ESKDALE AND ENNERDALE FOXHOUNDS.
A ROUSING RUN.
On the invitation of MR. ROBSON, the Eskdale and Ennerdale hounds met for the annual hunt at Irton Hall. Breakfast was partaken of by a large company of hunters, and after the customary toast had been proposed by Mr. JAS. GRAVE, the chairman of the Foxhounds Committee, the Master cast off behind the Hall. A fox was quickly found, and to the accompaniment of bursts of joyous music the pack bustled him round the coverts again and again before he was forced towards his native haunts.
Closely pursued the fox took out to Irton Pike, but hounds were running strongly, and forced him to seek lower ground again, and he descended to Park Breast Wood, circling the tarn and leaping wall after wall with hounds in very close attendance.
Soon all was silent, and the Master met hounds coming out of the wood showing unmistakable signs of having run into their quarry, but the latter could not be found in the thick undergrowth of fern and bracken.
The next meet was a bye day from Kennels, when hunters in Eskdale were provided with a grand hunt. Three foxes were unkennelled behind Brantrake Fell, and one was observed to cross Milkingstead Bridge and on to Low Fell. A second fox took down low country by Birkby Fells to Stainton, where, after a fast run by Cleaver, Brilly, Welcome, and Jovial, the fox was run into.
The third rover made a circuit of Ansthwaite Valley and Dalegarth Woods before descending to Linbeck, near where he crossed the River Esk and made out by Muncaster Head. Skirting Muncaster Fell, the hunt led across the Mite and out towards Irton Pike.
The fox was now apparently heading for the redoubtable Wastwater Screes, and pushed on over Mecklin, but the pack running strongly were rapidly overhauling him on the plain ground, and he turned at the top of Hole Ghyll, and came back into Mitredale by way of Low Beak.
Hunters climbing out for Screes were now right in amongst the proceedings, and at one time the fox was met several times while essaying to leap the walls out of the wood.
Though thus inadvertently baulked several times, the quarry managed to dodge hounds in the woods near Low Holme, and crossed the fields, where a boy was amongst the turnips.
This must have been the youngster's first "view" of a fox and hounds; at any rate he failed to stand his ground, and made off out of the way of the fox and the oncoming pack as fast as his legs would carry him.
The fox made straight on to some more hunters near Low Place, as if to give them a fright. They, however, stood their ground, and watched hounds press on from scent to view and view to death near Low Place.
The following meet at Boot Bank did not prove so fruitful, although a good run resulted. Hounds dragged out from Nab Ghyll into the mist which enveloped the tops. Here the pack split, a few couples going out towards Wasdale Head side past Burnmoor, whilst the major portion of the pack crossed the Mite and Tongue Moore, and made out to the screes. They were next heard coming out of Screes Summit near Coal Moss, and a rattling hunt led down Whinrigg breast again into Mitredale.
Crossing to Low Fell, the fox made several circuits round by Rakerigg borran and Hollin How breast before entering Gatehouse covers. Here the fox took the edge of the artificial lake. This enforced immersion, and the inevitable carpet of dead leaves enabled the quarry to save his brush.
Hounds kept on for a considerable time through the breast of Low Fell and out over Bang Garth, but were finally drawn off.
Meeting near the residence of MR. W. C. PORTER, the master and huntsman, followers of this pack climbed over Brantrake Fell, where MR. FLETCHER DIXON viewed a fox who led them back over the top to Brantrake Fell, and down over the private drive. He returned to Ainhouse plantation, and along the breast towards the Screes, where he found it too much for him and descended to the bottom towards Low Place and into Waite's Wood. The hunt continued into Low Place, the quarry was bowled over by all the pack. He proved to be a fine dog fox.