How to blow a hunting horn: you need teeth, but no raspberries, please *H&H Plus*

Knowing how to blow a hunting horn is a skill that will win you admirers and teach you more about what is happening on a hunting day, says Rory Knight Bruce. Just warn your neighbours first…

It could be a hunting supper or dinner party anywhere in the land, and the master and huntsman is sitting after a fine day’s sport in the glow of praise at the best seat at the table. In front of him, as the port is passed round, sits a silver presentation hunting horn, perhaps an ancient heirloom belonging to the hosts.

In one of the few heart-sinking situations of hunting, it too will soon be passed round to the guests, and woe betide the diner who can only blow a raspberry.

“An ability to blow a hunting horn is not the be-all-and-end-all of hunting or following a pack of hounds, but everyone who hunts should know the basic commands and what they mean,” says Jacky Thomas, a senior master and huntsman of more than 30 seasons and nine-time winner of the Dorian Williams horn-blowing trophy at the Horse & Hound Ball. Starting off his hunting life, Jacky would take his horn everywhere.

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