There are many songs I like listening to — ranging from Country to Rock and Roll, Bluegrass and Folk, and if I’m really in the mood — even Classic.

A song can help ease your nerves, revive an old memory or help you forget an unpleasant memory. A song can set the tone for an event and it can help make a stressful project a bit more bearable.

There was no music to listen to this past weekend, when I took my dogs through the woods on an end-of-season rabbit hunt. And that was kind of the plan — because anything less than silence would have ruined the success of the hunt.

But, like they do most of the time — my beagles filled the air with a familiar and comforting sound — the sound of long, drawn out barking that rabbit hunters call “baying.”

For anyone who has ever hunted cottontail rabbits with beagles — this sound is a song in its own right — and one you learn to enjoy very much.

Beagles have a keen sense of smell and when they pick up the scent of a rabbit, their tails wag vigorously and they “bay” loudly until the rabbit is lost, or shot by the hunter.

Last song

Ohio’s cottontail rabbit season closes on Wednesday, and I needed to hear my dogs sing their hearts out just one more time.

They put on quite the performance and my dogs and I let a few of the rabbits live — to chase them again next year.

The pursuit is truly half the fun, and there are times when it’s more fun to listen to the dogs and watch them work than it is to shoot the rabbits. But, if you want to get your dogs back before sundown, you sometimes have to stop the thing they’re chasing.

This has been another enjoyable year of rabbit hunting for me and I recorded a few video clips of my dogs, so I can remember their music well into the offseason. And, I guess partly to brag, because I like my dogs and I think they’re pretty good at what they do!

Chris Kick lives in Wooster, Ohio. An American FFA Degree recipient, he holds a bachelor’s in creative writing from Ashland University. He spends his free time on his grandparents’ farms in Wayne and Holmes counties.
Chris Kick
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