Ohio fox hunting, fur trapping season set to open Nov. 10

At an auction in March held at Kidron by The Ohio State Trappers Association, 72 red fox pelts fetched an average of $10.48.

Fox hunting, however ancient the practice, evolved on the British Isles into a ritualized chase during which bluebloods on horseback sicced hounds on red-wrapped wild dogs. Foxes plucking the gentry’s chickens from the manor apparently could not stand.

Besides, the group culling of foxes proved jolly good sport. Yoicks!

George Washington, reputedly America’s wealthiest president until this century, kept foxhounds. A segment of the landed aristocracy in Virginia and Maryland was loath to break with its English forebears when it came to an exhilarating exercise in holding onto poultry.

The pastime as it is practiced these days in both Great Britain and the former colonies legally requires no blood-spilling, although England allows loopholes. Even with multiple exemptions, not all participants are pleased about restraints.

Successful hunts until recently didn’t end well for the panting fox, which met its demise either ripped to scattered hair and bones when caught by the pursuing hounds or, having found sanctuary in a foxhole, maimed by assassin terriers bred to send a dug -in fox not so gently into that goodnight.