While in some counties the sport has suffered, towns men who formerly would have been too far from a meet can now secure transport for themselves and their horses in all directions; and as a consequence, meets of certain packs are not advertised because of the number of strangers who would be induced to attend.
The sport has never been so vigorously pursued as it was at the beginning of the 20th century, 19 packs of staghounds being kept in England and 4 in Ireland, over 170 packs of foxhounds in England, ro in Scotland and 23 in Ireland, with packs of harriers and beagles too numerous to be counted.
In other parts of England staghound packs are devoted to the capture of the carted deer, a business which is more or less of a parody on the genuine sport, but is popular for the reason that whereas with foxhounds men may have a blank day, they are practically sure of a gallop when a deer is taken out in a cart to be enlarged before the hounds are laid on.
Packs of foxhounds vary, from large establishments in the "Shires," the meets of which are attended by hundreds of horsemen, some of whom keep large stables of hunters in constant work - for though a man at Melton, for instance, may see a great deal of sport with half-a-dozen well-seasoned animals, the number is not sufficient if he is anxious to be at all times well mounted - to small kennels in the north of England, where the field follow on foot.
Several packs which hunt within these limits are not supposed, however, to belong to the "Shires," whereas a district of the Belvoir country is in Lincolnshire, and to hunt with the Belvoir is certainly understood to be hunting in the "Shires."