The Falcon Hunt

08/01/2012 § Leave a comment

In 1952, Halter Cunningham, a federal game warden and businessman, allowed LIFE photographer Peter Stackpole to come along on his annual fall falcon hunt on an island off of Maryland. Using the “medieval” method of pigeons attached to strings and hunters buried in the sand, Cunningham captured a number of peregrine falcons to attach identification bands to their legs, so that ornithologists could then study their movements. He then released all but one falcon back into the wild, keeping that bird to train over the winter months and then release the following spring.

To read the original article, Life Goes on a Falcon Hunt,
which appeared in the November 17, 1952 issue of LIFE, head here.

See more of the falcons at home after the jump.

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The Duke of Beaufort’s Hunt, 1949

23/12/2011 § 2 Comments

Photos of the Duke of Beaufort’s Hunt, March 1949, at Badminton House in Gloucestershire, England.  The Beaufort is one of the oldest and largest fox hunts in England.  Founded by the 1st Duke of Beaufort in 1682, later heads of the House of Beaufort have all either hunted or occupied The Beaufort’s mastership, and the hounds, kennels and stables are still held by the family.  The 11th and current Duke of Beaufort, David Robert Somerset, currently occupies the mastership of the pack and acts as its patron.

Two unfortunate things about these photos.  First, the pictures are not captioned so I have no idea who is who — but I do know that the 10th Duke of Beaufort isn’t shown.  Second, as the pictures are in black and white, you don’t get to notice the distinctive livery color of the Duke’s Hunt.  Instead of wearing the traditional red, the huntsman and whippers-in wear green, while the subscribers wear blue coats with buff facings (you can notice the buff facings, though).

Aside from that, they’re really great.  I especially love the ladies sitting sidesaddle with their top hats, and the servants navigating their way around the horses with their silver trays.  Lovely.  It’s no accident I’ve been finding myself looking for a beaver fur top hat of my own…

A lovely illustration of the Beaufort Hunt I found over at The Anglophile:

And a few images of the Duke of Beaufort’s Hunt today:

To learn more about the Duke of Beaufort’s Hunt, head over to their website here.

I’m also excited to mention that I’ve started my own club. 

More on that in a bit…

All other images via LIFE and Beaufort Hunt.

LIFE Archives: The Rabbit Hunt

09/12/2011 § 6 Comments

A rabbit hunt somewhere in Britain in 1950 seems perfectly apropos after the chilly weather that descended upon New York today, does it not?  Lovely tweed and leather and even a lady in a tie.  This hunt was shot for LIFE Magazine by William J. Sumits, but I have been unable to find the accompanying article.  In any event, the small wooly dogs — the Sealyham Terrier — seem to be the central focus, but I was quite drawn to the hunting party’s clothes.  Of course.

Embrace your modern huntress in this lovely herringbone overcoat, these knickerbocker pants — both by Rugby, this tie by Pierrepont Hicks, these riding boots by Frye, this pretty lavender wool scarf from J.Press (on sale!), and these leather driving gloves from Dents.  Dandy it up a bit by adding a vintage brooch and a leather and chrome liquor caddy from Orvis.  Tally-ho!

All images via the LIFE Archive.

LIFE Archives: Nantucket Boys In Winter, 1959

27/10/2011 § 1 Comment

From the article The Winter Joys of Children Summer Left Behind.
Published in LIFE Magazine February 23, 1959.

Under a cold winter sky a knot of Nantucketers, among them the three boys at right, watch incoming steamer Nobska stuck in the ice with its cargo of food and mail for the island.

Muffled in parkas, Dana Perkins, 10 (left), Bruce Bartlett, 12, and Jack Peters, 14 (holding his .22), go off to hunt rabbits on the moors.

All photographs by Alfred Eisenstaedt, via the LIFE Archives.

LIFE Archives: Chesapeake Bay Retriever

11/07/2011 § 2 Comments

Trigger and Donald.  Image via LIFE, taken 1949.

Now, before you accuse me of going all Horse and Hound on you (btw, that YouTube clip features Julia Roberts in a tie! Love!), this picture explains how I got on the path to the images of the sporting ladies.  I recently learned that Maryland had an official state dog called the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, and was one of only eleven states to designate an official state mutt.  The “Chessie” is a breed that traces its roots back to two Newfoundland pups rescued from a ship called the Canton that foundered off of Maryland in 1807.  The dogs were then bred with local retrievers, eventually resulting in this curly-coated, water-loving, gundog that somewhat resembles a Labrador.  George Custer was a fan of the breed, taking his Chessies with him on the battlefield.  Teddy Roosevelt also had a Chessie, named Sailor Boy, who was supposedly a descendant of Custer’s dogs.

So, why the duck picture?  Well, in an effort to find a picture of this storied American breed, I came across these images of Trigger and his best friend Donald (yes, the duck) in the LIFE Archives.  Evidently Donald hated the water and whenever his owners would throw him into the pond so that he could be with the rest of the ducks, Trigger the Chessie would immediately jump in the water and gently retrieve Donald.  Too hilarious not to share.

Rabbit Hole: Sporting Ladies

11/07/2011 § Leave a comment

I have never been hunting.

Image taken 1915, via State Library and Archive of Florida.

Nor have I ever shot a gun.  Or held a gun, for that matter.  But for some reason I found myself drawn to these images of sporting ladies this weekend.  I have to say my curiosity is piqued.  Piqued enough to make it down to a shooting range?  Well, we will just have to see about that…

Image taken 1885, via State Library and Archive of Florida.

Image taken 1920, via Montana State University Libraries.

Image via Forks Timber Museum.

Otter hunting, taken 1901. Image via National Library of Ireland.

A young First Lady Lou Henry Hoover, in 1891.
Image via US National Archives.

Image taken 1910, via the Library of Congress.

Harriet Hammond, President of Nemours Gun Club, the first women’s shooting club in America.  Image taken between 1910-1915, via Library of Congress.

Nemours Gun Club.
taken between 1910-1915, via Library of Congress.

Nemours Gun Club.
Image taken between 1910-1915, via Library of Congress.

Image taken 1941 by Bernard Hoffman.

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