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Thread: Rabbit Hunt

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    NJ briar hole
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    329

    Default Rabbit Hunt

    Recently finished up a three day hunt I thought I would share with everyone. Last Sunday myself and some friends left for NC to do a three day rabbit hunt that had been planned for some time. A few of the guy's had not hunted over hounds for a long time and for one younger hunter it was his first time ever. With the storm that came up last Sunday the driving was a little slick going down, and put us behind schedule a little bit. That area of NC was hammered with rain that day, not to mention a lot of rain during most of the regular hunting seasons this past year. Everyone arrived by early evening to get unpacked and kick back with a few beers and some whiskey.

    Monday morning came and was a mess to start things off for the first day with a lot of areas flooded out. Hounds had a rough start, but worked things out the best they could with the conditions they were given. The hound owner brought around 14 hounds and was going to run 7 in the morning and a different 7 in the afternoon. We started at the back side of a field that went into a heavy thicket area with a stream at the bottom. After the hounds worked the lower area by the stream they finally came up middle way to higher ground where the first good race was started. This area had some good small winding woods roads with a lot of bends in different areas which would make things interesting for most of the morning lol. Always seemed when the race was going good he would cross on one of those bends where none of the guy's were or they had just left. Finally one of the guys that had not been rabbit hunting for many years got a shot at him at the end of a dead end road with his 410 pump, but was able to get into the thicket some before being found. Finally one on the board or as some say "the tailgate". Shortly after another race was going and another hunter was able to get him using a older Ithaca 16 gauge. Worked that area the rest of the morning with the hounds struggling some with some short races where they seemed to have holed up or crossed into some flooded areas.

    After lunch we went to another spot which had a lot of tall indian grass mixed with some shorter pines with some of the longest bushy needles I have ever seen. Before long they had one up and running and as much as we tried closing the gap in certain areas he would do something different to mix things up. Finally the hunter with the 410 pump took his second rabbit of the day. After he had shot his second rabbit we could hear that one of the hounds had broken off from the pack and was running a separate rabbit by himself. Hounds quickly went to him and another race was on ! They ran this one most of the afternoon through some large swampy areas back up to that big pine area. As they were coming back out of the thick swamp where I was I thought I had most of my area covered but he zipped past the small opening I had into the pines where he made a big left turn to try and double back around where another hunter was with a much older Remington 870 20 gauge that still worked fine. We ended the day with four on the tailgate and headed back to the farm house for some venison steak sandwiches one of the guy's brought to make which were great that night.

    Tuesday morning was cold with the first good run in a wide strip thicket area. The hounds took the rabbit to the end of the thicket out into a cut cotton field, then past where the trucks were parked into a bigger piece of woods. Hounds finally worked him out where one guy could get a clean shot at him back in the cotton field. Owner gathered up the hounds to get them back deeper into the main part of the big woods since that had hardly been touched yet. Wasn't long and the choir was singing again ! They ran this one to the back side of the big woods where they started to have some trouble keeping the track which was before a block pile. Not sure if it was the same one or not but after passing that block pile down a little ways one busted out the right side and was going to cross a cut field to another piece of woods where the hound owner did not want them to get into. The younger hunter who had never rabbit hunted over hounds before ended up taking the shot just as the hounds picked up the scent to get his first rabbit. We finished hunting that area before heading back for lunch.

    That afternoon he took us to another spot where a big old raccoon was pushed out into a flooded area, which he didn't care where but he was getting out of town quick ! lol. Hounds ended up losing that rabbit when they got to some deeper water in one area so we crossed a woods road to try and get them up on some higher ground which was for the better because they were able to get one started and pounded him for a long time. I believe there were three misses going away on a woods road, one in the front end of that piece, and another in a corner section. The six to eight hounds that were on the ground gave him some exercise and had some hunters shaking their heads at the end of the day ! Even though we ended the day with only two rabbits we had some good runs and a lot laughs. Dinner that night was sausage, peppers, and onions with a few much needed drinks !

    Wednesday morning was cold with a heavy frost and the owner of the hounds said since it was the last day he was going to bring ten of his best hounds. He wanted to start out in a smaller thicker block of woods he had since there was a heavy frost. After two great runs in this piece we had two rabbits on the tailgate. Moved to another spot which was deeper through some fields to a over grown area that was more like a jungle than anything else, but had a lot of good sign. After about 15 or 20 minutes they had one started which would end up being the longest run of the three days. The rabbit made some runs through some nasty crap and crossed a couple woods roads where no one could get a quick shot on him. Finally he had enough and made up his mind he was leaving and took the hounds on a straight shot away out of hearing of all of us. He checked his garmin unit and they were about a little over 500 yards from where we first started and still going strong. After trying to get around to where they were, many misses, and 2 1/2 hours of some of the best music you could ever hear echoing in the woods he was finally put on the tailgate !!

    We finished out the day with two more for a total of five, and eleven for the three days we hunted. Should have had a few more but some of us had bent barrels on our guns along with the weather curve ball we were given for the beginning of the hunt. Ended the day with a bottle of "Crown Reserve" with a toast to the "hunt" with good friends both new and old. I've included some pic's from the hunt and have a short video clip I'm trying to post but having trouble posting it. While growing up I would run hounds with my father and had my own hounds for many years before slowly recently getting out of it, nothing like hearing that music in the woods first thing in the morning. For you guy's with kids on here that hunt, if you ever have the opportunity to take them hunting over a good pack of hounds you should try and do it. Hope everyone enjoys the post
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    Last edited by silver belly62; 01-20-2019 at 03:52 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    North Jersey Woods ( NJW)
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    4,909

    Default

    Sounds like a great trip! Thanks for sharing.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    NJ briar hole
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    Quote Originally Posted by longbow View Post
    Sounds like a great trip! Thanks for sharing.
    Thanks

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Vernon Ct.
    Posts
    910

    Default

    many years ago i ran 4 dogs, sure do miss that sound..thanks for the story and photo's.
    my camp my rules

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    21

    Default

    Nice, thanks for sharing. I'm down to 1 beagle, she will be the last one. Some great memories, hunts , over my line of hounds for almost 30 yrs.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Northeast Kingdom, VT
    Posts
    3,846

    Default

    Excellent- looks like fun!
    Enjoyed reading about it- thanks
    Not all those who wander are lost. -Tolkien

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    846

    Default

    Good times for sure. I miss the old days when we would hunt rabbits almost every weekend behind our Gw's hound dog. Didn't have to travel very far to have good action. Great way to get through the winter.
    I love it when a plan comes together!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    745

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    Big D - Oh those were the days. Hunting rabbits with hounds is such a great time. The camaraderie with the other hunters, the sound of the dogs, the relaxation (relative to deer tracking) is just fantastic. I love this post and pics - great stuff!

    Quote Originally Posted by Big D View Post
    Good times for sure. I miss the old days when we would hunt rabbits almost every weekend behind our Gw's hound dog. Didn't have to travel very far to have good action. Great way to get through the winter.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    NJ briar hole
    Posts
    329

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwlambo View Post
    Big D - Oh those were the days. Hunting rabbits with hounds is such a great time. The camaraderie with the other hunters, the sound of the dogs, the relaxation (relative to deer tracking) is just fantastic. I love this post and pics - great stuff!
    Thanks, I like my deer hunting but I think with a good bunch of friends or family hunting over a great pack of hounds I could do that most of the season and enjoy it more at times

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    1,680

    Default

    Looks like fun! Nice hunting down there.

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