Years ago Mayo Snyder lived in the Old Chatham area, a bit south and east of Albany. There is an active group of Beaglers there. The September Forbes magazine had an article about this group of enthusiasts who maintain a pack of 100 hounds in which to use for the hunt. The members all wear the required gear, consisting of white pants, a green woolen sports coat with a red collar, and leather Jodhpur boots. The look is completed with a cap and a 6' leather strap on a hickory handle.
The dogs are dressed in black, brown and white coats. They have big, happy eyes and their red tongues are hanging out. Their velvet ears come in various colors and their legs and feet are usually white.
To have access to the dogs, the fee is $335 per year, plus an additional $125 for the first year's initiation fee. For this, you are told where the hunt will be held and supplied with a sufficient number of Beagles - 30 to 50 - available to run the rabbits.
The Beaglers walk and the dogs track the rabbits. They never actually catch the rabbits, but lots of Beagle singing will be heard. Eventually, all comes to a halt and everyone retires to someone's home for tea. The boots are left outdoors and the dogs are returned to the kennels.
Mayo was a "whipper-in," whose job was to keep the multitude on task and headed after the rabbit. He lent me an English book on Beagling. It said a modest pack is 40 dogs. It also said the dogs have to be run 11 miles out and back every day to keep them fit for "the run."
Mr. Lemon, "The World Famous Beagle," is very fit at this time, but on several of his 10-to 12-hour hunting expeditions, he was exhausted when he dragged himself home. I think these Sunday runs are no longer than 2 to 3 hours.
There was a Beagle Club somewhere west of Auburn, but I have never gotten together with these folks. I would like to let Mr. Lemon have at it in an enclosed area so that I could find him when it is time to go home.
Joe makes his home on the Western Shore of Skaneateles Lake with Sue. You can reach him through email@example.com.