|Top of the Hill Clearcut |
(My favorite spot)
Yesterday we cut the dogs loose. They headed down into the clearcut and we didn't see them again for an hour and forty-five minutes. It was a cool morning and the dogs and the rabbits felt like running. Every hunter knows the kind of morning I am talking about. One of those where the air is fresh and the warmth of the sun brightens the world.
After several chases, the dogs came in for a quick drink, and then headed down the hill back into the briary cutover. Butcher quickly jumped a rabbit and we didn't see them for another forty minutes. And so it went for over four hours.
This morning was much the same. The dogs started a rabbit just a couple of minutes out of the truck. They smoked for the next hour and a half, spliting three different times, and then getting back together. It was warming up quickly so we called the dogs in for a drink. Lim stayed out and before all the dogs even had a chance to catch their breath, they pulled to him and ran for another hour before they holed a rabbit and came in for a drink.
The spots we ran the last two mornings are very similar. Both are 4 - 5 year old clearcuts with briars and cover as thick as can be. Both have spots of 50 acres or more with no breaks or lanes and total 200 acres or more. Both have good rabbit populations. BUT, both have the same problem--if you want to see your dogs, you are out of luck. It is almost impossible to ever see the dogs.
In over eight hours of running over two days, in two spots, the old man and I didn't see the dogs run for 50 yards total. The dogs ran great with a lot of dogs contributing. Most checks were short and you never knew which dogs was going to get the next check. If you wanted to watch your dog though, it was just impossible.
Would you give up seeing your dogs run, just to have great chases. Do you like big chases that sound like the dogs are after a fox? Do you like to hear your dogs drive over one hill and up the next, circle around, and stampede back? If so, you may like running in a clearcut.