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Fox or Possum Hunting: Which One Will I Attend?

I was born in the south. I live in the south and will die in the south. This is only a small part of the memories I share.

This (Piece) is Where the Rubber Meets the Road

because I am not only giving you one exciting truthful tale, but two truthful tales. Hard to beat this sales pitch and the tales I want to tell you about. These tales can be easily separated by the titles of the events. I am talking about a Fox Hunt and the good, old-fashioned Possum Hunting which I found out is still going strong in 2018.

Picture of huntsman and hounds exiting castle for a hunt.

Picture of huntsman and hounds exiting castle for a hunt.

In the Sense of Fairness

I want to give the Fox Hunt some play. After all, Fox Hunting came from the Old Country (England) and the exciting, thrilling time of the hunt was carried on from one generation to the other. I have to be honest. Fox Hunting was for the Upper Class and this yearly-event was a Sign that Success had met with the wealthy families who met to hunt a fox and might I add, the fox that was intended for the rich people to hunt, was pampered better than my friends and me.

On a designated morning, usually Saturday morning when Fall of the year had begun, the host company to have the Fox Hunt dressed in wardrobe befitting the wealthy classes of England as these Americans wore red suit coats, white riding pants and red hunting hats. And their horses and dogs were bred to be the best on all fours. A lot of money was spent for these expensive hunts. The Fox Hunt can easily be compared to the Alabama Crimson Tide doing battle with the Florida Gators on a Saturday afternoon. The Fox Hunt was that popular.

I suppose that there was a lot of betting among the fox hunters and of course, at the time when the fox was caught by someone's fox hound, the hunt was over and all bets were settled. Then the families gathered back to the host and hostess' home to enjoy some tasty food items, share fellowship, and just enjoy their wealth. I have been told that the fox that was caught on the day of the hunt was taken somewhere in the woods and released. I admire that in a fox hunter.

But will "that" brand of admiration continue when I bring you my Second Truthful Tale? We shall soon see. Now, take a moment and absorb the facts that I have given you about Fox Hunts, and when you are finished, get ready to absorb "another" type of hunting.

This type of hunting has been around a bit longer than Fox Hunting, so I am going to give it the respect that it deserves. Have you ever heard about Possum Hunting? Yes, there was and (still is) a great number of people who love to dress in their tough coveralls, grab their Hunting Dogs, and join their friends and hit the woods in search of Possums. And talk about ground-breaking history, earlier research took me to Possum Hunting going on as far as the turn of the century--and this event was more of a Family (and friends) Event than it being "just" for men.

The reason for Possum Hunting not barred from anyone is very simple. In "this" day and time, there were NO iPads; Laptop's; Radio or TVs, so for families and friends to find an outlet for entertainment was to get everyone around, hit the woods with the hunting dogs and hunt for the Possum which served as a Delicacy at meal time. The possum was skinned (and skin was sold for making other things) and then fattened by feeding it sweet potatoes and anything that would make it heavier because families at (this) time were more in number, so common sense says, the more (and bigger) the possum, the more food for huge families.

The fact is, and I just caught another thought concerning both, the Fox and Possum Hunt(s): to me personally, it really doesn't matter which is the oldest (hunting) event in America. I am just glad that we Americans can live in such a peaceful land and hunt if we like or not hunt at all. It's the freedom that makes the difference.

If I were to wake up in the morning and the thought of Possum Hunting suddenly hit like a run-away train, and dig-out my closet to find the toughest, most-obscure wardrobe (boots included) that I could find to head to the wooded area around my house and call up a buddy of mine who shares the love of Possum Hunting and hit the woods at 8:30 pm. for a long night of hunting the cute little marsupial and release it just for the fun. I can tell you about my friends and me . . .none of us would starve if we went a week without food and a lifetime without a possum.

But with "my" instant love for Possum Hunting, I have but two honest items that would fall in play before my friends and I head to the woods with the hunting dogs to hunt them down in a tall tree and we could make the Possum jump to the group so the dogs could catch it, but not kill it, because we do not condone the killing of a harmless living thing as the Possum.

First is the Possum Hunt itself with my sudden-love for Possum Hunting with my buddies. The "hunt" will do fine just as long as there are NO female Possum Hunters! This would be cause for my wife to put her foot down on this fun-filled night.

The second reason I could think about NOT Possum Hunting would be the abuse of alcohol. Me? I do not drink and I would be sure and screen my buddies to see who is the sober ones of my friends as to not get wasted in the dark wooded lands and injure ourselves for allowing the booze to cloud our judgment.

The third reason why, if given the choice of me going on a Fox Hunt next Saturday morning or Possum Hunting tonight, I would definitely take Possum Hunting and don't let my honesty be confused for abrasiveness. I do NOT fit into the Upper Echelon of those in our country who think that "just" because of their massive wealth, they can wear matching pants and suit coats along with vests and hunting caps in sissy colors. It's not to catch a fox, but for add to their status in their family name, place of business, neighborhood and on a Fox Hunt. I wasn't born with a Silver Spoon my my mouth, but a bent fork that my momma gave me to eat when I went on solid foods. I do NOT talk, act, or live like the Upper Crust whose pride is worth more (to them) than doing something good for a deserving stranger. I like Possum Hunting. No argument. Case closed.

The fourth and last Anti-Possum Hunting rule would be (by my wife) coming back home at a sensible time. And not let any possum cut my body parts and think that my wife would leave her warm bed to just put bandages on my cuts--for I will be in much shock and pain and totally-helpless.

And . . .while she's up, put a put of coffee on for my buddies and I for being so good.

Life in old Virginia 1907.

Life in old Virginia 1907.

© 2018 Kenneth Avery