McClellanville, South Carolina
By Randall Hill
In a thick strand of woods in rural Georgetown County, South Carolina, the self-proclaimed “Gullah Huntsman” Bill Green prepares for his latest drag fox hunt. It’s a cool day in early February and the stocky built African-American man sits comfortably atop his trusted horse.
“You got to treat these animals with loving kindness,” he says with a smile referring to the fox hunting hounds and horses he trains for these events. “If you don’t treat them well they won’t do what you want.”
Green pulls from a stained and worn saddlebag a wet rag tied to a long rope. The strong, pungent smell of fox urine covers the area around him like a cloud when he opens the bag. It’s an odor so strong one doesn’t need the olfactory prowess of a dog to detect.
On this day Green is portraying the fox in this hunt presented by the Middleton Place Hounds, a foxhunting club of Charleston. The club has traveled to plantation land in nearby Georgetown County owned by one of its members.
The members of Middleton Place Hounds take pride in conducting drag hunts where no live foxes are used or killed in events. With that idea, Green is hired to drag the urine soaked rag through the woods, giving the hunt club’s hounds a scent to follow and their horses a path to chase.