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#594539 03/26/21 03:55 PM
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I have no doubt told the story of my experience with Beagle hounds to enough folks that they are tired of it an have encouraged me to post a synopsis of it to get it out of my system. Smart folks.

O'boy, a Beagle thread. When I was 12 in 1960 my hunting Grandfather gave me a pair of 15" field trial beagles, Deacon's Dynamite and Upson Sport. He also gave me a Marlin lever action .410 shotgun he'd had since the great depression when he got it as a bonus for buying four shares of Marlin stock. The dogs are long gone but I still have the Marlin.

The dogs were my entre' to hunting with an older crowd of young Air Force enlisted men from our local AFB one of whom rented a garage apartment we had. They had transportation and I had dogs.

Our favorite hunting venue was the track of the Southern Railway system. In the '60s our area was still largely agricultural and those tracks ran through corn, soybean and other crop fields and Pecan orchards. The right of way provided the only cover and the rabbits and Bobwhite Quail loved the habitat. I can still see some of the chases we had where the cottontail or swamp rabbit (canecutter) broke cover and circled out through those fields in plain sight with the beagles in hot pursuit and full bay.

We'd park and hunt one side of the right of way up and the other side back down to the car. As we'd shoot something, we'd field dress it and hang it in a tree on the other side. Then hunting back down we'd pick up the rabbits. I remember arriving at the car sometimes with so many rabbits in my game vest it was full and I had to hand carry some of them.

We'd keep as many rabbits as we needed to eat and then give the rest to local po'folks who accepted them graciously and with genuine appreciation. One thing I learned about business then was never to try to sell or even give a skinned rabbit away. The concern was that we might slip in a housecat or something along with the rabbits.

One of my dogs, Sport would point a bird by stopping and wagging his tail. I shot many a covey rise over that little dog's points.

The dogs were grown and trained when I got them and I hunted them every weekend through high school and less so when home from college. Both died before I graduated law school and got back from the army.

I became enthralled with pointer birds dogs then and even when the quail population crashed in the '80s, never got back to my youthful love of the beagle and rabbit chasing. I always figured I would one day get some more beagles but remembering the rough walking required to jump the rabbit I just don't think I could do it anymore. One thing this subject has brought to mind though is I know a guy in town who has a Beagle pack. I need to make it a point to wangle a rabbit hunting invitation from him next season. Who knows what could result.

But that was my first love in the upland world and I'll never forget the experience...Geo

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George,
I know how you feel, I can't do it any more. I sure do miss it, especially quail hunting with my cousin after school, with his little brother and a pointer named Streak. Streak trained the other three of us.
Mike

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George, very nice story and I can relate to it. It was fun listening to the barks get louder as they got closer and looking for the rabbit to get a shot. I also hunted with a .410 a Stevens 311 that my uncle let me use for quite awhile.
Later in my early teens I met and became friends with another teen who hunted with his dad and they had a beagle, when he was on a pheasant he didn't bark but his tail would be going like crazy. They were the days in the 60's and early 70's.


David


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Great story, Geo.

I still miss Spino. We’d have a blast in the squirrel woods.


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Dachshund.

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hunted grouse with an english setter and a beagle...princie would be out front with his nose in the air...maggie would bring up the rear with her nose to the ground...often times, maggie would put up a bird that princie missed...grateful for those memories...


keep it simple and keep it safe...
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We have an “open spaces” area in town, and while there is a leash law, the area is mostly wetlands that developers couldn’t get around the filling and building laws. The leash law isn’t enforced for the most part. I regularly see a pair of stupid suburban housewife’s tugging their beagles through the area on a short lease, usually attempting to get them to quit baying. They often remark that my Setter is so well behaved, and can not grasp that the beagles are simply doing what they are supposed to be doing.
I really feel for the dogs, both need more exercise then they are getting, and from what I can see, both would hunt if given the chance.
I did, as a kid, have a neighbor who would hunt with a basset hound, always a hilarious time. The basset would make game, and begin to bay, getting so excited he would often step on his ears, and fall down, but, provided enough push to get the bunnies moving, giving you a shot. The rabbits didn’t seem to act like they were in real danger from the pooch (trust me, they weren’t) and the game moved a little slower then when you hunted with beagles.
That basset, while on an expedition for bunnies, may have been the happiest dog I’ve ever seen in my life. Pure joy in motion.

Thanks for the reminder, Geo.

Best,
Ted

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Thanks, Geo. Great story. Gil

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Ted, there is a series of crime novels set in modern, rural France where the local police chief, Bruno, owns a Bassett and he hunts woodcock and other game with it. Bruno drives a 1954 Land Rover and shoots a Purdey both of which he inherited from an elderly English friend who lived in the Perigord region. The Bruno series by Martin Walker is a good read as he does what he can do to prevent enforcement of the rules and regulations of the EU which set out to change centuries old ways of French food production in the rural regions of France. He's a gourmet cook and I gained 10 lbs. reading the series. Bruno is a former French soldier wounded during a UN peace keeping role during the mess in Sarajevo. Gil

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LR, for you in memory of Spino:
Here’s an Irishman’s dachshund (teckel) that he uses for European Woodcock in the heather. Gil

[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

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I love reading these stories. Thanks guys!

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