I took Ogedei out this morning for a few hours. We went up to Hobbs State Park, which is open to hunting. It’s mostly open pine/oak forest. They do controlled burns every 5-10 years, so the trees are fairly large and widely spaced in many areas. I wanted to rabbit hunt but couldn’t find any good fields within the park. I thought I remembered there being some before driving up, but they’re all outside the park on private property. I eventually settled on a few small open areas that were each an acre or less in extent.The first area was a parking lot for a the Hidden Diversity multi-use trail. The edges of the forest had grass and brambles and I flushed a rabbit within the first 5 minutes. The rabbit ran across the open parking lot and Ogedei was after it. I thought for sure with such an open area he’d connect, but they turned around an outhouse and I missed the last bit of the chase. When I caught up Ogedei was sitting on a wooden fence with no rabbit. I beat the brush up and down but never reflushed that rabbit or found a second one in the area.
The second spot was a fairly open area between the intersection of three roads. It was filled with briars and vines at ground level and looked promising. I almost stepped on a rabbit as soon as we started hunting. It sat perfectly still under a small pine tree less than 5′ away. I don’t know what I was thinking, but I circled around the rabbit and flushed it towards Ogedei. The rabbit dove into some thick vines and Ogedei crashed into the top of the pile. The rabbit kept going but Ogedei was tangled up. When he finally got untangled the rabbit was gone. Ogedei apparently hit the pile hard enough to knock some breast feather loose because a couple fluttered away when he finally got up into a tree and he now has a small bare spot on his chest. I couldn’t find the rabbit to reflush it.The third rabbit was much like the first. I found some dead, mostly fallen pokeweed and flushed a rabbit right away. It made a 50 yard sprint through the open trees. It was a really nice chase as Ogedei wove through the tree trunks but he came up short again. When I caught up Ogedei was sitting in a small tree staring intently at a hole under the root ball of a fallen tree.