Category: Beagles Unlimited Magazine

Why Do You Start A Beagle Club?

I don’t know the best way to start a Beagle club; but I had the good luck to have a small part in the formation of Tokeena Beagle Club of Westminster, SC. Some of what we did may be of help to some one who has plans for a club. Before you start, be prepared to work. It takes a lot of work to start a Beagle club and a lot of work to operate a club. Most of the work was done with a chain saw, pick and shovel, hammer and paint brush. I did some of the fence building, but I was lucky enough to get the job of doing the paper work.

I guess the best place to start, would be “Why”. There could be several good reasons to have a Beagle club and any reason to have a place to enjoy Beagling would be a good reason . When we started Tokeena I don’t think there was a registered dog among us, and field trialing wasn’t even considered. We started as a group of hunters wanting a place to run and train our dogs in the summer months, and evolved into a Gundog Beagle Club.  Since we started Tokeena, the game laws have been changed here in South Carolina to allow for year round running of rabbits.

We didn’t think much about the fact that we were building a club that would be a place to:

  1. get together to run dogs , buy and sell and

Predator Calling For Rabbit Eaters

There are basically four factors that determine the number of rabbits and hares that live in any given area and they are cover or habitat, food, disease, and predators. First of all, cover or habitat is a must for rabbits so that as many as possible can hide from predators and survive. We have seen several articles on how to increase the amount of available cover by planting brushy vegetation, leaving in fence rows, and by adding man-made brush piles. Secondly, food is an important factor since all animals need food to survive. Simply by planting some strips of legumes, leaving a couple rows of corn, or by adding food piles to our favorite hunting spots or beagle hunting grounds we can dramatically increase the bunny populations. Thirdly, disease is a factor that we as hunters have little or no control over. We could possible try to lower parasite (tick, flea, lice, mosquito) populations somehow or even add antibiotics to the rabbit feed we place in the wild in hopes of warding off bacterial diseases. The amount of success in eliminating rabbit diseases is bleak at beast and most likely too costly if it even were possible. Lastly, the factor concerning the number of predators is very important and the greatest predators of rabbits (other than man) are varmints. According to many Game Wardens, varmints such as bobcats, coyotes, and foxes eat as many as 50 to 100 rabbits each per year. Therefore, if all Beaglers …

Pine Spur Revisited

Saturday morning came around and once again I found myself with a bad case of rabbit fever (not Tularemia but, a strong yearning to be outdoors with my rabbit dogs). I had been kind of under the weather with a sinus cold for a day or two, but I woke up on this day feeling better and it didn’t take much to convince myself that a day in the field was just what I needed.

My dogs and I had been getting a pretty good workout for the past two weeks. One of my brother-in-laws had been visiting on his way to Idaho and he had never hunted rabbits with beagles. I was more than happy to introduce him to my favorite sport and wasted no time in volunteering to take him. He and I had spent several days checking out some of my favorite hunting spots. There was no shortage of rabbits to run and we were able to harvest a few of them and thoroughly enjoy the hound music. He owned several deer hounds at one time when he lived in Alabama so he was not unfamiliar with running dogs.

I have four seven month old male pups from a litter out of my older female Kiss’ Blue Maggie and ARHA GRCH BC Morning Star Blue Buck. I had been splitting them up and taking two of them at a time. They all showed a lot of natural curiosity and thoroughly investigated everything that they came in contact …

The New Hunting Season

The new rabbit-hunting season and the onset of wintry weather arrived hand-in-hand in Kentucky.  With the rabbit season having been moved to November 1, the cold air mass and the rainy days that preceded it could hardly have been more welcome for area rabbit hunters and their hounds.

The hot weather that characterized early spring and persisted throughout the summer, significant infestations of ticks and fleas, as well as this year’s mosquito-borne “West-Nile” virus, went a long ways towards keeping a lot of houndsmen and their hounds out of the fields until cooler weather arrived.

Suddenly, pickup trucks loaded with dog boxes and Beagles were everywhere—the belated labors of hunters and hounds rendered all the more urgent by the early season.  Add to that mix the persistent reports of excellent rabbit populations, and it’s easy to see why area hunters are excited about the new season.

As always, opening day is attended by anxious expectations. That is particularly true when the season is kicked off at a new hunting venue.  There’s something about a new hunting spot that inspires wildly exaggerated hopes of bountiful game and excellent hunting.

Like many hunters, I grew up listening to my father’s exciting tales of golden fields and magical thickets where rabbits flushed like birds before the hunters and the hounds. Over the years, I’ve hunted some excellent locations, but the hunting paradises my father recounted have always somehow eluded me.

Nevertheless, those lofty expectations rode with me as we embarked for our new …

Hunting Beagles Vs. House Beagles

Hunting Beagles High Resolution Stock Photography and Images - Alamy

Being one of those people who have had the privilege and joy of being around Beagles my whole life, and having had the opportunity to live both sides of the hunting dog vs. house dog question, I’d like take this opportunity to address both sides of the issue. In some circles this is a heated topic. In my mind it is not. It’s simply a matter of choice.

I’m fortunate to live outside of Washington, DC. I have access to many of our national museums and art galleries. Not long ago I was wondering through the National Gallery of Art when I came upon some early 18th century English paintings of what appeared to be Beagles (or at least small tri color hounds). They were lounging around on the straw covered floor of some medieval hut while their master reclined in an oversized wooden chair. Another painting showed a group of tri colored hounds bounding out of a cottage while their master followed behind with gun in hand. There were others I won’t try to describe simply because I could never do them justice. It did, however, remind me of the many times I’ve argued the hunting vs. house dog topic with those who don’t believe a hunting dog belongs in the house and those that don’t seem to believe a hunting dog should ever be used for hunting.

Hunting Dogs Should Not Be House Pets: I was raised by two wonderful gentlemen who were steadfast believers in this philosophy. …

Who Is Training Whom Here?

I’m debating what format this article should take. I have many things that I feel that I did correctly with the ‘girls’. The ‘girls’ are the two female Beagles, currently age 7 ½ months that dominate our household.  I have an equally long list of items, probably more, that I wish that I had worked on more, started earlier, or had done at all.

To start with I didn’t think that hunting dogs should be spoiled.  How do you define ‘spoiled’?  Is treating them with care and respect spoiling? Is showering them with affection when they’ve done well spoiling? All I know is that my paradigms have shifted.  Perhaps the only aspect of their care that I still feel is spoiling is feeding them people food.  It can’t be good for them, look what it’s done to me.

Bear in mind that I’m not talking about a pack of animals here. I’m speaking directly to the rest of you out there with one or two dogs that you have as much for the pet value as you do for the hunting value. Those with a kennel full of critter chasers have less to go around. Less time per animal, less affection, etc. But this is relative. The dogs compensate by taking what they get. The message to the pup is the same. Let’s refine this, then, to a list of DO’S and DON’TS for the Beagle puppy owner/hunter.

DO’S

  • DO spend as much time with your animal as you

How Do You Pick A Puppy?

Over the years I have heard a lot of advice about picking Beagle puppies. Some of it was good sound advice and some was just advice. 

I once had a friend tell me to always pick the one in the litter with the most black on it.  He said the puppy with the most black always makes the best dog. 

I have also heard, always pick the runt pup.  I never knew what being the smallest had to do with being the best. 

Years of picking bad puppies has taught me what every Beagle owner should know.  It has to be a good breeding and healthy litter or you don't want to pick any from it. 

A good breeding is only made when the two parents are good dogs from a long line of good dogs.  Just breeding dogs to raise puppies creates a few good dogs just by dumb luck.  Picking that good puppy from a litter like this takes even more dumb luck. 

It always helps to have a pattern to go by.  If this breeding has been done before find out all you can about all the puppies it produced.  

You will not be able to do that if this a first time breeding of these two dogs.  Researching dogs from breedings between the two bloodlines involved is very helpful if available. 

After doing all your homework and are satisfied this litter should have a good percentage of the type puppy you want you are almost ready. …

The Opening: Conformation Of A Hunting Beagle

October in the Delta is the month Mother Nature dresses herself in her finest fashions and paints herself with a variety of make-up. She flashes her dazzling colors of gold, red, yellow, orange, pink, auburn and a host of browns. There is a splash of green showing, seemingly for dramatic effect.

The crisp autumn air is a much-welcomed relief from the hot, humid, sweltering heat of the long summer days. It is a time for the hunter and Beagle dog owner to venture into the splendid outdoors.

Your field notes reflect you have exceeded your goal of once per week field trips. Bell is now in top physical condition and Sam has begun to follow her into the thick stuff. He has overcome his fear of heights and shows no fear of gun shot noise. On each trip you have routinely provided him with the additional time of one on one training opportunities. He has learned to 'Check' areas by following your voice commands and hand directions. He responds to 'Hear he is!' each time you flush a rabbit for him. He has made steady progress on following scent lines, although there have been those irritating 'black lines'…following the scent in the opposite direction of the rabbits travel.

You are pleased with his enthusiasm for the hunt. He responds to scent with furious tail wagging, jaws working to keep his mouth and tongue moist and keeps his nose on the ground inhaling the scent like a miniature vacuum cleaner. You …

Why We Hunt

How long have we been reading, thinking, or even writing about hunting?  Most of us can’t even remember; it just sort of happened.  Many of us simply grew up in hunting or fishing families and it has always been a way of life.  Others came about it because of close contact with a friend or loved one.  Still others began hunting simply because it was a curious notion and some long past force pulling at them.

Back in 1974 or there about, I started writing about hunting.  It had become a strong passion of mine and suddenly a few magazines began buying my stories.  My father wasn’t really a hunter, but we did have a few guns around the house and once we even had a pair of male beagles my dad brought home from a bar one night.  It was a gradual thing … my hunting and finally writing about it. Probably one of the nicest compliments I’ve ever received from an article was: “You can tell … this guy’s been there.”   It was an appropriate compliment. When I was around 30 I over heard my dad telling someone, “Yeah, that boy would rather hunt than eat!”  If you’d see me now, I’m not sure you’d agree, but I got a real chuckle out of it then, because it was true.

During this meager and humble career as an outdoor writer, I’ve always wanted to write an article entitled: “Why We Hunt”.  It just seemed a natural thing. …