  32.  Shut a gate if you have the time and always pass the time of day when you see farmers etc.
  33.  Even if you don’t like the kill your hounds must never know.
  34.  The Field generally mistakes out of ignorance or being clumsy whilst enjoying themselves.
  35. Don’t call them by name when you damn them and if you have to be very rude, drop them a word later that you had to do it only because others might do the same. They then usually feel rather heroic. Such is human nature.
  36. Take your hounds home slowly.
The Burghley Hounds

The Burghley Hounds



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