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Todd and I decide to take Doc and the Divas for a trip to some new grounds on a WMA. We got there at 9:15 and there already was a truck there with a dog box. As we were collaring up the hounds the other hunter showed up. He had a way overweight beagle mix, 12ga pump and he was fully camouflaged. He said he has hunted all morning and hadn’t even seen a track. He was a very disgruntled dude that had me on full alert. He left and off we went. We climbed the hill to the first briar patch, I could see Stella and knew she was on something. She started yipping and let out a few bawls as she plowing through that brush. A rabbit busts out, right past Doc as Stella clears the briars. Head down just a bawling, Doc and Reba following suit. The rabbit ran straight to the rock cliff and went under ground. A 75 yard chase.
The second chase the pack was working a pricker patch when I saw the rabbit and a few seconds later the pack opens up and the chase is on. That rabbit took them out 125 yards when it went quiet and the pack came back.
As we continue along we get to an area that is thick and if you were to describe rabbit habitat, this would be it. There is rabbit tracks and poop all over. I see some fresh tracks and call Stella up. As she trotting up, she stops, her eyes got as big as softballs, and takes off on a full run to the left and hits a small briar patch on a dead run and a rabbit busts out but Stella is in full stride and gaining ground when the rabbit makes an immediate right into a briar patch. Stella hits it like a bulldozer. She now starts to use her nose and is just a bawling when I’m Reba and Doc show up to the dance. They run that rabbit in a circle, it comes by me, I let it run thinking maybe next circle I will shoot. They run the rabbit in a bigger circle ending up where it started, the pack comes back.
We started at 17 degrees and now it is warming up, snow is melting, we planned this just right, hunt the edge of the thickest stuff on the south and east facing hills. Perfect plan.
We stop to check map and decide to head head back. I tell Stella and Doc to get into the brush. I see a rabbit come running out right behind Todd. Reba picks up the track and they are off. The rabbit takes them on a 250 yard circle. The rabbit comes by, it gets a pass and the pack continues the chase. The rabbit is giving the pack a schooling. It is hopping back and forth across the creek. After close to an hour the rabbit finally gives them the slip. They search and search but we finally call them off.
As we get back to where we started when I here Doc and then Stella and they are off. Reba sprints across and joins in. They run that rabbit 125 yards out and comes back to a creek, the rabbit hops the creek a few times and heads back to where it came, the pack just missed it as the rabbit made a right. I had a good vantage point to watch all this. Just out of range of the 28 gauge.
The rabbit hits high gear, but Stella picked up the track and lead the pack on this chase. We never saw the rabbit again. It brought them to a field and gave them the slip. Somewhere out in the middle the rabbit pulled a trick out of its hat and just baffled the pack. We finally called them off and headed home.
Great day, 5 rabbits in a few hours on public land. I wanted to put fur in their mouth and meat on the table but not today. I could have shot three on the jump or on its first circle but I like listening to the pack sing. Now, if I was feeding my family, lead would be flying.
I reset Stella’s track on the start of a chase so that’s why her numbers are low. You can see how thick and slow moving it is.

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