Q: Where Does The Hunt’s Name Come From?
Yes it is quite a mouthful! It actually originates for the merger of two hunts in 2004: the long- established (1973) Whitworth Hunt and the young (2001) Hard Away Hounds. This merger has proved to be a blessing for all involved. Both hunts had good country; Whitworth had an established membership, Hard Away had a strong pack of hounds. They were only 1 hour 45 Minutes apart. Now the combined hunt has a critical mass of country, hounds, membership, resources, and energy to thrive long into the future. The Whitworth name came form one of their original countries (Whitworth Plantation). The Hard Away name came to recognize Mr. Ben Hardaway, America’s greatest foxhunter, and a supporter of the new hunt (one of several he has spawned). It also describes hounds “hard away” on their prey in “full cry”.
Q: How Can I Get More Information? Contact the Secretary. (See “contact Us.” )
Q: How Many Members Do You Have and Where Do They Live?
We have between 20 and 30 members , including those from Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida. Because we are not located near a large population center (which is why we will always have great country), our loyal members tend to travel long distances to hunt.
Q: Are Newcomers to Hunting Welcome? What do I Wear? What sort of Horse Will I Need?
Yes, absolutely. Please contact the Secretary (email@example.com). You will be required to wear a safety helmet. In cubbing season (August- November), polo shirt (not red), breeches, boots/ chaps are appropriate. In formal season, jacket (preferably black), breeches, and boots preferred. However, we fully understand that newcomers may not be fully fitted to start with, and that’s fine with us. When (not if) you fall in love with this sport, we can advise you on outfits. Any horse is fine as long as it doesn’t kick hounds, other horses, or people (in that order !) and is safe for you.
Q: What is the country like?
Our country has changed over the last few years. Where we used to hunt open plow, most of our meet sites are more wooded than open. A few have jumps, primarily 2’6”-3’ coops, but all have gate options. Included in our current country, thanks to wonderfully welcoming landowners, are:
* Black Prairie Wildlife Area (Brooksville, MS) . Centered around a state owned hunting property, Black Prairie is prime hunting country with small woods and large areas of open land or CRP land. With the private land we also have access to, Black Prairie is approximately 12,000 acres. Some jumping on the private land but none on the state land; some ditch and creek crossings. Three meet sites: The Club House, Lindsey Ferry Barn, and Potts Road. Coyote, bobcat, fox.
* The Kennels (Greensboro, Al ) Small coverts, catfish ponds, and beef pastures. Approximately 6,000 acres. Very fast country with many jumps (all with gate/ gap options). Mainly coyote.
* Hales (Nr. Faunsdale/ Uniontown, Al) Primarily hunting (bird/ deer) country, with small coverts, a lot of open land and some pastures and CRP. Some jumps. Approximately 5,000 acres. Mainly coyote, bobcat.
* Skinners (between Macon, MS and Aliceville, Al.) Wide open. Tiny coverts, open plough and pasture with catfish ponds. Approximately 6,800 acres. Very fast with perfect game viewing opportunities. No jumps. Mainly coyote.
* Forever Wild (Near Greensboro, Al ) Largely wooded in approximately 40 acre blocks, with rides between sections. Property about 2,000 acres, our hunting concentrates in approximately 500 acres. No jumps. Mainly coyote.
*Blue Lake (North of West Point, MS) Largely wooded with some open plough. Approximately 1,500 acres. No jumps. Mainly coyote.
Q: Who Are The Masters?
There are two Masters, and a Master Emeritus, who have been together since the beginning. Stephen Portch , who grew up hunting in England and is the retired Chancellor of the University System of Georgia, is the huntsman and is responsible for the hounds and kennels. Robert Temkovits , who was formerly a Master with Whitworth and is the owner of grocery stores in MS, is a whip. Tommy Coleman, who had been a Master with Whitworth since 1990 and is a New Orleans businessman, is the business advisor and liaison to other hunts. Please see Staff page for other details.
Q: Do you hunt in the rain?
A: Yes! As a member of ours says: "There is no such thing as inclement weather, only inappropriate attire." We do not hunt in thunder storms.
Q: How Many Hounds Do You Have and What Type are They?
We have approximately 35 couple (that is 70 ) of hounds. On any given day, we hunt between 15 ½ to 25 ½ couple (the half is for luck!) They are largely crossbred foxhounds, that is a mix of English and American bloodlines (with a few Irish, French, Welsh crosses thrown in for good measure). This is the breed largely invented and perfected by Mr. Ben Hardaway.
Q: What are the Hunt’s goals?
We strive to bring exhilarating sport across beautiful country with the memorable sound of hounds in “full cry” and the opportunity to “view” a coyote, fox, or bobcat. We seek to do this in the company of fun people who enjoy the hunt and each other. We aim to be extremely professional about our hunting and very welcoming to newcomers and guests. We are striving to grow our Hunts basis, especially revolving around the younger generation.
Q: How Do I Become a Member? Can I Try Hunting First Without Becoming a Member?
The membership information and cost is included on the website or contact the Secretary. You may be a guest twice before deciding if you wish to become a member, and your guest fee (capping, currently $40 per hunt) can be applied to your membership. We welcome as new members people who enjoy what we are doing, who respect the land we hunt on, who appreciate the hounds and their efforts, who fit in and will volunteer to help.
Q: When do you Hunt?
A: From August to March 1st, we hunt every weekend, Saturday and Sunday. We vary whether we hunt in Mississippi or Alabama, so make sure to follow your fixture. We also vary our fixture times according to the weather. In August, we cast around 5:00am, in November around 8:30am.
Q: Where are you located?
The hunt kennels are located just outside Greensboro, Alabama about 40 miles south of Tuscaloosa. We hunt in two states, Alabama and Mississippi. All the Alabama meet sites are within 30 minutes of the kennel. The Mississippi country includes several meet sites within 30 minutes of Macon. There is a guest house at the kennels, with rooms available on a first come/ first served basis. Greensboro also has a wonderful Bed and Breakfast, The Muckle House, if rooms fill up. You will also have access to paddocks, or stalls if you prefer.
May Your Horses Be Swift May Our Hounds Be True
Q: Do You Have Any Special Events?
Yes. We have two “opening Meets” one in Mississippi and one in Alabama, which is the opening of the formal season. The Mississippi one is a two hunt week end with a social dinner. The Alabama one includes the pageantry of the “Blessing of the Hounds” by a clergyman. We have a hunter pace/puppy show and dog races at the kennels once a year. The hunter pace is an approximately 5 mile course, with or without jumps, that people ride in pairs or small groups trying to match an unknown, “perfect” time. The puppy show includes our unhunted puppies being judged. The dog races include terrier races over a jumping course (designed by Sue Evely) and lurcher races following a mechanical lure. We ask members to bring food and drink to share after each hunt as we gather to tell stories (and lies) about the day’s hunting before traveling home.