lock-4 vp wrote:I've never understood why you have to have a trial in a pen. Whats wrong with wild rabbits in the wild? Ncrabbitman has a 12 acre pen i think that he holds some trials in. I would think this would be plenty big, and then a 1-2 acre starter pen for pups.
For one, if its electrified, it helps keep SOME predators out.
And two, it helps keep rabbits in year around. Beagle clubs spend alot of money maintaining their rabbit populations for all their trials.
There's nothing more frustrating than being at a trial where you cant find any rabbits.
The down side to the enclosures is the rabbits dont run like normal rabbits. Oh, its still wild as wild can be, but its also smarter than the rabbits on the "outside." These rabbits learn to do funny things after being chased by untold number of dogs day in and day out.
The most annoying thing is these rabbits become "path runners". They will bust out of a strip of cover and run the path for 50-70 yards before hopping into the next strip of cover. Or they'll run the fence. It teaches some dogs the bad habbit of hunting on the paths. Which is no good when its time to go gunning.
As with anything else there are pros and cons.
I've seen clubs with 60 acres enclosed. Our club has a 11 acre front enclosure, and 14 acre back enclosure. Once the farmers take the crops off alot of the gun dog members run in the strip of land between the enclosures.