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When I refer to the risk of head-hopping in this situation, I'm working on the assumption that tapping into others' thoughts requires conscious effort. (Just imaging how distracting/confsing it would be otherwise: How big is the group he's riding with? How many horses' thoughts would he have trampling his mind?) Because he would need to be active, it cuts down on how much else he could be doing/concentrating on/aware of. (Have you ever noticed that when you are trying to listen very closely to something, you'll either close your eyes or stare off at nothing?)

The beater bit is fine, except one detail you are forgetting: a boar won't care about the constraints of a path. Come from two ends, he'll go sideways. (As such, a good hunting party is a concave line, so that both sides are blocked.) Also, a forest path isn't going to have a verge per se; that's very much a consequence of modern paved roads and surrounding maintenance; at best, there' be an odd glade or adjacent undergrowth.

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