I took advantage of the rain and the cooler weather Friday night and got Shedrick Ross’s two young males out in the starting pen. They have been lightly started for a couple of weeks but they improved significantly Friday evening. They are just started pups and have a ways to go before they reach their potential but I was happy with their progress.
One thing I like is when they clearly run out of scent they shut up. Early in their development they were barking at the check a lot more. At that time I wasn’t sure if it was out of excitement or just catching high scent, because they do high scent on occasion. Now I think it was just excitement barking but they are outgrowing that.
It is always fun to see young hounds start. To see them go from having no clue what they are here for the first time I worked with them in the pen, to where they are now, which is I put them in the pen and they are busting the brush looking for a rabbit. And once the bunny is up they are all business. I think Shedrick will enjoy them.
Here are some pictures from a hunt my brother David and I went on in Central Kansas this week (April 23 & 24 2015). We were the guests of Mike, Dene and Dane Herbel and we were hunting on their family land. Kansas is a beagler’s and rabbit hunter’s dream come true even though few people in this part of Kansas, or Texas for that matter, hunt rabbits. We hunted four different pastures and found plenty of game in each. One place in particular was over-run with rabbits and we did our part to thin the herd.
We killed 18 total in one and a half days hunting. The dogs caught three, two that were injured and a third that appeared to get away from the shooters clean and continued to take the hounds on a long run. He eventually made a tactical error by squatting in a wheat field and a couple of the beagles caught him.
At the end of the hunt we had 16 rabbits cleaned, washed and soaking in iced salt water for the drive back to Texas.
Here are some images from the hunt.
Six beagles in full cry trailing one of many cottontails along side this seldom used railroad track.
If you’re not the lead dog….
Driving one out of this field back toward the tracks.
Bandit Got a Sight Chase
Dane and Dene waiting for the rabbit to appear ahead of the hounds
Pushing one back to the creek from the stubble
The pack motoring to a downed rabbit. Dene had to get there quick once they got to it but he was rewarding the hounds by letting them find the dead rabbit.
One of my seven month old females got some front on the pack. It didn’t happen much if ever again that day but I was glad to capture it.
David looking over some nice hounds and hoping to see the rabbit pop out.
The Stars of The Hunt
(Apologies to Rainman — I didn’t pose him but I should have)
In no particular order
David Posing Little Joe
Bandit or “Gump” as he is also called
David posing Bandit. Dane on the left and Dene on the right.
David posing Marshall
Me posing Sooner-Run-Lizard. Lizard is a little over four weeks pregnant in this photo.
I needed to add another run and room for one or two more hounds but I wasn’t willing to spend hundreds to get it done right now. So I put my redneck on and looked around at material I had available and what I would need to buy.
The first issue was deciding where to put the new run. My kennel building as three 4×8 concrete runs on the North side, one 4 x 14 concrete run on south side, a 4×6 off the ground whelping pen on the South side and another 4×6 whelping pen on the East side. The West side is the entrance to the kennel building and wasn’t an option. I decided to add a new run on the South side between the existing 4×14 run and the whelping pen. The challenge here is that I have concrete extended about 18″ along the 14′ length. I either needed to pour more concrete or find another solution.
I considered setting some old pressure treated 4×4 posts as a perimeter and then shovel in river rock I have in abundance from some very old kennel runs I had in the 90’s. But I decided to re-purpose some old red clay colored concrete blocks that were once part of a good sized patio and have since been here and there for many different smaller projects. I did a little bit of shovel work, but I got lazy quick and decided i could live with an uneven floor for a while and placed two rows of those concrete squares to cover the 14′ length plus a little extra.
I also needed to decide how I was going to fence in the two sides of the new run in a way that is secure but doesn’t look too ghetto. So I rummaged through the stack of old horse panels that I once used for my old kennels for many years. When I tore down the old kennels and started from scratch a little over 2 years ago I stacked those old horse panels up and pull a few out from time to time when I need one. I decided to use part of a horse panel to close in the bottom of the 6 foot long whelping pen but I wanted to do something for the remaining 8 feet that would better match the adjacent 4×14 chain-link run.
I headed to the local lumber company and found a 4×12 chain-link drive gate divided into two 4×6 sections. I bought it for $99, removed the decorative stuff, and secured the chain-link to the frame a little tighter with the some fencing wire. Then I stood them on their ends and joined them with brackets to make a 6’x8′ section that finished out the 14′ span from the kennel building to the even with the adjacent 4’x14′ run. Then I fastened a 4′ wide x 6′ high chain-link gate to the end of the existing run and the end of the re-purposed gate sections to finish the outside of the run.
It is pretty redneck and my wife was more than a little worried as I described to her what I was going to do, but with such low expectations going in she ended up fairly pleased with the result. Although, I had to promise to come back at a later date and replace the blocks with concrete.
At the end of the day I spent $99 for the drive gate and about $8 for a couple of 2x4s to frame out the fencing under the whelping pen.
Please pardon the dirty pens. I had not washed out the process Diamond dog food when these pictures were taken.
At the conclusion of this year and hopefully each year hereafter Trinity River Beagle Club will award points to hounds and owners based on performance at Club Trials and licensed trials regardless of which club hosts the licensed trial. We will give an award for the four traditional classes. This year we will keep it simple. At the end of the year we will evaluate how we determine points for 2016 and beyond.
Hounds will receive points for a win or place in a club fun trial, club TCP trial, or any AKC Licensed trial. The owner must be a member of the club and places only count if the hound places while the actual owner is a member of the club. So for example, if I buy a hound that placed in three licensed trials in 2015 before I bought her, those places do not count toward High…
Finished a four pen rabbit hutch today. It is probably a little over done in some respects. There is extra head room between the metal roof and the top of the rabbit pens. I plan to use that space to store extra feeders, water bottles, bedding, etc. I am going to paint all exposed plywood so it will last longer and I may considering adding small light sockets inside the nesting boxes along the top in case I need a little extra heat in bitter cold weather.
My nephew is giving me a male and female San Juan for initial breeding stock but I will need to add two more does and eventually build at least one more set of four hutches to guarantee I have funny bunnies for the starting pen when I have trouble getting or keeping cottontails.
If I ever decide I don’t want to mess with rabbits anymore I can retrofit this pretty easily to use for chickens
Check out the Video section to see Rainman, Sally, and Zee running a bunny up and down the face of a bluff with a nice view of the Wise County countryside in the background. Annie (unstarted young dog in the video) is along for the ride as she tries to figure out her purpose in life. Its to run rabbits of course but she hasn’t quite figured it out yet. The starting pen will fix that.