November 3rd is St. Hubert’s Day, named after the patron saint of hunt and hound. The eldest son of the Duke of Aquataine, Hubert was addicted to hunting but after the death of his wife in childbirth, he renounced his secular pomps and privileges and became a priest, later Bishop of Liège.
Goodthinkers have largely exterminated the hunt in Britain and Europe, but happily among us barbaric Americans the tradition continues. The difference is largely that in this country the purpose of the hunt is not necessarily to catch the fox; the ones that are caught are usually old or sick. Some hunters boast that they’ve never been on a kill.
St. Hubert’s Day (or, sometimes, Thanksgiving Day) also marks the Blessing of the Hunt in the mid-Atlantic states. In a formal ceremony, hunters, horses and hounds are honored and blessed for a safe hunt.