Besides the sound of a spring gobbler, Mother Nature has provided us with no finer music than that of a beagle on a hot rabbit track.
I had a beagle before I had a bicycle. My Grandpa Guy raised great gun dogs and I have owned a few pretty good rabbit dogs myself.
It has been well over a decade since my last beagle, Shortlegs, ran his last bunny. Beagles and the men who train and run them are not as common as they once were. That is a shame.
The fun of the chase and the following dinner of fried rabbit and milk gravy combine to make traditional rabbit hunting one of the most gratifying sports there is.
My wife has a cousin, Liz Garrett. Her husband, Aaron, is one of the few I just mentioned. Not only does he own and train great hunting beagles, he also field trials some dogs and is even a field trial judge.
Last winter Aaron brought three of his dogs over to hook up with Parker, my youngest, and me for what we hoped would be a few good chases. I have access to some bottom ground that holds lots of bunnies.
My boys and I had taken well over 20 rabbits off this farm just using our “stomp, jump and shoot” method. So we were excited about our chances.