Fox Hunting for fun and profit

E. Questrian

With the recent purchase of the old Hooper Farm on Washington Road by the British firm of Wolfe, Fox, and Beagle, fox hunting for fun and profit in the town of Rye is one step closer to reality.

Farm fields. (photo courtesy of Philip Greenspun)

When contacted by Wry Reflections at his office in Bristol, England, the founder and president of Wolfe, Fox, and Beagle, Lord Wellington C. Wolfe, stated that his goal was to bring some of the pleasures of English country life to the new world and to perhaps make a pound or two in the process.

Lord Wolfe stated that on his first exploratory trip to Rye, last October, he was stuck by the similarities of the local terrain to some of the best English fox hunting areas. It was shortly thereafter, in early December, that Lord Wolfe arranged for the release of three hundred pair of breeding foxes on the property that he was preparing to purchase.

When Wry Reflections questioned the morality and validity of releasing six hundred foxes onto land that he did not own, and was only in the planning phase of purchasing, Lord Wolfe stated that the foxes needed time to acclimate themselves to new terrain, and that it was not fair and equitable to the foxes to begin hunting them in less than three years from the time of their release.

Red fox (photo courtesy of

Wry Reflections staff put a pencil to the numbers. Three hundred breeding pair of foxes, producing two offspring per litter, and two litters per year, would multiply to an additional thirty six hundred foxes by the time the hunting begins. That, plus the original six hundred, means forty two hundred foxes, minus normal attrition, will be roaming the town of Rye by the time hunting begins in 2011.

Future editions of Wry Reflections will address means of protecting your chickens and cats from predators.

According to Lord Wolfe, assuming that the permitting process goes smoothly, the first fox hunt will take place in September of 2011. He envisions the participation of large numbers of British royalty including members of the royal family. He also plans on the attendance of many congressional leaders from both political parties, and perhaps representatives of local sports teams. He was particularly vehement about the inclusion of the Rye board of selectmen in the initial hunt, and the importance of their complete understanding of the intricacies of horsemanship. He plans to have his employees available to instruct locals on the nuances of riding and jumping.

Lord Wolfe affirmed again and again to Wry Reflections his company's sensitivity to local concerns over his undertaking. Worried that there might be a shortage of food for its growing herd of young foxes, Wolfe proclaimed his willingness to provide for the feeding of the canines by the release of thousands of free range mice. This, according to Wolfe, would eliminate the need for the growing foxes to forage through people's back yards in search of nutrition.

Also, to allay concerns that some of the foxes might turn rabid, Lord Wolfe promised to allow free access of the Hooper property to local health officials and qualified veterinarians.

Wolfe seems excited about the prospect of fox hunting in Rye. "I cannot wait for the sound of the first bugle," was his last remark before terminating his conversation with Wry Reflections.

April Fool's Day, 2008