HUNT season is nearing its conclusion, so we take leave of the Clear Creek Beagles and Sandanona Harehounds with our final videos and pictures from last weekend’s “festival of rabbit-chasing” here in central Kentucky. For part one of this little annual series, including video from the Clear Creek Beagles on their Friday afternoon hunt, click here. Heck, while you’re at it, you might be interested to see last year’s videos and posts from the beagling and basseting weekend, too.
Today’s videos of the beagles and bassets include the packs in full cry and a view of a rabbit. First up, the Clear Creek Beagles:
And now the Sandanona Harehounds:
And, for more viewing pleasure, here’s a Smilebox with some photos of the weekend’s hunting.
On Saturday, sadly, we once again missed the Farmington Beagles, which means that we owe Sherry Buttrick and Forbes Reback another apology as well as a promise to catch them next season. We made it to the meet in time to see the Clear Creek Beagles head off at noon, then went out again with the Sandanona basset pack at 3 p.m. Both packs provided great sport. The bassets hunted quite a bit in thick, tall grass known as Little Texas, where they contended with passels of rabbits that made for a very challenging day for huntsman Betsy Park.
The Clear Creek Beagles, on the other hand, hunted out in the open quite a bit and benefitted from less-rabbity country as the sporting cottontails generously ran one at a time, allowing for some nice runs–several pieces of which we caught on the HD camera. There are a few things to note in the CCB video. First, we’ve included a four-minute section, entirely unedited, that illustrates just how much these hounds, like the foxhounds, rely on scent–and when scenting is difficult or downright uncooperative, it can scuttle a run, to the rabbit’s advantage. That clip of the video also features a stylish “Tally-ho!” from Mr. Houndblogger as the rabbit shot past our feet on her way to the safety of relatively scent-repellent ground.
When we take first-timers out beagling, they’re often struck by how much advantage the quarry actually has, running as he or she does over home territory and often with the scenting to the game’s, rather than the hounds’ benefit. That four-minute video clip shows the real challenge of scent-hunting, as well as the beauty of diligent hound work.
A second thing to note: CCB Mister. This tough little badger-pie hound and his packmate, Minder, kept “appearing in dispatches,” so to speak. Every time we were out with the Clear Creek Beagles, we repeatedly heard huntsman Buck Wiseman say, “Hark to Mister!” or “Hark to Minder!” as one of these hounds often picked up the line first and led the pack on. We have a nice little clip or two of Mister in action on this video. He’s easy to pick out due to his notably muted coloring.
The houndbloggers asked Buck to tell us a little about Mister and Minder, and this is what he said:
“Mister is the oldest working hound in the pack at 7. He is by Mason ’00, who is still with us, but in retirement. Mason with his littermates, Moonshine and Magic, were mainstays for years. They were a litter by Draper ’90 out of Macon ’97. Draper was an outstanding hunting hound. Oddly, Macon was not, although I always liked her, and that litter of three were all tops. Mister is out of Mango ’97, who was Champion Bitch at Mid-America as well as being a very good hunting hound. All of them except Draper trace back to Woodfield Major ’94 to some degree or other. Draper was almost entirely my old Rollington Foot bloodlines.“Mister has always been a hound with a very good nose, but who will also drive along at the front. He is a bit stocky in build to appeal to most judges, but he is a very balanced strong hound. Mister is also the sire of Scholar and Swagger, the two puppies who also were in the pack over the weekend. Scholar was seen to pick a check across a roadway on Saturday. It was his third time out.“Minder is an ’07 entry by Scabbard ’05 out of Magic ’00, litter sister to Mason, Mister’s sire. Scabbard was by Moonshine. Yes, I know, the breeding is too close. The truth is, it was an accident in the kennel, but from it I have gotten Minder, his sister Mayhap, whose name you may also have heard over the weekend. Their sister Matchbox is with my niece, Randall, in Virginia and also hunts very well. Minder just really started coming into his own as a signicant force at checks and in searching at the end of last season. He has continued to improve by giant steps this season. Minder is, in addition, a very nice-looking balanced hound.”