By James Dwyer
My hobby is fox hunting, which I enjoy doing. I have being doing it now for the past thirty five years. I look forward to Sundays to meeting the lads for the hunt. There are around fifteen of us that go hunting. We hunt on foot because we carry guns for shooting. We keep around thirty beagles between five of us. Twenty mature dogs and ten pups.
The farmers call on us in the lambing season to come and shoot some of the foxes for them. It is lovely to listen to the dogs in full cry while chasing the fox. We start shooting the first of November and finish up around the middle of March. Then during the summer time we take out the pups and get them used to crossing rivers, ditches and wire fences. We get them started hunting for the next season because we want to keep up the numbers in the pack. We lose some during the year to old age, injuries and getting lost.
Some people object to fox hunting but I have done it all my life and the dogs enjoy the hunt very much. And in some parts of the country there is a need to keep fox numbers under control for the farmers.