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October Full Circle
Posted on 10/09/2010 in Full Circle.

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Jed Nichols

October

The month of October means fall is on its way, and with it comes many of the things that we as outdoorsmen daydream about all summer long. Depending on what state you reside in, it can be the opening month of deer hunting (bow), duck and goose season, or just about any other season opener with regard to what “neck of the woods” you’re from and the state guidelines regarding hunting seasons.

For a lot of us UKC Beaglers who enjoy competing in hunts with our hounds, October means three major events are soon to unfold as the cool air begins to creep in. The first, of course, is rabbit season, and with the season comes the opportunity to gun over those young pups you’ve been working on for the last couple of months. Finally the time is here to shoot a few rabbits over them and let them start really putting things together so they can learn what it’s truly all about. There is just nothing quite like a young Beagle pup earning that first rabbit at the end of the track and the adrenaline rush they get from it. One thing I have always really enjoyed about the Beaglers I have met over the years through UKC hunt events is that, come rabbit season, the majority of them can be found on any given weekend in a briar patch somewhere with the same dogs they were running in competition earlier in the year. That in itself speaks a great deal about the types of hounds that are competing in these hunts (gun dogs).

The second major event of fall is the Hunting Beagle World Championship being held in Bridgeport, West Virginia, which kicks off the first weekend in October this year. We are planning on a big turnout for the finals this year with the number of dogs already qualified coming in at over 200. I think it’s safe to say that the entries will be up quite a bit this year from years past. With the number of dogs that are qualified, there is the possibility of breaking the record for total number of entries ever at a World Championship.


As you are well aware by now, we are going to stick with the three-day format for the hunt that we switched to for the 2009 Championship. This makes for better hunting conditions all the way around for the hounds and typically ensures more running time for each cast because they aren’t having to run in the heat of the day when the rabbits are sitting tight. As you may have seen, however, one change from last year will be that instead of 90-minute casts, we will be going back to 120-minute allotted cast times for all rounds, including the final. We are able to do this because of the three-day format, and I really think that the dogs deserve a full two hours each round to show their stuff instead of the previous 90-minute rounds.

The Tri-County Beagle Club has been gearing up for the World Championship and will also be providing a pig roast along with some live entertainment on Friday night after the first round, so make plans to stick around and enjoy the evening with us.

For the third major fall event, many of the top Performance Pack dogs in the country will be heading to Holmesville, Ohio, the weekend of October 23 and 24 for the Performance Pack World Championships to be held at the Holmes Conservation Beagle Club. This year’s World will most likely be the biggest yet with the number of entries growing steadily every year. Last year’s World Championship, along with this year’s Nationals, both showed that the interest in UKC Performance Pack is growing stronger along with the program. In the years to come, this program is going to flourish and there really is no telling how big it will get. This event is open to all UKC registered Beagles; dogs can be single registered the day of the event and compete for the World Championship title the same day. If you can get away for a bit be sure and join us the fourth weekend in October for some good food, good running and some of the best camaraderie in the sport.

I am personally looking forward to all of these events this fall. It makes for a busy October but I’ll tell you what - these are three major events that you do not want to miss. Time in the field with the young dogs, hanging out with good friends at the field trials, and just spending time doing the things we love to do … fall sure is a great time of year. See you in the field!