Dillon Corridor and Jake Huggins pose with two beagles and the outcomes of a day of rabbit looking.
By Jonathan Bowman
If you happen to’ve by no means been looking earlier than, a rabbit hunt is likely to be the most effective species to start out with. They’re simple to wash, versatile within the kitchen, and considerable in each a part of Virginia.
The overall concept of rabbit looking is that you’ve specifically educated dogs that love nothing extra on the planet than to chase after the scent of a rabbit. Sometimes just a few skilled hunters will accompany the dog handler into the thickets the place the rabbits prefer to spend most of their time in the course of the day. The remainder of the looking get together will then line up alongside a highway or subject the place they’ve a larger subject of view to shoot the rabbit when it runs out of the thicket.
If you wish to discover rabbits, search for the thickest, nastiest patch of briars on the property and begin there. The dogs (usually beagles) will wiggle their little butts into the thicket with out hesitation, and after they discover the scent of the primary rabbit, they are going to alert everybody round with a loud and authoritative howl. The opposite dogs will run over in a (largely) single file line to affix within the howling. They then proceed to wind by the thickets and forests following the rabbit’s path. It’s each amusing and spectacular to watch.
This previous February, I used to be in a position to be part of my good buddy and seasoned rabbit hunter, Jake Huggins. Jake and his spouse Casey reside in Powhatan with their new child woman, Claire, 9 rabbit-hunting beagles, and one goldendoodle home dog named Mila. I chatted with Jake about rabbit looking:
When did you begin rabbit looking and who invited you/took you?
I began going rabbit looking once I was 5 years previous. My dad’s finest buddy had rabbit dogs and we might go along with him each weekend after deer season ended. I’m 25 now and have been hooked ever since that first time my dad took me.
What about rabbit looking made you so dedicated that you’ve 9 devoted rabbit dogs?
I like the motion that rabbit looking supplies. You’re up within the briars with the dogs, and it feels such as you’re a part of a giant workforce working collectively to attempt to get that chase going. I like working with the dogs and watching them work collectively. Every dog’s power takes care of one other dog’s weak point. They listen to one another and hear to one another and it’s a extremely cool factor watching how every dog reacts to 1 one other.
Not solely is it enjoyable watching the dogs nevertheless it’s a good time attempting to get in entrance of the dogs to reap the rabbit. Lots of people don’t perceive the enjoyment of rabbit looking, however there may be nothing on this world that runs like a rabbit. They’re slick. They’ll run up beneath previous barns or sheds and are available hauling out of the opposite facet whereas the dogs are all proper there after which the chase is on once more. Rabbits will make you look unhealthy, regardless of how good of a shot you assume you might be, and it’s an awesome alternative to get family and friends collectively within the outside to have some enjoyable and trash speak a little bit bit.
What breed of dogs do you employ and why?
All my dogs are short-legged beagles round 13″ tall. I really feel this measurement is ideal for me with the kind of terrain I hunt. They’re sufficiently small to stand up beneath the thickest briars, however not too small to the place the rabbit will get manner out in entrance of them. I take into account my dogs to run an higher medium velocity which is quick sufficient to maintain strain on the rabbit and hold him transferring however not too quick to the place they are going to catch the rabbit.
What’s your favourite method to cook dinner a rabbit? My favourite method to cook dinner rabbit meat is to fry it. I’ll debone the rabbit and minimize the rabbit meat into massive rooster nugget-sized items. I’ll beat it with a meat hammer a pair occasions on either side, dip it in some whipped up eggs, coat it in a Home Autry seafood breading combined with another seasonings and put it within the frying pan and cook dinner till it’s golden-brown coloured.
How do you suggest somebody will get began with rabbit looking in the event that they’ve by no means achieved it earlier than?
If you happen to’ve by no means rabbit hunted earlier than I undoubtedly suggest attempting it at the very least for the expertise. There are a number of good movies on-line of individuals rabbit looking and having an excellent time whereas doing it. I personally received’t rabbit hunt with out dogs, so if you understand somebody with rabbit dogs, ask if they are going to deliver you out. It’s not like sitting in a tree stand and having to be quiet (though that’s additionally very gratifying). It’s a special sort of looking. You’re transferring round and speaking with your folks more often than not, however whereas the dogs are working it’s finest to remain nonetheless and quiet to place your self able to get a shot. I usually hunt with 5 to 10 individuals. We all the time know the place one another are so we might be as protected as doable, along with sporting blaze orange. There’s by no means a uninteresting second within the woods, and also you undoubtedly see one thing new each time you exit.
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Jonathan Bowman lives in Amelia County, the place he spends as a lot time as doable looking, fishing, and cooking. Jonathan loves sharing his passions with others, and is decided to in the future persuade his spouse to affix him on a turkey hunt.