“Release the Hounds!”
The fox hunt is a biannual event that takes place at various national campgrounds, and one of our most publicized events. Our fox hunts involve 1-5 foxes attempting to run from our puppies, who track them and alert pony-rider teams when a fox is cornered or captured. We have been mentioned on Wikipedia and on the television show Weird Threads:
EVENT DESCRIPTION AND RULES
We have 1-5 confirmed foxes for the event. If you wish to be a fox, please contact us.
The foxes are released from their “den” at 11:30 and given a 10 to 20 minutes head-start. They may go in any direction they like. Each fox has flags, representing scent; they must place the flags as they run. Each flag must be visible from another nearby flag. Foxes may double back, plant false trails, climb trees, hide, wait, cross streams, or do any other activity a fox would so long as they leave a clear trail for the dogs to follow.
The hounds follow the scent and alert the humans by barking. The ponies and “riders” follow the dogs. All humans will have hunting horns to call dogs to them if they spot a fox. If captured (tagged, pinned, or cornered by a hound), the fox will then be de-tailed by a human hunter.
Being a social event, the hunt is followed by a pot luck dinner and toast.
Because this is a public event, please make sure all pink bits are covered; dress should be relatively family friendly.
Spectators are welcome to follow the Hunt and partake in the Feast; everyone is required to bring a potluck item.
We always leave our camp site in better condition than when we arrived. We will not tolerate littering.
Be prepared! Always bring more water than you need, emergency supplies, toilet paper, and bug spray. It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it!
The Spring Fox Hunt
**The Spring 2018 Fox Hunt is Saturday, April 14th**
We typically hold the Spring Fox Hunt at Middle Lion Campground in the Los Padres National Forest (about thirty miles north of Ojai) on the last Saturday in April, with camping throughout the weekend.
You must have an Adventure Pass for the Los Padres Forest or a Day Pass to park your car in the National Forest. The Pass must be displayed on visitors’ vehicles and is available in two forms: a Daily Pass for$5.00 and an Annual Pass, good for one year from month of purchase for $30.00.
Please note that Ojai does have rattlesnakes, so please exercise caution when camping, hiking, and hunting!
Directions to MiddleLion from the 101 Freeway take the 33 North. Follow Highway 33 north of Ojai for 14.7 miles to the Rose Valley Road turnoff (6N31) which is at mile marker 25.84. Turn right and follow the paved road 4.8 miles. Turn right and go 0.8 miles to Middle Lion Campground. The elevation is 3250 feet. Watch out for the rough sections of road.
The Fall Fox Hunt
**The Fall 2018 Fox Hunt is Saturday, October 6th**
We typically hold the Fall Fox Hunt at Heaton Flats on the first Saturday of October, with camping throughout the weekend. Parking is at the Bridge to Nowhere Trail Entrance.
Getting to the Trailhead:
From Interstate 210 in Azusa, take Azusa Avenue (Hwy 39) north about 12 miles to the junction of East Fork Road (8.6 miles from the forest station at the mouth of the canyon). Turn right, cross the bridge and continue driving east on East Fork Road 5.1 miles to the junction of Glendora Mountain Road. Continue straight another 1.4 miles to the East Fork parking lot. The lot holds about 40 vehicles, but on busy weekends it’s not uncommon to find the lot full and cars parked along the road. A National Forest Adventure Pass is required. SAN GABRIEL MOUNTAINS IS REGION 5 AND THE SAME ADVENTURE PASS FOR LOS PADRES MOUNTAINS.
As you enter the parking lot, on your right is a wilderness information display. This is where you can obtain a free, self-issued wilderness permit.
Pass the locked vehicle gate and begin walking on the dirt fire-road northward. The road descends and ascends mildly as you traverse the east bank of the San Gabriel River’s East Fork. This first section is well traveled as multitudes trek to the Bridge to Nowhere. At 0.5 mile you approach the Heaton Flat campground shaded in a grove of pines.
Schedule for The Fox Hunt Day Event:
Check-in for participants is at 10 am sharp on Saturday. At 11 am we have our “Stirrup Cup:” the traditional toast to begin the festivities. The hunt begins at 11:30 am, and usually lasts 1-2 hours, with a potluck feast to follow.