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Rabbit Hunting with Beagles

Rabbit Hunting in the twenty first century is a far cry from what it once was. Gone are the days of turning loose a pen full of beagles and heading out  across the back field in search of the heavily populated cottontail rabbit. Yes sir, things have changed. Progress is what they call it. Roads crossing what used to be giant fields, subdivisions covering family farms that contained rolling hills of broom straw and red briars.

Did this stop the rabbit hunter? Of course not. The rabbit hunter evolved, he adjusted, he changed his methods. In the last several years, successful rabbit hunters have learned to look for clear cuts left from logging operations. In these clear cuts can be found the very cover that allows the cottontail rabbit to flourish. Most of these type tracts of land are owned by timber companies and more often than not, the tracts are replanted in pine trees. This will usually allow the briars and other ground cover the opportunity to grow thick and lush for as many as ten or more years. Where this cover thrives, so thrives the cottontail rabbit.

Aside from the states many pine thickets, beagle clubs have become synonymous with the modern rabbit hunter. These clubs are bands of rabbit hunters held together for the common goal of farming ground for a heavy rabbit population. On these grounds members can train and work their hounds year around. While rabbits are not harvested, beagle clubs have made it possible for many youngsters to get a taste of rabbit hunting with beagles.

As much as progress and farming practices have changed the face of rabbit hunting, as well as other small game hunting, future rabbit hunters will face their own set of challenges. While main stream hunting and out door organizations are quick to point the finger at anti-hunting, anti-gun groups, it is this writers opinion the biggest threat to the sport of small game hunting comes from deer hunting. Think for just one moment, in the history of our state, is there a single group or entity responsible for putting up more gates, posting more property, and terrorizing more land owners into hanging the dreaded "NO HUNTING" signs than any anti-hunters could ever imagine..

The advantage the Rabbit hunter has here? Perseverance, for once the sound of baying hounds is in your blood; there is no water wet enough to quench ones thirst for it.


Rabbit Hunting Beagles

Scott Wilson
5380 Olden Porter Rd
Pendleton, SC 29670


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