Beagles great for hunting, companionship

Beagle puppy
Gypsy is just a handful right now, but that won't last long. In another couple of weeks, this young beagle be sniffing out whatever treat she can find. That and wrestling with her brothers. (Submitted photo)

There’s a new dog in town and that means at the very least that area cottontail rabbits are soon to be in for a bit of harassment. Soon meaning several months.

So young Gypsy is a long way from knowing the difference between a wild rabbit’s footprint and mom’s breakfast buffet, but it’s highly likely that she will be up to the task by next autumn when Ohio’s lengthy rabbit hunting season opens.

Indeed, Gypsy’s very being is built around a solid family tree of carefully bred beagles, the kind that live to hunt and in the time between days afield provide owners with plenty of family companionship.

If she follows the patterns set by her dam and sire, she’ll be started in just a few months. Gypsy is hardly a fist full of a beagle right now, just a couple weeks or so from entering the world along with a couple of brothers, both of which seem to be consumed by the brotherly task of pushing Gypsy out of the way on their way to the buffet.

But she seems to hold her own, hardly intimidated by her littermates.

Proven pedigree

Gypsy comes from a long line of powerful and accomplished hounds, beagles that earn their keep in the thickest of fields and briars by searching for a fresh track then entertaining spectators with what most houndsmen call the music of the chase.

Beagles each have a sound all their own. Some yelp, some bawl, and others just bark with a steady chop as they follow the trail. Only time will tell what song Gypsy will sing. Indeed, all beagles, and all hounds for that matter, are truly fitted for the job they seem to specialize in.

Whether it’s finding bears or bunnies, lions or fancy foxes, there’s a hound for the task. Hounds of all sizes can suck up a nose full of a recent and all-but-invisible footprint, and almost always tell anyone who wants to listen, in what direction the animal that left it is heading.

Adding joy

A beagle is no different and what a higher dimension a dog, even a smallish one, can add to a day in the woods. Hounds have always intrigued me. As a youngster I had a half-breed beagle that did it’s best to keep me interested in rabbit hunting.

Since then I’ve owned and bred a pile of beagles, some good ones, and a few great ones. Gypsy’s pure Yellow Creek bloodline holds promise of greatness. We’ll see.


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Mike Tontimonia has been writing weekly columns and magazine features about the outdoors for over 25 years, a career that continues to hold the same excitement for him as it did at the beginning. Mike is a retired educator, a licensed auctioneer and marketing consultant. He lives in Ravenna, Ohio and enjoys spending time at his Carroll County cabin. Mike has hunted and fished in several states and Canada from the Carolinas to Alaska and from Idaho to Delaware. His readers have often commented that the stories about his adventures are about as close to being there as possible. He is past president of the Outdoor Writers of Ohio and a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. Mike is also very involved in his community as a school board member and a Rotarian.



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