• R Cipolletta

e19: SACS Organisation (pt_1)

Research into Specialist Field ~ Character Design 17.10.20

The Specialists and The Mutt

(continued from last entry...)

After I had spent some time telling him about my existing story and character points, my partner immediately pointed out something I had been pushing to the back of my mind for a little bit. If my character was such a socially recluse and practicality-oriented person, what was the likelihood that they'd end up with a full breed Scottish Deerhound, let alone a pair of them? I know from experience that full pedigree breeds tend to be expensive, hard to find, and typically not as likely to conform to their catalogued breed-specific personality traits, making them generally impractical.

Originally, I had thought that including the breeder as a secondary character would easily explain away this issue, but the more I think about it the more I realise that my character, as I am seeing them in my head, would very likely be the type to refuse such an offer, even if it were a gift on the grounds of it being an unnecessary extravagance. A couple of mutts or mixed breeds in need of a home, however, was another story.

Dogs for Deer:

In order to figure out what breeds would be optimal to mix together for the realistic application in this story, I first wanted to find out exactly what traits would and would not be desirable in such a situation (thereby helping me find a suitable blend). I had been thinking of doing research into hunting anyway as I was thinking that a few of the strange forest cases ought to take place while she was on the hunt with her dogs, and realised I needed a little bit of information on how those trips usually go before I made any sort of incorrect assumptions.

I found a website called Shooting and Country Sports (SACS for short) specifically dedicated to various types of hound-hunting.

On a perfectly entitled sub-page for theirs called "Dogs for Deer", I gathered an understanding of how tracking with hounds works (something which I had not even thought of) and put together the following list of desirable features for hunting:

  • Speed

  • Endurance

  • Scent-trailing

  • Good eyesight & hearing

NOTE: Gun dogs chase animals into the line of fire or chase that have been shot (by scent of blood)

Though a good start, I am not particularly happy to leave my investigation at just this, so I have composed an email that I will send to them shortly, politely requesting for consultation from one of their members to help me glean more accurate information to the specificities in my story.

I personally do not have any opinions on the ethics of hunting with hounds for sport, however I am aware it is a controversial topic among those who discuss it so I was sure to be extremely polite and to provide some form of a mild quasi-compliment to ensure I was paying the appropriate respect to these field professionals.

I will have to remember to put together some interview questions that will help me to encapsulate all of the questions I want answered (as Nigel advised we do in entry 16).

As my very first attempt to contact a specialist in the context of this module, I am very excited to hear back from them and see what sort of insights I can glean from their experience!

- R Cipolletta