Hunting photographer Jim Meads has set what is believed to be a world record.

He has now hunted with and photographed 500 different packs of hounds in the UK, Ireland, France, the USA and Canada over his long career.

Jim, 80, reached his hunting milestone by photographing the Loudoun West in Virginia, USA, on 5 December.

Many of his hunting pictures illustrated Foxford’s Hunting Diary in Horse & Hound during a career covering well over 60 years.

Jim trained as a photographer as a 16-year-old and began accompanying his father, the sporting photographer Frank Meads, on hunting trips from 1947.

“Retirement is not on my agenda,” says Jim, who lives in Powys and has kept extraordinarily fit by running across country with hounds and horses to take his pictures in the hunting field, although nowadays he’ll accept the odd lift as well.

Jim used a film camera to photograph the Loudoun West, 45 miles west of Washington DC, and has plans to visit more American packs in 2011.

He is planning his sixth book of hunting pictures, provisionally entitled Goodnight Masters, to be published in 2012.

“I still enjoy a good day’s hunting as much as taking the pictures,” said Jim.

“I don’t think anyone will beat my 500th-pack record. My friend Dennis Foster, director of the American Masters of Foxhounds Association, has hunted with 396 packs and that’s the closest figure I know.”

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (13 January, 2011)