Middleton Hunting Club

A Lowcountry hunting tradition

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    Head driver Jamie Green emits three blasts on his blowing horn to let members know the drive is over

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    All of the hounds used by the Middleton Hunting Club are former foxhounds, trained to respond to the sound of a cracking whip.

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    Members of the Middleton Hunting Club and guests pile into a member's vehicle before getting dropped off at stands for the first drive of the morning.

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    The shotguns of Middleton members range from family heirloom to no-frills deer gun. Members who miss easy shots at deer are fined and often spend a season getting gently reminded of their foibles.

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    Drivers and hounds work their way up a sandy road after the end of a drive. The woods horses instinctively know their way around or over blowdowns and are adept at navigating heavy timber at a quick pace. When a deer is killed, it’s often slung across a horse’s back for transport.

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    Russell Tyler, club president, addresses members before lunch, which is often provided by a club member. Tyler has been a Middleton member since 2000 but hunted there as a guest for thirty years.

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    Members of the Middleton Hunting Club are required to wear ties while in the presence of women.

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    Young hunters are always encouraged and welcome at the club.

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    The whips are cracked by hunters when the hounds veer off course from the prescribed drive, and the sound of the crack sends them back into the woods. Jamie Green, head driver, has been involved with the Middleton Hunting Club since he was a child. His father, Bill Green, was also a head driver. On the drive, Jamie not only encourages the hounds but talks to the deer as well. When speaking about the craftiness of a big buck, the elder Green likes to say that “it can hear you change your mind.”

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    Ricky Hanckel has been a member of the club since 1974, though he’s hunted there since the 1950s. He’s a past president and can often be seen with his Boykin spaniel, Carolina. “She knows the deer are coming long before I see them,” Hanckel says.

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    Club members and guests pile into a member’s 
vehicle before getting dropped 
off at stands for the first drive of the morning.

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In South Carolina, the members of the Middleton Hunting Club take to the woods in a ritual that spans centuries. Read the full article.

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