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Running Deer At Field Trials

by Charlotte Bragg

           I attended a trial in Millville, New Jersey, a few weeks back. The day was very cold with a wind chill of –20 degrees. The ground was covered with snow making for tough running conditions. My brother and I brought our 'snow' dogs in hopes of placing in the trial. My brother's dog ran excellent, but was up against some tough competition. He placed second in his cast, and eventually 6th in the trial.

          I had my dog running in another cast at a different running ground. She did excellent the first minutes of the trial and quickly jumped out in front with the lead, then things turned for the worst. When they first arrived to run the dogs, a herd of deer had been kicked up. As they neared this spot my dog quickly picked up the scent and she was off. I learned this while back at the clubhouse, that she couldn't be found, and that my Dad needed some help in getting her.

          I joined my Dad in the search and we rode around for two hours looking for her. There was no trace of her anywhere. It was beginning to get dark and the roads were already icy and slippery, so we reluctantly decided to head home. I felt terrible, having lost her, knowing that she was in danger, and knowing that she would have to spend the night cold, wet, and lost. I knew that night would be one of anxiety. We reached home about an hour later, I called and alerted the police that she was missing and that she had a collar on with a phone number.

          Now is where the story takes a humorous twist, and of all the places she could have been! We received a call from one of the club members telling us that she had been found. But where was she?? She was in a supermarket heading toward the meat counter! Imagine this, she is tired, hungry, and very lost, and she made her way inside an Acme supermarket. She must have caught the deer, packaged it and was going to buy it at the supermarket. This is one smart girl that I have on my hands! This made me laugh when I found out where she was. I was relived that she had been found and that she was safe, because the traffic around that area is heavy. All the worry I went through and there is my dog at the supermarket shopping for food.

          She was fed two cans of food and treats. Nice reward for running away from me and especially on deer, one of the worst off game to run because they usually don't circle. I know a lot of dogs don't run deer but a lot of them do. Later I learned that she had never been broke off of deer and that gave me an understanding as to why she so readily runs deer. My job is now to teach her that I feed her, and if she wants to go shopping just ask me, and oh, don't forget she is NOT to run deer!

          This story has a happy ending unlike many stories of Beagles running deer. There are many field champion dogs that have run deer, and been hit by a motor vehicle. I am so thankful that the girls at the supermarket found her before a car did and that they called the number on her collar. I would like to offer some advice, always run your dog with a collar and contact information posted on that collar so you can be contacted if your dog is ever lost. Do your dog and yourself some good and shock the dog on deer and other off game. It might seem cruel or inhumane, but if you care for your dog you will do it. Either they will be lost forever or worst, get hit and killed by a motor vehicle. Don't let yourself or your dog(s) become a victim, take the time to break from running off-game.

Should you have a concern regarding the health of your Beagle(s), you should contact your veterinarian. All information on this site is presented solely for educational and informational purposes and should not, at any time, be considered a substitute for seeking or receiving veterinary care for your Beagle(s).