Guns & Cornbread: Winter is the Time for Beagles and Bunnies.

Look in here! Seek! Get ‘em! Look here!” My hunting buddy’s shouts were measured and rhythmic. He repeated the words over and again, giving emphasis when he stepped in likely looking pieces of cover. When he reached something he thought was especially inviting his tone would change and he would increase the tempo. This meant get here, everybody, right now!

His charges, a pack of no less than nine beagle hounds, seemed to hang on his every word and would rush to him as if they were one giant beagle, all connected. I watched from the side, 20 gauge double over my shoulder, unnoticed by man and dogs, they were in the zone.

Just then a cottontail rabbit squirted out the cover and all heck broke loose. (More of a family-oriented column today) The rabbit disappeared in three jumps but the beagles exploded in gales of hound music and were on his trail. Unless this rabbit elects to go in a groundhog hole (happens often), swim the Mississippi River, or sprout wings and fly, these beagles will follow him to the ends of the earth.

This moment, when the beagles are clamoring on a hot rabbit track, telling the world they are trailing their quarry, this is what it is all about if you are a dyed in the wool rabbit hunter. Our line of four hunters settles into likely places to watch, standing quietly and soaking up the beagle symphony that was filling up the cold January air.

The textbook chase here would be for the rabbit to make a large circle, beagles in hot pursuit, and come back somewhere close to the area from which he sprang from cover. Sometimes this happens, sometimes not, often the sneaky little bunny will dive into a hole in the ground (a’ la Buggs Bunny) and the dogs have to look for another rabbit to chase. No problem, you can’t win “em all.

If you are a hunter, especially one that enjoys hunting with dogs, there are few ways to better spend a winter day than with a pack of beagles, busting the brush for rabbits. Deer season is usually over, (some are glad of it!) and following a pack of the little hounds through good rabbit cover can be very entertaining. Add your favorite shotgun and a couple buddies and this type of hunting is just plain ‘ol fun. Something I think many of us in the hunting world are losing sight of these days, if we are not having fun out there what are we doing?

The beagle hound is the center of the universe for this type of hunting. You can hunt rabbits without a dog and you may have some success but it just ain’t the same without a few of the animated little hounds. Beagle like dogs have existed for thousands of years, according to people who study such things (can you get a degree in Beagleology?) Beagles descended from larger trail type hounds like foxhounds and the St. Hubert hound of the Middle Ages. No less than Queen Elizabeth I had several beagles of a small variety known as “pocket beagles”.

These little hounds were so named because they could fit in a pocket or bag and were often carried this way while larger hounds ran their game on open ground. Once the deer, hare, or other game ran into heavier cover the little beagles were released to continue the chase. Elizabeth reportedly would sometimes entertain at dinner parties by letting some of the little beagles run amok on the table among the plates and dishes. Boy, those royals really know how to party!

Today’s modern beagle most likely comes from breeding endeavors started in the 1830’s in England and improvements on this by the 1870’s in the good old US of A. We had beagles around when I was a kid, and I thought I knew a little something about them. When I am around beagle hound aficionados today I am always amazed at the variety of modern rabbit hounds, mostly in the speed realm.

There are now evidently several speeds of beagle hound for you to choose from. Some want a very slow, methodical hound that runs the track of the rabbit exactly, not varying one inch from the actual track that the rabbit ran. Others want faster dog that moves the track much faster and cuts corners here and there, making the rabbit pick up the pace and get out of Dodge. There is apparently all manner of degrees of speed in between these two extremes. If you are interested find a beagle guy and question him about all this. (Warning, this may take several hours!)

My advice to you as usual is simple. If you have a chance to join a friend with some good beagle hounds, grab your shotgun, make haste and go. Enjoy the beagle music and hopefully you will collect a few cottontails for dinner. If you have never tried rabbit I think you are in for a surprise. Baked in the oven or fried, or in a stew like the famous Brunswick stew, rabbit is excellent.

I can’t help but think of the words in a song, a Tom T. Hall classic, “Don’t forget the Coffee Billy Joe”.

“Well they wonder why they ain’t no rabbits left this day and time, to tell the truth I guess we ate’m all in ‘49”

Find yourself a buddy with a pack of lively beagles and take this type of hunting for a spin this winter. You won’t be sorry!

Keep your guns clean, your knife sharp, and take a kid huntin’!!

 – Larry Case, Hashtag #109. January 2018. If you would like to contact Larry Case, email him at Larryocase3@gmail.com. See Larry’s online blog at GunsandCornbread.com

Submit a Comment

[ssba]

EMPIRE STRIKES BRASS AT APPALACHIA FLAVOR FESTIVAL W/ HASHTAG LEWISBURG CITY PAPER THIS NOVEMBER!

Empire Strikes Brass at Appalachia Flavor Festival w/ Hashtag Lewisburg City Paper this November! - Empire Strikes Brass w/ Hashtag Lewisburg City Paper this November! They perform at  Appalachia Flavor Festival on Saturday, November 16th, 6p-12am at the West Virginia State Fairgrounds. Smooth Ambler Spirits and Greenbrier Valley Brewing Company are excited to present this event, which is a fundraising event to showcase the hard work and pride that our local craftsmen […]

Stay Updated w/ HashtagWV!

Want to stay updated with the paper or thinking about advertising? Sign up today for the latest HASHTAGWV monthly newsletter!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Best Things to Do in Lewisburg, WV

Best Things to Do in Lewisburg WV! - Spending a day in Lewisburg? Here are a few of the best things to do while you’re visiting. Start your day at the Wild Bean coffee shop.  Located downtown, this cafe offers premium coffee, tea, veggie cuisine, wi-fi, entertainment, and more! The breakfast menu consisting of breakfast burritos, egg scrambles, breakfast sandwiches and granola w/ […]

"Over the last 10 years, we have tried several avenues for advertising. Beyond a doubt, our greatest return has been through HASHTAGWV. Whether it be in the HASHTAGWV print edition, or online, our customers, both locals and tourists, really do look for this media form to be in tune with what’s going on in the area and for destination shopping. Advertising with LBSPY (now HASHTAG) has unequivocally been a great asset for our business!" - Craig Miller w/ Serenity Now Outfitters. Ad rates start at just $20! Click here for MEDIA KIT  

LBMEDIAKIT
LBSPY-Testimonials1
Patrick4CMPLTshrp "LBSPY is the best thing that has happened in Greenbrier County since I have been here for seven years. Maybe the whole state.... a first class operation and a lot of hard work," Patrick O'Flaherty (pictured above), The Irish Pub, Lewisburg, WV

Donating = Loving

HashtagWV remains D.I.Y. in nature and it takes hundreds of hours a month to research and write, and thousands of dollars to sustain. If you find any joy and value in it, please consider making a one time or recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of coffee at The Wild Bean and a good dinner at Food & Friends
Adam DeGraff "LB Spy always has their finger on the pulse of this community!" - Adam Degraff (pictured above), (The Weight/ The Dueling Fiddlers / Pianafiddle)

Instagram

  • Team Adamo taking a break @thewildbrew to catch up on the latest @hashtagwv
.
#lewisburg #lewisburgwv #simplygbv #igers_of_wv #wv_igers #simplygbv #greenbriercounty #gotowv #adamobuildingarts #adamoconstruction
  • Patrick O’Flaherty is feeling festive on this November first Friday @patinavintagedecor in Lewisburg.
...
#lewisburg #lewisburgwv #simplygbv #hashtagwv #greenbriercounty #gotowv #wv_igers #igers_of_wv #patina #shoplocally #smallbusinessesrock #irishmusician
  • #Repost @millersnightmare Only one weekend left to experience The Nightmare! Come see what all the hype is about! Miller Manor, Infected Crop, and Demented Forest. Enjoy delicious carnival eats, a bonfire, games, and music while you wait! Ticket sales start at 6:30. Visit www.millersnightmare.com for all the information!

Follow Us!

LBSPY ARTICLES

Wonder How HashtagWV Remains Free?

WONDER HOW HASHTAG LEWISBURG CITY PAPER REMAINS FREE? - Wondering how Hashtag Lewisburg City Paper gets published and distributed FREE every month in-print and online? Do we have wealthy parents or did one of us seduce a millionaire? No. Are we financed by bank loans or grant money? Nope, not that either. Until we hit it BIG in the lotto, every issue of HASHTAGWV comes […]

BEHIND HASHTAG

HASHTAG WV
P.O. Box 744
Lewisburg, West Virginia 24901
info@hashtagwv.com

TESTIMONIAL

"Here at WHEN PIGS FLY BBQ, we get the most return advertising with LBSPY. New customers tell us all the time how they see our ad. They then come see us!" - Mike and Kellen, owners of When Pigs Fly BBQ, Lewisburg, WV.
"Christina, Thank you so much for the cover and the ARTICLE. Your LBSPY is fantastic! We hope to grow this ride and other sports events in our area. Your magazine will do this. Again thank you from everyone in the GVBike club. Come ride with us sometime." - Janice Centa

WE ARE YOUR SOURCE!

LBSPY is a free, full color arts and entertainment tabloid dedicated to providing useful information in the areas of Greenbrier County, Pocahontas County, parts of Alleghany County, and more. We distribute 7,000, full color issues every month.

WE ARE ENGAGED!

We are engaged in promoting local music, arts, events, dining, and shopping. We reach our audience where they live, eat, shop, drink, play, and fill up their gas tank. BEHIND THE SPY

TESTIMONIAL

"LBSPY is the best thing that has happened in Greenbrier County since I have been here for seven years. Maybe the whole state.... a first class operation and a lot of hard work," Patrick O'Flaherty, owner @ The Irish Pub