Every year for the first day of our general small game season I like to give the young hounds their first taste of a real-life rabbit hunt. It is a great time to introduce them to different hounds, other people, and of course, gunfire. It's a good time because the brush is still pretty thick, which helps to muffle the crack of the shot. Also, due to the milder weather conditions, the pups are not hindered by the scenting problems associated with frozen ground, ice, and crusty snow. Another benefit of this particular time in the season is that the rabbit population is at its peak. All of these factors allow us to set our young hounds up for success.
This year we have been fortunate enough to raise two of the nicest pups. We have a male and a female, both of which were sired by my all-time favorite hound, FCGD Purnell's DeadRiver Ranger. The male is a handsome, large, athletic blue tick named DeadRiver Bloo Bullett. We started to get serious about breeding and raising our own hounds for hunting and field trialing. This pup is the fourth generation of this lineage ever since we first began. The female pup was also sired by Ranger and a buddy's good female. Her name is DeadRiver Slo Poke; ironically she is anything but slow. We call her Helen and she is turning out to be the real deal. It was fun to watch these two hounds transition from a puppy to a gundog as the day went on. The transformation was very obvious and it seems as though we will be continuing with the field trials.