• Jess

Beagling is... a great family pastime!

I was introduced to the sport of Beagling during Hunting Weekend with The Chagrin Valley Hunt back in 2016. I had no idea what to expect but understood that the beagle pack was family friendly and thought that it would be a great way to get my then three-year-old son out into the countryside. I was introduced to the sport of Beagling during Hunting Weekend with The Chagrin Valley Hunt back in 2016. I had no idea what to expect but understood that the beagle pack was family friendly and thought that it would be a great way to get my then three-year-old son out into the countryside. Our first meet started in the heart of Gates Mills, Ohio at the Chagrin Valley Hunt Club. After a traditional stirrup cup and pre-hunt introductions the pack of beagles was released from the hound truck. We had a few minutes to watch the Beagles bounce around the yard before the huntsman called order to the pack and headed out in search of a rabbit. My son Our first meet started in the heart of Gates Mills, Ohio at the Chagrin Valley Hunt Club. After a traditional stirrup cup and pre-hunt introductions the pack of beagles was released from the hound truck. We had a few minutes to watch the Beagles bounce around the yard before the huntsman called order to the pack and headed out in search of a rabb


I was introduced to the sport of Beagling during Hunting Weekend with The Chagrin Valley Hunt back in 2016. I had no idea what to expect but understood that the beagle pack was family friendly and a great way to explore the outdoors. I had recently fallen in love with the sport of Fox Hunting and was excited to have an opportunity to share with my then three-year-old son my love of watching hounds work from the security of our own two feet.


Our first meet started in the heart of Gates Mills, Ohio at the Chagrin Valley Hunt Club. After a traditional stirrup cup (pre-hunt refreshments) Master of Beagles Laura Mock called the everyone together to provide a brief explanation of the days event. Shed asked us to refrain from petting the beagles until the end of the hunt so they could focus on their work. She also explained that though we are welcome to socialize, that we should do so as quietly as possible in order to not interfere with their concentration. She explained that Beagles are scent hounds and as such they need to keep their noses down in order to work. Any sudden loud noises or distractions could cause them to lift their heads and stop searching for the scent, making the hunting more difficult. She also explained that the beagle and their huntsman would need room to work and that she would lead us to the best places to watch the action at a reasonable distance. Soon after the announcements the of the pack of beagles was released from the hound truck. We had a few minutes to watch the Beagles bounce around the yard before the huntsman called order to the pack and headed out in search of their rabbit.


After a brief walk to a wooded area alongside a wide open field, the beagles were cast into the brushy

fringes of the forest where we watched them fan out in search of a scent trail. You could see them moving in a very deliberate manner from side to side and their tails went from a gentle swaying to a frantic waggle. They found their scent and the pack started singing as they headed off after their quarry. My son was thrilled with all the action and insisted that we stay right up with the field master during the first few runs. After the first hour or so his little feet started to fail him but I lifted him up onto my shoulders where he enjoyed a birds eye view of the action. We ventured through many areas of Gates Mills and while observing the Beagles it was also very interesting to take in the local architecture, the surrounding terrain and the abundance of wildlife. We viewed two rabbits that day, one was lost and one was put to ground (escaped to its warren/den). One of the things that I enjoyed most about the day is that even though my son was not able to always keep up, we were able to still enjoy the sport at our own pace. The field consisted of people of all ages and all walks of life. Everyone gathered together for the common love of simply being unplugged and watching hounds work.



At the end of the hunt we were given the opportunity to meet and pet the Beagles. They are by far the most energetic and happy little pack of canines I have ever met. You could absolutely tell that they enjoyed their work and are dedicated to their huntsman and handlers.


Throughout the past three seasons my son has continued to enjoy Beagling and always jumps at the opportunity to go watch them work. Though I had gone many-a-mile with that boy on my shoulders it is bittersweet knowing now that he can hunt the entire day on his own two feet. I am so thankful that I was able to share with him my love of hound sports. I love to answer his questions and watch him interact with the other foot followers and staff. I hope that these foundations will help him to seek comfort in nature and be a steward to the country and outdoor lifestyle.

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