It's cutting them loose and having the pack run the rabbit until it gives up and goes in a hole or gets caught. And although the dogs usually don't catch it, they run like they want to. Just me and my pack of hounds, in any condition, on any day, in the roughest places I can find . . .

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

A Different Kind of Jump Dog

There are a lot of beagles that people call jump dogs. They hunt pretty hard, hit the cover, and come up with more than their share of rabbits. I've been lucky to have more than my share. Dogs like Neal, Boadie, Nada, Hobo, and Gypsy come to mind. But what I am talking about is different than this. I've never owned a dog that can jump rabbits like Logan Elm DK.

I'm talking about the kind of jump dog that finds joy in the jump. One that actually looks for rabbits. Most beagles look for scent. They want to run a track. That is what they are bred to do. A true jump dog though isn't like that. He hits the brush, living to invade a rabbit's home in the briars and chase him out. He doesn't bark before the jump. His bark is the joyful sound he makes when he flushes the rabbit from his "safe" place.

This kind of jump dog is seldom seen. The dogs I have seen like this make forever impression. Jim and Cody Hughes had a yellow dog named Bernard and he was this kind of dog. Bernard's son, a dog named Duke that the Old Man got from the Hughes was like that. Tony Upton's Grizz had jumps in every cast he was in. My brother Gregg's Bailey can jump a rabbit in any woods. John Queen got at least one jump in very cast when he ran his old Turbo dog. But this kind of beagle just isn't often found.

In a lifetime of beagling I have only seen a few dogs like this. They are wired different. Some people call them meat dogs or say they hunt like a cur or feist. When you have one though, every time you run it's a celebration. As soon as you hear him bark, you know without a doubt the race is on. No tracking it up. No striking a track. We are talking about jumping a rabbit out of his bed. Sight chase and getting with it. I'm talking about a different kind of dog and man is it fun. 

DK makes running so easy. A chase ends and the dogs come in from the hole. I think, well now we have to jump another rabbit. But before I can even start to get the ugly face, usually within a few minutes, another jump and away we go. I feel fortunate to have a dog that makes running so easy and enjoyable. Want to guess what I am breeding to?

Saturday, January 14, 2017

You Gotta Love the Weatherman

Ok, so the forecast for this morning scared me from even thinking about running dogs. There was so much freezing rain on its way that I wouldn't even think about getting out and driving. I was even afraid to walk out in front of the house because it was going to be so treacherous. Imagine my surprise when I woke up this morning.  I looked out and saw a bit of rain, but nothing at all that seemed the least bit scary.

So, I loaded the dogs and headed out to run. Even as I headed down the road to run, I was still a little worried about the day. I had been hearing about ice for the last couple of days and feared getting caught or sliding off the road. Boy was I surprised.
You know those perfect conditions? Temperature about 37° with a light rain, moisture hanging in the air, and no wind? That was today. It was as perfect as a day for running beagles can possibly be. The scent was hanging in the air and the dogs were jumping at the chance to run.

For the last three days, the forecast had me upset and disappointed thinking about today. What a great gift to get the chance to run on a day when the weather was PERFECT! And the dogs made the most of it. They hunted hard, jumped rabbits, and sounded great. Thank goodness the weatherman was wrong and thank goodness for a great day.

I ran DK (5 jumps), Fender (2 jumps), Dancer, Digger, and Dailey,

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A Talk with DK

Me:  Welcome to the big leagues.

DK:  What?

Me:  You are Dennis's replacement.

DK:  Seriously?

Me:  Yep. Dennis is in Kentucky with a guy named Ryan.

DK:  So?

Me:  So all the pressure is on you.

DK:  I'm prettier. I'm louder. I'm faster. I jump more rabbits. And you know you like me better.

Me:  You know I really liked Dennis.

DK:  My litter is the best ever. There's Shine and Birdie and that UKC champion and Steve Ety's buddy has a great jump dog and that guy from Alabama or somewhere down south called you. That's why you let me have pups with Martha.

Me:  Yeah yeah.  Well, you have a lot to live up to.

DK:  Seriously? Just shut up and give me a couple of scoops of dog food. We got this.

Me:  You aren't worried about Dennis being gone?

DK:  The door is open. I'm busting through. Step back and enjoy the ride. I heard you tell the Old Man I was the best young jump dog you've ever owned.

Me:  You still have a lot to prove.

DK:  Shut up already. We've got this. You would never have sold Dennis if you were worried. I know you. You have a plan.

Me:  Why is it that every time I talk to a dog it makes me crazy?  Here, have some Pride and don't let this go to your head.

DK:  Crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Mike Made my Day

I saw one of my favorite beaglers Saturday and he made my day. I was at Chillicothe's ARHA Little Pack hunt and saw Mike Myers. He and his son, Daron have a female out of Logan Elm Neal. They raised a litter of pups out of her last summer.  

It sounds like the pups have crazy hunt. Mike told stories about the pup just taking off totally on their own. One time the pups got out of their pen and headed across the field and down the road. A neighbor called and they got them back. Rather than hang around the yard, every pup just had mad hunt and went looking for something. Whenever the pups are loose, they hit the weeds and don't look back.

Logan Elm Neal is one of my all time favorite dogs. The thing I loved the most out of him was his crazy desire and endless hunt. When I heard these stories about his grandsons and granddaughters and they have this inner desire to search for game, it makes me smile. 

I don't know how Mike's pups will turn out, but they have the most important trait. With this inner desire to go hunt, all things are possible. Mike made my day today telling me that my all time favorite dog passed on the trait that made him my best dog ever.

Will He Reproduce?

I get asked a lot, will he be a reproducer? Do you have any pups? How do his pups look? This weekend that question was answered.

I took two of Logan Elm Dennis's pups to their first hunts at Chillicothe. On Saturday, Logan Elm Defender placed 4th. On Sunday Logan Elm Dancer placed 2nd. These pups are 17 months old at their first hunt, running in the snow with single digit temperatures.

On top of that, Dennis won the champion class Saturday and Logan Elm DK won on Sunday. I think it's safe to say that Dennis is going to be like his parents, Reproducer HOF GR R CH Logan Elm Neal and HOF GR R CH Big Meadows Breezy.

Thanks to Dennis Kennedy for making the cross that produced Dennis and helped continue the tradition of reproducing rabbit hounds at Logan Elm Beagles.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

A Terrorist Pack

I ran a terrorist pack yesterday for the first hour. I had a bunch of fanatics that just wanted to blow stuff up. And they sure blew it up. Even when Cole and Meg kept trying to straighten things out they made it hard for them. They sure believed in what they were doing though. No one could deny their passion.

Luckily for me (and for them) as the day progressed they decided to try a little harder to run the rabbit at a slightly more reasonable speed. They actually decided to try running by turning somewhere close to where the rabbit turned. 

On the last chase of the day they sounded like they were running a fox. I didn't think the older dogs would trash, but I was starting to wonder. When the rabbit finally crossed in front of me, I breathed a little sigh of relief and then my chest really puffed out. 

Scenting conditions were good with a bit of rain as I ran. I am sure this helped the young dogs get a nose full and tune in. It also helped Cole and Meg keep stuff together. When you head out with three pups under a year old and another dog under two that haven't been run in a few days, you can expect a few issues. I'm just glad my dogs got it together in the end and actually ran like they should.

I ran Cole, Meg, Dancer, DK, Defender, and Dina.

Monday, April 25, 2016

A Difference of Opinion

At the end of the cast, two dogs are tied. It's up to the judge to pick the winner based on hunting and handling. Anyone that has ever run in ARHA Little Pack has been involved in this situation. There is no explanation in the rule book to help the judge. This is entirely his opinion. Some of the time the decision is obvious. Most of the time you could easily find reason to pick either dog.

I was recently involved in a situation like this. It was in a cast that had a lot of barking with two dogs minusing out and being removed from the cast. A third dog (blue collar) was just about to get a minus when my dog and another dog jumped a rabbit and they finally had a chase. Going into this final chase the score was Yellow = 50, Red = 25, Blue = 0.

The chase started off really hard with the dogs pounding. My dog (red collar) had the first three checks. The dogs had a long breakdown but we had a marked line. There was a lot of barking around with dogs starting to get the check, then turning around and coming back. There was no clear forward progress for a few minutes but a lot of barking.  Finally, the yellow collar dog made some progress and was awarded a check. The chase ended at a loss as time expired so we caught the dogs and headed for the trucks.

When the judge read off the score, he had two dogs (yellow and red collar) tied with 75 points/three checks each. Here are the different perspectives from the cast.

The judge picked the yellow collar dog. He said both dogs hunted the same but towards the end, the red collar stood around for a little bit on the checks. He picked the yellow collar dog as the winner based on that.

The handler for the yellow collar dog was upset because he felt he should have been awarded two more checks. He felt like his dog should have been scored checks each time it made any progress. According to the rule book, this is technically right, the question is what is forward progress.

The handler of the blue collar dog was upset because he felt his dog should have been awarded at least two checks on the last race. He definitely barked the most, and his owner felt he should have been scored for what he did.

As the handler of the red collar I was fairly confident that I had won. As a judge, I would have minused the blue collar at least once for pulling dogs out of the check area and probably the yellow collar as well. I will admit though, I am biased. I hate mouthy dogs so I am especially critical when dogs are barking and not making forward progress. I did appreciate the fact that the judge took his time scoring and made dogs earn their checks. I saw my dog stop in a path once on a check and just look at the other two dogs when they were barking. I know he was wondering what in the heck all that barking was about.

I think this cast shows what makes beagle field trials so difficult for participants. 

The judge is a good judge, was fair to everyone in the cast, and made a decision based on what he felt was right. 

The handler for the blue collar is very inexperienced with dogs and field trials. He knew when he heard his dog and he wanted scored. 

The handler for the yellow collar has a nice dog and I really think all the barking in the cast had her a little scattered. He knows from running her that usually when she opens up, she has the rabbit. Ironically, he scores less checks than any judge I have ever run under, but expected his dog to get scored in this chase.

In no way do I mean this to be critical. I hope it shows the challenges that judges and handlers face in so many casts. We all have different opinions. We all have different likes and dislikes. We all view situations based on our own preferences. Field trialing is tough.

I still think I should have won though.  :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Cole for a Present

Logan Elm Cole
Everyone knows the old joke about getting a lump of coal in your stocking for Christmas. Although I have often deserved it, I've never had it happen. Lately though, I feel like I got an amazing present of another kind of Cole. And this one was totally unexpected. 

Cole and his sister, Poppy were born three years ago. They are out of Logan Elm Hot Head X Fox Creek Blue Belle. Cole has always been kind of an extra dog. I would run him some, whenever I had room or needed a dog to fill out the pack. He has tremendous energy and grit, but never really set himself apart in any way.

Over Christmas I had a couple dogs that got cut from the A team and a couple go on injured reserve. Cole hadn't been run much all fall, but these circumstances bumped him up into the starting lineup. He didn't have the best start, running pheasants a few times the first day, and barking around when he shouldn't. He was at the make it or break it point. Mr. Tri-Tronics and I had a few stern talks with him over the next few days. Of course he started to pout and didn't want to hunt much.

After a couple of weeks, I started to see some real progress. Then something just clicked. He had one day rabbit hunting when he jumped 6 rabbits. Since then, it has been all good. He just keeps running more and more rabbit, getting checks, and jumping rabbits. He has been amazingly consistent and because he has so much energy, he can do it for as long as I want to run.

I wish I could say I knew it was going to happen, but I just plain missed it. I had no idea Cole could become a special kind of dog. I really liked both of his parents and like his sister, but I just didn't expect this out of him. I guess that is why this Cole is the best kind of present.

Tonight, it was 80° when I started. The dogs still have a heavy coat and got hot, but they hung in there and ran well. With the sudden switch to warmer temperatures in our area, it seems like the rabbits haven't adjusted yet. They will run about two circles and head for a hole. Cole jumped five rabbits. ARHA, UKC, PKC, running dogs, or rabbit hunting, it doesn't matter. That makes him the winner.

I ran Cole, Meg, DK, Dancer, and Defender.

P.S. David, the order doesn't always tell it all but some times it does and this is one of those times.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A Talk With Dennis After the 2016 World Hunt

Me:  Congrats there Mr. Big Shot!

Dennis:  What?
Logan Elm Dennis
2016 ARHA Reserve World Champion

Me:  2016 ARHA World Hunt Reserve Champion

Dennis:  So?

Me:  You did a great job. I had so many people that said nice things about you. You made the World Hunt a blast for me.

Dennis:  OK

Me:  Didn't you have fun?

Dennis:  I spent almost a week in the trailer.

Me:  Yeah but you ran great. In one cast you beat a World Champion and Reserve World Champion. People know your name.

Dennis:  Does that mean I get more girlfriends?

Me:  I don't know. I'm talking about the World Hunt.

Dennis:  Let's talk about what matters like more girlfriends.

Me:  Placing at the ARHA World Hunt matters a lot to me. We worked hard for that.

Dennis: We worked hard? Seriously?

Me:  Welllllll, good job.

Dennis: Just get me more girlfriends. I like the way they smell.

I had a great time this year at the World Hunt. Even though Dennis wasn't too impressed by it all, I was. The running this year was much better than last. I saw several casts that really smoked. The friendship and sportsmanship was the best. On every cast that I handled or spectated, everyone seemed to have a good time.

Overall the Logan Elm dogs ran well. Tony ran great but didn't have a lot of running. Cole was in an awesome cast of dogs that smoked a rabbit for 45 minutes and caught it right at the end. DK's cast didn't have much running and by the time he settled in and started to take over, the cast was over. Congrats to his littermate brother, Big Meadows Shine owned by Dennis and David Kennedy which was Reserve World Champion in the Open Class.

As anyone that has ever attended the World Hunt knows, it takes a lot of things to go right for a dog to place. In fact, a lot of the times when a dog doesn't place it may not be due to the dog. That's what makes it great when a dog makes it through to the end.

As long time Kentucky beagler. Frank Fulks said, it takes five things to happen to place at the World: 

1. Luck
2. Good judges
3. Good running
4. A good dog
5. A lot of luck

I feel really lucky as I look back at this year's World Hunt. It's impossible to describe how much the friendship and laughter means. Conversations in the clubhouse, in the campground, out on casts, and at dinner after long days in the field make this such a special event. Seeing friends from near and far make the World Hunt the highlight of my year. I can't wait for next year.

Monday, March 28, 2016


Slammin, slammin, slammin; that is the only way to describe tonight's running. I'm not sure how three dogs can run like they did, but they did. It was all about power and drive. There wasn't any finesse. It wasn't for the weak of heart. At times it wasn't too pretty. It was all about power. 

If you like the little line up and take your turn dogs, you would have hated tonight. If you want a little train of rabbit dogs, it wasn't here. At times, I didn't like it, but man oh man the power. This was about three males and all were dominant. This was about I'm the King, follow me peasants. It was about take charge, fight to the death and no prisoners.

I never expected what happened tonight. I just went out in front of the house for an hour. Much, much later, I leashed them up and walked in a little numb. The dogs screamed. It was an amazing night of running in an all out blitz of rabbit dog power. I don't know if I will ever witness it again, but tonight was amazing. They were slammin like a super sonic boom. 

I ran Cole, Dennis, and DK.

Monday, March 21, 2016

A Great Afternoon with Woodpont

A Typical Woodpont Beagles Scene
The Old Man and I went down and spent the afternoon with Tim Hackworth and his Woodpont Beagles. Tim has maintained the same line of dogs since 1979. He has females that go back 14 generations. This shows amazing dedication to his goals. Visiting with him and watching his hounds go showed what a successful program he has maintained.

We first became interested in his hounds because of their excellent confirmation. He has crossed some show breeding into his line and looking at his hounds it obviously had a huge impact. Not only are they made exceptionally well, he has a consistency through his whole kennel with great back ends, top lines, and square houndy heads. When his pack is running it is almost impossible to pick out one dog from another.

Tim doesn't compete in any type of competition although his kennel is maintained in the manner of traditional formal packs.  He runs a large pack with the goal of the pack working together to account for the rabbits. In his words, I want all the dogs to contribute not one or two to dominate the chase. As much as his dogs look alike, it seems like their running style is even more similar. Most have a chop mouth, run with a good bit of speed, while staying fairly close to the line.

Tim drove to a nearby running grounds to cast the hounds. He turned loose 15 hounds from 1-10 years old. Tim worked the hounds in the tradition of the huntsman in formal pack. They were amped up and the first couple of chases were a little hit and miss with some extra excitement barks thrown in. Once the hounds settled in they really ran. They had a couple of shorter chases where they accounted for the rabbits, holing them in rock ledges. The pack had one exceptional chase driving a rabbit way over this big hill and circling around a couple times before holing it. It was some beautiful music echoing off the hills of Southeastern Ohio.

We traveled to Tim's beagle farm with a purpose. We took Logan Elm Stacy, a young female with a lot of our dogs in her pedigree down to breed. The Old Man and I are anxious to see if this cross will add some pups with superior conformation while maintaining great field ability to our kennel.

Thanks to Tim Hackworth of Woodpont Beagles for a great afternoon. You could never find a more gracious host gladly sharing his knowledge, experience, ideas, and opinions of all things beagles.

Woodpont Black Mayor

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

I Wish This was Me

I read this on the Hunted Hare Board from Tom in Minnesota and was impressed with his dedication to pups. 

Always interested in how other people do stuff.

I have 7 puppies right now. When I am "down south" during the work week I have a couple acres fenced in around the kennel. I leave them out as much as possible, just leave one kennel door open so they can go inside and sleep.

When I'm at the farm they run loose. Have been since they were weaned. Anyone that comes over knows they will get mobbed by a pack of puppies. Kind of us a pain, but I think it's important.

I watch out the window and when they are out away from the house I will take out a scrap dish or something and call them. They have been called in hundreds of times and they know what it means. They come running.

They have all been tied up to a dog house at one time or another and are leash broke.

I try to walk them as often as possible. Maybe a half mile or so out around the farm, through water, down the roads back to where we run, around deer, with the old dogs and without. They are starting to hunt now so I have started to put shock collars on them. I don't shock them at all the first few times they wear one.

Now I will start teaching them more discipline. When they start to range out while we are out on walk I'll call them back in. When they don't listen, I'll start out with the shock collar on 1 and go up as high as needed to get them back in. they all get this lesson as often as needed until they learn to come in when called no matter what. 

Walking and hunting are two different things and they werelearn the difference pretty easy. On walk you stay with me, when we hunt you go hunti. Even the hardest hunting dogs can learn this easier than you think. I think because it is natural for dogs to travel in packs and walking is traveling, not hunting.

The next thing I do is take them hunting where there are lots of deer and no rabbits. I take 5 dogs because I have 5 shock collars. When one starts a track I let anyone join in that wants to, then I light them up. I don't say anything. Just shock them on 6. 

I usually have them started on rabbits pretty good before this, but maybe not. Just depends on the dog. I have one in this litter now that hunts like crazy. She's running rabbits pretty good, had to shock her off a coyote Saturday and deer on Sunday. These kind turn your hair gray, but they make good dogs.

This summer I will start hunting these pups more and by next fall I plan to put a lot of hard miles on them. The best ones will stay and the rest will have to go.

I have raised pups this way for years, have some year classes that I still have 2, some 1, lots of year classes nobody is left. I'm hoping I have so many turn out this year I'll have too many good dogs.