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Oscar Wilde once described fox hunting as “the unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable.” This sardonic view is, of course, far from the truth. As practiced in this country, fox hunting might more properly be called fox chasing. With the abundance of natural hiding places for the fox, he has all the advantages and is often seen but rarely caught. Most foxes, after they have been chased a few times, seem to join in the spirit of the chase and will often be seen watching the hounds to try to unravel their path. In this area, we hunt native Red Fox, Grey Fox, and Coyote. The hunt normally begins early in the morning before the day warms too much and destroys the scent. The huntsman will urge his hounds into the covert with his voice, and they begin to hunt for the scent of the fox. As soon as one or two find, the rest join in and the pack begins to chase the fox’s scent. Hunts normally end when the scent is lost or the quarry goes to ground, at which point the huntsman will blow “gone to ground” on his horn and praise his hounds for such a fine accomplishment in accounting for their fox.
Fox hunters, like many people, enjoy the vigor of the outdoors and the congeniality that hunting provides. Hopper Hills Hunt, founded in 1971, is dedicated to maintaining the strong traditions of fox hunting and to bringing to the Victor area a sense of the Olde World. Ours is a family oriented hunt; young and old alike are most welcome to enjoy the countryside, to participate in healthful exercise and to aid in the preservation of the tradition, following the hunt by car, or hilltopping on foot or horseback are customary ways to participate in the tradition of fox hunting.
Come join us; but beware, hunting can become an addiction. As Robert Surtees “Jorrocks” once observed, “Unting is all that’s worth living for—all time is lost wot is not spent in ‘unting—it is like the air we breathe—if we have it not we die—it’s the sport of kings—the image of war without its guilt, and only five-and-twenty percent of its danger” (Handley Cross) 1843.
Effective at the end of the 2003 hunting season, the Hopper Hills Hunt has disbanded after 33 years, and most of the hounds have been accepted into the Genesee Valley Hunt's pack, where they will continue to provide good sport. It is hoped that much of the Hopper Hills Hunt country will continue to be hunted by the Genesee Valley Hunt.