When a man wants to
murder a tiger he calls it sport;
when the tiger wants to murder
him he calls it ferocity George Bernard Shaw Equipment

THE VAN

To state the obvious, the sab vehicle is used to transport the field sabs to the hunt meet. Unfortunately it does not stop there as the majority of people cannot keep pace with a mounted hunt all day. The van is used as the legs of the group and will constantly pick groups of sabs up when they have been left behind by the hunt, and drop them off again at a tactically advantageous position. It is also used to monitor the position of the hunt and this information is relayed to field sabs. The vehicle is usually the most expensive piece of equipment owned by any group.

Derby is lucky that our vehicle is privately owned by one of our members. We are one of the few groups in the country with the luxury of a 4wd vehicle, as the majority use minibuses or vans. This helps us avoid being blocked in by hunt support and we can also navigate un-made country tracks, so we are more effective as a group.

The vehicle is also heavily modified with hunt sabotage in mind. The equipment includes: CB radio, off-road tyres, electrically powered citronella sprays, and amplified 'gizmo' with external 100W speakers.  1. SPRAYS

The general public are under the impression that we still use aniseed to cover the scent of a quarry. Things have moved on slightly now with the introduction of sprays containing a water/citronella (50 parts/1 part) mix which is harmless, pH neutral and has a strong aroma of lemon. Most sabs carry a simple garden spray and pre-spraying a wood with this mixture will discourage an experienced huntsman from even entering the wood. (If hounds pick the scent up on their paws or muzzles it can prevent them hunting effectively for up to an hour.) Some anti-social sabs use an alternative garlic spray which works just as well but doesn't smell quite as nice!


2. WHIPS

Hounds are trained to be scared of the whip and whippers-in can be identified by the large bull-whips that they carry. Saboteurs often carry home-made ones (depending on how arsey their local police force is) to stop the hounds in mid-cry. The whips are not used on the hounds but simply cracked ahead of the hounds to stop them immediately. Ideally they are used between the quarry and the hounds to stop the chase but may also be used to stop the hounds going on a road, railway line or simply trespassing.


3. HORNS

Clearly, if the huntsman uses a hunting horn to relay commands to the hounds, immense fun can be had if sabs use one as well! Horn-blowing is an aquired skill. Even so, 3 or 4 members of the group can blow a horn to a similar standard to local huntsmen. By giving conflicting or mis-directing signals to the hounds, a hunt can be seriously disrupted, the ultimate goal being to take control of the hounds completely.

A fast 'staccato' tune excites the pack and the hounds will hunt in the direction of the horn-blowing. This is called 'hunting-on'. A slow, boring tune tells the pack to stop hunting, calm down and come back to the horn-blower. These two basic rules can be used to sabotage the majority of hunts although the best huntsmen have subtle variations depending on the hunt.


4. CB RADIOS

These are used to communicate between different groups of sabs and their vehicles and are necessary to co-ordinate movements and provide up-to-date information on the location of the hunt. They are gradually being replaced by the mobile phone(5) which is overtaking the CB in affordability and reliability. They do, however, still have a use when communication is required between a number (3 or more) of different groups. We have a number of handsets besides the car-mounted set previously mentioned.


6. BINOCULARS

Always useful for spotting the wildlife before the hunt does - and also useful for spotting the elusive hunt! Of course, if you need binoculars to spot the hunt then you're not doing much sabbing!


7. THE GIZMO

Besides the one already mentioned in the van, we also have another amplified gizmo which is small enough to be carried in the field by a sab. It consists of a personal stereo, plugged into an amplifier with single button activation (for greater control) and a small conic loudspeaker. By playing a tape of hounds in cry (ie the excited yelping when they are chasing something) the real hounds can be pulled off the scent of a fox or hare. Click here for more advanced information on the gizmo and how to make one.


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