Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 2

Growing Up
By Tom Venesky

E

XHAUSTED from an eventful
late season rabbit hunt, I scooped
my beagle Randy into my arms and sat
her on the front seat of my truck. That
was the only way I could get her to stop
hunting at the end of the day. When it
came to rabbit hunting, Randy shared
my love of the sport. I saw it right away
when I got her in 1990.
I found Randy in the "free ads" in
my local newspaper. Key words in the
listing were "beagle" and "started on
rabbits." That was all I needed to know.
Two days later I picked up my new
hunting partner. I was 18, fresh out of
high school, a young adult embarking
on life. Randy was slightly more than a
year old, still a puppy with a long future
ahead of her. We were a perfect match.
I got Randy in September and that
week I took her out to see if she would
chase a rabbit. While I logged many
days kicking brushpiles for rabbits, I
never hunted rabbits with a beagle,
nor did I know if Randy actually knew
how to chase. It wasn't long before she
eased my concerns. Within minutes of
walking along the edge of a clearing,
Randy put her nose to the ground,
wagged her white-tipped tail and let
out a muffled bark. Her tail wagged
faster and her pace quickened as the
rabbit's trail became hotter. Randy soon
launched into a consistent bark and,
with conviction, followed the trail up
a hillside covered with autumn olive. I

2

listened as her bark grew distant before
coming back in my direction. Soon the
rabbit bounded across an opening, and
Randy followed about a minute later.
We were set.
Small game season opened weeks
later, and Randy and I set out for the
overgrown farm fields. The dried goldenrod and tangles of multiflora rose
made perfect rabbit habitat, and Randy's excitement matched mine as we
embarked on our first hunt. I let Randy
poke around each one. After an hour
we had yet to stir a rabbit, and I began
to have doubts about our hunting
spot. But Randy continued hunting with determination.
An old-timer once told me
to always trust a dog's nose,
and that's what I did as I
watched Randy squeeze
through seemingly impenetrable brush. I had
to be patient and trust my
new hunting partner. All
of a sudden Randy's tail began to wave and she let out a
few excited whimpers. I gripped
my shotgun as Randy erupted into
a series of excited barks and took off
into an ancient apple orchard interspersed with cedar. Within 10 minutes
she brought the bunny back in a full
circle, and one shot from my 20-gauge
shotgun gave us the first of what would
be many rabbits over the years.
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014

Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 2
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 3
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 11
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Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 27
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Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 64
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 64a
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 64b
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - Cover4
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