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many more packs than formerly-in all, twenty-one for the United Kingdom.

The sport of otter-hunting is decidedly increasing, as there have been several hunts started within the last six years. There can well be many more, as, according to the opinion of that excellent authority, the late Rev. " Otter " Davies, as he was always called, there are otters on every river ; but, owing to the nocturnal and mysterious habits of the animals, their whereabouts or existence is seldom known, or even suspected. Hunting them is a very beautiful sport, and the question arises as to whether the pure Otterhounds should not be more generally used than they are at present. It is often asserted that their continued exposure to water has caused a good deal of rheumatism in the breed, that they show age sooner than others, and that the puppies are difficult to rear. There are, however, many advantages in having a pure breed, and there is much to say for the perfect work of the Otterhound. The scent of the otter is possibly the sweetest of all trails left by animals. One cannot understand how it is that an animal swimming two or three feet from the bottom of a river-bed and the same from the surface should leave a clean line of burning scent that may remain for twelve or eighteen hours. The supposition must be that the scent from the animal at first descends and is then always rising. At any rate, the oldest Foxhound or Harrier that has never touched otter is at once in ravishing excitement on it, and all dogs will hunt it. The terrier is never keener than when he hits on such a line.

The Foxhound, so wonderful in his forward dash, may have too much of it for otter hunting. The otter is so wary. His holt can very well be passed, his delicious scent may be overrun ; but the pure-bred Otterhound is equal to all occasions. He is terribly certain on the trail when he finds it. Nothing can throw him off it, and when his deep note swells into a sort of savage howl, as he lifts his head towards the roots of some old pollard, there is a meaning in it-no mistake has been made. In every part of a run it is the same ; the otter dodges


up stream and down, lands for a moment, returns to his holt ; but his adversaries are always with him, and as one sees their steady work the impression becomes stronger and stronger that for the real sport of otter-hunting there is nothing as good as the pure-bred Otterhound. There is something so dignified and noble about the hound of unsullied strain that if you once see a good one you will not soon forget him. He is a large hound, as he well needs to be, for the "varmint " who is his customary quarry is the wildest, most vicious, and, for its size, the most powerful of all British wild animals, the inveterate poacher of our salmon streams, and consequently to be mercilessly slaughtered, although always in sporting fashion. To be equal to such prey, the hound must have a Bulldog's courage, a Newfoundland's strength in water, a Pointer's nose, a Retriever's sagacity, the stamina of the Foxhound, the patience of a Beagle, the intelligence of a Collie.

THE PERFECT OTTERHOUND : Head-The head, which has been described as something between that of a Bloodhound and that of a Foxhound, is more hard and rugged than either. With a narrow forehead, ascending to a moderate peak. Ears-The ears are long and sweeping, but not feathered down to the tips, set low and lying flat to the cheeks. Eyes-The eyes are large, dark and deeply set, having a peculiarly thoughtful expression. They show a considerable amount of the haw. Nose-The nose is large and well developed, the nostrils expanding. Muzzle-The muzzle well protected from wiry hair. The jaw very powerful with deep flews. Neck-The neck is strong and muscular, but rather long. The dewlap is loose and folded. ChestThe chest, deep and capacious, but not too wide. Back-The back is strong, wide and arched. Shoulders-The shoulders ought to be sloping, the arms and thighs substantial and muscular. Feet-The feet, fairly large and spreading, with firm pads and strong nails to resist sharp rocks. Stern-The stern when the hound is at work is carried gaily, like that of a rough Welsh Harrier. It is thick and well covered, to serve as a rudder. Coat-The coat is wiry, hard, long and close at the roots, impervious to water. Colour-Grey, or buff, or yellowish,

or black, or rufus red, mixed with black or grey. Height-22 to 24 inches.

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