Nikki Baker 

Chapter Seven - Conclusion.

The aim of this investigation was to identify the motivations and attractions that make people want to go and participate in fox hunting.  From the various methods of research that have been conducted, various results have been obtained that provide an insight into the lives of this particular social group.

The research conducted has provided a lot of evidence to suggest that society is still progressing in the civilisation process, and even though hunting is still considered to be a more violent activity, the behaviour of the followers is changing, and the kill is most definitely not the main attraction.  

Fox hunting is still a controversial sport that exists within society, and one that will continue to dominate both political and social debates.  It seems inevitable that eventually fox hunting will be a banned activity in this country, however the findings indicate that this long standing tradition will still continue illegally, which may provoke less civil behaviour among some social groups.

Over the course of the study it has become obvious that there is not one single answer as to why people fox hunt.  Each person has their own personal reason, and where sometimes these may be similar, they can also be extremely different and controversial.  Each hunt provides a follower with a different experience as no two hunts are the same, and it is the experiences from each hunt that affects their continual commitment to hunting.  This particular activity has very different objectives to others, and while it is considered to be a cruel sport, it also continues to have numerous values that are necessary within country life.

This research suggests it maybe an impossible task to fully understand the emotions a hunt followers experiences while hunting.  It is a sport that can be enjoyed equally by people from all walks of life, irrelevant of age, gender, or social class.  The research also suggests that although many people experience feelings similar to each other, it is the intrinsic rewards and methods of expression that may vary.  The research identified that there is no one definitive motive or description that can typify the feelings that drive so many to participate in such a controversial sport.

Appendix Two

1)  Are you male or female?(please tick the appropriate boxes)

      Male ? Female ?

2)  Age:

3)  Occupation:

4)  Do you live in a rural area?

      Yes ? No ?

5)  How long have you been fox hunting?

      - 5 yrs   ?
      5 Ė 10 yrs  ?
      10 Ė 15 yrs  ?
      15 + yrs  ?

6) How do you follow a hunt?

      By foot  ?
      By horse  ?
      By car   ?
      Other    ?

7) Do you consider fox hunting to be a sport?

      Yes ? No ?

8) What were the reasons you started fox hunting?

9) Have these reasons changed?  If so, what are they now?

10) Have your feelings about fox hunting changed over the years?

      Yes ?
       More passionate ?
       Less passionate ?
      No ?

11) Do you think that a ban will put an end to hunting?

      Yes ? No ?

12) Does the prospect of a ban influence your decision to follow a hunt?

      Yes ? No ?

13) How do you feel:

 a) Before the hunt?

 b) During the hunt?

 c) After the hunt?

14) What part of the hunt do you enjoy most?

Thank you for taking the time to complete this questionnaire.  If you have any questions or additional information you feel would help my research, please contact me at the address on the cover letter.

Appendix Three
Diary of Day Out Fox Hunting.
8am.  Very early start considering itís a Saturday. Donít normally see the mornings on the weekend, very big shock to the system!  Thinking forward to the dayís action, I suddenly realise why Iím up at this time, and start to prepare for my days hunting.  Mixed emotions really, excited, nervous, concerned.  What if I donít like it? Will I actually see a fox ripped apart?

10am.  Arrive at the house of my friend who hunts regularly in Gloucestershire.  Looks like itís going to be a nice day, although itís a bit windy.  Suppose thatís a good thing, wouldnít want to be cold and wet all day.  Spend about half an hour talking about the hunt, where it will start, where it will go, what needs to be taken, etcÖ  Didnít know I had to pay £1 for insurance reasons to the hunt group.  Slightly concerned now that Iím going to get injured.

11am.  On the way to the meet we tried to go to the kennels where they keep the hounds, just missed them, had already been sent to the meet.  Didnít realise that the hounds get taken to the meet in a lorry.  Just thought that they belonged to the hunt followers.  At the meet, everyone seems very happy.  Could be because they are already drinking port.  People are chatting to friends, they donít seem to have noticed a new face in amongst them.  Very surprised by the number of female followers, and by the ages of some too.  Lots of very young followers, both on horse and foot.  The hounds are very well behaved, waiting for the Hunt Master to start the chase.  Actually able to stroke them, I thought theyíd be too vicious.  It seems a shame that if hunting is banned, they will all be killed.  All the followers are very polite; I donít feel at all out of place.  Everyone is very welcoming.  The number of followers that arenít following by horse surprises me.

12pm Ė 2.30pm.  Many things have stuck in my mind during this two and a half hours.  Firstly, there were loads of people who follow by car.  Cars were lined up in fields and along country lanes attempting to keep up with the chase.  We lost the hunt for a while, and because of the wind it was difficult to hear the Hunt Masters calls or the hounds cry.  Eventually we found it again.  I came to the conclusion that hunting must be more exciting if you go by horse.  Apparently the hunt was successful twice while we followed it, killed two foxes.  We were too far away to see or realise.  I didnít realise that hunts move so fast, and that once one fox has been killed, the hunt group chase another.  It made me realise that the fox isnít always chased for hours before it is killed; sometimes the chase is quite short.  The hunt continued after we had left, I was getting cold and a bit bored as we were so far away from the action.  Also didnít realise that some hunters have new horses brought to them at some point during the hunt so that each horse gets some exercise.

5pm.  At home reflecting on the day.  Decided that I didnít actually find hunting that exciting, and that it would probably be more fun if you ride.  Having said that, I didnít find it particularly offensive.  Didnít really see what all the fuss is about, the terriers shoot the fox once the hounds have got it.  Definitely think that the image of fox hunting has changed though, itís not just a sport followed by the upper classes.