Hunting with a Legend, Daddy Rabbit

Author – Sally McGehee, Oakhill Beagles

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I was fixin’ to throw my gun in the creek … wait, I’d better start at the beginning.

A guy was supposed to pick up a pup that I brought down at Daddy Rabbit’s house at 6:30 in the morning. We were gonna leave out hunting right after he picked up the pup. Welllll, while SB and I were snug in our beds back at the motel, this guy shows up at Daddy Rabbits at 3:30 in the morning. Now being the southern gentleman that Daddy Rabbit is, he tells the guy to come on in and he puts a pot of coffee on and they talk dogs until we get there. Needless to say, I believe Mrs. Daddy Rabbit was trying to sleep thru all of this. If I had know what had happened I would have thrown my hat in the door before I entered that morn because I believe Mrs. Dr was looking for a gun to load my behind with buckshot. We had a good laugh listening to the story anyway and it was a pleasure to meet the Preacher who came to pick up the pup.

After we loaded the dogs, Daddy Rabbit treated us to country ham, biscuits, gravy, sausage, and eggs which he prepared himself by way of paying the local diner lady. Man, it was gooood. So many fat grams all I could think of was hitting the tailgate instead of the briars.

After driving umpteen miles with many of them sliding our way back some logging roads, we reached our destination. Man, was it loaded with rabbits. I have never SEEN that many rabbits in Georgia at one time. Most usually the rabbits stay in the thick stuff and I just assume the hounds are running them. I saw rabbits everywhere. The first pack we put down was mine and SB’s hounds. Five of my blueticks, one of her blueticks and a little red and white female named Whiskey. It took us a few minutes to get the hounds settled in but once they did the rabbit race was on. And on and on and on …

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Now for my story about the gun. DR told me if I was gonna hunt with them I had to bring a .410 as he doesn’t allow anything else to be shot over his hounds. So I got to digging back in the gun safe and found the little .410 I bought for my son when he was about 5 yrs old  (he is 32 now). This is a little H and R single shot full choke which he used to shoot squirrels.  I do believe those rabbits had me pegged for an easy getaway cause every time the rabbit crossed the power line it was right under my feet. I swear I saw one rabbit stick his tongue out at me as he flew by. Well, after 4 shots and the rabbit kept going I thought, “well to hell with this,” and threw the gun in the creek.

Well, not really but it was a thought. I just stood it up by a tree and picked it up on the way home. Now they can kid me all they want but I got more rabbits on film than they did on the tailgate and I can enjoy them for a long time while theirs will compost.

Now as an off note, we got to see Daddy Rabbit’s pet deer that was grown. That deer stayed around Daddy Rabbit’s house and sometimes in the training pen.

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Now if you can picture this grown man calling this deer (by the way, the deer’s name is Kitty Kitty Sunshine). He was yelling, “here kitty kittyyyyy, here kitty kittyyyyyyy” and the deer would come running. I thought I was gonna fall down laughing. We put my hounds in the pen and if they went up to the deer she would put a whooping on them that made them take off back to me and hide behind me. I am only sorry I did not get any video of this as it was the funniest sight I have seen in a long time (besides Daddy Rabbit calling that deer Kitty Kitty).

After a wonderful lunch of Arbys roast beef and cheddar, chips and apple fritters provide by our new found friend Doc we put the red hounds on the ground. Now these hounds had been in the box all morning running the rabbits with our hounds from a distance. The temp was well up into the 70’s and they were hotter than a firecracker. Heck, I was in season shock. My body said it was winter and the air said it was spring. I started out with plenty of clothes on and by the time we got ready to go home I had to walk around and figure out what bushes I had left my clothes hanging on, plus get my gun which I left down by the creek.

Anyway, the hounds got down and instead of cooling off they hit the briars running. They found a few mud puddles to cool off in and away we went. That red pack smoked those rabbits and if they’d had any kind of help we woulda had a tailgate full of rabbits. That one rabbit that Doc shot at was a 5 shell rabbit. They were moving on….and need I point out here again that my gun was down by the creek …… SB, Doc, and Daddy Rabbit was making Mr. Winchester a happy man that afternoon.  If we had done the percentages I wouldn’t have looked as bad as I did.

I really wasn’t that tired when we finished up. I have this bad back and if I sit down it relieves the pressure on my vertebrate and then I am ready to go again. That’s my excuse anyway. We had 6 rabbits on the tailgate, the hounds had some great runs, and the fellowship was the best you could ask for. What else could a rabbit hunter ask for????

FOOD, that’s what. After we got home, took care of the hounds, and got cleaned up, the saint of all saints, Mrs. Daddy Rabbit, had a feast prepared that you would not believe! Daddy Rabbit had been telling me all day that his wife made the best biscuits in the south and I can sure vouch for that as they melted in your mouth. All I needed was some molasses and I would have been in heaven. We had fried venison, mac and cheese, turnips, salmon patties, stewed ‘maters, butter beans, biscuits, cornbread, homemade pickles, and cherry cheesecake. Makes ya wanna howl, don’t it? I probably left something out ’cause that table was full. I will be eternally grateful, Mrs. Daddy Rabbit! And thank you, Daddy Rabbit and Doc for such wonderful hospitality, and for making our trip so memorable.

I am sure there is more to tell, and maybe some of the others will add to it, but this is MY story and I am sticking to it!
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