STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Sunbury Press has released Bob Ford’s fifth volume in the Beagle Tales series, Beagle Tales 5.
About the Book:
This fifth installment of Ford’s short stories mixes a love for the hunt and a thorough appreciation of the beagle as a cherished pet. Whether he is navigating the wild lands looking for rabbits or the wilder terrain of human relationships, the author is always looking for the important things in life, and casting them in a humorous light. Beagles and rabbit hunting are featured prominently in these collected assays, although the tales of the hunt are often a medium to tell a more profound story. Laugh along with his nostalgic remembrances of childhood, unique perspectives on life today, and the joys of living with hunting house beagles.
“Beagle Tales” is a registered trademark of Sunbury Press, Inc.
Behold, the Rabbit
Well, small game hunting is still in season, and we can get out there and bust some bunnies. To be honest, I’m glad that the fevered rush of deer season is over. Many of the “hunters” that I know actually just go out to chase deer for the two weeks that we are allowed to hunt them with a rifle. Don’t get me wrong, I feel affinity with all hunters, but the crazed dash for antlers sometimes just makes me feel like not hunting. I try to get my deer meat in archery season, before rabbit season opens, in order to avoid the entire two weeks of rifled mayhem altogether. There is something about the sound of a half-dozen high-powered rifles rapid firing on a running deer a few hundred yards away that just makes me cringe.
Actually, I spend much of deer season walking around looking for rabbit tracks in the snow. I came home one day this year in cold weather just grinning. “Did you get a deer?” my wife asked.
“Nope,” I said, giving her a hug.
“Why are you so happy then?” She pushed her palms against my chest, ending the hug.
“I found a ton of rabbit tracks!” I said.
“Sure, there are always some deer tracks, but there were lots of bunny tracks in there.”
“Did you see any deer?” she yelled. “It isn’t rabbit season.”
“Sure. I saw deer. But man did I see rabbits. I can’t wait for bunny season to come back in!”
Ah, but rabbit season is now in full swing again, and I am enjoying the fields and woods. I prefer running in the open and the wild areas. I haven’t been to a beagle club to run dogs since the end of October, and I belong to two of them! There is something about the abandoned strip mines and the farmer’s hedgerows and the national forest that make my hounds look better than they are. The rabbits do not double back on their own trail so much, and there are no mowed feed strips for the rabbits to run. In Pennsylvania many of the clubs were formerly operated by traditional brace enthusiasts. The result is that there can be parts of the club that have more mowed paths than brush. I understand that, too, as a couple rabbits running down a mowed feed strip may be enough to run first series for the brace guys. Repeat the same path runners after lunch, and the winner can be declared. There are no mowed feed strips in hunting season.
I also like hunting season for the fact that there is no fence. Don’t get me wrong, I like having a fence at the beagle club when I am conditioning dogs, but it is sometimes a false sense of security. Fences get holes, and sometimes they get knocked down. It is roads, not fences, which I worry about in gunning season. The one thing I do miss about the club running grounds as the season rolls on to the end is the abundance of rabbits. In fact, it is for this reason that I simply do not shoot near as many rabbits as I once did. I still get over fifty in any given year, but I no longer feel a need to try and eat every rabbit the dogs chase. In fact, I have gotten to the point where I am not shooting rabbits. The old timers warned me about this. They said killing critters would get problematic for anyone that loved the hunt (continued)
About the Author:
Bob Ford has lived all but three years of his life in the hills of Pennsylvania. The three exilic years were spent attending seminary at The Methodist Theological School in Ohio where he lamented the lack of topography that characterizes the central portion of the Buckeye state. He purchased his first beagle for $75 in 1985 with money earned delivering the Erie Sunday Times. This first beagle committed Ford to the company of hounds, and has resulted in a life that has gone to the dogs. Ford has served United Methodist Churches in Warrensburg, OH; Elkland, PA and Houtzdale PA. He is a PhD candidate in systematic theology at Duquesne University, and teaches philosophy and religious studies part-time at Penn State Altoona.
Bob has hunted rabbits and hare throughout the country, ranging from Northern Alabama to the Quebec border, and he is always looking for new places to hunt and new species of rabbits and hare for his hounds to pursue. He is an ordained pastor in the Susquehanna Conference of The United Methodist Church and currently resides in State College, PA. Ford believes that American-made, double barrel,16 gauge shotguns from the previous century are the best firearms available to the small game hunter, and that few things compare to the sound of a pack of beagles chasing rabbits on morning dew in a foggy valley. He writes a monthly column for the American Beagler magazine and Hounds and Hunting magazine. He has had more than 100 articles in Better Beagling, and currently writes an article each month for The American Beagler and Hounds & Hunting.
Bob Ford is an Excellence in Craft winner in humor for the Outdoor Writers Association of America (2012).
Beagle Tales 5
Authored by Bob Ford
List Price: $14.95
5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
Sunbury Press, Inc.
BISAC: Pets / Dogs / Breeds
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