Hunting the clean boot

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Hunting the clean boot is a term that has been used in Britain to refer to the use of packs bloodhounds to follow a natural human scent trail.


The 'clean boot' refers to the absence of either an artificial scent such, such as aniseed as used in drag hunting or the scent of a live quarry as used in fox hunting.[1] Whilst today the term has become synonymous with the use of bloodhound packs, most breeds of dog can be taught the skill individually with varying degrees of success.[2]

Typically, clean boot hunts are run along similar lines to fox or drag hunts, with a field of mounted riders following a pack of bloodhounds which trails the scent of runner. Like other forms of mounted hunting with hounds, hunting the clean boot usually occurs in the autumn, winter and early spring.[3]

In order to improve the speed, agility and pack hunting instincts of the bloodhound, the Dumfriesshire Hound was used by several packs as an outcross.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Brian Lowe, Hunting the clean boot: The working bloodhound, Blandford Press, Poole, 1981, ISBN 0-7137-0950-2.
  2. ^ L.C.R Cameron, Minor field sports: Including hunting, dogs, ferreting, hawking, trapping, shooting, fishing and other miscellaneous activities, G. Routledge & Sons, London, 1920.
  3. ^ Nicholas Goddard and John Martin, "Drag hunting", Encyclopedia of traditional British rural sports, Tony Collins, John Martin and Wray Vamplew (eds), Routledge, Abingdon, 2005, ISBN 0-415-35224-X.

External links[edit]