IN BEAGLE BUGLE LAND
It was a fine morning in December; the snow had fallen a couple of inches. I arose to find the best morning of the season for hunting snowshoe rabbits, or white hares, as we call them out here.
It did not take long to get ready for a big day's hunt and myself and beagle were soon skipping across the little strip of meadow which divided us from the thousand acre rabbit patch which lies north of our dwelling.
After traveling a quarter of a mile and finding no tracks, we jumped a rabbit. I saw him start, but was too far for a good shot, and then, too, it spoils the fun if you do not give the beagle a chance to use his bugle for a few rounds. It turned out that he took a good many more than I calculated he ever would and then I lost him.
A fox is crafty and great at playing tricks on the hounds and hunters; but I doubt if he is any more so than an old white hare that has been dogged and hunted.
This one was as big a rabbit as I ever saw and if I had not seen him I might believe in ghost stories. Well, after running him all day and never getting a shot, I began to wonder and figure how I could get a crack at him. After getting to windward, crossing and cutting corners on the trail. I had about given up in disgust. It did me no good to stand in one place, for just as soon as I moved, the rabbit would come through right on the runway where I had lied in.
1 had concluded to go home when I heard the hound north of me on an old runway. I planked myself right on the runway and waited; thought "You are mine this time!" but in a few minutes got a glimpse of something white about thirty rods west of me. I looked and it was Mr. Pa Snowshoe Rabbit cutting across a small clearing at a lively pace.
Well, I just stood and watched him, thinking maybe he would turn and come back on this runway. On came the beagle, right across the little cutting where the rabbit had gone.
Before reaching the edge of the woods the dog seemed to lose the trail all at once. I waited a few minutes and went out there. The hound was searching all over for the track, but all of no use, so I looked in every possible place that a rabbit could hide in, but found nothing. Then I went back and followed the trail up to the last track, where it ended in the snow. I must have searched an hour or more and found no further trace or track and I only gave up when the gloom began to settle around and the owl hoots grew more frequent, and then I picked my way out through the brush toward home, puzzled clear through for rabbits have no wings.
Maybe some hunter can tell us how he fooled the beagle and myself so completely.
Chenango, N. Y.
Fur, News. Fur News, January 1916.
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