What is drag hunting? Everything you wanted to know about drag hunting but were afraid to ask!
Drag hunting is an equestrian sport in which mounted riders hunt the trail of an artificially-laid scent. In a drag hunt, the hounds have been trained to follow ("hunt") a prepared scent. It does not involve the hunting of live animals.
How does it work?
About an hour or so before the hunt will begin, a “drag layer” dips a cloth in the scent mixture (typically, fox urine) and trails it along the ground behind him/her to create a cross-country trail (or “dragline”). The scent, although repulsive to humans, is irresistible to hounds.
For a typical day of drag hunting, the layers will drag 2-5 "lines" of scent, approximately 3-4 kilometers in length. These lines are laid over a pre-determined route that takes advantage of the best footing, optional jumping opportunities, and considers the safety of a horse and rider. At the end of each line, there is a “check," a resting period of 10-15 minutes which allows the hounds to rest and the hunters a chance to relax and socialize.
Drag hunting is a safe and fun way to hunt. Because the trail has been laid down by a human, care can be taken to ensure that the route is safe for horses and riders, but will still provide an exciting challenge to the hounds.