John’s Note: If you enjoy hearing the music of a pack of tri-colored hounds as they work the briars and brambles, then you’ve surely dreamed about hunting when deer season ends. Then rabbit dogs no longer will disturb deer hunters in the woods. Whether you hunt rabbits in marshes and swamps or along edges of green fields, get prepared for February fun, while rabbit hunting.
Verdin didn’t like to hunt beagles that wouldn’t pack.
“I want my beagles all on the same track and packing together,” Verdin told me. “When you have six beagles running a track, you’ve got six noses and six brains trying to figure out where the rabbit is and where it’s going. If you have six dogs trying to run six different rabbits, most of these swamp rabbits will beat an individual dog and lose him. But usually, they won’t be able to fool a six-pack for long.”
Too, Verdin didn’t mind if hunters shot rabbits that the dogs hadn’t run. He said that, “We hunt rabbits to shoot rabbits, so if one of my hunters jumps a rabbit, he can go ahead and take the rabbit. There are plenty more rabbits out in the marsh for the dogs to run, and I don’t believe my dogs are bothered when hunters take rabbits they aren’t running.” Yapping dogs always sounded like music to Verdin’s ears, and he hunted as much to hear the dogs talk as he did to take rabbits. Verdin’s pack consisted of three dogs with names and three dogs without names. He explained that, “Ruby, Sassy and Tippy are my old dogs. When I got these three young dogs, I let my grandchildren name them. I didn’t like the names my grandchildren gave the dogs, so rather than hurt the grandchildren’s feelings by changing the names of the dogs, I just call them Dog.”
Verdin hunted rabbits throughout rabbit season, but he was careful not to go into the marsh when and where the duck and deer hunters hunted, because he didn’t want to create a problem for either party. Verdin told me that, “There are plenty of places to hunt rabbits without interfering with the duck and deer hunters,” and that’s what’s great about hunting in February. When I asked Verdin about the possibility of his dogs getting eaten by alligators in the Louisiana swamp, he answered, “I’ve never had a dog bitten by a gator. But I have had dogs in season bitten and cut by nutria. Nutria are mean and tough animals, and they can really hurt your dogs.” Verdin couldn’t name anything more appealing to him than a pot roast marsh rabbit lying on a pile of steaming rice with a side of red beans. “That’s my favorite dish to eat,” Verdin said. With plenty of rabbits in the marsh and opportunity to hunt them, if you listen to the wisdom of Verdin, you, too, can take bunnies all season long
For delicious recipes for preparing rabbits and other wild game with our family’s recipes from the past 45+ years in the outdoors, get John and Denise Phillips’ new eBook “The Best Wild Game & Seafood Cookbook Ever: 350 Southern Recipes for Deer, Turkey, Fish, Seafood, Small Game and Birds.” “Click here to get this book.”
About the Author
John Phillips, winner of the 2012 Homer Circle Fishing Award for outstanding fishing writer by the American Sportfishing Association (AMA) and the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA), the 2008 Crossbow Communicator of the year and the 2007 Legendary Communicator chosen for induction into the National Fresh Water Hall of Fame, is a freelance writer (over 6,000 magazine articles for about 100 magazines and several thousand newspaper columns published), magazine editor, photographer for print media as well as industry catalogues (over 25,000 photos published), lecturer, outdoor consultant, marketing consultant, book author and daily internet content provider with an overview of the outdoors. “Click here for more information and a list of all the books available from John E. Phillips.”