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 . . .

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.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

What is Enough?

I was sitting looking out the window this evening. It was a little foggy with a slight rain coming down. My mind slipped away and I started thinking about yesterday. I spent about five hours looking at the scene in the picture above and watching some great chases. I thought about how the running would be tonight and really just wanted to go load the dogs and head out.

Unfortunately it wasn't going to happen. I would have to borrow some dogs to run. Mine are just wore out. Hard running yesterday and more hard running this morning has them tired. Of course, the fact that they haven't had but a few days off since Thanksgiving might have something to do with it too.

It's been a great winter with some amazing running. It started as a mess with dogs too soft and too sloppy. Luckily it is ending with the memory of many great chases with young dogs coming on and pups showing so much promise. 

What is enough? When will I get sick of running so much? I'm not sure. Maybe after tomorrow, or the next day, or the next . . .

Today I ran Dennis, Cole, and Ding. The Old Man ran JJ, Chip, and Tony. It was 55° with a bit of rain now and then.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Snowy Blue Night

Once in a while you are out running your beagles and everything is perfect. This was that kind of night. The snow was falling slowly in light flakes. There was no wind and the temperature held steady at 30°.  The rabbits were out and seemed to be enjoying the beautiful winter evening as much as me.

Scenting conditions were good and the dogs ran well. They jumped the first rabbit quickly and all of the chases lasted a while. When a rabbit holed it seemed like another one was ready to take its place. I was on a narrow gravel road and didn't have a single car come through all night. Everything was just right.

I ran Dennis, Cole, Poppy, Dancer, Ding, and Dilly.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Next Generation Excitement

Logan Elm Dancer
Of all things that make running beagles exciting, it seems like nothing compares with bringing on the next generation. There are so many hopes and dreams and the thrills are the best and the disappointments are heart breaking. Anyone that has ever raised pups has fought through the highs and lows that come with taking young dogs to the field.

Last summer we raised a couple of litters of pups. Months later, it is all starting to pay off. This winter, the Old Man and I have been spending a lot of time working with the next generation at Logan Elm Beagles. Each time in the field, the pups are beginning to show their worth and earn their way to a spot on the A team.

Most of the pups we are working with were sired by Logan Elm Dennis. This is his first crop of pups, so there is a lot of anxiety. For months I have been wondering if he can continue in the tradition laid down by his sire, Logan Elm Neal, and grandsire, Hobo. Considering that Hobo is in the ARHA Reproducer Hall of Fame and Neal produced a World Hunt winner and a lot of fine rabbit hounds, it is a lot to expect.

I have spent a lot of time running Logan Elm Dancer (Dennis X Diamond) and Logan Elm Ding (Dennis X Dilly). At this point both look like they are going to be a main part of my pack. In fact, for the last month, even though they are still young, they are proving their value.

The Old Man has been running Digger, Defender, and Daily. These are littermates to Dancer out of Dennis and Diamond. Although he has kept them mostly hidden, he continues to talk about how all three are fairly even in ability with a lot of hunt and the ability to run a lot of rabbit for their age. He is also running Logan Elm Suzie who is out of a littermate sister of Dennis. She came from Jeff Kerns' Flattop Kennel and shows a lot of promise, especially as a jump dog.

At this point it's hard to say which of these pups will withstand the pressure of becoming the future of the kennel. Each time I run I watch closely looking at the good and bad. Each is continually evaluated watching for strengths and weaknesses. It's an exciting time a Logan Elm Beagles. The next generation is coming on and giving hope for great running down the road.

Logan Elm Ding

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Hogs in the Wild

You never know what you might see running dogs in the clearcuts. I shot this video of a wild boar in Vinton County last weekend.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Great Start to the New Year

We had a box full of young dogs. Our goal was to shoot around them and kill a rabbit or two. We picked a spot that is a lot easier than many of the places we run. It was a switchgrass and weed field with a couple of small woods ajoining it on one side and a wooded hillside on the other. Although it had had a lot of hunting pressure this year, there was still a decent rabbit population.

The Old Man and I cut the dogs loose and away they went. I couldn't help but wonder who would jump the rabbits. Fifteen minutes later and still no chase and I was really worried. Then Cole jumped a rabbit and they all fired in making some music. They circled the rabbit, even working across a corner for about 80 yards across a plowed field. This chase and the next two were a little more choppy than I like with too many checks but the dogs settled in and got better throughout the day.

The time between races was really short today. After each chase, the dogs quickly jumped another rabbit. Cole had the best day of his life. He jumped at least 6 rabbits.  Plus he ran a lot of the front and got way more than his share of the checks. It will be very interesting to see if he can keep this going. 

All of our dogs are the walking wounded. My long Christmas break, a trip to run hare, and no time off has them needing a break. Even so, they had a good day. They hunted pretty well and seemed real intense on the checks. Even though the young dogs had to be the show, they did well. I even shot a rabbit today. Who knows, a few of the young dogs may even become the experts some day.

I ran Cole, Martha, Meg, DK, and Ding. The Old Man ran JJ, Dilly, and Suzie.