Hunting by Scent


EVEN a Poet Laureate would find difficulty in expressing the diversity and extent of the influence of fox-hunting. Farmers, breeders, saddlers, tailors, veterinarians, surgeons, painters, sculptors, poets, composers, to name but a few, have been affected in some way or another by Reynard the Fox; and through them, innumerable others are involved. When practical experience in hunting the fox is blended with a capacity and zest for hunting data, the chase involves the world of science. When, in addition, an ex-Master of the Bicester and Warden Hill Hounds discloses keenness, perseverance, humour, and a great kindliness, the resulting expression is a book which is not merely of scientific interest, but is also endowed with a charm that can only be described by the word English. The author has succeeded in writing a book “with the object of explaining the fundamental principles of scent in such a manner that they can be grasped by those who have not had the advantage of a scientific training”. The scientific fields and coverts surveyed can only be adumbrated here in part: the significance of the sense of smell; conditions under which scent is good or bad; the effects of light, temperature, humidity and wind; inhalation and exhalation by the soil; special experiments and apparatus (for example, the author's electric scent indicator) for determining scent conditions; the nature of trails followed by hounds; the examination of scent trails left by different quarries over various surfaces; the distance over which scent can be detected by various animals; olfactory fatigue; the obliteration and neutralisation of scent tracks; the microscopic examination of the odorous particles forming a track; the bearing of the sense of smell on animal behaviour. Especially to a dog, "smelling is believing", and canines communicate with each other by means of signal posts or "scent-telephones"as described by Seton.

Hunting by Scent.

By H. M. Budgett. Pp. xi + 122 + 22 plates. (London: Eyre and Spottis-woode, Ltd., 1933.) 25s. net.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.