Welcome to the home of Logan Elm Beagles. Our kennel was started by my dad, Jim McGuire a lifetime ago. Rabbit hunting and running hounds has been a part of our family forever. My great grandfather was rabbit hunting in the hills of eastern Kentucky in the early 1900's. My dad, my brother, Gregg and I have been running dogs, rabbit hunting, and field trialing for the last 45 years here in central Ohio. I started this website in hopes of keeping a record of activities and our dogs to help our kennel as we strive to produce the best rabbit hounds possible.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

It Was Wild!

You take some young dogs and run them hard during the winter/hunting season. You try to give them lots of chances to figure out what being a rabbit dog means. You pound them in a pack, trying to maximize opportunity and minimize chances for trouble. They are just starting to look good and figure some things out. Then you put them up for two months.

So then you take five dogs and do everything possible to get them at the top of their game. You run them hard and then run them sharp. In other words, run them all they can physically stand to get them in top shape, and then run them at the top of their game to maximize their ability. Then give them two weeks off.

Then you load the whole bunch up and head for a big clearcut. You see a rabbit crossing the lane on the way in and you know it's going to be exciting. You collar up the dogs and away they go. They pound off the hill so fast they are almost outrunning their bark.

You are on the edge of 2,000 acres and you may need it all. When you see the dogs on the first check, it seems like they are going to use it all just regaining the track. Quickly, Butcher snatched it up and away they went, hammering off the hill again.

The ARHA World Hunt is over and it's back to just running for fun. The dogs had a blast and most of the time, I did too. Some of the races were a little choppy, some of the time. Most chases though were fast and furious. It was wild but I had a blast.

I ran Butcher, Ob, Chip, Gypsy, Kurly, Dennis, David, and Trick.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A Sick World Hunt

It started with a sneeze as we pulled out. Little did I know how sick would come to describe this year's World Hunt. In twenty years of competing at the World, I have never seen anything like this one. 

At this year's World Hunt:

1.  I spent at least four hours a day sleeping in the truck.
2.  ARHA only ran two rounds on Thursday because of thunderstorms.
3.  I was too sick (flu) to run most of my dogs and can hardly remember running the ones that I did.
4.  I spent about 12 hours a day in bed at the motel.
5.  We ran 12 dogs that never won a cast (last year we had 9 dogs that won their first round).
6.  Evansville, IN set the record for rain in a 24 hour period while we were there.
7.  There was a tornado siren 40 yards from our motel window that went off at least 6 times Thursday night.
8.  The back of my head is still sore from it laying on the head rest in the truck.
9.  I got a lot of weird looks from people who went away thinking I was as rude as ever because my brain was working about like going 10 mph on a super speedway.
10. I infected more people than Magic Johnson but at least it was with the flu and not AIDS.
11. Gypsy ran so bad she got an immediate pass to retirement.
12. Got to meet Zach Moore and Aaron White from Kansas, show them how horrible a couple of my dogs could run, and felt too bad to even think up some kind of excuse.
13. Went to the Log Cabin, one of best restaurants in the world twice but was too sick to eat and couldn't taste what I did eat.
14. Saw a lot of people I had been waiting a year to see and then couldn't think enough to carry on a conversation.
15. I sneezed enough to fill a five gallon bucket and spread millions of flu germs throughout Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana.
16. Gregg ran Jake and got scratched because he couldn't catch him (even with 7 people helping). I caught him when he ran down the road and sat down at the back of the truck.
17. Jeff and I found out that some people would do anything to win including ruin any chance of a friendship but the guy still got last in the cast. :)
18. When a judge says, "I missed that one check" it's not a good thing.
19. We ran 12 dogs that never won a cast (for all kinds of reasons which I am still trying to figure out).
20. Oh, by the way, did I say I had the flu?
21. We had one dog that won a cast and he just kept winning until he was a World Champion and really that's all that matters.

To anyone that tried to talk to me at the World, if I seemed off my rocker, I was and I am sorry. To anyone I might have infected, I am truly sorry (don't worry you will be up to 50% in a week). All I can say is this was one sick World Hunt.  Congrats to those that placed. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

2014 ARHA LP World Champion Logan Elm Bailey

ARHA LP World Champion
Logan Elm Bailey
Congrats to Gregg McGuire and his son Matt on winning the Open Class at the ARHA Little Pack World Hunt in Evansville, IN. Bailey ran strong in each round, showing he was the hound to beat. He had a strike jump and then got the first check to start every round. Once he got the lead, he never let up. He won the final cast 215 - 100 - 25.

Bailey has always been a good jump dogs but over the winter his track running strength has come on strong. He has a high clear short bawl that stands out as he runs a track. All of Gregg's hard work training really paid off at this year's World Hunt.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Ready for the World, Well Maybe . . .

The Winter That Just Won't Let Go
It's a little weird, but I almost hate to see the ARHA Little Pack World come this year. I have been pounding the same five dogs for the last couple of months. The crazy weather conditions and growing pains (ability wise) of Kurly has driven me a little nuts at times. Plus, getting the old dogs in top form is always a challenge.

As I ran yesterday though, I realized how easy running has become. The dogs are tuned. When you turn them lose they get gone and jump a rabbit. They are on their toes and full of energy. They are running as a team without distraction. They run like they mean it, driving out checks and pursuing with the intent to catch. When they hole a rabbit, they come in like they should.

Today, Kurly jumped the first rabbit. Chip got the first check. Then Gypsy, Butcher and Ob got a check. I was running five dogs and all five scored before another dog scored. Then Butcher got another check, and then Kurly, and so it went all day. 

After the World it all changes. I will get the young dogs and pups back out. I am sure they will throw in a few challenges, both with handling and running. The easy days like yesterday will be gone for a while. Although I am excited to see how my young dogs progress, I know there will be plenty of pot holes in the road, but I can't wait to pound them. 

It's always exciting to see who can rise to the next level. I will be running Trick, Dennis, David, Cole, Billy, Silly, Jimmy, and Fury. It will be interesting to see who will still be around in the fall. In the mean time though, there's this thing called the World Hunt with about 700 dogs waiting.

Today I ran Chip, Ob, Kurly, Gypsy, and Butcher.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Well Hello Gypsy

Logan Elm Gypsy
The dogs screamed tonight. Jeff and I ran at the landfill and the dogs burned it up. They ran heads up the entire night. A good part of the races were almost as hard as the dogs could physically run. It was fast and furious and a lot of fun.

Gypsy has been through a slump forever. She raised pups in back to back litters. This slowed her down and allowed her to get totally out of shape. Then she got the tick disease, Ehrlichiosis. This robbed her of all of her energy and fire. Basically she has been just another dog and not a very good one at that.

Tonight though, she slayed them. She was absolutely slamming. She got short checks and long checks. She kept all the races going. She ran the front a lot of the time. When she didn't have the front, she was just a slight breakdown from regaining it.

The dogs burned it up tonight and Gypsy was a large part of the reason why. I had almost forgotten how she could control the day. Tonight though, she sure reminded me and was it ever great. It was awesome and I can't wait to run tomorrow!

I ran Gypsy, Chip, Ob, Kurly, and Buther. Jeff Allen ran Wes and Flame. It was 37° and cloudy.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sure and Steady or Full of Flash

Logan Elm Obstruction
Today I ran with Jeff Allen and Delbert Erb. We ran at Jeff's lease for close to 6 hours and had some real good chases. The last hour was especially good with dogs hammering across the hollow on this big hillside clearcut. A lot of dogs contributed to the day and it was a great way to spend the day. We had a good time with lots of time to talk about dogs.

Towards the end of the running, Jeff mentioned to me what a great day Ob had. Driving home I started thinking about his comment and had to smile. Ob isn't a superstar. He is just a good dog that keeps getting better. 

The Old Man, Gregg, and I have all owned Ob at one time. This winter I have really put a lot of hours into him. He has become a good, steady, dependable dog. He jumps rabbits. He gets his share of checks. Other dogs run the front more than him, but he runs so much rabbit that he keeps finding his way to the front of the pack more and more.

Contrast this with Kurly, his 3/4 brother. Kurly get noticed, good or bad. He is less than 18 months old, but sticks out in any pack. He can get a check and run half a circle pounding the front. He can also cause some problems dragging the pack around when he should settle down a little.

Luckily, I have both dogs and they benefit from each other's strengths. As I thought about Jeff's comment though, I knew most people would prefer Full of Flash over Sure and Steady. In fact, many times that would be my choice. I have to say though, it sure was nice to be running Sure and Steady today. It's also nice to run with someone that notices the difference.

I ran Gypsy, Ob, Chip, Butcher, and Kurly. Jeff ran Wes and Flame. Delbert ran Flame, Cooter, and Bitty. It was 37° and mostly cloudy.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

How Bad Do You Want It?

Keith's (Norwester) Boomer Dog That Makes it Possible
For him to Run in the Tough Canadian Weather
For me, owning the best beagles possible is an all-consuming passion. I know it and just accept it. There is never a day that I don't spend a good part of it thinking about beagles, running beagles, talking about beagles, and for the last year or so, writing about beagles. This is something I will do the rest of my life. I have run all of my life and I just don't see it changing.

Right now, a lot of guys that compete in ARHA are running a bunch as they prepare for the ARHA Little Pack World Hunt on April 3 - 6. Once it is over, they will resume other obligations and hobbies. Once spring hits, a lot of guys get out the boat and start fishing, or coach their kid in baseball. And that is as it should be.

Running for me though, never stops. You might call it an addiction and I couldn't really argue. I run all year long, year after year. Occasionally something will make me think about this.  Norwester wrote this on a recent  post on the Hunted Hare about confirmation,:

When I wrote that the conditions and environment have you backed into a corner....I'm not exaggerating. There were a number of years I had big strong looking handsome hounds...that couldn't circle a hare in winter...not once.
I was telling Bud, and I've told Tom this too, one year I went 6 weeks....NEVER SAW A HARE...and I was running every day.

Now that is what I call dedication. At least I get to see a rabbit or two every day.

Today I ran with the Old Man. I ran Gypsy, Chip, Butcher, Kurly, and Ob. The Old Man ran Tony, Village Girl, and Jed. It was sunny and 45°.

Friday, March 21, 2014

And Then it Gets Even Better

So the Ranger got to spend the night in the woods. The new tires with the super grip were covered in mud. The truck sat there where it slid off the logging road, buried deep in some wet mud with a totally ticked off owner who was mad as everything.

This afternoon, I went over to my brother, Tom's to head out on a Ranger rescue. We hooked up his trailer and loaded his tractor. At least I knew having a tractor with tire chains would get me out. We traveled about 20 miles down to the lease and headed up the big hill to drag out the Ranger.

We unloaded the tractor about half way back to the truck. We piled chains, shovel, chain saw, and jumper cables into the tractor's front end bucket. Then we headed back through the woods to the spot of the buried green truck.

When we got back to the scene of the disaster, I noticed that it didn't look like the front tires were throwing much mud. As I looked closer, I could tell the four wheel drive wasn't working. No wonder the Ranger spun out and ended in a sink hole. Then the passenger hub caught my eye.

I told Tom, I wonder if the hubs are locked in. A quick look and I was madder than ever. We locked the hubs in, I started the truck, and then I pulled out of the mess. The good news--the Ranger was rescued.  The bad news--it really just needed a driver who was a little more than a half wit.

I can't wait to load the dogs in the morning and see what kind of disaster awaits.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

They Stunk

My dogs were so wore out they could hardly walk so I gave them three days off. My reward? Tonight they stunk. What happened to my dogs? They were full of energy. Why didn't they use it productively?Tonight they were horrible. To top it all off, I forgot my collars so I knew if I lost a dog, I was just out of luck.

After an hour of running, I drove back farther on the lease than I had been in quite a while. The dogs were running within minutes. Driving a rabbit was no problem, except for the pack of five dogs couldn't stay together for ten seconds. 

They split and got back together. They wouldn't pull up and then they would overrun. Where did my dogs go? Finally, I couldn't stand it any more. I loaded up and headed for home. Well, I planned on going home. 

Unfortunately a big wet spot in the woods decided to claim the Ranger Danger for the night. Yes, three miles from the road, 9:00 at night, and the Ranger was buried. I did what every idiot does when the tires start spinning. I spun them until there was no hope in ever getting out.

Finally I gave up. I called the Old Man and said I need a ride home. I walked out about half way. While I was waiting for him to get there, the dogs jumped a rabbit and hacked it around. More of the same. Could someone please remind me of the reason why I run dogs? But honestly, I can't wait for the weekend.

I ran Kurly, Ob, Chip, Butcher, and Gypsy. It was 45° and should have been a great night for running.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Rating Dogs

Bud Denny posted about an interesting method for rating dogs on the Hunted Hare Board. His method is explained on this post with some discussion also.

Rate your dogs with 5 points in each category, five being strongest. Hunt, Nose, Line control, Checkwork. As my thinking always is you may be able to fib to everyone else but be honest with yourselves. Just your running dogs but can add pups if you wish. Then what is their strongest point and weakest.

So a rating table would look like this.

So I did this and found out this is hard work. I did it, thought about it, and did it again. Then the Old Man did it, and we compared. It was amazing how similar we scored. And I am still thinking about it and am going to score again. I also thought about adding stamina, conformation, health, value in breeding program, and personality. 

I'm sure this method is not perfect, but the results were interesting. The dogs that scored the highest were Chip, Gypsy, and Hot Head. That really wasn't a surprise to either one of us. Some of the other dogs' scores were a little unexpected, and definitely something I will have to consider. 

This is a great idea and an easy to use tool for someone that is concerned with having the best dogs possible. I am anxious to try it later this spring to evaluate young dogs when I start to put a lot of hours on them. Thanks for a great tool, Bud!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Heart of the Chase

Heart of the Chase?
Chip and Gypsy are always there. It doesn't matter which of my dogs I run, most of the time the chase revolves around them. Other dogs get theirs. But it seems like they always keep themselves in a good position. Usually they are in the middle to front half of the pack. Even in tough cover, they stay in the pocket. When they get out, they get back in quick.

I noticed this last night as I was running. It was in the 70's which is the warmest weather they had seen in several months. The running was fast and furious. Rabbits were out and scenting conditions were good. After a little while though, dogs were fighting to breathe. They still had on their winter coats and the sun was beating down on them.

As the night went on, different dogs had turns where they shined. All of them looked pretty good, but each had chases where they were the top dog in the pack. Through it all though, Chip and Gypsy anchored the pack. I am sure some of this was age and experience, but they have always been like this. 

The longer they ran, the more Kurly was right there with them. I almost wanted to quit listening at one point. I am trying to not get my hopes up too high, because anyone who owns beagles knows how easy it is to get too excited about a young dog but . . .

When I started thinking about the heart of the chase, Boadie came to mind. He was a big, old, ugly bluetick with a clear ball that you would swear was a coonhound. When he opened, dogs just pulled into him. Other hounds surrounded him in the pack, but the pack was his. When the dogs got the edge off and settled into a groove, you could count on great chases with him as the anchor.

Then I started thinking about Hobo running hare. It didn't matter if you were running 5 dogs or 25, he owned races on hare. He always jumped a lot, then he would just take over. He ran a lot of the front, but even when he wasn't leading, you knew someone would miss a turn and he would take over for the next half of the circle.

The more I thought about this heart of the chase thing, the more certain dogs came to mind. Usually they were the ones that were most successful in competition, but what made them great was when you were just out running dogs. Rocky, Nada, Willie, and Jed almost always owned their pack. Neal was the most recent dog that was always the show.

Then Kurly got a check and drove around the hill. Is it safe to dream? Will he be the next on the list? Maybe, maybe not, only time will tell?

I ran Gypsy, Chip, Kurly, Butcher, and Ob. It was 70° when I started but got down to 57 ° by the time I quit.

Monday, March 10, 2014

A Weekend at the Hunts

Logan Elm Kurly
OHBC had hunts Saturday and Sunday. Although it was busy, especially considering we lost an hour's sleep due to the time change Saturday night, it was a great two days. As Secretary/Treasurer for the club, I had plenty to do. Thankfully, a lot of people stepped up and made the job much easier. You can see all the results on the American Beagler Board.

The dogs ran decent, but not great. The cold and snowy winter has definitely made an impact on getting dogs in the groove and ready for trials. Butcher ran well both days and placed 2nd and 4th. The dog that beat him both days became a Grand Champion with his win on Sunday.

Logan Elm Kurly had the chance to go to his first competition this weekend. He is only 17 months old, which is a lot younger than we usually take dogs to field trials. However, he has been competing with the older dogs and seemed like he was ready for the challenge.

Logan Elm Obstruction
On Saturday, he got a little rattled. He got down with a barking idiot that eventually minused out. Kurly got a good bit of work done, but made too many mistakes. He ended up 5th, which is fine considering it was his first hunt. On Sunday, he had a good day. He won his first round and then tied for first in the semi-finals. Although he lost based on the tie-breaker, he ended up 3rd in the hunt. I was very pleased with his weekend, especially considering it was his first time out.  Plus it qualified him to run in the ARHA World Hunt.

 I ran Ob on Sunday and he placed second. He was winning with a minute to go in the finals when the other dog jumped a rabbit to beat him. That's the way it goes in competition. Ob has been in three hunts and has a DNP, 4th, and 2nd. Matt ran Jed on Saturday and in a cast with a lot of barking on the frost, he placed 8th.

We had a great weekend. A lot of friends made it to the OHBC hunts. A lot of guys stepped up to help, especially with judging. The dogs looked OK, especially considering their age, and the limited number  of times they have been in hunts. Next stop, the ARHA World Hunt!