Dramatic scenery, a long history, tough huntsmen and a great welcome make fell hunting something every hunting person should experience, says Frank Houghton Brown
Most hunting folk love hounds and watching them work, but for those who haven’t experienced it, a visit to Cumbria to hunt with one of the seven Fell packs puts a new perspective on venery. The simple fact that no horses are involved directs all the attention to the hounds.
Counted singly rather than in couples, the hounds are known individually to many regular followers, from the way they hunt to their unique voices. It’s an eye-opener that every hunting person should experience. However, the hounds are only one of the many aspects that combine to make fell hunting so special.
The history is the first thing to celebrate in this unique form of hunting — the way every hunt was formed with no pomp or ceremony but with two things in mind; love of the chase and the need for vermin control on these inaccessible mountain sides.