The HantsFurs is the name given to a regional furry group centred around the county of Hampshire, UK formed in 2000. The majority of HantsFurs members reside in two of the major cities in the area, Southampton or Portsmouth, however the number of members in other large towns such as Basingstoke are growing. The HantsFurs do not have an official schedule for furmeets due to the area covered, however meets do occur semi-regularly in both Southampton, Farnborough and Basingstoke organised via the UKFur Forums
The group was officially founded by SlyCat in March 2000 by creating the mailing list due to the increasing number of furs in the area. The list was used to create a community for the area to chat and organise meets. At its peak, it had over 120 subscribed members however the popularity of the list declined since the UKFur Forums included sub-forums for localised groups and as such, the list was deleted from Yahoo Groups as of 16th October 2012.
HantsFur meets are now exclusively organised via the UKFur Forums by whoever wants to suggest a time and place to meet up. Furmeets vary in size from approximately 5 people to over 30 in some instances.
Since Slycat took a break from organising these at the start of 2010, larger meets were replaced by smaller, more informal "Fursday" mini-meets every Thursday. These eventually became incredibly popular despite being on a week day. In September the Fursday meets moved to weekends and now occur fortnightly, arranged by Stokes and Wrathwolf. Other "mini-meets", such as evening bowling competitions are also occasionally arranged.
Toward the end of 2011, there was a drive to vary the activities of the (now Saturday) Southampton meets, as they seemed to all have largely the same format. A need for more advance notice was apparent too, and so the meet dates for 2012 were agreed upon in advance, looking at a once monthly format, trying to avoid clashing with other meets where possible. Organisation is done on a volunteer basis, with Mercury, Weremoco, Labpup2001 and Scrappyfox all having organised and run meets. Activities from meets in 2012 have included bowling, fursuit photoshoots, shopping in town, a trip to Marwell Zoo, picnicking on the Common and fursuiting in the Hobbit pub (very well received) with other ideas always being welcome.
Fursuits are welcome at some Southampton meets, depending on the activities and location. These are published in advance.
From September 2012, Mercury will be moving and is unable to help with Southampton meets, so Weremoco has taken over (and rules with an Iron paw). Though, as arrangements continue for him to also move some way away from the city the future of the events hangs in the balance, with different local regulars taking on the organising role each month.
After Southampton meets went into decline after Weremoco's move away from the city, Silverwind took it on himself to try and restart regular meets in the area, as they had long been a core part of Hantsfur activities, and had been one of the most regular alongside Londonfur meets. Being put in contact with Boots, who was also looking into the same idea, Silverwind approached The Strand pub, the same venue used for the What The Fluff dance meets. They were extremely cordial and receptive to the idea of hosting meets, and the first new Southampton Furmeet was held at the beginning of August 2015. The meets have continued monthly since then, changing name to SotonFurs and becoming their own group not long after, due to a disagreement over the use of the HantsFurs name.
NamuGriff temporarily took over organising the Portsmouth meets, but resigned from this post in May 2010. After that, meets were sporadic, and usually organised by Palaeofox, Silverwind or Furgus. Recent attempts by Kitutal to restart local meets seem to have devolved into a series of informal gatherings, usually organised at short notice, particularly the 'bad-film nights'. The city's furs also maintain a Skype chat and Facebook page
Basingstoke meets started in November 2009, organised by Red Russell and Rikka Hyou, attracting around 20 attendees. Meetings then took place on an (approximately) bi-monthly basis until May 2010, when there was a temporary hiatus due to Red Russell moving and changing jobs.
Basingstoke meets took place approximately every three weeks till January 2011 where it was put on hiatus..
Once a year around the end of July, a trip to Bournemouth is organised for the group by Blaster Hedgie, who has also organised the yearly Halloween and Christmas meets from 2007 onwards. Regular Bournemouth meets have became somewhat sporadic but, with an upsurge in the number of furs in the area, there seems to be renewed interest in organising such events.
Around September 2010, Slycat took an attempt on designing the new version of the HantsFur website as an approach to welcome new people to the meets. Users via the website can also add their event into the UK Furmeet event listing database and this is displayed on the main page of HantsFur
In October 2010 Slycat became the forum moderator of Hantsfurs on UKfur.
- Hantsfur local directory on UKFur
- Hantsfurs on Twitter
- Basingstoke Furmeet! 12/2/11 on UKFur, dated January 23,2011. Retrieved June 7,2011
- Basingstoke Meet - Saturday 2nd of June on UKFur.
- HantsFurs Website
- HantsFurs Mailing List
- HantsFur events on Furmeets.co.uk
- Photos of HantsFur Meets
- TigerTails Radio show
- UK Furmeet event listing