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Genetics can sometimes be misleading. But, it’s sure nice to have them on your side.

That’s how I felt two weekends ago when I bought a new hunting beagle in Columbus. I had searched the site Beagles for Sale Online almost daily for five months, in hopes of finding a good dog to replace the one I lost last year due to cancer.

Sometime in November I found an ad that I liked from nearby Ashland County (I live in Wooster). When I visited, I liked the dog a lot and decided on a day when I could go back and watch her run some rabbits. That same weekend, when I called the owner to see if we were still on, he decided he wasn’t going to sell her.

I spent all of hunting season (November-February) borrowing a friend’s dogs and relying on my backups, which are pretty weak “backups” to put it nicely. It was a rough season.

I had considered going as far as Indianapolis, Lexington, Ky., or the southern half of Michigan.

In Ohio

But I didn’t have to. I found an ad for a bealge in Columbus in Mid-March and it looked promising. The dog had four world champions in her pedigree, and the records were very convincing.

The owner claimed the only reason he was selling the dog (her name is Valerie; I call her Val) was because of a recent divorce. Otherwise, the dog would “NEVER” be for sale, he insisted.

It was an unfortunate situation, but it was a real opportunity for me. Most guys are not going to sell their best dogs unless something is wrong with the dog.

This case was different, and that’s why I felt good about the dog. More than 800 people viewed the online ad, and the owner received more than 20 phone calls the first week.

When I got to the owner’s place, on the east side of Columbus, I was a little concerned. There were more houses and roads than wooded areas and the Columbus International Airport was ridiculously close, with jet airplanes flying overhead.

Trial run

But we drove the dog a short distance to a large, vacant wooded area and we had three or so rabbits running in a matter of minutes. “Val” listened very well and produced a loud, audible bark when she was fresh on the trail.

I wanted to shoot my shotgun overhead to prove whether she was gun-shy, but her owner told me to leave it in the car, because we were still in city limits.

With that in mind, and the fact that I wanted to satisfy my hunting partners (my dad and my brother), I agreed to buy the dog at full price if I could have one week to make my decision.

I let Val spend a few nights in her new house in Wayne County and then the two of us ventured out into some local woods. She did very well, again, and I decided she was worth keeping. She seemed friendly around my dad and brother, as well, and no one was mad at me for buying her.

So, I believe I have what I needed.

Lots to like

She’s good on paper and she’s good in the field, and I look forward to many years of good rabbit hunting. I’m also hoping she will help teach my family’s other two beagles, because they need a good dog to show them what to do.

If she lives to her fullest potential, we should be able to hunt with her another 10-12 years (she’s two and a half), and that adds up to a lot of fun and good times.

She is not a perfect dog, but she’s the best I could find and I’m looking forward to what she will do. Hopefully in a couple years, I’ll be getting her bred, to preserve the line and to sell the pups.

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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