In a general google search, looks like a good number of options. How does one chose which hunt to join? Any recommendations for which hunts to check out? I’ll be in central VA, but not opposed to traveling.
Saying central virginia is covering a lot of ground. Where more specifically?
Hunts and hunt territory vary a lot. As far as hunts go are you a person who really wants the very traditional formal hunt experience or not so much? Do you want a hunt with a lot of social activity/riding activities that go with it?
Regarding riding. How good of a rider are you? Are you comfortable riding hills and mountains at speed? Can you jump downhill or does that give you a heart attack? etc.
Fees. Hunt dues vary widely. How much can you afford?
Finally, go out capping with several of the hunts around you and get a feel for them before making a commitment.
Cap around your first year and try to get a feel for which hunts match your style. They are all sooo different.
I hunt with Deep Run. Our territory is in Goochland, Cumberland and Fluvanna counties. You are more than welcome to come cap with me this season. We hunt grey fox, red fox and coyote. Our season begins in September for cubbing, but guests aren’t usually allowed until sometime in mid October. Formal season begins the last weekend of October and the season ends the last Thurs before the last Saturday in March. The last Saturday is our hunter pace and oyster roast.
Are you just looking to cap? Or lease a horse to hunt, cap and have some instruction/guidance? If the former, jawa’s invitation is perfect. Deep Run’s “new” country in Cumberland is open, rolling and lightly paneled. If the latter, I can highly recommend Betsy Burke Parker and Hunter’s Rest. Besty is third flight field master for Old Dominion Hounds and she runs a B & B & B - Board, bed and breakfast. She also maintains a lovely string of made field hunters for hire for all sizes and levels of riders. You can schedule a visit, hack out one day, stay overnight and hunt the next day. ODH’s country is challenging; hills and even mountains; but Betsy is brilliant at navigating the country, keeping up with hounds and viewing the fox. If you were interested in hunting with some of the other NoVA hunts, she’s also a great point of contact.
Best of luck and happy hunting!
McGurk … thank you for the kind words.
I’d been debating inviting the OP but ‘central Virginia’ isn’t quite where we are!
I do extend an offer of all those things to ReRider – we’re starting to ride a bit more now that things are opening back up (some of my boarders were resistant to outside riders coming to the farm) so maybe you can come up and take a spin around our hunt country.
There are tons of baby foxes around, and the father foxes are pretty bold with their hunting rounds these days, so we have a fair chance of a Tally Ho on most trail rides, too.
I have been to Hunter’s Rest before (took my own horse). She has fabulous territory to ride over and is a great guide. I haven’t ridden one of her hirelings, but I’ve seen them go out with complete beginners to well seasoned riders. She has a fabulous string of horses.
Thank you for all the suggestions! My main interest/background is eventing, but have been curious about fox hunting for a while. My move to fox hunting country has refueled this curiosity. Currently horseless, but hope to change that soon. Will likely start with lease/cap with a group that’s open to newbie fox hunters (will need to learn all the rules/terms). Hope to run into some of you this season!
@ReRider88 can you give the county you reside in?
There are different hunting styles. You need to clarify this in advance. Just stay tuned