Late Summertime Hunting
Recent cooler weather and rainfall have given us some good hunting mornings. Each time out has been 3-4 hours with multiple good chases. I am usually not a big fan of fall running, but if the rain continues it could be better this year.
The picture below shows the hounds on 9/4 crossing a field in full cry. Note they run well up in a bunch with several hounds toward the front ready to take the line if they can, running with intent to overtake the rabbit, not just follow it. In this photo, Woodpont Rosebud (Stavemill's Roper Joe x Woodpont Beeswax) with open mouth has the front by a nose over old McApple Moonshine to her right and Woodpont Rooster to her left.
On Sunday, 8/31, at our farm, we had a terrific run on a rabbit jumped by old Woodpont Timber from a hillside weed field. It ran downhill into a swamp, then up a ravine and eventually back up hill for two loops before it holed under a barn. It was a long chase (longer than it sounds from my description) covering an amazing circle with hounds pouring it on the whole way. Checks few and short in duration!
Woodpont Timber: Best hound in the pack in 2020, and the oldest at 10 years of age. Moderate speed, good search, strong nose, and loud mouth the others absolutely fly to when they hear him. Has produced well as a sire, passing on type and ability. His son, Woodpont Timothy, is mentioned below.
On foggy Tuesday, 9/1, at the Crown City Wildlife Area while driving in before daylight, I saw a big rabbit cross the road in the truck's headlights and walked the hounds 1/2 mile back to find it after I had parked. Rooster hit it off the road and they drove into a big wooded hollow for two circles before coming up across the road and holing on the hillside above. Later we had another super run on a rabbit that crossed a road 3 times and made a big circle parallel to the road while I walked alongside and watched. I have never heard them sound better.
On Friday, 9/4, at another public hunting area, I had several driving chases of good length, usually ending with the rabbit under a rock on the hillside. One chase of note started when young Woodpont Timothy spoke a couple of times while by himself on an open hilltop, then Woodpont Rosebud hit it off just above him and the pack drove their rabbit into the woods and around the hillside to a hole. I was pleased to see Timothy continue his development as a rabbit hound.
My 17 hound pack for these hunts was Males: Timber, Billygoat, Rooster, Timothy, Marshall, Rowdy, and Dancer, and Females: Birdwing, Magpie, Rosebud, Royal, Robin, Matchless, Bitternut, Moonshine, Biddy, and Birdseed.
Pictured above is the Crown City Wildlife Area in southeastern Ohio on an early September morning. Beautiful reclaimed strip mining area of over 11,000 acres. Rabbits can be very hard to find here, though. I generally take the hounds here just once per year, in early September.