Rabbit hunters run their beagles 2.6

Written by David Green.

Get a group of rabbit hunters together for a conversation and it soon becomes obvious what they’re really talking about.

Shooting at rabbits isn’t the focus; that’s just incidental to a morning in the field. They’re talking about their dogs. Running those beagles is the reason for the hunt.

“It’s all about the dogs,” says Travis Thompson of Morenci.

Those dogs could run forever.

“Beagles are the most stubborn dog,” he said. “They don’t know you have to go back home and go to work.”

Travis was one of five area hunters who joined a trio from the Michigan Out-of-Doors television show Jan. 24 to go after rabbits. The group spent about six hours at Hickory Hill nursery northwest of Morenci.

Travis’s father, Don, called the Michigan Out-of-Doors office last June to suggest a rabbit hunt and he received a return call a few weeks ago. Kelly Gotch from the show said they were interested in watching the group run their dogs, but that’s not what Don had in mind.

“No, come down to hunt,” he told Gotch.

Nobody invites the trio to hunt, she told Don. That was a very unusual request. She promised to get back with him after discussing the invitation with producers Jimmy Gretzinger and Gabe Van Wormer.

She called back and the date was set.

“None of us slept very well the night before worrying about the weather,” Travis said, but in the end everything worked out just fine.

“You couldn’t have asked for a better day,” said Ed Eyer of Wauseon.

He was at the Thompson home Sunday morning with his brother, Tony, and dog running companion Joe Dillinger of Leipsic, Ohio.

“They were real down-to-earth people,” Don said about the television crew. “It was a good group. And all of them got rabbits.”

Tony said he let a few run by in an effort to make sure everybody, especially Kelly, went home with a rabbit.

“I could have had seven or eight rabbits that day,” he said. “We worked hard that day getting them a rabbit.”

Van Wormer, behind the camera, had his own challenge. It wasn’t easy to capture an image of a dog in close pursuit.

“They should have given me the camera,” Tony said. “You’ve got to move.”

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
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  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
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  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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