Hunting with a Beagle

aeverett152

New Member
Hope everyone is staying healthy and safe out there,

I have been deer and elk hunting the last 6 years or so. In the off season I will take my beagle out with me to scout and set trail cams just to get him outside. I never had the intention to use him as a hunting dog until recently. As a typical beagle he is very keen on picking up a scent and searching it out when he was a puppy. The last few times I’ve been out in the mountains with him I have heard quail in nearby brush and I have been taking him near the sound, letting him sniff around, go into brush and flush quail out. And that’s when the lightbulb came on. I have never hunted with a dog and never quail hunted either but this feels like a perfect scenario to start. Since we are pretty much on lockdown I have ordered a canvas bumper and quail scent so I can start working with him specifically for scenting quail. I do have a series of questions for hunters that upland game hunt and use dogs (I apologize if these are stupid questions btw but this is ALL new to me).

Besides a bumper and a scent is there any other specific training regimen I should follow with my dog?

12 gauge or 20 gauge shotgun? I have read that 12 is overkill for quail but I would like to clarify with you all.

Is there a specific shotgun that has a low decibal output? I have read articles about some dogs becoming deaf.

I know Beagles aren’t typical bird dogs but anyone else have success using Beagles for upland birds?

I plan on starting off with quail and if it becomes successful I might try for pheasant but I will cross that path when we get there. And if you are wondering my Beagle is almost 4 years of age and not from a specific bloodline. But one thing I am sure of is that this dog is definitely picking up scents and pursuing them.

Thank you all very much
 
OK, I’ll take a stab at it.

Besides a bumper and a scent is there any other specific training regimen I should follow with my dog?

I hunt over pointers, so take my comments for what their worth (every bit of what you paid for them), but for a flusher, I think the main goal would be to organize his search somewhat, learn to recognize when he’s making game and keep him in range so you get a shot when the bird goes up. Your goal at this point is to get some control over him so he is hunting for you. I think scent is waste of money. Your dog already knows what birds are and what they smell like. Use live pigeons or quail for bird work. I would think with a flusher you will need a launcher or a tip-up or two, so he doesn’t run up and grab the bird. As for a training guide, I would look at any materials that are about training flushers for upland hunting.

12 gauge or 20 gauge shotgun? I have read that 12 is overkill for quail but I would like to clarify with you all.

Use what you have and shoot well. Use a more open choke, particularly with a 12, but the steel shot requirement has everyone figuring out what works best for them. I prefer a 20 because its lighter and I shoot mine well

Is there a specific shotgun that has a low decibal output? I have read articles about some dogs becoming deaf.

Not an issue.

I know Beagles aren’t typical bird dogs but anyone else have success using Beagles for upland birds?

You can train just about any dog to get the job done if they have prey drive and want to please you. I have seen rednecks use scary-ass pitbulls with muzzles on produce a limit of pheasant. There use to be a guy who posted on here (some may remember docramo) who trained his Dobermans to hunt chukar and quail as pointers and apparently were quite good at it.

I plan on starting off with quail and if it becomes successful I might try for pheasant but I will cross that path when we get there. And if you are wondering my Beagle is almost 4 years of age and not from a specific bloodline. But one thing I am sure of is that this dog is definitely picking up scents and pursuing them.

Flushers are almost better than pointers for pheasants in many situations, particularly if you are hunting ditches.

Oh yeah, if you want a world class turd hunter, Lloyd is the model. But I hear he wasn't too good at flushing them ....
 

aeverett152

New Member
Thank you DKscott for the input. Its funny because I just took him out to a local park yesterday to work on commands and since no one is out low and behold a small flock of quail were at the park. I put him on the scent where they were before they went in the sage brush. Told him to " go get it" and he was off after them into the sage. Flushed a couple out. He definitely has the prey drive for sure. Just need to keep doing it before season. I think another big factor is getting him exposed to gunfire. I was told to start with a cap gun and make it a positive interaction like giving him treats etc
 

Doug

New Member
Thank you DKscott for the input. Its funny because I just took him out to a local park yesterday to work on commands and since no one is out low and behold a small flock of quail were at the park. I put him on the scent where they were before they went in the sage brush. Told him to " go get it" and he was off after them into the sage. Flushed a couple out. He definitely has the prey drive for sure. Just need to keep doing it before season. I think another big factor is getting him exposed to gunfire. I was told to start with a cap gun and make it a positive interaction like giving him treats etc
Hit the field do some scouting. Put you dog on a long leash (make sure the Frontline is on 'em).

As you walk, stop periodically, tell your dog to sit (reinforces your command even with all the extra stimuli), shoulder up and fire one. Look directly back at em and calm em.

Rinse and repeat. Did this with my German Short Hair Pointer, Springer Spaniel, & English Setter.

Took me a full day to get em comfortable enough to ignore the gun, but now it's time for tracking after the shot.

Granted these dogs were born hunters, they still were spooked by the gun.
 
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