Ottawa County Rabbit Hunt WITH BEAGLE Tag Along

Discussion in 'MichiganSmallGame.com' started by PGWG, Aug 3, 2020.

  1. PGWG

    PGWG

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    Hello All-

    Avid rabbit hunter here. Usually solo, stomping piles, putting in miles, with a quick draw. I've had a lot of success with this style in and out of snow. My family of 4 is contemplating a beagle that would be for rabbiting but also a family pet. Trouble is, I've never hunted with a beagle before so I'm not sure its something that would improve my efforts in the woods as much as I think it may. I am in Ottawa county, just west of Grand Rapids - do any of you out there that hunt with beagles, ever allow someone to roll along with you? I'd love to watch the pup(s) work and measure the success and if it would translate into the solution my family is looking for.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. reddog1

    reddog1

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    Absolutely I do. I don't shoot many rabbits anymore but on our annual MLK DAY weekend hunts we shoot as many rabbts as we can. If you are willing to wait until that weekend in January, you are more than welcome to tag along. Otherwise I have my annual snowshoe hare camp in October on Drmmond Island that you could also attend.
     
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  3. PGWG

    PGWG

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    Where abouts do you do the MLK hunt? I'll have to see where things are at come January! Also, I've heard great things about hare on Drummond. I have a camp spot in DeTour that I've never been able to get to during the right rabbit time of year - but we're looking to break ground on a cabin up there soon!
     
  4. reddog1

    reddog1

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    We do the MLK hunt just little North and East of Carson City. The Hare running on the Island is spoty but where we go we usually have good running. We don't shoot hare, we just run so the spots we go usually hold hare.
     
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  5. LTH

    LTH

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    You shouldn't make your decision on how successful your rate of take is going to increase. Watching the dog work it's natural ability, recognizing what the dog is doing and just listening to the chase is way more fun than killing the rabbit. The only thing killing the rabbit does is end that chase and forces you and the dog to find another. Eventually you will learn what the dog is doing by the barks it makes like sight chasing, on a check, lined out or whatever the case is. Get a beagle, let the kids play with it and become a pet, keep it in the house if you want (mine is) and you will understand why they are mans best friend.

    Also, pay attention to what you are buying. Look at pedigrees. A dog is born with it's talent and can only unlock it's natural ability it already has. If it doesn't have it at birth you can't teach it. They should be smart, lots of hunt, good nose, no back tracking and a lineage of trash free parents. The are definitely NOT all born the same.
     
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  6. Waif

    Waif

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    I no longer run beagles.

    But will ask that you ask yourself if you are willing to commit patience to a hunting partner.
    A pup has to learn the field/what it's like in varied terrain and conditions. Including scenting conditions. Let alone the knee deep piles of scents from varied sources. What the heck is a rabbit? And why should the hound chose it's vapor trail over more provocative ones?

    Your initial season may be more "helping" the pup than busting bunnies. A very worthwhile investment , but a patient one too.
    That does not mean you and your partner won't get on bunnies. But busting them should not be a priority until your pup is experienced in running them.
    What you put into it is going to affect what you get out of it.

    Bad habits or prey drive misdirected towards game you don't want to pursue that are encouraged by you not being involved directly because you are expecting the pup to be on a rabbit , could be very costly to your goal.
    But for some or many pups they are just chasing a strong scent. That's just a sample of early times in a pups "career". You are the difference if you're in touch with the pup early on and where it is ,while it's doing whatever. The focus is not on killing a rabbit now , is it? It is not if the pup ain't on one for sure. You're learning the pup , the pup is learning what?

    Much can be done at home.
    Trust established is one. You break the trust , you change your relationship. And not for the better. Be fair about it. You do not want to hunt with a slave for a partner.
    Below you in dominance yes , but more like a cooperative sibling hunt.

    Handle the pups feet , eyes,ears regular. Check them in the field at intervals.
    That being handled helps the vet. It helps you if the pup gets a weed seed in an eye or thorn in a paw pad , and it helps you not fight the pup if it needs help. Remember that trust thing?
    You want the pup to tell you it needs help by trying to alleviate it's problem in your sight.

    A pup can scent trail you around the/a yard.
    Yes , it helps to know the other scents all over. But your scent in a hide and seek game can be sorted out.
    Once familiar with the game , it gets fast.
    Then you can advance to you putting down a scent trail to work.
    Live rabbits are great for training , but you may not have the room.
    I used to freeze hind feet for scent trails. And to let the pup check out before putting them down to hunt early on. Stinky feet , them hinds...

    Be fair. Be patient.
    Some pups get it quick. Don't expect that.
    Losing a rabbit at a check is not uncommon at first in a fast running pup.
    If you are there to encourage sorting out what happened at the check in snow for example , the pup can get straightened out great.
    The caution being not to do the work so much the pup depends on you to sort everything out. Yes , you want to help at first. But same as running it with another hound , or hounds , your pup needs to be able to do all the work eventually. VS. "me too" being along for the ride.

    Your work at home means you can call the very busy /interested/distracted pup twenty yards away over to you to show it a rabbit track you found.
    How you call it. How you tell nit you're on a track should be the same always.
    You're partners. Trust. It takes a lot to get a good hound to quit it's interest to heed your call. What if it's on off game and you call it? Your relationship will be tested to the limit at that point...
    You want that drive. But you want to control it. Can you? Should you? How then?
    Trust me , being a fair but dominant partner is a cooperative effort.
    You want a bond of trust with your excited hunting partner. Not all hunters have that.
    For varied reasons. Mostly due to the hunters attitude and relationship with the hound(s).
     
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