I want to try hunting . . what do I need to know first? Updated as questions arise . . .
We get LOTs of people that want to try hunting but don't know where to start or what to expect. It can be a bit intimidating so hope this page will help answer a few "get started" questions. This list will be revised as more questions come in : ) : )
Hunting at Cloudline is for FUN! In order to have fun and keep enjoyable for all we have to have some rules - just like any other sport. Masters and Staff are here to help make this a "dream come true" experience for you. We need your help as well to maintain great sport for everyone and to keep our landowner's happy.
Hunting is not competitive based on a common love of sport, of horse and of hound and of people with common interests! : )
Hunting is a sport of lovely well preserved tradition - a family oriented sport and we greatly appreciate your help in maintaining this philosophy.
Cloudline maintains the highest standards in regards to proper attire and etiquette. Our founding Masters motto was and is "If you can hunt with Cloudline, you can be comfortable hunting anywhere" and we do our very best to help you with that today! However, we have never and will never keep someone from enjoying the sport because they have not had time to get the proper attire or forgot something - we will make every effort to accomodate and expect the same in return. Just ask a Master and we will help you in any way we can.
Cloudline is a private pack - hounds are owned by the family and is a non- profit organization. Membership is by invitation only and invitations are sent out annually or by request during the season. All your donations are greatly appreciated and go directly to the feed, care and maintenence of the hounds and hunt territory.
IMPORTANCE OF LANDOWNERS
Cloudline is granted permisssion to ride over various land by our gracious landowners - EVERY courtesy must be given to them and respect for their livestock and property. For this reason we have leaders (Field Masters) that will guide you through the hunt that are knowledgeable of the territory and desires of each particular landowner. Riders much keep up with the group and there is no riding on hunt land other than during actual hunt days/times. Schooling days can be arranged if you want to practice over hunt country.
Always walk thru livestock or stop completely if they seem to be spooked.
ALL GATES MUST BE SHUT immediately as well as they were when we got there or even better if possible. Do not ever assume that someone else is coming that way and will get it.
All jumps that have wires across to prevent livestock from jumping out must be put back up after last rider in a particular group has completed. Do not ever assume that someone else is coming that way and will get it.
HORSE & RIDER
Hunting can be a bit overwhelming for horse and/or rider first time out as there is so much to absorb that it is recommended that you come out and lease a horse so that at least one of you has had experience before OR come out with your horse and trail ride or school the hunt country before hunting. Contact Susan for info on any of these.
Current Coggins and Hunt Release is required. Capping fee of $40 is required of all guests of the hunt and payable the day of the meet. You may "cap" two times a season. If you desire membership, please contact one of the Masters and we will be happy to get you information! : )
Best piece of advise - Please don't buy anything until you are sure it is correct and acceptable - there are LOTS of people that think they know or have good intentions, but hunt apparel can be expensive and we don't want anyone to make a purchase that is not correct - if in doubt, PLEASE ask a Master - call or text from the tack store - email that ebay item you think is perfect - we will do our best to answer as quickly as possible.
Another note - we do make some exceptions, so just because someone else is wearing it or doing it, please stick to what you know is correct - for all you know, they left something at home and we of course allowed them to ride in whatever rather than miss a great day of sport --- but please don't go out and buy whatever they were wearing! : )
HELMETS REQUIRED FOR ALL RIDERS THAT INTEND TO JUMP AND RECOMMENDED FOR ALL. If you decide not to wear a helmet then we have an additional release to be signed.
Long hair needs to be secured neatly with hairnet.
THE REST OF THE DRESS
khaki knee patch britches (no full seat)
white show shirt
white stock tie (we have some on our website or you can borrow on for first time out)
black coat for formal days - preferably black buttons (no shiny) but we have several sizes so again, you can borrow if you need to. Informal days (usually Sunday's and designated on the fixture card ((schedule)) as "ratcatcher" you can wear a tweed jacket and again we have some available to borrow.
Tall black boots - no laces for formal days and laces acceptable for ratcatcher days. If you don't have those - first time out you can wear paddock boots and half chaps.
black velvet covered helmet - solid black velvet - no stripes or other decor - you can use a velvet helmet cover is needed.
gloves - dark brown or black riding gloves - work gloves/deerskin are not correct. Gloves should not be noticeable.
no "extra" attire such as scarves, earmuffs, pins or jewelry, etc.
proper raingear is permitted on days when deemed appropriate by Masters - black oilskin or waxed jackets made for riding.
DAY OF THE HUNT
Meet time is the TIME THE HOUNDS GO OUT - THE TIME WE LEAVE, MOUNTED AND READY TO ROLL. BE ON TIME OR YOU CAN GET LEFT BEHIND as it is not fair to those who have the respect to prepare and be on time. First time out, I recommend coming really early - it will make your day more enjoyable! : )
Directions to Cloudline are on this website on page "Directions"
Parking -- will be noted on the fixture card. Remember, the people driving by are locals and you are most likely about to go ride on their land, so smile, wave and make do! : )
When at Cloudline - Please DO NOT PARK ON THE GRASS or DRIVE ON THE GRASS- no matter what the condition of the soil is. If its grass, the primary landowner, the Col. considers it his yard! : ) If you can't find anyone to ask, just park at my house.
Do not block the road when parking or the entrance to any of the barns.
No schooling jumps or any obstacles during a hunt - this is called "larking" and is not acceptable. Schooling can be arranged on a separate occasion.
No instruction in the hunt field please. Non- competitive and fun - your fellow rider may not want your expertise and we
IN THE FIELD
Order of Go---
MORE TO COME, BUT THIS WILL GET YOU STARTED! PLEASE CALL SUSAN WITH ANY QUESTIONS! WE TRULY WOULD LOVE TO HAVE YOU COME GIVE HUNTING WITH CLOUDLINE A TRY! : )
CLOUDLINE .. . WHERE RIDERS AND FUN, GET TOGETHER! : )