Ashe County beagle wins national competition

Wil Petty Staff Writer

August 29, 2013

An Ashe County beagle brought home puppy gold at the 2013 McVay Memorial Hunt Weekend.

Ranger Rick, 16 months old, of Crumpler competed against 30 other pups in the Professional Kennel Club (PKC) sanctioned event in Coshocton, Ohio southwest of Canton.

“It is a competition hunt for beagles,” Tom Miller, Ranger Rick’s owner said. “They have to be registered dogs.”

In the hunt, beagles chase after wild rabbits. The rabbits are not harmed in the competition.

“Nothing is hurt,” Miller said. “(The dogs are) just chasing a rabbit.”

Alongside Ranger Rick, Miller also brought his 4-year-old beagle, Hammer Trapper, on the Ohio trip.

Hammer Trapper competed in the main hunt, which had over 200 dogs in the competition. Hammer placed sixth overall.

“For a dog to place in the top 10, it has to be pretty good,” Miller said.

It is Miller’s second time competing in the McVay Memorial Hunt Weekend.

Miller said his dogs did not do as well in last year’s hunt.

“The weather (last year) was so hot and dry,” he said.

But with the rainy conditions at the time of the competition, Ranger Rick was used to the elements.

Ranger Rick competed on Friday while Hammer Trapper competed in nicer conditions the following day.

For most of his life, Miller has owned beagles. He owns eight beagles and brought what he considered his top two hunters to the event.

“It’s something to do, it’s a hobby,” he said. “I’ve had dogs all of my life.”