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The urban fox hunt. No beagles. No killing. Some halloumi

I’ve never been a fan of fox hunting. There always seemed to be something uncivilized about a crowd taking pleasure in hunting and killing an animal.

But after a few nights of fox noises, the – how should I put it? — “Marking” our front path, the attacks on garbage bags, and worrying about encountering a small dog while out for a walk that seriously overestimates its fighting abilities make me reconsider some of my instincts.

In other words, it’s time for urban hunts. There were early forays into this new pastime. The well-known anti-Tory lawyer Jolyon Maugham He rose to fame with a tweet on Boxing Day about how he beat a fox to death after he was trapped trying to get into a chicken coop in his backyard while wearing his wife’s “little green kimono.” . I should clarify that it was Maugham rather than the fox wearing the kimono since green isn’t the animal’s best color and foxes are more into trackies anyway.

However, despite his heroic efforts, the Boxing Day kimono fox hunt didn’t catch on. The vermin remain free to terrorize our suburbs, boldly sauntering the streets unmolested by men in Japanese couture. In the face of continued tagging, howling, digging, and destruction, we townsfolk must fight back.

I googled other ways to keep foxes away. A recommended deterrent is male urine, but we have neighbors. So I’m afraid it must be the hunt. Other areas will want to do their own thing, but hunting in South West London will obviously be very different from the rural variety. The meeting will therefore convene at an agreed location some time after the end of Parkrun.

Hunting pink isn’t going to be the uniform for urban hunting in my opinion, but vests are definitely acceptable, and we’ll probably insist on Jack Will’s hoodies and Lululemon leggings. We forgo the traditional alcoholic stirrup cup before the hunt begins, opting instead for soy lattes and pains aux raisins brought to us by Deliveroo drivers.

Unfortunately, there is a distinct lack of Beagle packs in the area, so some improvisation is required. We can opt for Cockapoos instead, which are the dominant breed in South West London anyway, although there is also a caucus for Westies.

Horses are not practical. We considered Chelsea tractors, which are plentiful and unfortunately haven’t yet violated the ultra-low emission zone, but you’ll want a bit of contact with nature for the thrill of the hunt. So we opted for e-scooters, although the legal ones have a top speed of around 20 km/h and are not good for ditches.

There could be a case for e-bikes instead, although ultimately if we want to be sporty we could settle for Bromptons. Of course, the fox is expected to stay within approved bike lanes. There aren’t many opportunities for jumps, but we can try to incorporate some parkour into the chase.

We are not naive. Of course, we know that not everyone will approve of the new hunts and we expect some difficulties. On the other hand, fighter saboteurs have to travel far less distance, in many cases just a few stops on the Northern Line or the Dalston Overground. We worry that the Sabs might arrive early and rent out all the bikes, forcing us to hunt the fox on foot. You can also use bubble machines to distract the cockapoos.

Other well-known Sab tactics for urban hunting include efforts to break up the hunt by laying false trails with directions to artisanal food markets. Sometimes they’ll yell “view halloumi,” after which any pursuers will divert to their local delicacies.

It’s about animal cruelty. And here I admit that there is a problem. Being metropolitan wimps ourselves, none of us are particularly keen on finding the deadly part of the hunt. Even the cockapoos are trained to prefer a nice vegan treat. Many members don’t even like the idea of ​​the fox being scared. Slightly unsettled is more the hoped-for emotion.

We have all read The little Prince and have a soft spot for vulpine things, at least on an intellectual level. So the question is what do we do with the fox once we corner it. Ideally we’d just want to chase them across the bridges into North London, but these can get terribly clogged and Hammersmith Bridge is still closed to vermin.

Others have suggested that if we are unwilling to kill the foxes, we could expedite their relocation by asking them to help campaign for the Liberal Democrats or by forcing them to come to book club meetings. Unfortunately, this latter idea hasn’t worked particularly well in trials, as the fox insists on discussing novels about chickens.

So, yes, there is still work to be done, but this is an idea whose time has come. Roll up my friends.

Follow Robert on Twitter @robertshrimsley and email him robert.shrimsley@ft.com

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https://www.ft.com/content/c2d21202-42a4-4b21-a976-a2d90ac4f580 The urban fox hunt. No beagles. No killing. Some halloumi

Adam Bradshaw

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