Hundreds of fox hunters in Picayune for contest

Published 12:48 am Sunday, March 27, 2011

Hunters from across the United States were in Picayune participating in a national competition at a local fox run.

Deep South Running Pen owner and operator Rachel Denius said the event brought in between 200 to 300 hunters from across the nation who are part of the Masters Fox Hunters Association to compete. The three-day event took place at her business located in the south end of the county off of Dickerson Road.

The competition is used to gauge the speed, drive and hunting abilities of a hunter’s dogs, Denius said. The dogs are judged on their performance during the competition. The event began on Thursday and was expected to wrap up on Saturday.

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With so many people from out of town spending time in Picayune their presence added to the local economy as they stayed in local hotels and frequented local establishments, Denius said.

While the event does entail the use of foxes and coyotes, which the hunting dogs chase, the competition has people patrolling the pen’s 1,637 acres to ensure that none of the animals are killed.

“We have people making sure that doesn’t happen,” Denius said.

The competition also includes a dog show judging event where judges rank the hunting dogs on their build, stability and appearance and present awards. First place, or Best in Show, is awarded to the dog that excels in all categories, followed by second place, or Best Opposite Sex, Denius said.