The Hunting Office Training

Essential Hound Handling Course – Taunton Vale Kennels

Over 40 members of hunt staff and volunteers who help in kennels across the country, attended the Essential Hound Handling Skills Course run by The Hunting Office at the Taunton Vale Kennels. 

Presented by Patrick Martin, the experienced former professional huntsman and Hunting Office Hunt Staff Liaison Officer, the day aimed to introduce young hunt staff and volunteers to the principles of working with a pack of hounds in kennels, kennel routine and handling hounds. 

The content of this course is both theoretical and practical, and candidates are encouraged to ask questions throughout the session regarding both the content covered on the day, as well as individual queries they may have, in order to benefit from Patrick’s huge depth of knowledge on hunting and hounds.  

The Taunton Vale kennels were immaculate and with the help of Taunton Vale Huntsman, Dan Hammett, and Ilminster Beagles Huntsman, Charlie Durman, Patrick was able to use the kennels as a good working example of an efficiently run and effective set up – showing the yards, lodges, valeting room and flesh house.  

Patrick commented afterwards “We are so pleased that the day was so well supported.  It is great that there is such a strong interest from hunt staff and volunteers to forward their careers and gain valuable knowledge.  The more we can help the up and coming hunt staff the better, passing down historical knowledge for the future good of hunting and hounds”.  

The Hunting Office Training Programme aims to encourage and maintain professional standards of hound husbandry, welfare and management.  Developing knowledge and skills so staff have a good foundation to work with care and confidence.