There will not be a House of Commons vote on repealing the Hunting Act before 2012, the BBC understands.
MPs close to the campaign admit they do not have the numbers at the moment to win a vote and say the PM will only call one when he knows it can be won.
The MPs said a well-organised campaign was under way at Westminster to try to win new supporters to the cause.
A list has been drawn up of people thought to be persuadable - and they are being wined and dined.
One of the MPs involved in the operation said that it would take at least another year before enough people have been won over, which is why no vote is being planned before early 2012.
The coalition government has promised to hold a free vote on repealing the Act at some stage during the five year term.