Fall hunting early September through early November. Formal Opening early November. Hunting through late March. Typically hunting Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Time varies with season. Posted times are move off times. Please arrive with plenty of time to spare to be ready to move off at the appointed time. On most hunting days, The Mells tailgates after the hunt. Members and visitors who bring a dish to share are most appreciated. A small game hunting license is required in Tennessee. Click here to purchase one online.
The Mells welcomes visitors. Visitors can hunt with us or observe, with the permission of the Masters. Proof of negative Coggins and Liability Releases are required. Liability Release can be downloaded here. Membership is by invitation of the Masters. We have several types of memberships, including social memberships if you prefer not to ride. If you are interested in visiting or membership, please leave us a message in the "Contact" section.
Ratcatcher during Fall Hunting and Thursdays. Formal otherwise. Dress code may be waived for inclement weather - check your email or the Mells Facebook page.
Ratcatcher- Helmets must be worn in either brown or black velvet, Unless your hair is very short, a hairnet must be worn. Your shirt should be a subdued color with a conservative coordinating necktie or stocktie secured with a stockpin. Vests may be canary or tattersal. A hunting coat in linen or wool tweed in muted color, tailored and vented in proper must be worn unless waived during warm weather. Breeches may be any earth tone color such as tan, canary, rust, gray or brown. Boots must be clean and polished in black or brown. Formal dress boots or field boots are permitted. Spurs are optional but must be heavy and blunt. Gloves may be tan, brown or black leather, white wool or cotton string. Raingear is by permission only. A hunt whip is optional for those with colors or staff. Wire cutters in a leather holder or a sandwich or flask case are optional.
Formal - Formal attire is required every Saturday after Blessing of the Hounds. Formal attire is similar to Ratcatcher with the following exceptions. Helmets must be black velvet. Boots should be black formal dress boots. Hunt coats must be black with 3 buttons for the field. Ladies may also wear navy. Men with colors and masters may wear scarlet with russet tops on their boots. Women with colors may wear coats with colors and boots with black patent tops. Breeches must be canary or tan except for those in scarlet must wear white breeches.
Most Mells fixtures are hilly, with a mix of pasture and woods. Country is well paneled, primarily with coops 3' to 3'6". Rider gates are throughout the country. A fit galloping horse is recommended for first flight. The Mells pack consists of Crossbred, English, and Penmarydel foxhounds. We hunt primarily coyote, with occasional red fox, grey fox, and bobcat.
The Mells runs up to four flights, depending on need. There will always be a first flight, which keeps up with huntsman, with significant galloping and jumping. Second flight endeavors to keep up but goes through gates. Second flight riders are expected to be able to comfortably gallop. Second flight riders are allowed to jump optionally, with permission of the field master. Third flight goes at a slower pace. Third flight is suitable for those comfortable with trotting and some cantering. Third flight endeavors to get to a good vantage point to observe game, hounds, and hunting. An optional fourth flight at a walk/trot pace may be run, depending upon need.
Observing proper hunting etiquette helps ensure fun, good hunting, and safety of riders, horses, and hounds.
Come hunt with us. Mells Foxhounds encourages visitors. You may attend a Fox Hunt mounted or as a guest in a car whip. If you would like to attend a Thursday or Saturday hunt, please contact Field Secretary Deb Barnes at firstname.lastname@example.org. She will arrange for your visit.