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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, February 12, 2014

Where Did the Scent Go?

Which Way Did He Go?
A Great Question For Tonight's Running
Jeff and I were so excited. It finally warmed up a little. The crust was off the snow. We met down at a big clearcut with high hopes. The running had been OK but we knew tonight was going to be better. It was great just to see that snow soften up. 

I cut loose about 20 minutes before Jeff got there. Chip jumped a rabbit and I had a couple of good, hard circles. I was pumped up for sure. The rabbit crossed the lane and I walked down to be on top of the crossing. Then the race blew up. About 40 yards from the road the dogs shut up and never barked again. 

Jeff pulled up and turned Wes and Flame loose. I called my dogs up and we put all the dogs on the line. They ran about 40 yards and lost the rabbit again. We gave them plenty of time but they never got the track going again.

During the next several hours we had plenty of rabbits. Most sounded like they were jumped out of the set. But the races were never good. Some lasted a while, but all were choppy with way too many checks. None of the races were steady and none lasted as long as they should.

This same bunch of dogs has been running good in the snow all winter. What was going on tonight? Conditions should have better, or at least I thought they should. Unfortunately tonight was way tougher running than almost any we had seen all winter. And as the night went on, it got colder and the snow crusted. Then we really struggled.

Once again, running dogs showed me there is still a lot to learn. It seems when I think I know about running dogs, the lessons just keep coming.

I ran Chip, Butcher, Gypsy, Ob, and Jed. It was 30° when we started and 19 by the time we quit.

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