All on – All hounds present and accounted for.
Babble – To give tongue on scent other than fox, or on no scent, or on a scent too faint to follow.
Bitch pack – A pack of hounds consisting only of bitches (females), referred to only as bitches, not as bitchhounds.
Blank – A covert is blank or has been drawn blank when no foxes are found. A day is blank when hounds do not find a fox or coyote.
Brace – When counting foxes, two equal a brace and three equal a leash.
Breakfast – The meal after hunting is over, no matter the time of day.
Brush – A fox’s tail.
Buttons - Club specific buttons worn by members only at the invitation of the Masters.
Capping Fee - A Fee paid by non-subscribers for each time hunting to help in the cost of insurance and regular costs of the hunt such as maintaining the hounds, grounds or equipment.
Casting – Hounds attempt to recover the line after a loss. Hounds may cast themselves or the Huntsman may cast hounds.
Check – When scent has temporarily disappeared.
Coffee Housing – When people are chattering instead of paying attention.
Colors – A club specific colored collar worn by members only at the invitation of the masters.
Coop – A brace of boards placed over a wire fence providing the “safe” place for mounted riders to jump when crossing a fixture fenced boundary.
Country – The area where a pack of hounds operates.
Couple – Two hounds. Hounds are always counted in couples, i.e. eleven hounds equal five and a half couples. Tradition has it that the extra half couple (hound) is the one who finds the fox.
Couples – A device for keeping two hounds joined for training.
Covert – (pronounced “cover”) A patch of woods or brush where foxes are apt to be found.
Cry – The sound given by hounds when hunting.
Cub – A weaned fox in his first year of life.
Cub Hunting - Starts usually in August prior to Opening Hunt. Opportunity to train hounds/mounts.
Closing Hunt - A weekend of events culminating the Hunt season.
Den – A fox’s hole.
Dog Fox – A male fox.
Dog pack – A pack of hounds consisting only of doghounds (males).
Drawing – Looking for a fox or coyote in a covert.
Earth – Any place a fox goes to ground for protection.
Entered Hound – A hound which has been hunted for one season or more. During his first season of hunting a hound may be referred to as an un-entered hound.
Feathering – A hound “feathers” when he indicates, by actions rather than by voice, that he is on a line or near it. The stern (rear end) is waved and activity is concentrated and intensified.
Field ("the field") – The group of members and guests, excluding the MFH and staff, gathered to follow hounds on any particular day. There is a distinct protocol traditionally followed within the field.
Field Master – The person who is responsible for the field while out hunting. This may be the MFH or someone designated by the MFH. The field master has a difficult job. Most field masters would like to encourage members’ interest and enthusiasm in hounds and hunting and will try their best to get the field where they should be. (Please, don’t pass the Field Master.)
Field Secretary - Assists Honorary Secretary, collects capping fees, release of liabilities, assists Field Master in accountability of who is riding in the Field.
Fixtures - The lands and properties on which HFH hunts
Fixture Card – The printed schedule of hunt meets, listing times and locations.
Full Cry – When the entire pack is speaking to a line.
Ground – When the fox “goes to ground” he takes shelter, frequently in a hole or pipe.
Hark – 1) “Please be quiet and listen.” 2) Hounds rushing to a hound that has opened.
Heading a fox – To head a fox is to cause it to turn from its planned direction of travel. Every effort is made to avoid this.
Hilltoppers – Traditionally, hilltoppers would follow the hunt by riding from hilltop to hilltop, observing from a distance. Nowadays, Persons riding, following the action at a slower pace without jumping (great place for green horses to be tested/trained).
Hold Hard – “Stop quickly, please.”
Honor – One hound honors another when he gives tongue on a line that another hound has been hunting.
Honorary Secretary - Secretary of the Hunt business, collects capping fees, release of liabilities and is responsible for communication with other hunts.
Hound - Foxhound or recognized breed of dog used in foxhunting. Fox hunters do not ever call the hounds “dogs”.
Hunt -- In the old days, what we call a "good chase" or a good run would have been called a good hunt.
Hunt Breakfast - the meal and social gathering after a formal hunt.
Hunt Ball – A Hunt’s annual formal dinner dance.
Hunter Trials - Held early in the fall. An opportunity for friendly competition between hunts
Hunter Pace - Late in the spring and early in the Fall, cross country event where optimum time is the key to winning.
Huntsman – The person who hunts hounds and is responsible for the care, breeding, and training of the hounds. At some hunts the Masters direct the breeding program. At some hunts one of the Masters acts as Huntsman. The Huntsman may be professional (in which case he is paid for his services) or he may be an amateur.
Hunt Master - Hunts the hounds.
Kennel – The place where hounds are kept.
Joint Meet - Planned joint hunts with 2 or more Hunts participating.
Lark – Unnecessary utilization of the horse which expends energy and enhances risk needlessly.
Lift – To carry hounds forward. The huntsman lifts hounds by encouraging them forward.
Line – The trail of the fox.
Mark – When a hound indicates that a fox has gone to ground.
Mask – A fox’s head.
Master – This almost always refers to the Master of Fox Hounds (MFH), the person responsible for the hunting and the organization of the country. As long as you are in the hunt field, the Master’s word is “law”. At the meet, this is the person in charge and responsible for the entire proceedings. The MFH is the host, making sure everyone is having a good day, and the chief of protocol, making sure rules and traditions are upheld, and the safety officer, making sure everyone is under control and behaving courteously and kindly. There may also be a Field Master appointed to lead the field.
Master of Foxhounds - Elected officials aka Joint Masters. They oversee the Hunt activities, manage assets and funds, and interact with landowners on behalf of the Hunt.
Meet – The assembling of the hunt for the day’s sport. The actual place is also called the meet.
Mixed pack – A pack of hounds consisting of both sexes.
Music – The baying of hounds indicating they have scented quary.
Nose – The ability of a hound to detect and interpret the scent.
Open – When a hound first gives tongue on a line.
Opening Hunt - The traditional beginning of the hunt season. A event steeped in tradition. Horses are braided, tack sparkling clean, the hounds are blessed, an extensive breakfast follows the hunt.
Pad – A fox’s foot.
Panel – A jump built into a fence-line specifically for foxhunting.
Puppy – A young foxhound that has been weaned but has not been entered.
Ratcatcher - Informal attire for cubing and hunting. Tweed coat, stock or neck tie, field boots, hunt cap or helmet.
Rate – A vocal warning given to correct hounds.
Release of Liability - A document acknowledging release of liability which must be signed and witnessed prior to leaving the trailer area for the Hunt. Children must be signed for by legal parent or guardian.
Riot – When hounds are hunting any game other than the intended quarry.
Run – Describes the action after hounds find the line of a fox. A “good run” is also a “good hunt” (the term “hunt” should refer to a “run” and not to a “meet”).
Running Heel – When hounds are hunting a line in the wrong direction.
Scent – The smell of a fox and the physical and chemical phenomena by which the smell gets from the fox’s footprints to the hound’s nose. Scent can be good or bad, easy to follow or not, depending on various factors including the weather.
Speak – When a hound gives tongue. (One would never say a hound was barking . . .)
Staff - Also known as Hunt Staff. The Huntsman, whippers-in, and Master make up the Hunt Staff. There may be additional staff members in some hunt clubs, like a Field Master.
Stern – The hound’s tail.
Stirrup Cup – A dubious award to be “won” by any member who suffers the indignity of an “unintentional dismount” during the hunt season. The recipients of the stirrup cup are responsible for the purchase of drink to be shared at the closing hunt toast, so called because it was originally a drink held at stirrup iron level by the person serving.
Strains of American Hounds – include Walker, July, Bywaters, Plot, Trigg
Tag – The white tip on a red fox’s brush.
Territory – The area officially designated by the MFHA where a hunt is allowed to operate.
Thruster – A member of the field who rides too close to staff or hounds.
Tongue – Cry. A hound “gives tongue” when he proclaims with his voice that he is on the line of a fox.
Types of Fox Hounds – English, American, and Crossbred. There are two breeds of fox hounds, English and American. Crossbred fox hounds are a mixture of English and American. Pennmarydels are a unique strain of American fox hounds which many consider to be a separate breed or type.
View – To actually see the fox or coyote. Should a member of the field view, he or she should quietly inform the Master right away.
View Holloa – The high pitched cry given only by a staff member when a fox breaks covert.
Vixen – A female fox.
Ware – A shortening of the word beware, i.e. ware hole, ware wire, etc. Should not be used to alert the field to passage of individuals. Instead use, “staff, please” or “huntsman, please,” etc.
Waving his stern – When a hound is wagging his tail.
Whelp – 1) A foxhound puppy prior to weaning; 2) an un-weaned fox cub.
Whippers-in – The staff members who assist the Huntsman with discipline and behavior of hounds in the hunt field. They may also assist with kennel duties and hound exercising.
Work Day - Days set aside to clear trails, repair jumps, work on projects for maintenance of property.