Timís Hound Blog
An effort at sharing random news, thoughts, and hunting stories from Tim and the Woodpont Beagles.......
Pasture Rabbit! (11-4-12)
I wanted to share some photos of the hounds running across a neighbor's pasture on Sunday, November 4th. I had 19 hounds out and the running was very good. The hounds drove this rabbit out of a swamp and up onto the hill in the first photo, but soon he came across, to be followed by the hounds in full cry. This rabbit made 2 loops around the swamp, hill and pasture.
Wildlife and More (9-19-12)
The quail around our farm stopped calling by the end of August. This is the latest I can remember them calling. I have not yet seen any young quail, but I am sure they are there.
There is a new batch of young gray squirrels in an oak tree in the males side of the kennels. This is nothing unusual, since there are young squirrels in our woods every year. One year, a fox squirrel had 9 babies in a tree next to the kennels. I watched them every day for awhile until they moved on. But this year's batch of young squirrels is different, because there are three gray babies and a black one. This is only the third time I have seen a black squirrel. I am including a photo to show how it is different from a gray one.
Hunting has been fair lately. At least we now have some rain and cooler weather for better conditions. I've had 18-20 hounds out each time I have gone. The hounds are not yet in top form, but they still will put on a show if given the chance. I can see their conditioning, or lack of it, showing in their checkwork. Tired hounds do not make quite the effort at solving checks. Fortunately, they don't have a lot of checks to begin with!
I was lucky enough to find a whole batch of old "Hounds and Hunting" magazines on eBay earlier this summer. I've spent most of the summer reading them. The issues run from 1919 to 1933. This was truly the dual-purpose period of beagling, when most beaglers did both trials and shows with their hounds. But even in those days, and before that, you will read of people calling them "show" hounds or "field" hounds as if the breed was already separating into two factions as it is today.
I'll tell you more about some of the H&H articles, and give some hunting reports from the Woodpont Beagles soon.
We had a nice litter this year from McApple Bear and Woodpont Tarbaby. None are left for sale, but I wanted to show the males from the litter. Note the ears and heads on these 8 week old youngsters!
Summer Heat (7-20-12)
In addition to a lot of heat from Mother Nature, the Woodpont Pack was putting the heat to some rabbits on the morning of July 20th. It was wet that morning from rain storms the night before, and we managed to put over 5 hours of running on the hounds before the sun started to warm things up. I had 20 hounds out altogether, and all stayed in the running to contribute. Running was especially good the last 2 hours.
Photo: Pack crossing a road on July 20. Young Mayfly has spotted me and is coming to investigate. Right behind her is Magical (red collar) who appears more rabbit-focused than her sister. A couple of hounds ahead of them is black Mayor (orange collar) and just over his shoulder with head in the ditch is Mailman. These 4 youngsters are from last year's litter we bred with assistance from the Ohio State University veterinarians. (For full story, see 2011 Blog). Their dam is Madcap, who is just behind Magical with her nose on the yellow line and her mouth open giving voice, and the sire is Tackler, who is just ahead and above Madcap with his tail pointed straight up. By the way, this road is seldom traveled!
Carrying a Good Head (6/12/12)
After a rainy Monday, Tuesday started cloudy and foggy - perfect for houndwork. I took 18 hounds to a neighboring farm and had 3 hours of excellent hunting. Birdcall started the first rabbit and the pack drove it around a big woods for 35 minutes before it was lost. Other rabbits ran nearly as long, but there was a lot of game up and it was harder later to tell if they were switching rabbits. One rabbit ran several loops around a wooded hilltop and then came along my neighbor's yard edge. He's an avid deer and turkey hunter and used to have a couple of beagles for rabbit hunting. He had come out to watch the hounds and enjoyed watching the rabbit and then the pack come along. Soon after, the hounds put that rabbit in a stump pile.
Photo: Hounds "carrying a good head". Across the front are Tackler, Brawler and Smoker. Next is Covergirl, then Bison, Mailman, Manager. The last 3 in the photo are Birthday, Birdcall and Tally. The rest of the pack was right behind them.
I am often amazed at how many so-called hound men, or women, believe a pack of hounds should run single file style. Look at any artwork of a hound pack running and you will not see them running in this manner. Single file is for following a rabbit accurately, too much so in my opinion, instead of actually pursuing to catch. Pack people want their hounds to "carry a head" meaning as many hounds at the front as possible, so that any turns in the scent trail are immediately picked up by one of the outside leaders. This type of running is exciting and pressures the game.
Hounds out on June 12th were: Manager, Brawler, Smoker, Tackler, Tapster, Buzzard, Mailman, Bison, Birddog, Tally, Chicory, Birdcall, Magical, Cheerful, Charmer, Birthday, Birdbaby, and Covergirl.
VA Hound Show 2012 (6/8/12)
We attended this year's Virginia Hound Show over Memorial Day Weekend. This event is held each year at Morven Park in Leesburg, Virginia. Although it is called the "Virginia" Show, foxhounds from all over the country and Canada are exhibited at this show. A large crowd attends.
Photo: A winning pair from the Live Oak Foxhounds from Florida. The huntsman holds the trophy. Note the necks, legs, feet, backs and deep ribs on these hounds. The foxhound people have nearly perfected the conformation of these hounds from hundreds of years of careful breeding.
The total entry is around 800 hounds each year. Judges are brought in from all over, including England. I have attended this show most years since the mid-1980s. These hounds are formal pack foxhounds, hunted on the "outside" (not in pens) by people mounted on horseback. These are the very finest foxhounds America has to offer.
Many of the classes are shown "off lead" meaning the hounds are posed and gaited using dog treats to get them to move around. It's really a sight to see. I have learned much about hound conformation at this show. It's also a great place to buy books, hunting horns, clothing, etc.
Photo: Mr. Ben Hardaway (blue tie), at age 92 still Master of Georgia's Midland Foxhounds, makes an award presentation at the 2012 VA Show. He is probably the greatest living breeder of hounds in the world.
Tax Day Hunt (4/15/12)
Got income tax forms finished yesterday (!!), so I was ready to take the hounds out this morning. I loaded up 20 hounds at daybreak and headed to a public hunting area about 15 miles away. It was still cloudy and wet after last night's rains. I started the hounds up a lane through the woods until we came to a spot where the hounds were telling me a rabbit had been feeding just before dawn. I let them work the area until Tackler jumped the rabbit and the chase was on. The rabbit took them over the hill into a section of woods with a heavy infestation of multiflora rose and blackberry vines. There had been some timbering in those woods last month, so I was able to follow the chase by walking the new log roads. They ran that rabbit all over that hill for 45 minutes until he went back to the area where he was jumped and somehow gave them the slip. I had thought they might catch him. I am sure they must have crossed many fresh deer lines in that cover, but no hound spoke on anything but rabbit, as is typical for this pack.
The next rabbit was started by Brawler, who was working ahead of me in some rose bushes on the next hillside over from where we found the first rabbit. They ran him a couple of circles on the hillside, then went across a road and switched to a rabbit that stayed on that side of the road. I saw the first rabbit re-cross the road, but they were by then running hard on the second rabbit. After a couple of hours on those two rabbits, I called them in and we loaded up for home. Hounds are resting in the sunshine this afternoon after a morning's work well done.
Photo: Hounds on Brawler's rabbit. Picking the line up the hill. I had seen the rabbit go by me and pulled out the camera. Note the similarity in their color and conformation - a family bred pack like peas in a pod!
Hounds out today were Manager, Brawler, Tackler, Smoker, Bear, Tapster, Buzzard, Birddog, Mailman, Birdbaby, Covergirl, Chicory. Cheerful, Tally, Madcap, Birthday, Tarbaby, Magic, Charmer, and Birdcall.
Early Spring Running (4/1/12)
Just in from 5 hours of superb hound running. Hounds ran as hard today (April 1) as I have ever seen. I had 18 running hounds and 2 puppies out. Below is a photo of them crossing a driveway below an old cemetery. Sisters Birthday and Birdbaby lead the pack, with Tarbaby (yellow collar) just behind.
Photo: This photo was taken during a 1 hour run on March 10th. Leading the pack are two young littermates, Biker and Birdcall (Tackler x Birthday). These young hounds checked at the road, but old Brawler was there to help them across.
Photo: This photo was taken on February 18th in the very rugged Vinton Experimental Forest of Vinton County, Ohio. Hounds ran several rabbits that day, but most went quickly to a hole.
Photo: Woodcock started their spring mating flights on our farm at dawn and dusk in late January. These are woodcock eggs found while hunting in March. Guess those crazy flights worked!
And I heard quail calling around the farm for the first time on March 29th, which is the earliest I can recall here. Everything seems ahead of schedule this year.
Photo: Taken on April Fools Day. Always have good running when the redbuds are blooming! That's young Birdcall in the lead again as they pick the line across a small field.
First Snow of the Year and a Hunt (1/2/12)
The seasons's first snow showers and some very cold and windy weather did not keep the hounds from some good running on January 2nd.
Shown in the photo are (L to R): Tally, Manager, Baby, Brawler, and Cheerful.
The other 12 hounds in the pack had not emerged from the cornfield, but were right behind the leaders. This rabbit had made a huge circle in the corn before coming back to the weedfields where Baby had jumped him.
There really is no better way to celebrate a holiday than to be afield with a pack of hounds.
Hounds out on January 2 were: Manager, Brawler, Smoker, Tackler, Bear, Tapster, Birddog, Buzzard, Bison, Cherokee, Biker, Birdbaby, Cheerful, Charmer, Tally, Tarbaby, and Birdcall.
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