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Thread: Hounds In AK?

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    Member PMFB-RN's Avatar
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    Default Hounds In AK?

    Hey guys I have been reading this foum for a while and think it's great. This is my first post. I am currently working in Wisconsin but have accepted a job in Anchorage and will be moving in May. I am SO! excited.
    Here is my question. I have a great little rabbit hunting beagle and he is a great rabbit dog. Do people rabbit hunt with beagles in AK? If so does anyone know a rabbit hunter anywhere near Anchorage who might be willing to help a young woman get started hunting in AK? I have my own guns and a good Toyota 4x4 truck. I am an experienced hunter but of course will be new to AK. I have been advised that the best thing I can do is hook up with an experienced Alaska hunter.
    Thanks in advance.

    Emily

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    Hello Emily,

    Congrats on your new job. Alaska is definately a sight to see. I have only lived here (in Fairbanks area) for 10 years but I can say that it is without a doubt Alaska is the most beautiful place I have ever seen, and probably will ever see. Now on to the question you asked. If you read the post listed here:

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=42929

    You will see that a couple of the folks in there use beagles. So I am sure you will find someone that can help you out with that info. I, myself, have a malamute who isnt of much use in the hare hunting arena. Though she LOVES it when I bring home a grouse. She cant get enough of em.

    Anyway, GL in your trip out here.

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    Member PMFB-RN's Avatar
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    Thanks so Much Wolf!

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    Hi Emily.

    Congratulations on the new job! And you'll be really proud of that beagle.

    I'm not acquainted with hunting around Anchorage, but can provide lots of dog talk. We're out of dogs right now due to travels, but for 20 years we hunted snowshoe hare with beagles and bassets. Back in the 60's we also hunted deer with beagles and bassets in another state, though it's illegal here.

    Snowshoe hare are "different" than any other rabbit I've hunted. Their territories tend to be larger and they don't have the tendency to dive into a burrow when the chase as run too long. Their best defenses are speed and guile. Unless you're on hand for the start of the chase, they're going to be 100 or 200 yards ahead of the dog. It's easy to get swept up in listneing to the chase and have the hare appear and disappear long before you expect them. Best solution is to get ready the moment you hear the dog turn in your direction. With such large territories, another best stunt is to move quickly to where your dog jumped the hare the moment the chase starts. Hares have regular routes, and odds are good that in trying to shake the dog, it will pass right back by where it all started.

    It also takes new dogs a little while to figure out cold trailing. There will be lots of scent out there, and it just takes experience for them to sort the new from the old, much less which direction to run when they strike a trail. It's no problem when they jump a rabbit, but most of the time they're going to be cold trailing in search of the jump. No help for it other than field time. We used to take our dogs for walks as pups, no guns, to let them sort it on their own. It also helped I'm sure that their favorite toy when young was a snowshoe hare foot tied to a string and dragged around the house. Older dogs that have never hunted before have a new favorite toy the minute you tie a string to a rabbit foot. If your dog hasn't hunted before, I strongly recommend the toy and the casual walks before you actually hunt.

    Another important point to consider- dogs like to chase, and it doesn't necessarily have to be rabbits. Foxes are the worst, because they light out straight across country and take your dog with them. No recovery till the dog is through, probably hours later. If that should happen, take off your coat and leave it in a sheltered spot near where you parked your truck, then open a sandwich baggy of dry dog food and leave it there too. Come back a few hours later, and your dog is likely to be snoozing on your coat, belly full, and happy to see you.

    Deer such as we have here aren't much better than fox, so the same strategy applies.

    Should your dog decide it prefers foxes and other game to deer, you've got your work cut out for you. We beat the system with the advice and help of our vet. He loaned us a shock collar, and advised the we go "hunting" deer and fox. Basically drive around till you see one of the no-no species, let your dog out of the truck, then shock the peewaddling out of them the moment they start to chase. Don't yell at them or anything. Let them associate the shock entirely with the no-no and come back to you for love and consolation. Our most hard headed dog only took three shock treatments before foxes became completely invisible. No interest at all, and in fact he avoided them.

    Another major concern is snares during trapping season. Carry heavy duty wire cutters and be ready for some frantic action if your dog gets caught. Brush around water is the worst, both because the rabbits like it there and because fox and otter like it, too. You should check on the trapping seasons and even talk to ADF&G to learn what you can about the locations of trappers. We carried the cutters after trapping season too, because the average trapper is a pure hobbyist with more ambition than skill, and they tend to lose snares.

    A final note, snowshoe hare have darker meat than cottontails. It's more like the dark meat on a turkey or even darker. Some folks don't like it. We section our hares, then put them overnight in a bowl of cold water with some salt added- enough that you can taste the salt in the water, but not as salty as sea water by any means. That draws out a lot of blood and lightens the meat considerably.

    Stand by for adventure when you and your dog arrive! And the pair of you will make lots of friends. Snowshoe hunting with dogs is fast action and productive, and anyone with a shotgun and a love of rabbits is going to be looking for an invite.

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    I've never hunted rabbits with a dog, but I sure wanted to as a kid in upstate NY. I think it would be a hoot! But even if the Beagle doesn't get the hang of it too quickly, who cares! That dog is certainly the best company you'll ever have anywhere.

    As puppies my Brittanys (pointing dogs) would love to chase snowshoe hare, but of course I highly discouraged that and got it right out of them as quickly as I could. Anything not a gamebird is referred to as a "Dinky Bird," including belligerant moose, ornery grizzlies, gray jays and "bunnies."

    Welcome to Alaska!

    Jim

  6. #6

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    Bring the beagle! I have a couple I hunt with. Really cold weather and deep snow conditions will dictate if you take them at times. However, the weather here is pretty variable and can change fast so you will be bringing the dog regularly. One word of caution if you do; lots of trappers here in places so you will need to be aware of where dog is and know the difference between a beagle sounding on scent and a yelp. Also, occassionally, wolves will get a dog or two a season. It's not a big problem but it happens. Traps and wolves sound like trouble but are really not common enough to be worried about. Good luck in Alaska. BTW, nurses have it made here. Before retiring, my mother was a nurse and taught nursing at the university here for many years. Great profession for these parts!

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    Quote Originally Posted by OATS View Post
    Bring the beagle! I have a couple I hunt with. Really cold weather and deep snow conditions will dictate if you take them at times. However, the weather here is pretty variable and can change fast so you will be bringing the dog regularly. One word of caution if you do; lots of trappers here in places so you will need to be aware of where dog is and know the difference between a beagle sounding on scent and a yelp. Also, occassionally, wolves will get a dog or two a season. It's not a big problem but it happens. Traps and wolves sound like trouble but are really not common enough to be worried about. Good luck in Alaska. BTW, nurses have it made here. Before retiring, my mother was a nurse and taught nursing at the university here for many years. Great profession for these parts!
    This is very true. Take the time to learn about traps before you venture into the field. I am sure there is a member here that would be happy to teach you how to remove one. It is imortant that learn this before you ever need it. In all likelihood it is a skill that will never be needed but certainly one that you should have just in case. I always carry a set of sheers when bunny hunting, it makes it easy to snip off the legs for cleaning and could also be used to cut a snare loose in a pinch.

    Welcome to the forum and soon to Alaska, I only hope that I never need your services

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    Default dog will hunt!!

    i got myself a beagle two years ago this march.....and we have had sooooo much fun i have a few spots that i run my dog, daisy, around here in the valley....brownbear has got some excellent advice there.....i have seen snares and my dog has ran into a few "other" critters....for the most part i only run my beagle from october to may.....mostly because other than these months the under brush is so thick in most areas that the hares hang out that my dog would be long gone before i got myself untangled....i have learned up here that the hares do like to run a bit more than the cottontails back in michigan i used to chase.....i would say 3 out of ten just run in a straight line for the mountains....so when i hear my dog go flat out in a straight line i run her down and get her on another one......this winter i have gotten my hands on a snowmachine and like to drop-off the dog and get out ahead.....like a little bunny drive.....regardless you should have lots of opportunities to get your dog out and hunt and if your beagle is as stubborn as mine you should get plenty of exercise chasing your dog down....stay on this forum....there is plenty of great advise about all types of alaska outdoor activities and other stuff too....have a safe trip up in may...if you dont' have to be to work right away....i'd hightail it for the denali highway with the dog..in may most of the undergrowth hasn't began to leaf out and the hares are still whitish...there are usually a ton of them around up there too....
    "early to bed, early to rise, fish like hell, and make up lies"

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    I just posted on the gundog section last night that Id like to get together with other forum members with beagles to get a pack going. When you get here look us up!
    Here is my Dog, Mac

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    Member PMFB-RN's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=BrownBear;656224]Hi Emily.

    Congratulations on the new job! And you'll be really proud of that beagle.

    I'm not acquainted with hunting around Anchorage, but can provide lots of dog talk. We're out of dogs right now due to travels, but for 20 years we hunted snowshoe hare with beagles and bassets. Back in the 60's we also hunted deer with beagles and bassets in another state, though it's illegal here.

    Snowshoe hare are "different" than any other rabbit I've hunted. Their territories tend to be larger and they don't have the tendency to dive into a burrow when the chase as run too long. Their best defenses are speed and guile. Unless you're on hand for the start of the chase, they're going to be 100 or 200 yards ahead of the dog. It's easy to get swept up in listneing to the chase and have the hare appear and disappear long before you expect them. Best solution is to get ready the moment you hear the dog turn in your direction. With such large territories, another best stunt is to move quickly to where your dog jumped the hare the moment the chase starts. Hares have regular routes, and odds are good that in trying to shake the dog, it will pass right back by where it all started.

    *** We do have some snowshoe hares here in northern Wisconsin and my beagle Jake has trailed them many times. He is a well broke dog and only chases rabbits, and he will also get after upland birds. He has no interest in deer or foxes. We have wolves here in Wisconsin as well and quite a few hunting dogs have been lost to them. One of the guys I hunt with lost his two beagles to wolves, he actualy saw them and has pictures. I am not worried about traps. I have run small trap lines before and can release him from a trap but I appreciate the heads up on the snares. I haden't thought of that.
    Thanks for your advice!

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    Quote Originally Posted by rimfirematt View Post
    I just posted on the gundog section last night that Id like to get together with other forum members with beagles to get a pack going. When you get here look us up!
    Here is my Dog, Mac
    *** Thanks! I will. Is Mac a bluetick beagle? My dog Jake is a bluetick beagle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    This is very true. Take the time to learn about traps before you venture into the field. I am sure there is a member here that would be happy to teach you how to remove one. It is imortant that learn this before you ever need it. In all likelihood it is a skill that will never be needed but certainly one that you should have just in case. I always carry a set of sheers when bunny hunting, it makes it easy to snip off the legs for cleaning and could also be used to cut a snare loose in a pinch.

    Welcome to the forum and soon to Alaska, I only hope that I never need your services
    *** I can handle traps. I have run trap lines before and can set a Victor # 3 longspring or coil spring by myself. I hope you never need me either, if you do you have had a bad day
    Thanks!

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    Member rimfirematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMFB-RN View Post
    *** Thanks! I will. Is Mac a bluetick beagle? My dog Jake is a bluetick beagle.
    Yep he is a blue-tick. Got him from Arkansas

  14. #14

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    Hang onto your hats, you two!

    We used to raise beagles (12"), timing the litters for spring, then keep the pups till November so they could get a start hunting with their parents. The new owners loved it, especially when we'd take them hunting with their pup and our adults for a little "hands on" owner training.

    In the meantime we got to hunt with a new pack of dogs each fall. One litter was 7 pups, so imagine the time we had behind 9 beagles! The purest form of music. I'm jealous of you two and anyone else who joins in!

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