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Fox hunting is an activity involving the tracking, chase and, if caught, the killing of a fox, traditionally a red fox, by trained foxhounds or other scent hounds, and a group of unarmed followers led by a "master of foxhounds" ("master of hounds"), who follow the hounds on foot or on horseback.


Fox hunting with hounds, as a formalised activity, originated in England in the sixteenth century, in a form very similar to that practised until February 2005, when a law banning the activity in England and Wales came into force.
A ban on hunting in Scotland had been passed in 2002, but it continues to be within the law in Northern Ireland and several other countries, including Australia, Canada, France, Ireland, Italy, and the United States.
In Australia, the term also refers to the hunting of foxes with firearms, similar to deer hunting or spotlighting.
In much of the world, hunting in general is understood to relate to any game animals or weapons (e.g., deer hunting with bow and arrow); in Britain and Ireland, "hunting" without qualification implies fox hunting (or other forms of hunting with hounds—beagling, drag hunting, hunting the clean boot, mink hunting, or stag hunting), as described here.

Autumn or cub hunting

In the autumn of each year (August–October in the UK and Ireland), hunts take the young hounds out cub hunting, autumn hunting or cubbing.
The purpose of this is training the hounds to hunt and to kill with the intent to cull weaker young foxes (which are full size by autumn season as they are born in spring)noting they are not sexually mature until they are 10 months old and are still living in their family group.
Another goal of cubbing is to teach the young foxhounds to restrict their hunting to foxes.The activity sometimes (and in some areas) takes place in the UK and Ireland as the practice of "holding up", which consists of hunt supporters surrounding a covert, with riders and foot followers to drive back foxes attempting to escape, and then "drawing" the covert with the puppies and some more experienced hounds, allowing them to find and catch foxes within the surrounded wood.
A young hound is considered to be "entered" into the pack once he or she has successfully joined in a hunt in this fashion.
Only rarely, in about 1 in 50 cases, foxhounds do not show suitable aptitude, and must be removed from the pack. They may be drafted to other packs, including minkhound packs.

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