View Full Version : Beagle hunting for rabbits,
Does anybody hunt rabbits with beagles? How do you like them? Do they hunt close or do they just go and you need to keep up?
Also, I heard you could train them to flush quail and pheasants... Anybody had any experiences?
12-22-2003, 10:56 AM
Beagles are best used for hunting rabbits, sure they can be used for flushing birds but there are better bird dogs to use that "point" out the birds before they flush.
You want to be able to lead your beagles when hunting and keep close tabs on them. Generally, I let them start out in front of me and wait - they will work an area out ahead and sometimes go out further or come back directly, depending on terrain, weather, etc.
And when they bark - then I just listen to get the direction they are running to cut off the chase.
Thanks for the reply...I didn't think anyone was ever going to read that post again.
I had a line on a pair of 5 and 6 year old beagles a couple of months ago but it didn't come together. The man ended up not wanting to sell the dogs. I definitely would like to get a beagle soon as the current season will be ending in a few weeks and I would like to have some time with the dog before the next season.
12-23-2003, 09:50 AM
I'm new here so I took the time to look for threads that interest me the most. Rabbit hunting with beagles is one of them. I been hunting rabbits for about 18 years now, and came into my own beagles about 7 years ago.
I just love it, even more that deer hunting of which I truly enjoy!
5 year old, they should be trained pretty well then... which will be good. I am going to look at a five year old next week that I hunted with in the past and hope he will take to me quickly so we can hunt the rest of the season out here in NY, that ends in my region Feb. 29.
12-23-2003, 11:36 AM
You asked about beagles hunting Pheasants....
I do all my pheasant hunting with my beagle. He is 8, and has hunted upland birds since he was 3. I have gotten many pheasants over that dog. He even bugles when he is on the scent. I only hunt wild pheasants, so I kill probaly 8-10 a year. The dog has been great and we rarely get skunked. I am careful to leave him on a 30 foot lead, since beagles dont like to hunt close. He wont retrieve, but will find the bird when it is down and grab it.
For Quail, I dont take the dog out much, but he has flushed both valley quail, mountain quail, and even blue grouse on a couple of trips.
Anyway, I wouldnt trade my pheasant hound for any bird dog I have ever seen.
If you can train the stubborn son of a gun to hunt birds, you will be glad you did.
12-29-2003, 04:07 PM
Well, beagles are best used for hares and rabbits, thats for sure. I know that their noses can be trained for many other applications but, if you had a pointer and not a flusher- I would bet your catch would be greater.
Not that qty. is any measure of success. I count myself successful anytime I can go hunting :)
I know people who "use" their beagles to hunt upland birds AND rabbits- but you only get less than half a dog that way.
And I could not imagine hunting a dog with a 30'-0 leader? Is that true- wow!
Anyway, does your dog run rabbit too? Or is it just running pheasant?
12-29-2003, 04:13 PM
Wild turk, I just re-read your post - you mean you have never seen a pointer hunt pheasants beter than your beagle? Wow, that truly amazes me- I don't believe it! Nope- don't believe it.
I think I understand another reason for keeping your beagle leashed when hunting - 'cause if you didn't he may find a downed bird and eat it - right?
12-30-2003, 11:25 AM
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE </div>
Wild turk, I just re-read your post - you mean you have never seen a pointer hunt pheasants beter than your beagle? Wow, that truly amazes me- I don't believe it! Nope- don't believe it.
I think I understand another reason for keeping your beagle leashed when hunting - 'cause if you didn't he may find a downed bird and eat it - right?[/b]
You make an interesting point. No, I cannot say that I own the best pheasant dog ever (even if the dog thinks so). I have seen many pointers and flushers that impressed me quite a bit. However, I enjoy hunting over that dog so much and have gotten so many birds that I would not trade him for any flusher or pointer. Of course, I am partial to this dog after hunting with him so many times. So no, I wasnt saying I own the best pheasant dog in the world...just that he is highly effective and I wouldnt trade him for anything. Many times I have worked a field behind a couple of pointers and jumped birds they missed. I have to say that a couple of times, other dogs found birds that my dog missed though!
You also mentioned that a 30 foot lead seems long
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE </div>
And I could not imagine hunting a dog with a 30'-0 leader? Is that true- wow![/b]
Keep in mind that I hunt in rice fields in northern CA. The fields are completely flat, without any sticks, stumps, or things for the lead to catch on. If I hunted cover with trees or anything else, I would have a giant tangle on my hands. In a rice field, you could hunt a bird with as long a lead as you want.
good luck with your beagle.
12-30-2003, 01:59 PM
Seems like it is some interesting hunting- in rice fields. The vegetation here in NY is heavy to say the least. And leaders wouldn't work very well heck, I sometimes get tangled leading my dogs on their 3'-0 leash -lol!
And I understand your afinity towards your beagle- I happen to love that type of dog. I have two, and maybe, a third on the way - a five year old that a friend is unloading to downsize his kennel- we'll see...
Do you rabbit hunt with your beagle too? On another thread there is some writings about "kern jacks" with black tails? I would like to see a pic of one of those...
12-30-2003, 02:17 PM
Nope, I dont rabbitt hunt with the beagle. I did when he was young, but since I dont eat rabbitt, I got tired of having to pawn off all of that meat to others. That is why I switched him over to bird hunting. I started off hunting mountain quail with him in the coastal mountains up near the Oregon border with some success. We chased a few grouse as well (without much success!!). After that, I started pheasant hunting in the Central Valley of CA. The terrain is flat grassland or cropland and there are plenty of pheasants. My only issue was that the dog was prone to chasing birds. He will chase a flushed hen that I passed until she flies out of sight. This wasnt working so I started him on a lead. One bonus of the lead is that as the dog quarters back and forth, he drags the lead around makes a big ruckus. No pheasant can hold tight when a rope gets dragged over him. I would say that 4 out of 5 birds he flushes he is within 5 feet of and would catch if he could. The other 20% flush when the rope comes by.
It must be a hilarious sight, me running along with the beagle on that leash. Even more funny is the fact that my dog is the only one that barks when he gets on scent. You wouldnt believe the looks I get when working a field and the dog starts bugling and a big rooster pops up. I hunt with some other guys who use both flushers and pointers, and each of them laughed the first time I brought my dog. Now we all work together. I even head out to the wildlife refuges here-which have some fairly battle-savvy roosters. Opening morning will find me lined up with 50-60 other dogs, and of course the only beagle. I say go with what works. Many a time and guy has looked at me disbelieving that the dog can hunt, but I always make a point to line up my pheasants on the tail gate of the truck as I pack up at the end of the day. More than one has dropped by and couldnt believe the hound actually put birds up for me.
Congrats on choosing to own a beagle. They are the most loyal, friendly, and all around good dogs you could ever own. They get in a little trouble, and are prone to running off when it suits them, but that is just part of their charm.
01-14-2004, 07:56 PM
Originally posted by rjricelny@Dec 23 2003, 09:50 AM
...I am going to look at a five year old next week that I hunted with in the past and hope he will take to me quickly so we can hunt the rest of the season out here in NY, that ends in my region Feb. 29.
Well, I bought that five year old beagle, tri colored, and - get this- his name is "Spot". It made me smile when I heard it.
I took him and another of my dogs out this past Sunday, and I am happy. Spot ran well. it was good to see spot run (lol).
We had no fewer than seven races in four or so hours, and being by myself, well I only could get two of them. The first time spot opened up I could just tell it was money well spent.
If the weather contiues to be so cold and windy thru Feb. its going to be a short season, of which is the only foreseable disappointment.
Tune in next week for more "hunting with the beagle" i'm your host rjricelny reporting live from WNY.
01-14-2004, 08:21 PM
Interested to hear how it goes....
Run spot run
Please keep us updated on the hunts.
01-19-2004, 08:47 AM
I'm on the second week hunting the new beagle and the weather has been difficult to run in.
Finally, got a mild break from the extreme temperatures here, around 20 F and 10-15 mph winds. Oh yeah, about a 12 inches of snow too, whew.
Yesterday, we made it to the woods, and it was tough going, snow too deep... the first and second race we ran the rabbits made it straight-line to their hole. And after hunting for another 2 hours we decided to call it quits.
We left towards the truck with me cutting a pat throught the snow where both dogs obliged in following :). As we aproached the truck, I decided to head straight to it and unload my gear and come back to fetch-up the dogs who were hunting in some thick pines and brush.
No sooner did I pack up my gear, I heard spot open up, then I heard butchy open up too! So, I hurriedly put my gear on and loaded the gun and ran back, about 20 yards away were they were. As soon as I got there I seen a flicker of the rabbit run by.
So I climbed atop a blow down to elevate above everything and where I can see the dogs and hopefully the rabbit too. The dogs made it over to my way and barking as they got there.
The rabbit was below me somewhere, ha! They busted it out, although I couldn't shoot- dogs too close. After one circle they brought him back where it all started and I was able to put the rabbit into my coat, whew!
Spot and Butch although new to each other, seem to be working well together. If it would only stop snowing, and that which has fallen already, could pack down a bit, we should be able to enjoy the rest of the season that ends in Feb.
It's nice to put game in the bag after you thought you were going home with nothing. I know with duck hunting I'd be out from well before sun-up and spend the entire morning in the blind and just when I was getting so restless I would start packing up to go home, a lone greenhead would make the mistake of flying a little to low and a little to slow and I would nail it. Sounds fun even with all the snow.
Thanks for the update.
01-21-2004, 09:21 AM
Interesting post on beagles.
I grew up in Upstate NY as well and hunted with Beagles a bit.
My father and brother (still in NY) still have beagles and hunt with
them quite a bit.
Beagles are great, tough, little dogs that love to hunt. They are good fun on rabbits (especially in the middle of winter in NY when there is not a whole lot of other hunting/fishing to be done). If you have never heard a couple of beagles light up on a rabbit on a snowy day, you are missing something. Hunting rabbits with beagles is MUCH MUCH more fun than just hunting them without dogs.
As the others have said they are really best for rabbits, but if you have a good one, it can be a nice asset for birds too.
My brother's dog is especially good and works close (until it jumps a rabbit of course). On more than one occasion it has found and flushed grouse and pheasant for us and also found downed/wounded birds. On some occassions it will even retrieve, but don't count on a beagle doing that.
Now we also had English Setters and when it came to birds there is no comparing the beagle to the setters, but I would much rather have that beagle on a pheasant hunt than nothing.
I have never hunted with a beagle out west for rabbits and have wondered how it would go since the terrain is so different. My little brother just moved to CO and he is about to get his beagle out there. Colorado has a lot more pheasants than our part of NY, so next year that beagle should get a lot of rabbit and pheasant work and we will see how it goes.
If your main interest is birds a "bird dog" would probably be best, but if you like to hunt rabbits, and like too bird hunt a bit too, I think a beagle could be a lot of fun. They are intelligent dogs that make good companions.
P.S. One other thing about beagles. Many get a bad rap as barkers. This can be true since they are a hound of sorts, but in my experience the only ones that bark a lot are ones that are neglected, and most dogs that don't get attention misbehave in some way.
01-23-2004, 03:28 PM
Orso, you are so right! It was nice to get one after thinking the hunt would be a bust. And, especialy being as tired as we were. Having walked through snow and brush, and having rabbits run directly to the hole.
Looking behind me and seeing the dogs in the path I was cutting through the snow- I kinda felt like a Coast Guard Cutter (ha)!
And PoorAim is right, beagles are a good tough bread, especially those cold weather dogs.
When I went to the truck and unload, I really thought I was giving them a breather before hooking them up and taking them out. But no, they were still hunting! And when I heard them light up on one, I just hurried over as fast as I could!
This week looks like it will be too cold. We have about 18-20" of snow down and the temps are below zero with the wind chill- and its expected to be that way all through Monday.
Do you ever use a bow to take rabbits?
01-24-2004, 04:08 PM
http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smiley-peta-sucks-sign.gif I too love to hunt rabbits with dogs. Right now I'm just getting back into it though. I acquired a half & half Black & Tan & Basset. I know sounds funny but I love to hear em.....& they're slow which was the whole point in getting him. Once he's trained I'll use him to train beagle pups with after they get a good start in the starter pen I've yet to finish & still have to get a dog & bitch beagle for breeding then I will start selling puppies.
Tabbycat Elkins http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smiley-2drunks-singing.gif
01-25-2004, 07:46 PM
No sir, I never hunted rabbits with a bow, boy- sometimes I have a hard time hitting them with #6's (ha!).
02-03-2004, 05:14 PM
Will the snow ever stop - golly gee! Finally went rabbit hunting last Sunday. Waist high deep snow some of the times and always above the knees. And of course, in my zeal- didn't even think about bringing my snow shoes.
What a day! two races in four hours, one rabbit, and one stick in the eye. Left a mark from the eye all the ways down to my chin! The cut skin kind of mark too. If it wasn't for my glasses, I might be blind in one eye.
Hurt like hell too, knocked me on my butt! Well, put one rabbit in my coat, I always laugh hard when hunting in deep snow, the sight of those dogs when the crust isn't strong enough to hold them is something to see.
02-03-2004, 07:08 PM
I'm looking at buying a house, then a dog, my question is there anything to watch for when getting a beagle pup? I've got 2 boys 4 & 7 & a wife that doesn't want a big dog or a real loud aka always barking, is a beagle a good choice for this? I want a small reasonable quiet dog that I can hunt (or try too lol) that is good with kids. Is this too much to ask of a beagle/ any info would be appreciated.
02-06-2004, 06:04 AM
jmabbott888, you and your family will love beagles as pets and you as a hunter- no question at all! All of my beagles are kennel dogs- not house dogs.
But, I have read some posts where people do keep their beagles in the house as house dogs and hunt successfully with them. That may be however, I just don't have any personal experience with that.
I do know people who own beagles as pets- not rabbit dogs- and they love them, and how could you not, they are beautiful animals. Anyway, good luck, buy a beagle and go rabbit hunting!!!! You and your boys will love it! Hunting over beagles will provide a lifetime of great family memories!
02-06-2004, 09:59 AM
My brother has a beagle that is an exceptionally good rabbit dog
(mentioned in my post above). This dog has been raised its whole
life as a "house" dog. Its quiet, lets you know when it needs to go out,
All of the other beagles we have had have been kennel dogs,
but this latest one proved to me that a beagle can be a good pet
as well as a good hunter.
I would try to hunt your dog when it is still fairly young, as opposed to
letting it be "the pet" for several years before exposing it to hunting. Thats
the only "secret" we used on my brother's dog.
Give one a try, I bet you'll like it
02-06-2004, 07:35 PM
Thanks for the info guys, looks like I'll probably be getting a Beagle since the Nova Scotie Tolling Retriever my wife wants is about a grand & thats a bit steep for me lol. What do you use to start a puppy off on so it can learn to hunt? Sorry for the dumb questions but this will be my first endevour into hunting dogs. Should I start out with a scent covered dummy or is there a better way? any info is greatly appreciated.
02-09-2004, 11:19 AM
jmabbott888, if you can buddy your pup with another experienced rabbit dog and rabbit dog man then, that would be the best way to go about it. Otherwise, training pups without takes a whole lot of time and effort, understanding, for the both dog and man.
First step is to just take him/her out - where you know there will be some rabbits and - stump piles together, and when you bust one out, put your dog on it - with great excitement, and the dog will naturaly start running it.
Repitition will be key, then next thing but not second is gun training the dog so it is not afraid of loud noises or becoming "gun-shy".
For my purposes - I tend to buy beagles already started- and over a year old- due to the time input at the get-go to train pups- I just don't have enough of it.
Anyway, shoot a rabbit and use it's pelt to "toy" with the dog and lay down some "lines" for him too. Put the rest of the rabbit in the freezer for dinner later on. I keep some pelts all year long for my dogs to keep rabbit in their minds when I am not running them.
02-09-2004, 09:23 PM
Well we went out looking at dogs today, no luck on finding a good candidate at the sanctuariy or the SPCA, we did find a 2 yr old spaniel mix but she wouldn't even come out of her shelter if the boys were around. I've gotta call a guy here in town that has a 5 month old papered beagle for $200 & see what its like. My boys were so mad at me today when I wouldn't let them get a lab mix puppy, they can't understand it will get way to big for then to play with or live in the apartment till we do get into a house. I'll keep you guys posted on what we find & get.
02-10-2004, 06:25 AM
$200 for a 5mo papered pup sounds like a pretty good price. Check the parents out and of course talk hunting with the person selling to see how much time the dogs get-
02-11-2004, 06:15 PM
I'm by NO means an expert on training them, and what little training
was done in my family was not done directly by me.
But... here is what I know from that experience, use at your
Try to get a dog from hunting lines. Any random beagle
may work, but you will greatly increase your odds of success
by getting a dog from hunting stock.
Try to get your dog on rabbits fairly young, and regularly. When your
dog jumps a rabbit, let him run it. Don't shoot it right away if you happen
to see it when he first jumps it. Another thing that we did was after
getting a rabbit, call the dog over and praise them and make a big deal
and show them you are happy. I have no idea if this makes I difference, but I think that helps the dog know he did a good thing, and hopefully will do it more.
We never did any "yard work" like you would typically do with a bird dog.
I'm sure a real trainer would, but it somewhat depends on the age of the
dog relative to when the season starts. We were just hacks who took
them hunting as their training and eventually had good luck doing it that
way. The natural desire to look for rabbits, and howl and chase them
when found was pretty strong in most of the beagles we had, and that w
as pretty much the extent of what we asked them to do.
as Rjricelny suggested, if possible take them with other hunting
beagles who know the drill. The young ones seem to learn from
them quite a bit. With that said, I have also seen young dogs who
basically just follow a mature dog around. You think the young dog
"doesn't have it" but then when you start taking the young dog alone,
they hunt fine. Eventually the young dogs would start hunting with
the older dogs, working as a team, I'm not sure if its a confidence or
pecking order thing?
One important thing, is to make sure you have a dog
that will come to you when you call him in the field routinely.
This can be difficult if your dog jumps a deer and decides it's
the biggest rabbit ever, because deer don't circle too well.
We had one dog that needed a shock collar to learn the difference.
Doing some obedience training on coming to a call (or whistle) would probably
be wise especially if your first few hunts will be away from home
in new territory.
Hope this helps,
P.S. $200 sounds good to me, especially if its parents had been hunted
02-11-2004, 06:31 PM
Well that dog got sold & so did the $50 male whos owners wouldn't answer the phone for 2 days, so I'm back looking. Is there any other small breed that has hunting genes in them that are good with kids & would do ok in an apartment? When I get a dog I want to get him housebroken then I get to have fun field training him. When it comes to training for rabbit can they tell the diffrence between a cottontail & a jack? Thanks again for all the responses & putting up with some dumb questions.
02-11-2004, 07:51 PM
For starters, thats pretty good advice from pooraim...
I have never housebroken a dog since I keep mine in an outside kennel so ???? I have heard of "training cages" whereby the cage is suited to fit a dog size and not be too big where the dog has room to do its duty and not lay in it.
The logic is the dog will not "go" where he needs to sit or lie down.
I mainly hunt cottontails with my beagles although, they will run hare too - although they are more or better suited or "sized" o rabbit. They are 14" beagles, not very tall and appropriately sized short legs for hunting rabbits.
Generally, rabbits run shorter circles and hares run larger circles. So, smaller sized dog for rabbits and larger sized dog for hares.
I do have an old beagle - 17", about 15 years old- not kidding, he is an old dog - not as strong as he was last year, I basically retired him this year, but in his younger days, his former owner would take him hare hunting. He is a big beagle, so he was able to put on quite a chase for hare. But, the dog mainly hunted cottontails all year long.
Infact, beagles will run just about anything, deer, fox, coyote, rabbit, hare, pheasant, its the training that defines the dog and the hunt. Whew, that was a long one- gotta go!
Check out the following website. They are in SoCal and sell dogs for hunting. I have talked with the owner over the phone (Don, I think and his wife...both very nice) and as soon as I am ready for a dog I will go and check out his dogs. I think they they have a fenced area behind their house where they start their dogs on....It was a while ago when I spoke to them so I hope my memory is correct.
02-12-2004, 10:04 PM
Well the wife & kids got a 3 yr old spaniel-beagal mix that does retrieve. here is a pic of him, I'll see what he does on a rabbit fur covered stuffed animal in a week or so after he gets acclimated to his new home.
02-13-2004, 06:16 AM
Thats an interesting mix... let us know how well he/she is in the field too.
02-13-2004, 07:29 PM
Well we took the dog to the vet today for his free check up & I'm glad we did for a few reasons, 1st he has a tumor or the top we didn't check on wether it was cancer or not, 2nd he needs alot of dental work & the worst part is he nailed my 4 yr old in the hand & left 2 pucture wounds that were real fun to stop the bleeding from. Needless to say the dog went back to the SPCA this afternoon. The good news about this whole thing is that my boys still want a dog, so I guess I'm going to check the breeders & see what I can find. I'll keep you guys filled in on what happens.
02-14-2004, 05:29 PM
Damn! I'm am real sorry to hear about that! You have got some strong young ones and thats good.
You never know what your gonna get from the spca- thats for sure..
Hope you find a good beagle too! Good breeding will virtually eliminate bad tempermant in a dog, and beagles are known to be some of the best - rjricelny
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