Earth stopping is a very important matter, and in these days when the number of drains has increased to an enormous extent, is all the more difficult, because land owners like their own men to do the stopping, and occupiers are disinclined to allow others than their landlord's keepers, or their own men to do it, and neither of those are under the absolute control of the hunt, though they are paid by it, and farmers often trust too much to their men, who neglect to do it.
It is well, therefore, to keep a list of the earth-stoppers and their districts, and deduct something from their pay whenever a fox gets to ground through their negligence in their "stop."
"Stopping" means stopping the earths during the night.
"Putting to" means when it is done in the early morning.
Great care must be taken not to stop the foxes in, and this can easily be done by a lazy or careless man stopping the earths too late, and great care should be taken to unstop them at night.
All main and large earths should be stopped for the season as soon as hunting begins, and opened as soon as there are signs of cubs. Great care should be taken when thus stopping them not to stop any unfortunate animal in. In the spring, then, they should be "put to" when necessary, later in the morning, so as to be sure the vixen has returned to her home and so avoid any accident happening to hen
Drains should be run with terriers and then stopped at the beginning of the season with stakes or small drain pipes (which are best) made so as to allow the water to run freely. Iron grates are often stolen.