HORIZONS JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019 - Page 16

SEC T I ON T WO “It is always a thrill to hear a beagle puppy bark on a rabbit for the first time and throw that rabbit voice into the wind...I call it the rabbit voice, and when my pack of four beagles is all contributing to a chase, it is better than any four-part harmony, at least to my ears.” R U N N IN G IN CI RCLE S by Bob Ford Winter can be dreadful for some people, but I look forward to snow. When I was a kid, there were very few snow days, and no Weather Channel to give a name to 6 inches of snow either. Now, it is routine for school to be delayed for rumors of snowf lakes. Oh, and there are lots of snow days. When panic turns to milk and bread purchases in advance of a winter storm, I go rabbit hunting. I take the beagles and head for some briars. When I go to the store later, it is for the ing redients necessary for rabbit stew. As the television scrolls the delays and cancellations the next morning, I put the stew in the crockpot and then head out to get more bunnies. Fresh snow is my best aide in f inding new hunting spots. I just look for the tracks in the fresh powder. Forest f ires, gypsy moth devastation, and logging clear cuts all make great habitat after a few years of new growth. I make sure to talk to loggers about where they have been working, and write the info down. There is just something about the voice of beagles that makes me whole. When their voices echo off the hills, I feel most content and contemplative. I never make a big decision without hours of beagle concerts. If you have ever seen a beagle chasing a rabbit, then you have seen what contentment looks like. The stubborn breed is notoriously hard to house break, or keep out of the garbage can. But the same tenacity allows them to chase a rabbit until it either goes in a groundhog hole or runs too close to the hunter. Their hound song is so wonderful, that I train dogs year- round, even in the non-hunting season. But winter is my favorite time, and rabbit is a staple on our supper table for 4 months each year. Volume 03  No. 01  | 2019