Since the Hunting Act (2004), The South Shropshire have continued to hunt within the law. The aim of trail hunting is to simulate traditional hunting as practised before the ban. A trail is laid using a fox based scent – usually founded on fox urine. This is important because the aim is to keep the hounds focused on the scent of their historical quarry during the time of this ban.
The trail is laid across the country taking a route that might be taken by a fox – ie through hedgerows and woods and along ditches in essence simulating the natural movement of a fox across the countryside. It is laid by dragging a scented rag along the ground. This is done from a horse, a quad-bike or on foot, though good results maybe best achieved using a combination of all three.
The less that the Huntsman or the followers know of the route of the trail, the more the hunting will mimic its realistic and challenging form.
The general conduct of the Hunt remains as it always has been and should mirror that of a day’s fox hunting thus keeping the traditions and practices alive. In essence the only difference is that the Huntsman now sets off with the intention of encouraging his hounds to find and hunt the trails rather than the live quarry.