[Renascence Editions] Return to 
Renascence Editions

A Short Treatise of Hunting.

Thomas Cockaine.

Note: this Renascence Editions text was transcribed by Risa S. Bear, December 2000, from the 1932 Shakespeare Association facsimile of the edition of 1591. Any errors that have crept into the transcription are the fault of the present publisher. The text is in the public domain. Content unique to this presentation is copyright © 2000 The University of Oregon. For nonprofit and educational uses only. Send comments and corrections to the Publisher, rbear[at]uoregon.edu.

Short Treatise

of Hunting:
Compyled for the delight of Noble

men and Gentlemen, by Sir Thomas
Cockaine, Knight.

woodcut of hound

Imprinted at london by Thomas Orwin
for Thomas Woodcocke, dwelling in Paules
Churchyard at the signe of the
black Beare. 1591.

To the Right Honorable and my
singular good Lord the Earle of Shrews-
burie: Sir Thomas Cockaine Knight, wi-
sheth increase of all honorable vertues.

HAving (right Honorable) at the instance of divers my especiall good friends, penned this short Pamphlet of my owne experience in hunting. And entring into consideration how greatly I am bounden to the Nobilitie of this land; Reason challenged a speciall affection in me to preferre the patronage thereof to your honorable Lordship before any other, as well in respect I had the originall of my said experience vnder your most noble Grandfather (whose seruant I was in my yonger yeares, and brought vp in his house) as also in regard that I haue receaued many extraordinary fauours, both from your said most noble Grandfather, from my honourable good Lord your father, and lastly and most especially from your selfe (my good Lord); who knowing me a professed Hunter, and not a scholler, I make no doubt but your Lordshippe wil afford my plainnes herein your fauourable liking. And so (my good Lord) wishing you as honorable sucesse in all your vertuous actions as your Lordshippe can desire or imagine; I humblie take my leaue of your good Lordship. From my house neere Ashborne this last of December. 1590.

Your honorable Lordships ma-
ny waies so bounden:          
Thomas Cockaine.

To the Gentlemen

IT hath bin long receiued for a truth, that Sir Tristram, one of King Arthures Knights, was the first writer and (as it were) the founder of the exact knowledge of the honorable and delightfull sport of hunting; whose tearmes in Hunting, Hawking, and measures of blowing, I hold to be the best and fittest to be vsed. And these first principles of Sir Tristram yet extant, ioyned with my owne long experience in Hunting for these fiftie two yeares now last past, haue mooued me to write more at large, of hunting the Bucke and other Chases, than Sir Tristram did. And for the first commendation of Hunting, I find (Gentlemen) by my owne experience in Hunting, that Hunters by their continuall trauaile, painfull labour, often watching, and enduring of hunger, of heate, and of cold, are much enabled aboue others to the seruice of their Prince and Countrey in the warres, hauing their bodies for the most part by reason of their continuall exercise in much better health, than other men haue, and their minds also by this honest recreation the more fit and the better disposed to all other good exercises. And for proofe hereof, I can not giue you a better instance than that most noble Gentleman the Earle of Cumberland now liuing; who by reason that hee hath vsed hunting with hounds euen from his youth hetherto, is not onely in skill of hunting equall with any Gentleman in England: but for all abilities of his bodie (which doo awaite vpon many great gifts of the mind) as fit to be a noble Souldier for his countrey, or rather a most notable Generall for any Army whatsoeuer either by Sea or Land, as any man is in Europe of his calling whatsoeuer. And here I can[n]ot but reme[m]ber, that once being on a hu[n]ting iourney with that most honorable Gentlema[n] Ambrose the late Earle of Warwicke, and now deceased; I heard him say before diuers Noble men and Gentlemen of great qualitie then in that companie; that amongst all the sorts of men that he had conuersed withall in his life, he neuer found any better or more honest companions than Hunters and Falkoners. I could here say much more in praise of this notable exercise of hunting; by which in many other Countries men haue been and yet are often deliuered from the rauine & spoile of many wild beasts; as namely of Lyons, of Beares, of Woolues, and of other such beasts of pray; and here in England from the hurt of Foxes and of other rauenous vermine. But the disport being of it selfe sufficiently commendable and able to say for it self, against all the carping speaches of the enemies thereof (if any such may be found amongst Gentlemen) I hope this labour of mine only taken in hand for your delight, shall passe with your most fauourable censure thereof. And so with my praier that both you and I may liue and dye in the Lord, I bid you all hartely farewell; with this caution, that this disport of hunting bee vsed by you only as a recreation to enable both your bodies and minds thereby to better exercises, & not as an occupation to spend therein daies, moneths, and yeres, to the hinderance of the seruice of God, her maistie or your Countrey. From my house neere Ashborne this last of December. 1590.

Your loving friend.

T. C.

A short Treasie of Hunting: com-
pyled for the delight of Noblemen and
Gentlemen, by Sir Thomas
Cockaine Knight.

A very good note for any yong Gentleman, who
will breed Hounds to hunt the Foxe.

woodcut of running fox

YOu must breed foureteene or fifteene couple of small Kibble hounds, lowe and swift, and two couple of Terriars, which you may enter in one yeare, by this rule following.

The order to enter yong Hounds at
the Foxe.

YOu must borowe one couple of old Foxe hounds of some Gentleman, or Yoman, who vseth to hunt the Foxe: and when your hounds bee full twelue moneth and a quarter olde, and that your Huntsman hath chastized them surely from sheepe, then may you take your seruants with you, and goe to some Couert, where you heare there is a litter of Foxe Cubbes; where stopping all the holes, sauing two or three, which must be set with Foxe pursenets, to take a yong Cubbe, to make your Terriars withall. Then must you cast off your couple of old Hounds to finde the Cubs, which being found, you must cast off all your whelpes to them foorth of the cooples, and foresee that none of them haue hunted either the Hare or Conie before.
    By that time you haue killed halfe a skore Cubbes in this sorte in seuerall Couerts or Woods, and haue taken two or three quicke Cubbes to make your Terriars withall, you will finde your Hounds well and perfect.
    This order of entring your whelps should be begun a fortnight or three weekes before Bartholmew day, and continued vntill the feast of All Saints.

The order to be obserued in hunting
the Foxe.

woodcut of running fox

WHe[n] you haue entred your whelps (as before is said) you must chuse out of your foreteene couple two couple to bee trailors of an olde Foxe and finders of him. The rest of the hounds must bee kept in couples by your seruants, and made so obedient, that no Hound shall breake the couples, or offer to goe away to the finders, vntill the Huntsman doe perfectly vnderstand that the Hounds be cast off before [they] haue found the Foxe: and then may he vncouple all the hounds that he hath to the finders, but two couple of the slowest, which must be kept to followe the Huntsman his heeles, in great obedience to the man, with one couple of the best Terriars. The other couple of your Terriars should bee vsed to hunt with the rest of the hounds.
    The old Foxe being well breathed is so forcible a chase, as euery Hunstman his part is to hew him, or backe him into the Couert againe, when hee offereth to breake the same, and to hallowe him and helpe the Hounds wheresoeuer he can, and to comfort them both with voyce & horne, that all travailers passing that way, may know it is a Foxe that is hunted.
    And this tast I will giue you of the the flying of this chase, that the Author hereof hath killed a Foxe distant from the Couert where hee was found, foureteene miles aloft the ground with Hounds.
    By that time either Noble man or Gentleman hath hunted two yeares with one packe of Hounds, the same will hunt neither Hare nor Conie, nor any other chase saue a vermine.

The order how to make your Terriars.

YOU must make a Trench of seauen yards long, two foote broade within, and then make a crosse Trench ouer the same of fiue yards long, and so little crosse Trenches in the same of an ell long so conueyed, that one run into another, couer al your Trenches with Clods or Turffes, and leaue foure holes open at the ends thereof for ayre. Then put in your Foxe Cub, and at the same hole put in one of your Terriars, and when the same hath found the Cubbe, you may helpe him with another, and if you finde those too weake you may put in the other couple also: but you must make sure that your Terriars at the first be well eased and kill the Cubbe. By that time your Terriars haue kild a dosen Cubbes in this sort in the earth, they will fight very boldly: and being thus made will prooue excellent good. But you must beware that you fight them not if they bee bitten, till they be whole againe. And you must haue speciall care in the seeking out a right kinde of them: for there is great difference in the breede of your Terriars, and great choise to be made of them, both for their hardie fighting and swift running.

The order how to breede your Hounds for the
Hare, and other chases.

woodcut of leaping hare

HErein must you bee most carefull in breeding your Hounds both for shape and making, and foresee you harken them foorth of such a kinde as bee durable, well mouthed, cold nosed, round footed, open bulked, and well let downe there, with fine stearnes and small tayles. The Brach and Hound being thus well chosen to breede vpon, your man must be very carefull in the time of the Braches pride that no other dogg come to her but one, and he must serve her but three times.
    A Brach is nine daies entergellying, nine daies full proude, and nine dayes in drying vp: all which time she must bee kept with meate and water very carefully vnder locke and key in the kennell, and be walked euery day half an houre abroade in a line, and her kennell shifted euery weeke once. And it were very necessarie before you breed your whelps, that you should see your breeding Hounds recouer a chase very farre fled afore, and driue and sticke at the marke, and not fling about: and then may you be bold to breede foureteene or fifteene couple of whelps that will serue you to hunt foure seuerall chases, that is, the fine and cunning Hare, the sweet sented Roe, the hot sented Stag, and the bubling Bucke when he groweth wearie.

How to enter your whelps at
the Hare.

WHen your whelps be full twentie moneths old and a quarter, then must you begin to enter them at Michaelmas in manner and forme following.
    You must borrowe two or three couple of fine Hariots, such as will hunt a Hare cunningly to the seate, and when your Hounds haue found the outgate of a Hare from the pasture, and bee of a perfect single gate: then must you haue foure men with foure whelps in lines, which haue been a little entred before at Conies, and surely chastized from sheepe, and other cattell. Such as leade the whelps must come in and let the whelps feele the sent in the soyle of the old Hounds feete that be before them. And all those that leade the whelps must still come neere the olde Hounds till the Hare be start, and not cast off their whelps but vse this course a weeke together, and crosse and meete, and let the whelps alwaies feele the sent in the soyle of the olde Hounds feete, and in one week being well applied, those whelps will bee made to spend their mouthes fast in the line, which you may then let loose and take others, and vse in the same order with them: so that by All Saints day you shall haue entred all your whelps.
    Some doo vse to enter their whelps in couples, which manner of entring I doo not so well like of as in the lines for two causes. The one, for that they will range abroad more at libertie, than if they were led in lines. The other, for that being in couples the one will draw forward, the other backward, and neuer prooue so errant or earnest hunters as the other that be entered in lines: for the Huntsman may helpe the whelpe he hath in the line with putting downe his finger or staffe to the ground, where he seeth the old Hounds haue taken the sent.

The order how to hunt the Hare when you
haue entred your whelps.

YOU must choose out the plainest ground you can find neere vnto you, and take with you to the field three Huntsmen, which must obserue this order, both to the seate and when the Hare is found. After your whelps are all let loose, and haue found their noses, your chiefe Huntsman must followe the hounds straight, and your other two must goe the one sixe score yards wide of the hounds on the one side, and the other as farre wide on the other side: to the end if any yong hound put out of either side, he may bee beaten in againe to the crie. Your Hunstman that followeth straight must keepe himselfe eight skore yards behind the hounds at least, that they may haue roume to vndoe a double, and he to keepe them from countring: and at euery ouer putting off the hounds, or small stop, euery hunstman that hath a horne ought to begin his rechate, and before the same bee ended the hounds will bee in full chase againe: and so all the time fild either with hunting or blowing. But if the fault growe so great that none of the Huntsmen can vndoe it with pricking of the high waies, then must they goe on, and cast a small round about the place where the Hounds stopped. And if no Hounds take it at that cast, then must they cast a greater compasse round about, drawing the hounds softly: and if it bee not hit then, the hunstman should blowe a call, that all that be in the field may repayre to him, and beate for the squat of the Hayre.
    If she be recouered by any Huntsman or hounds, and afterwards take a flocke of sheepe, or as the manner of the plaine or filden countrey is, take a heard of Swine or of beasts, & the Huntsman cast past the foyle, and the hounds hit of the sent againe either ouerthwart the fallowes, or vpon a cold wet moorish ground: then doth it come to cold hunting, so as you shall see the hounds pinch by footes and take it one from anothers nose: and you may not in anie wise comfort your hounds too much when the sent is so very colde, but that one hound may heare another. One Hare kild thus with cold hunting, is better kild than twentie in hot chase. If vppon followes the Hare fortune to double in rainie weather, you may helpe the hounds much by calling them to the staues end: but you must haue regard that it bee newe and not old, for so might you doo the hounds great wrong. I was once in the field my selfe where I sawe a Gentleman come in by chaunce with a Beagle, at which time the hounds were at fault by reason of a flock of sheepe which were driuen along the high way where the Hare was gone before: This Beagle tooke it downe the way and cride it: there being ten or twelue couple of good hounds in the companie, and not any of their noses seruing them, vntill the Beagle had brought it from off the foyld ground, and then did they all fall to hunting, and recouer the Hare which was squat, and killed her.
    A good Huntman ought to blowe the death, and carry with him a peece of bread in his sleeue to wet in the bloud of the Hare for the reliefe of his whelps, and he ought to be carefull that all his hounds be coupled vp, and none going loose neither to the field nor home againe: and be sure that meate bee made in the morning to feede them withall at euening when they come home. And this I know by my owne experience, that the purest and finest feeding is with ground Otes put in a tub and scalded with water: which tub being made close with a couer, will keepe the meate hot till night.
    I haue my selfe prooued all manner of other feedings, but vsed this as the purest & best, for this fiftie two yeres: during which time I haue hunted the Bucke in Summer, and the Hare in Winter, two yeares onely excepted. In the one, hauing King Henry the viii. his letter to serue in his warres in Scotland before his Maiesties going to Bulleine. And in the other, King Edward the vi. his letters to serue vnder Francis the Earle of Shrewsburie his Graces Liutenant to rescue the siege at Haddington: which Towne was then kept by that valiant Gentleman Sir Iames Wilford Knight. God send England many such Captaines when it shall haue neede of them.

How to hunt the Roe.
woodcut of roe buck

WHen you haue hunted the Hare al winter, and made your hounds very perfect, you may at the beginning of March giue ouer the hunting thereof, and then begin to hunt the Roe in manner and forme following.
    You must get a Huntsman who hath a good hound wherewith he vsually findeth the Roe, to find you the Roe bucke: then must you cast off nine or ten couple of hounds, and hunt the Roe bucke three or foure houres, and then relieue them with fiue or sixe couple more of your slowest sort. All Huntsmen are to helpe any hound that is cast out to relay him in againe, and also are to hewe the Roe bucke in, both with voyce and horne. And if he haue been hunted with other Huntsmen before, he will prooue to make a strong chase: and therefore you may not hunt your hounds past twise a weeke at the Roe.
    When your hounds haue kild a Roe, the best man in the companie is to take the assay, which he must doo crosse ouer the tewell. Then must the hounds be taken away out of sight, a small space distant for troubling the Huntsman, who must first slit the legges and cut them off at the first ioynt: then must he slit the throte downe the brisket to the nether end, and take the skinne cleane of: which done, he must slit his little bellie, taking out the panch with all the bloud in the bodie, and lay it vppon the skinne with the foure feete. If any towne be neere hand you must send for bread, for the better reliefe of your hounds to be broken in the bloud, which being come, your Huntsman must let all the hounds foorth of the couples, and hallowe them to the paunch, who must be very careful, that if any of his hounds bee missing, he keepe somewhat to relieue them withall, and also see diligently that euery hound that be there haue some reward.
    During all the time of this rewarding your hounds, a long note must be blowne by a Hunstman, and then all the rest that haue hornes rechate vpon it. You must also haue one in your companie with a sheet, that so soone as the feete of the Roe bee cut of, as aforesaide, hee may take the bodie home, which will make delicate meate, if your Cooke season it, lard it, and bake it well. The sent of the Roe is farre sweeter to hounds than any other chase: the reason is, he hath in his forelegge a little hole, whereat when he is hunted issueth out all his moysture; for he sweateth not outwardly as other Deare doo, but onely runneth foorth at that hole. This chase may you well hunt till Whitsontide.

How to hunt the Stagge.

woocut of a stag

AFter Whitsontide you may hearken where a Stagge liueth, either in Covert of Wood, or Corne field, and haue him harbored for you: whereat bate ten couple of your Hounds, and lay a relay of sixe couple at the water you suppose he will goe to: for naturally when a Stagge is hot he desireth the water, at which time you are to bate your sixe couple of fresh hounds to the wearie, that haue him in the water to breake the bay. The nature of the Stagge is to flee vp the winde, or side winde, and therfore the hottest and most pleasant chase to hunt that is. When you haue killed the Stagge with your hounds, the best man in the companie must come in and take the assay, which he must begin at the brisket, and drawe his knife straight vp betwixt the twoo foreshoulders: then must the Foster or Keeper of the Wood come in, and take out the paunch and bloud, and reward the hounds, striking off the Stagges hed and giuing it to the Huntsman, which he ought to carrie home and relieue his hounds with bread vpon it a weeke after.
    I had almost forgotten, that euery Huntsman which hath a horne ought to blow his rechate when he heareth the hounds; for it is so hot a chase, that there is no stops made in his hunting, vnlesse he chance to get water farre before the hounds, & be gone out againe by some drie colyway: then he perchance may be trailed coldly before he be put from his laire againe. The Huntsman must remember to blowe at the death of euery Stagge sixe long motes that all those which be cast behind may come in. And after the last mote blowne, then all which haue hornes must blowe altogether their double rechates. And so betwixt Whitsontide and Midsomer, which amongst woodmen is called fence time, once a weeke you may occupie your hounds in this sort, if you can finde game.

How to order your hounds before you
hunt the Bucke.

woodcut of three bucks

YOu must take vp at Midsomer ten or eleuen couple of such Hounds as you entend to hunt the Bucke withall, and let so many of them bee led in lines as you haue Huntsmen to leade them, some one day, some an other. They must sometimes let them loose and if they offer to goe away from their Keeper, or raunge abroade, he must call them in to him, and make them obedient to his voyce, & to come into him at all times, be he on horsebacke or on foote. Your Huntsman must haue a Combe to combe the hounds he leadeth, from fleas, and a hairecloth to rub them withall after, to make them fine and smooth. You must beware that you offer not to hunt the Bucke before the first day of Grasse time: for Fawnes bee so weake, that if your Hounds should take the killing of them, you should hardly bereaue them of it.
    A week before you entend to hunt, you must feed your yong hounds with chippings of bread vpon the top of an old Buckes head. And before you hunt the Bucke, you must also breathe your hounds in an euening or morning at the Hare: for who so hunteth vnbreathed hounds at the Bucke first in hot weather, causeth them to imbast and surbate greatly. When you enter your hounds at the Bucke, keepe them not too hye in flesh till after Bartholmew tide, and then as hye as you can. The best feeding for Bucke hounds is bread and milke: but you must beware of giuing them newe bread, for then will they not hunt of two daies after.

How to enter your hounds at
the Bucke.

YOu must come into the parke with ten or twelue couple of hounds at the very stirrop, hauing in your companie halfe a dosen well horsed, with long roddes in their hands, shewe the hounds to the heard, and if any offer to runne thereat, rate them and beate them in againe to the stirrop. Then goe beate the brakes to finde some greater Deare, and if any hound hunt from his fellowes, or runne at raskall, take him vp in a line, and beating him, say, awe, ware that. Then leade him to the stirrop againe, and there let him loose amongst his fellowes, cherish and giue him bread, in which beating you make your hounds so obedient to the voyce of man, that they will at euery worde come in to the stirrop. This done, you may begin to tust for a Bucke, and finding him single, especiallie if he rouse foorth of a great brake, put your hounds softly vpon, for he will fall oft at the beginning: which although the Huntsman see, yet he must giue libertie to the yong hounds to imprime him themselues. And being sure it is his owne Deere, he may giue one gibbet at euery imprime, and no more. When your hounds haue forced him that he falles to flying single, and the Huntsman spie him in any thick copie or great brake, he may say (he that, he that) once and no more, which is knowledge to the other Huntsmen, that he seeth him, and all Huntsmen as the Deere groweth wearie, must forbeare to hallowe, for a hallowe doth breake the crie, and the wearie Deere at any time making his doubles, and the hounds a little stopping, all which haue hornes must begin their rechates, which before they haue ended, the hounds will haue vndone the dubble and bee in full chase againe: so that all the time will be fild either with hunting or blowing.
    A good Huntsman at the Bucke must ride fast, to see what his hounds doo hunt, he must not hallowe but when the Bucke he hunteth either is in the heard, or that some other Buckes of the same yeare bee with him. If your hounds chance to stop or be at default, and then any huntsman hap to meete their hunted Deere single, let him blow a short call that his fellowes next to the hounds may draw them towards him on the seate. So that by a hallowe the Huntsmen may knowe their wearie Deere is in the heard, and by blowing the priuie call that he is gone single away. If you hunt a buck in any Parke, and be fortune to leape the pale, then must the Huntsman next to the hounds blow three shorts and a rechate vppon it: so by that meanes all the companie may knowe that their hunted Deere is gone out of the Parke.
    A good Huntsman must likewise at the first casting off his hounds, take a speciall marke of the Bucke he hunteth by his head: for diuers Buckes haue sundrie slots in their palmes: some haue slots on both sides: other some are plaine palmed without any aduauncers with long spillers out behinde: the most Buckes haue some kenspeck marke to knowe them by vpon their heads.
    If you hunt a Buck wearie in the beginning of Grasse-time, and your hounds chaunce to checke and loose him, it is then somewhat hard for a young Huntsman to know him by his head, before it be full Soomned. Yet note this for your better experience, when your wearie Deere hath rested and laine a while, if you then fortune to finde him againe, he will close vp his mouth as though he had not been imbosted or hunted that day, making a bragge and setting vp his single; yet this secret knowledge you must haue to knowe him by, he will swell vnder the throate bigger than an egge, when he closeth his mouth: his coate also will stare and frise so vppon him, as you may easely knowe him thereby. And if you force him a little with a horse or hound, hee will presently lay downe his single, whereby you may easely perceiue his wearines. Now, if it chaunce that your hounds doo breake, and one part hunt one companie of Deere, and the other part another companie, wherein your wearie Deere is, your Huntsman ought so soone as he espieth it to blow halfe a rechate, that the others may stay the hounds that hunt false, and bring them in againe to the wearie Deere, and then the Huntsmans part is to applie the hounds well vntill they haue singled the wearie Deere againe: which done, they may fauour their horses and let the hounds hunt, which will make a good crie till the death of that Bucke. You must be carefull to choose small Parks at the first entring of your hounds, and hunt therein morning & euening two Bucks a day: and by that time you haue kild halfe a skore Bucks in this order, you will find that some of your yong hounds vnderstand a wearie Deere: so that then you may hunt in greater and larger Parkes: and towards the latter end of the yeare you may venter ouer Chases and Forests. Keeke this packe of hounds, and the next yeare following they will prooue singularlie cunning. And if it fortune any of them to prooue euil either by crossing, thwarting, or running wide, you may take them foorth and put in other yong hounds which haue hunted the Hare the winter before: for the best Hariers prooue alwaies the best Buck hounds, if they be fleete enough.
    When you hunt in Forest, Chase or Parke, if the Deere chance to get aduantage of your hounds, & become cold fled, then is the best triall of your hounds which will hunt him the coldest without checking or hunting any other Deere. And if you haue a couple of good hounds that you be sure will not chaunge, hunt to those and not to any other: so are you like to recouer your wearie Deere. One Deere so kilde, is better than a dosen in hot chase, and it will also make your hounds to become trailors of a weary Deere.

How to hunt the Stagge after the end
of Grassetime.

WHen Grasse time is ended, and that you giue ouer hunting the Bucke, then you may for a fortnight after hunt the Stagge. But your Huntsmen must be carefull to be in, when he is readie to dye, and houghsnew him with their swords, otherwise he will greatly endaunger your hounds his head is so hard.
    I was very well acquainted with the hunting hereof both in Parke, Forest and Chase, by the meanes of those honorable Gentlemen Francis Earle of Huntington, and the Marques of Northampton now deceased, who if either of them had heard of a Stagge lying in an out wood farre from the Forest, Chase or Parke, whereof he was, would presently repaire with twentie couple of hounds to the place where he were harbored, and bee sure to send ten couple of the slowest to the relay foure miles of: to which sport for the most part I was sent to await vpon them.
    Such Huntsmen as follow this Chase must haue especiall regard to the winde in their riding, and make sure the[y] keepe, the side winde, or the full winde, if they can possiblie get it. So shall they heare most braue cries, and be assured to come to the death of the Stagge.

Howe to hunt the Otter.
woodcut of an otter eating a fish
YOur huntsman early in the morning before he bring foorth your houndes, must goe to the water; and seeke for the new swaging of an Otter, & in the mud or grauell finde out the sealing of his foote, so shall he perceiue perfectly whether hee goe vp in the water or downe: which done, you must take your houndes to the place where he lodged the night before; and cast your traylors off vpon the trayle you thinke best; keeping your whelps still in the couples: for so must they be entred.
    Then must there be on either side of the water two men with Otter speares to strike him, if it bee a great water: But if it be a small water you must forbeare to strike him, for the better making of your houndes.
    The Otter is chiefly to bee hunted with slow houndes great mouthed, which to a young man is a verie earnest sporte, he will vent so oft and put vp ouer water at which time the houndes will spend their mouthes verie lustely: Thus may you haue good sport at an Otter two or three houres if you list.
    An Otter sometimes wilbe trayled a mile or two before he come to the holt where he lyeth, and the earnestnes of the sport beginneth not till he bee found, at which time some must runne vp the water, some downe to see where he vents, and so pursue him with great earnestnes till hee be kild. But the best hunting of him is in a great water when the banke is full, for then he cannot haue so great succour in his holes, as when it is at an ebbe: And hee maketh the best sporte in a moon-shine night, for then he will runne much ouer the land, and not keepe the water as he will in the day.
How to hunt the Marterne.

NOw wil I make and end with the hunting of the Marterne, which is the sweetest vermine that is hunted: for when you cast off your houndes in a close that is thick of bushes where a Marterne hath been a birding al night, so soone as they light vpon the sent, it is so sweete that you will meruaile what it is your hounds finde of: for they will so double their mouthes, and teare them together, that you would thinke there were more hounds in companie than your owne.
    And when you haue found her, the crie is meruailous strong, and great for halfe an howre: for she will bee alwayes neere you, and runne rounde about you in the thickets. When she groweth wearie she will take a tree, from whence you must put her, & that if possiblie you can, so secretly as none of your hounds espie her, and then will she make you fresh sporte againe for a quarter of an howre. You shall haue no such cries at any chase that is hunted: because your hounds stoup lowe for the sent and haue the sweete wype of her.

A speciall note for an olde man or a lame, that
loueth hunting, and may not
wel follow the hounds.

HE must marke how the winde standeth, and euer keepe downe the same, or at the least the side wind of the houndes. If he once loose the winde of the houndes, he is very like to loose the sporte for that daye if it be in the plaine or fielden countrey.
    Thus haue I wearied you with reading this pamphlet of my own experience; praying you to beare with the rudenes of the same; for the Author thereof is a professed hunter, and not a scholler: and therefore you must not looke to haue it decked either with eloquence or Arte.


Sir Tristrams measures
of blowing.

FIrst when you goe into the field, blowe with one winde one short, one long and a longer.
    To blowe to the coupling of the Hounds at the kennell doore, blowe with one, one long and three short.
    The second winde one long, one short, and a shorter.

To blow to the field.

BLowe with two windes: with the first one short, o[n]e long, and two short.
    With the second winde, one short, one long, and a longer.
To blow in the field.

WIth two windes, the first two short, one long, and two short.
    The second, one short, one long and a longer.
    To vncouple the hounds in the field: three long notes and with three windes.
To blow to seeke.

TWo windes: The first a long and a short, the second a long.
When the Hounds hunt after a game vn-
knowne, blow thus.

BLow the Ueline, one long, and fiue short: The second winde, one long, and two short.
To draw from Couert to Couert.

THree windes, two short, one long, and two short. The second, one long and a short. The third, one long.
To blow the earthing of the Foxe when
he is couerable.

FOure notes with foure windes. The reliefe, one long, fiue short.
To blow if the Foxe be not couerable.

TWo windes, one long and three short. The second winde long.
To blow the death of the Foxe in
Field or Couert.

THree notes, with three windes, the rechate vpon the same with three windes. The first winde, one long and fiue short. The second, one short and one long. The third, one long and fiue short.
The death of the Foxe at thy Lords gate.

TWo notes, and then the reliefe three times.
The death of the Bucke, either with Bowe, or
Hounds, or Grey hounds.

ONe long note.
The knowledge vpon the same.

TWo short and one long.
The death of the Bucke with Hounds.

TWo long notes and the rechate.
The prize of an Hart royall.

NIne notes with three rests. The Rechate with three winds. The first, one long and fiue short. The second one long and one short. The third, one long and sixe short.
To blow the call of the Keepers of any
Parke or Forrest.

ONe short, one long, and a longer. If the keeper answer you, blowe two short with one winde, and drawe towards him. And after that blowe one short.
When the game breaketh couert.

FOure with three winds, and the rechate vpon the same. The stent when the Hounds can hunt no further with three windes, the first one long and sixe short. The second one long and one short: the third one long.
Where the Foxe is earthed, blowe for the
Terriars after this manner.

ONe long and two short: the second winde one long, and two short.
    Note this, for it is the chiefest and principallest poynt to be noted.
    Euery long conteineth in blowing seauen quauers, one minome and one quauer.
    One minome conteineth foure quauers.
    One short conteineth three quauers.
F I N I S.

RE Logotype for Renascence Editions
Renascence Editions