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.little Ball
    Fayette's Demetrious Whiteside (left)Skylar Lester attempt to keep the ball from going out of bounds during Morenci's recent basketball tournament for fourth and fifth grade teams. Morenci's Andrew Schmidt stands by.
  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • 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.

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