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World Harrier Organization: The Definitive Hounds and Hares Reference

Preface and Introduction

Boring copyright information…
World Harrier Organization

by Larry Stray Dog McDowell
Copyright 2020
Much material borrowed from the Global Trash Hash Bible copyright 1995 - 2011
all rights reserved
World Harrier Organization, Harrier Magazine,
and Global Trash trade names of
Larry Joe McDowell dba Global Publications and Software®
A Not-for-Profit Organization

World Harrier Organization, Harrier Magazine and Global Trash and are trademarks and Harrier Magazine, Global Trash, Hash Bible and World Harrier Organization Manual trademarks and copyright of Larry Joe McDowell, dba Global Publications and Software. This book represents the research and experience of the author spanning almost 40 years of harrier experience, as well as input from others. Much of this book is the sole creation of the author based on first-hand experience, data gathering and somewhat questionable talent, while the remainder contains information provided Harrier Magazine, Global Trash and the World Harrier Organization by its members/readers. Any content in this book remains the property of its author and sources and cannot be reprinted or reproduced by any means, electronic or mechanical or on the web, without the permission of Global Trash, except as excerpts, but not the whole, of the material, in legitimate Harrier group newsletters and web sites. We only ask that the source be credited in those cases.

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World Harrier Organization

The World Harrier Organization is dedicated to harriers and harrier groups around the world who usually practice the traditional sport of hare and hounds, where:

• A well laid trail is at least as important as any social activity.

• Most members usually practice chasing a hare or hares (runner or runners) laying a live trail as the sport was originally intended.

• Members are friendly to all and remember that it is all about fun!

• Members do not judge others by anything more than their sense of humor.

• Members make older members feel like they are young again.

• Members do not seriously humiliate nor demand the drinking of alcohol, which traditionally is simply a refreshment, not the purpose of the sport itself.

• Member groups accept and welcome members from other harrier groups and honor harrier names awarded them in the past.

• Member groups do not intentionally permit acts that reflect badly on the World Harrier Organization or violate this creed.

World Harrier Organization Manual
WHO is a renaming of Global Trash founded in 1993

This effort began in 1982 as On-Sec of a harriers group in Okinawa. I kept a copy of the first trail guidelines written by former Oki GM Milt Ichabody Crane Halloran, for my archives. After I founded the Huachuca HHH in ‘85, I expanded it to write manual for the group, printed out on a dot matrix printer from a Model I Radio Shack computer. By 1995, as editor of Global Trash magazine, this evolved into the Hash Bible. What you see now is the culmination of almost 40 years of haring over 600 trails, running over 2000 trails, running with well over a hundred different hounds and hares groups worldwide, founding over a dozen harrier groups (managing even more), founding the World Harrier Organization Gathering (formerly Global Trash Hash ‘95-’10/World Interhash ‘11/Global Interhash’12-’14), the first USA Nash Hash and hosting EuroHash III. I also was central point of contact to most of the world of harriers by publishing magazines, books, world directory and the most successful website on the subject for two decades (#1 in search engines for two decades). With all this experience, I can vouch that the traditions you see in this book have been successfully used around the world by hundreds groups. OK, so much for the oversized ego! I list my creds so that you know that you see a view of the sport passed on to me by thousands of harriers around the world.

One word of caution: This is not a rulebook! Take a little here and a little there as you desire, and disregard anything that might conflict with your own local tradition. Local harrier tradition always prevails! However, keep it friendly. I started the World Harrier Organization because some groups out there have turned less than friendly and strayed so far from the original hounds and hares tradition as to need a reminder. Read the World Harrier Organization creed on the facing page. This is a view of harriers I found practiced by friendly, hounds and hares groups around the world. By aligning with WHO, it gives groups a viable alternative. Sadly, the Hash House Harriers brand has suffered a bad rep in many places. I was informed years back that Washington, DC cops were told in their orientation that if there is an ON ON foot decal on a car, stop it for possible DUI (driving under the influence). I hope you get as much enjoyment out of this work as I have had putting it out almost four decades now. Perhaps you fill find some tidbit to help you improve your appreciation of the sport and perhaps improve your own group — or start your own if you are new to it. Thanks for your support of the World Harrier Organization and...

Cheers and On On!
Stray Dog

“Hashing is a state of mind- a friendship of kindred spirits joined together for the sole purpose of reliving their childhood or fraternity days, releasing the tensions of everyday life, and generally, acting a fool amongst others who will not judge you or measure you by anything more than your sense of humor.”
Stray Dog

One Perspective of Hounds and Hares

While stationed with the Army in Okinawa in 1982, my company commander, Uchi Mata, returned from the weekend spreading the word about running a hounds and hares trail and the promise of a running adventure. I put it off for several weeks (like many non-harriers, I thought it was a group of ‘super runners’). I finally came out one Saturday in July for my first trail. It was a long, hot, poorly-marked trail which had the 30 to 40 member pack strung out for miles by the time the first parched, front-running bastard came into the finish.

Note: WHO Introduces readers to harrier terms now and then. Though a few may offend some, they have a strong tradition. Front running bastard, abbreviated FRB, in more sporting circles would be called the first-place winner. This harrier term, like some others, were to suggest that competition is frowned upon, especially in the social oriented groups like the Hash House Harriers. However, competition is a normal human condition. I have always been competitive to finish first and left my first year+ in Okinawa having been first eight times and having caught hares on nine runs. In my younger years as a harrier, I caught scores of hares and hared hundreds of trails without being caught. That’s how myself and others do the sport! S. D.

Yet, I was hooked for life!

In that year and a half in the Okinawa group, I lost 20 pounds, won some age categories in races, caught nine sets of hares and hared eight times without being caught. I credited the hounds and hares sport for my personal successes, but the truth is, I found out that running can be made fun again by turning it into a game with friends who encourage your every effort. Though such competition is frowned upon in the some groups, these successes were a measurement of the subtle effects hounds and hares can have on your whole life.

Be young again . . .

When we were kids, we ran all the time and thought nothing of it. We did not yet know that running was supposed to be hard work, so we ran and had fun doing it. When I was a teenager, I would often run through the woods with my dog for miles in and around the narrow little Cahaba River valley between St. Clair and Jefferson counties (long before it became developed) and enjoyed it. Occasionally, I would run on the road and just take off, kind of like Forest Gump, until I realized I needed to get back home before the folks worried. On one hot Saturday, I was running on the road and one of my neighbors stopped me and said, “You need to get into the car before you have a stroke!”. I answered that I was having fun and enjoying the run, but thanks anyway. He shook his head and drove off.
I think the sport of hounds and hares brought that enjoyment back into my running again and that was the key to my newly found success. If you enjoy what you are doing, you will do more of it. I found myself running six to ten miles or more daily, practicing possible trails to hare in the future. I was also running just getting in better shape so I could get closer to catching the hare the next Saturday or get away if haring.


There is evidence of using runners as substitute for wildlife game in fox or hounds and hares hunts as far back as the American Colonial period. As a sport, the Thames Hare and Hounds has a tradition going back to its founding in 1868 by the Thames Rowing Club members. Such hounds and hares clubs also formed in the colonies of the British Empire as harriers spread around the world.
The Hash House Harriers began amongst some of those British expatriates in 1938 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Though one post war chapter was founded in Italy in 1949 and promptly died, it was not until the 60's that the real expansion and growth of hounds and hares began with the spread of the Hash House Harriers branches beyond the jungle rubber plantations to the rest of the world. The biggest spurt began in the early eighties and it has mushroomed ever since to well over two thousand clubs as listed in the WHO directory. A more detailed treatment of the history of the hounds and hares is covered in a later chapter.

On the Okinawa Style . . .

Developed in some isolation and nurtured by the fever of its membership, the Okinawa style of hashing, the sport of hounds and hares as done by the Hash House Harriers, is a vibrant offshoot of the HHH. Though this East Asian form began in some isolation and of questionable ancestry through Hong Kong to Taiwan, it became a third generation hash - carried across the sea to Okinawa by Dal Jock Trader from Taiwan. After an abortive effort in Naha in 1979, the current Okinawa HHH run #1 began in Spring of 1980 according to records provided me as Okinawa On-Sec (1984). This was later confirmed by Jock himself in correspondence with him in Southern California where he finally settled. It was the beginning of a style of hounds and hares that would later spread around the world with its members becoming the Johnny Appleseeds of hounds and hares - The Okinawa Style. As one Okinawa harrier stated in the nineties when promoting an Okinawa reunion interhash as a prelewd to InterAmericas Hash: “Most of you [American hashes] can probably trace your roots back to us [Okinawa].”
Growing to sometimes 150 runners each , and having members who went literally around the world due to their occupations, taking that tradition with them and starting new groups, Okinawa has been a significant hash expansion factor indeed. I myself, in my hashing on three continents, have seen evidence of the Okinawa style in first, second and third generation groups started by these hashers, recognizable in the traditions of trail, social, and mismanagement styles, although sometimes the groups themselves sometimes do not realize their roots.

Birth of the Trail Manual . . .

Haring and becoming On-Sec for the Okinawa HHH brought me into regular contact with Milt Ichabody Crane Halleran, the expatriate Joint Hash Master at that time. Ichabody Crane (who would later founded the Samarai HHH as Uncle Milty) did much to make the runs more enjoyable by writing a hashing and trail-marking guidelines sheet. He did this to train hares, help newer and slower runners complete the run and to bring consistency to the weekly trail. With confusion brought to a minimum, the Pack grew to over a hundred hashers. Hares were awarded down-downs (a chug-a-lug of a beer or soda) when their efforts were poor, with really bad trails resulted in a significant award to the Hares at the On-In (the finish point and social gathering of the run). Children, older adults, and weaker runners no longer feared joining us, with most trails longer than 5 miles or 8 km provided with shorter and easier branches (or Wimp trails).

Ichabody Crane and other members of that day helped to cement the tradition of a mixed-sex, live-hare hounds and hares that has become known by many as the Okinawan Style. This style was developed with an eye on keeping the sport simple, safe and enjoyable. From the Mother Hash in Kuala Lumpur to Hong Kong to Taiwan to Okinawa, the markings remained simple, with only some variation from the original to prevent confusion and bring more clarity to the hash trail. Okinawan hashers have spread this style since then by starting hundreds of groups worldwide either directly or through the generations from hashers spawned from groups started by those original Okinawa members. I have started over a dozen groups on three continents (with a few still thriving) and have recognized the Okinawan style at dozens around the globe. Sadly, a few groups founded by our peers have deteriorated into dead-hare groups over the years because the founders left or became old or lazy. Some of this is due to a failure to set up guidelines for the hares to follow that would make live-hare more appealing.

The Hash Bible was developed slowly . . .

I felt that, as much as I moved around, I should leave a legacy that could be passed on by the mismanagment when I left a hash that I founded. Any harrier is reluctant to call them rules (a word you do not want to use around other harriers), but some traditions and guidelines based on my experience used to help carry on the live hare tradition that has evolved from my Okinawan roots. This was why I took out the old Radio Shack Model I computer and wrote up a more comprehensive version of Ichabody Crane's guidelines when I founded the Huachuca HHH in Arizona in '85. I have used this Hash Manual, modified slightly over the years, in every group founded since, in order to put into writing the mainstream style of live hare hashing. This later began to be passed around by hashers to other groups around the world. Structure and traditions were added to provide harriers with a foundation from which they may start their own group. As they found themselves at some place geographically isolated from the hounds and hares world, they had this work to fall back on. So, Stray Dog's Manual for Live Hare was written to pass this style on as it has evolved over the years. While many harriers will exclaim, "THERE ARE NO RULES!", my experience has taught me that there is a need for a few traditions to help prevent disastrous trails and keep the Pack (group of runners on the trail) happy and coming back for more.

The Hash Bible was the natural extension of this work, which began its existence in 1993 as a book distributed locally in Europe, then in 1994 the 2nd edition was distributed to the world. It included not only the live hare manual, but a brief history, info about hounds and hares and anecdotes called The Hash House Harriers, a new Book of the Dead Hare providing trail ideas for the other half who pre-lay hash trails, Hash Verses for the RA, the world directory was taken from the new magazine Global Trash as the Hash Roster, and the Hash Hymnal was taken from accumulated hash songbooks that I had collected and made for my local groups. It was never intended to be a rulebook used to governed the hash world, as some naysayers have rumored over the years (though a few have wanted such a control over the years). I consider it more of a starting point from which hounds and hares traditions may evolve. Because every group in the World Harrier Organization develops their own traditions over the years at the whim of the pack and/or due to local climatic and political conditions, in its day, the Hash Bible offered a good start. In most groups where the Whim of the Pack is the final rule and the only entrance qualification is possession of a ‘sense of humor’, things can sometimes get carried away (especially by nervous hares). So the Hash Bible provided some good advice, as well as enough information to start your own group.

The Hash Roster began as an address/phone list I began putting together in other groups before I left Okinawa in 1983. By 1985, while in the Huachuca HHH, I learned of more groups and the list began to grow with some phone numbers, addresses, etc., collected up from hashers I met here and there. The InterHASHional News, the first well-distributed international hash publication, came to my attention a little later. It is important to note here that Patchwork Quilt and his successors over the years had the first well-distributed hash directory. I saw my first Harrier International later while in the Ozark HHH in Missouri in the late eighties. It was not until the nineties that I ran across a copy of Magic’s World HHH Handbook and Directory published by him under the Harrier International banner. However, I quickly realized that this work was usually quite dated. Having collected quite a few contacts in Asia, the Americas and Europe, I decided that the first Hash Roster would include only tried and true contacts (even then I had a few outdated ones myself). While at the London 1000th, I was told that there had been no editions of the Harrier International for quite sometime. Rumor had it that Magic had quit due to health reasons, some said his heart (which later turned out to be the cause of his death). The first world distributed Hash Roster came out in the first Global Trash magazine in September of 1993. This fledgling effort started the hard work, mailouts, phone calls, email queries, travels and web site forms that were used to develop the online directory you see today - which is the largest and most comprehensive Hash House Harriers directory you can find on the internet or in hard copy. I started it out as a mere contact list for my own readers, not wanting to compete with Magic’s more comprehensive work. But after Magic went three years without a directory, I began distributing it as a separate book and started making it a more comprehensive reference. The result is what you see here today. Again, despite rumors, I built it from direct hash or interhasher feedback, not from copying from Magic nor InterHASHional News. I felt that I owed it to my readers to be more accurate than those sources were at that time and my work paid off. In fact, near its demise, Mr. Spock of InterHASHional News used data dumps from me for the America’s directory, claiming better accuracy. The Hash Roster evolved into the Hash Bible which then went online in 1995. Eventually, hard copy directories were simply unfeasible due to the shear size of the hounds and hares world and the more timely nature of online directories, so it is now the World Harrier Organization Directory online only, updated directly by groups themselves with online forms. Global Trash Magazine began also publishing the InterHASHional News and its directory outright. GT will now become Harrier Magazine and both will be published three times a year each, for a subscription of six months. Harrier Magazine will be dedicated to all hounds and hares groups and activities and InterHASHional News only for Hash House Harriers groups and activities.

On Dead Hare . . .

Recognizing roughly half the hash world presets its trails, in the early ‘90's, I began an effort to set down a journal of markings and traditions I have seen while hitting trails with these groups over the years. It became the Book of the Dead Hare. From my experience of a couple hundred of these dead hare groups over the years, it was quite useful for the other half. However, by their very nature, many of the markings in the dead hare groups are designed to keep the pack together and promote a social gathering, thus they would unfairly impede the pack in pursuit of a live hare and have no place on live hare trails.

Arguments for the dead hare style of hashing are quite appealing. First, the emphasis is on the social aspects of hashing, rather than the more athletic competition of pursuing the hare (competition being somewhat shunned in the hash). The packs of dead hare groups tend to stay together more (holding checks and holding style markings aid this). As they gather, they may sing or otherwise make fools of themselves as befitting hashers and the pack will tend to finish together, usually starting the down-down without delay. Since the pack is gathered periodically and there are ability groupings, such as boob checks (only females may proceed) or age checks (only older harriers may proceed), almost anyone in the pack would have an opportunity to clear a check (and equally, do a false trail) occasionally. Whereas, live hare groups tend to run in smaller ability packs and the slower runners will already find the checks cleared (and in the case of many groups have the correct direction marked at each check). Some harriers like this as they won’t have to do a lot of false trails - and some don’t. However, I no longer cater to these dead hare fringe group markings, but simply lay out in the World Harrier Organization Manual a mainstream set of markings, greatly influenced by the Okinawan style, which works best for hounds and hares regardless of your geographical location or culture. There is a sprinkling of alternative marks that are not recommended at the end to cater to that minority.

Sorting Out the Myth . . .

The first Hash House Harriers group in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (the mother hash) was indeed live hare. I ran periodically with Tony Fruit 'n' Nut Case at interhashes while in Europe. He was in the Mother Hash before it began to spread in the early '60's (later founding hashes himself). He assured me that when he ran with them they were still live hare. I have had that confirmed by other older hashers over the years since. The picture he gave me was that when he was with the original group, the hares were never caught or rarely, as the head start times were usually longer in those days and the markings more sparse. A check originally simply meant that the pack lost scent (paper) and branched out to find trail. It has also been brought to my attention that in later years you could find a dead hare trail even at the Mother Hash. However, live hare has made a comeback and now makes up well over half of the world's hashes. Since I have been publishing and promoting live hare, with caution I can say that I have had some influence in the matter and nowadays, I have found at least three-fourths of the groups I have run into in the last twenty years were live hare or at least allow hares to decide, resulting in most trails being live hare with runners pursuing a hare who is setting the trail ahead of them.

Live or Dead?

The truth is, regardless of the method of trail marking or the position of the hare in front of, with or behind the pack, all of these traditions are hounds and hares traditions. Though it is sometimes hard for me to admit it (originally being a very vocal advocate of live hare), it becomes less important than the sport itself. Hounds and hares is simply an excuse for gathering the pack together. In this spirit, beginning with the seventh edition of the bible and roster, I published only one Harrier Trail Manual, one book, in which both styles mentioned. Marking more appropriate to live hare are provided as traditional marking, but some alternatives are offered and that is what is finally in the World Harrier Organization Manual which replaced it and the Hash Bible

The World Harrier Organization is a state of mind - a friendship of kindred spirits joined together for a bit of hounds and hares sport, reliving their childhood or youth, releasing the tensions of everyday life, and generally acting a fool amongst others who will not judge you or measure you by anything more than your sense of humor.

College professors or students, colonels or privates, managers or assembly line workers, engineers or technicians, doctors or plumbers; male and female; young and old - all are gathered together without concern for social status or education. They gather for the sport and the comradery and take on a new personality- for they are now...


Cheers and On On!
Stray Dog

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