Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Earth Stoppers and the Chase

Earth-stopper, Henry Thomas Alken, 1820

The notion that mounted fox hunting is principally about fox killing or "control" is wrong.

The Reverend Russell, who organized or rode with many of the very first fox packs in England, spent much of his time trying to get people to stop killing fox so their populations would increase and he could find them and chase them more easily.

One way to discourage fox from going to ground was to employ an earthstopper whose job it was to block fox and badger dens late at night or very early in the morning so that the returning fox would have nowhere to go, and could not escape underground.

Earthstopper by Joseph Wright, 1773

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