03-03-2013, 11:33 AM
Join Date: Oct 2012
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
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Beagles and bassets don't really flush like a pointer or spaniel would flush a pheasant. They get on a track and open up, or howl to alert that they have found the track. Rarely will you get a sight chase early on. While on the trail a good rabbit hound gives a steady chop chop chop style bark getting more frantic as they get closer. Rabbit hunting with dogs plays on the natural tendency of the rabbit to circle back to its den. Rabbits are homebodies, when they think they are far enough ahead of the dogs they circle back, not wanting to leave their territory.
Your biggest challenges will be recall/staying in range and running off game like deer or birds.
The most important thing is teach the dog to be vocal. Get pelts, tame rabbits, visit a starting pen in your area (I may be able to help you find one) or make your own pen if you have the space.
Beagles and bassets will never handle or behave like bird dogs. They are different breeds that do a totally different style of hunting. Hounds of any sort are inherently independent and autonomous. thats why it is essential to have your hound well trained and be super in tune with their tendencies in the woods, because once the chase is on, the hound many times will be out of your sight and thinking for himself (the out of sight thing is also why they need to be vocal. A silent trailing beagle is about as useful as a solar powered flashlight)
You'll love rabbit hunting! Beware its addicting, after your first season I bet you'll be set on a few more hounds!
Pm me any time with any hunting questions and I'd be more than happy to help! I've always had hunting dogs and have my first beagle now and we love to bag some bunnies when we get the chance!