WHEN:

We meet every Wednesday and Sunday from September through April, with special holiday, away, and joint meets scheduled throughout the year. In summer, we exercise hounds and horses throughout the week and invite members and guests to participate most Wednesdays and Sundays. See our SCHEDULE for more detailed information and subscribe to our NEWSLETTER for fixture cards and announcements.

Most Wednesday meets start at 9:30am and are followed by a brown bag or tailgate lunch (bring your own). Most Sundays and special meets begin at 10:30am and are followed by HUNT BREAKFAST, a meal served by one of our members or a potluck meal held after the hunt. We generally meet half hour prior to moving off.

WHERE:

Our kennels are located at Headwaters Ranch, home of Montana Horses, Inc. near Three Forks, Montana. Our hunt country is located throughout Montana, primarily near Bozeman and Miles City. When hunting from the kennels, please drive back to The Livery and park your horse trailer in the lot out front. We have plenty of space and pull-through parking.

WHO:

We welcome everyone here! If you have an interest in riding in beautiful Montana, following hounds, or learning about this sport, contact us! Newbies and juniors are encouraged to participate. We have plenty of horses available for lease - or bring your own. Our country is challenging and the sport is spectacular. Seasoned fox hunters from all over the world will enjoy Foxhunting Montana-Style.

Our membership is made up of a wonderful conglomeration of folks from a wide-array of disciplines. We are a very welcoming group of people and encourage you to join our tribe. There’s no drama here at BSH, we are supportive and non-judgmental and simply want to share our love of the sport with everyone.

COST:

To ride with us, you can become a member of our club by paying annual membership dues or participate in any hunt or hound walk by paying a capping fee for the day. Capping fees are $75 for adults and $45 for juniors. Horse leases are also available by the day, month, or season from Montana Horses, Inc. First-time hunters are encouraged to attend, and may participate by providing a large bag of dog food in lieu of a capping fee.

ATTIRE:

At BSH, we prefer function over fashion. In Montana, we honor the tradition of our fore-bearers and the Cowboy Way of life as well as the spirit of the centuries-old tradition of foxhunting. In no way will Big Sky Hounds ever preclude someone from hunting because they aren’t dressed correctly. Function first, fashion later.  However; a properly turned-out field honors the landowners, shows them we take our sport seriously, and displays the appropriate respect as they watch us ride by. 

Most Wednesdays throughout the year are casual. Jeans and boots are appropriate.

On Sundays: During the Autumn or Cubbing Season, all riders including staff, wear 'ratcatcher.' For English riders, that is a tweed coat in muted colors, beige or rust breeches, brown or black field boots. Gentlemen wear a tie with a light colored shirt other than white, again in muted tones. Ladies may wear a colored stock tie, necktie or choker.  For Western riders, that is a plaid or solid colored long-sleeved Western shirt, black or muted color vest or jacket, blue jeans, cowboy boots, and cowboy hat. During formal season (after Opening Meet at the end of October), Western riders may wear a black coat and cowboy hat or helmet, white shirt, white wildrag or a tie, blue or black jeans, black boots.  English riders may wear a black or navy coat, tan or similar breeches, white shirt/ stock tie, canary or tattersall vest, black dress boots. 

Please, refrain from wearing any brightly colored clothing, especially red or orange, unless you are functioning in a staff position or wearing a radio.

Members with colors may choose to wear a sky blue wildrag or colors on their collars.      

Tack should be in good repair and clean, preferably with no brightly colored accessories.

Juniors may wear whatever they like.

STAFF ONLY – Scarlet, white breeches, brown top boots.

HORSES:

We recommend you bring a sure-footed, reliable, well-broke horse, in proper condition to hunt the rigorous mountain foothill terrain for three to five hours. Horses should be comfortable riding with other horses and around dogs. If you would like to work a young or green horse into hunting, please do so during fall hunting or on summer hound exercises. We start conditioning horses here in August, and often couple our conditioning rides with hound exercise. Contact us if you would like to introduce your horse (or yourself) to foxhunting pre-season. Shoes are necessary in our rough country and in winter we HIGHLY recommend sharp shoes with snow poppers.

Montana Horses, Inc. offers seasoned horses for all levels of rider for lease.

RIDING ABILITY:

We try to accommodate every level of rider by arranging several groups (or fields) of riders led by a member or volunteer who will help guide you to best enjoy the sport. There are very few jumps in our country, but vast open spaces and very rugged terrain. First-time riders are encouraged to take a lesson or a conditioning ride at the ranch to ensure the basic level of horsemanship required for the environment. Advanced and seasoned riders will enjoy our big and challenging country.

QUARRY:

Big Sky Hounds primarily chases coyote. The big question you probably have is, “Do you kill the coyote?” Big Sky Hounds CATEGORICALLY does not kill for the sake of killing. If a coyote should be killed, it is. If a coyote should be left to be chased another day, it is. It is up to the huntsman and the pack of hounds, together, to discern the difference.

  • We will always do the bidding of the landowner.

  • We will always protect our legal right to hunt with hounds and will always honor the laws and regulations that govern that right.

  • We will always conduct ourselves in a sportsmanlike manner and adhere to the regulations set forth for such conduct by our sanctioning organization, the Masters of Foxhounds Association.

  • We will always respect the wishes of our membership, whose financial support feeds our hounds and makes our sport possible.

In general, our pack is bred to find, chase, and den (or tree) quarry. They are not aggressive killers, nor frankly a very efficient way of ridding the country of vermin.