Aaaah, I have fallen in love with other than my own ‘furry one’. Whilst he will never know, I must share my new found affection for these amazing wee dogs!!
Yesterday, we were invited to a vendeen rabbit hunt somewhere in beautiful rural Leicestershire. In the distant past, long before people wanted to spoil all our fun, I had been Beagling in the new forest (beagles hunting hares) but had absolutely no idea what to expect from vendeen rabbit hunting. I was told that there would be bassett hounds and they would be hunting rabbits!! As simple as that.
Now, I’m no expert, but I do know that as soon as you frighten a rabbit or make yourself known to them, they bolt and go to ground . So, curiosity was going to kill this cat because I wanted to know how on earth you successfully hunt rabbits with noisy hounds!!
Before I get into the wherfores, I have to tell you a little about these delightful wee dogs……(oops, sorry, hounds)
They are french, fun loving, friendly and filled with enthusiasm for absolutely everything!!! Selectively bred from bassets for their size & coat, their tails never stop, they find their voices in milliseconds of a hint of fun and are just the most delightful thing I’ve seen in ages. There were 26.5 ‘couples’ which translates to 53 hounds and each one, in it’s very individual way, was just lovely.
They were bred for hunting small game and vermin such as rabbits, and it is still legal to hunt with them in the UK because they are used as a form of pest control (don’t get me onto the contradiction with the fox hunting ban……).
Anyway, off we set across the hills and down the lanes, into the gullies and woodlands. There were about 60 bods following the hunt master and his helpers, from 6 year olds right up to pensioners. it must have been quite a sight to see if you happened upon us whilst about your daily business!!!
The ‘bag’ wasn’t huge and I think the farmer would consider that he still had quite a problem with vermin BUT, what fun. I can’t wait for my next invite.