Fox Hunting

My Uncle Otis (Ode) Teaster and his older sons were avid fox hunters. I believe Fox hunting, as they did it, was not very common in the SC Upcountry. The purpose was not really to catch and kill the fox. It was much more about listening to the dogs or the chase. This kind of fox hunting was done in the mountains of Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia.  It had a long history back to colonial times. It was not the sort of foxhunting done with horses jumping over fences that you might have seen in the movies.

Uncle Ode kept a pack of foxhounds in the backyard to use in the sport. The foxhunt took place at night. The dogs would be carried out to the country and turned loose. Sometimes, there would be two or three cars or trucks with the hunters in them going along.

Once the dogs were released, the hunters would free them to strike a trail. They could identify each dog by his bark.  Once the direction of where the fox was headed, they would go either on foot or by cars to get in front of the chase. That way they could hear the dogs better. They could tell by the sounds if the fox had gone to ground or been treed or if the dogs lost the trail altogether. They could also tell the individual dogs and what it was doing by their sound. I don’t remember the hunters being particularly interested in catching or killing the fox if he went to ground. The real interest was the chase. Sometimes, they would stay out late into the night as one fox after another would be jumped and chased by the dogs.

Uncle Ode had a big horn made out of a cow horn.  He blew it to bring the dogs back in when the chase was over.



The American Foxhound
(from Wikipedia)


 
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This web site has been started as a public service to share the story of Pacolet. The web master and person to contact about putting information on the web site is me, Gerald Teaster.  Contact me at:
gteaster@pacoletmemories.com or by telephone at (843) 873-8117.  My regular mail adress is:
1311 Jahnz Ave.
Summerville, SC 29485

See more information about my Pacolet connection at Gerald Teaster.