JHB Orientation Review

Yesterday was the Hunting Orientation day for the JHB Beagles. we all met at 7am at our usual hunting spot and watched the cars pour in!

Our parking area was so full of cars, and the number of beagles and their people was just amazing! We must have had close on 100 beagles!! Ranging in age from just 3 months old – to the elderly veterans.

Look at the crowd!


Can you spot the yellow caps dotted around the group? Those are our “Hunt Marshalls” … people who have been at the hunts for a few years and know how it works – if you have any questions on the day, find someone in a yellow “Marshall” cap, and they will be able to help you! This is something new we implemented this year, and judging from what I saw yesterday, it really seemed to work! – let us know your feedback too please!


Once Jane had gone through the rules and explained to the crowd how the hunts worked, we set off for a walk around the area the beagles hunt in. Most beagles were off-lead – as they need to learn to be off-lead and interact with the rest of the pack… and we need to learn to be comfortable with having our dogs off-lead even though we can’t always see them in the long grass.


We had a few pit stops along the way to check if anyone was “missing” … our search and rescue team headed out back to the parking area to retrieve the beagles who had gotten “lost” along the way and headed back to the parking area.

On that note, we would like thank everyone who helped the “search and rescue team” … also, if your beagle is “missing” when we stop and do a head count, please alert a marshall as soon as possible so that we can check where the dog is, and we can go and find it asap. In the event that a beagle is “missing” we do need everyone’s co-operation to look around you, and make sure that the beagle is not perhaps in the crowd, getting water or tickles from someone else – we do have large numbers at the hunt, and need everyone’s co-operation please 🙂

That said – the morning went off really well!


Once we were about halfway through our walk, we did lay an actual line for the beagles. All dogs were put on lead, scented with the pilchards, and our Huntmaster (or HuntMistress, rather!) and small team set off through the mountains and valleys.


We all lined up, and let the whole pack go!





Please remember that once we have released the dogs we need to keep crouched down and keep very quiet! Don’t try and encourage your dog to run out… if you call, they will come back to you, and you may disturb other dogs on the line. Be still and quiet, and ignore ALL dogs who have stayed behind… they might still pick up the scent and run off after the pack.

It is very rare for a beagle to run and complete a line on their first few attempts. Give your beagle time! We had over 50 completely NEW beagles, and only one or two of those actually went along with the pack to finish the line! Very well done to those few who did! And for the rest of the newbies, there is still hope for you! :p


Some photos of the beagles coming into the finish:




Maya (a top ten beagle!)


Another Top Ten beagle – Oscar


and Poppadom – another Top Ten beagle coming in to the finish line


This is Bolt, who was rehomed – isn’t he lucky to have such a cool family that brings him hunting!



Chelsea came to a few hunts last year, and was back and doing well!



Fonzi was sporting his new 2012 bib, and making new friends


Roger (The winner of the 2011 season!!) and Jessie were there for the fun


After our walk through the veld, and the 2 lines we did, it was breakfast time! Our fabulous chefs from Salon de Culinaire treated us to delicious chicken wraps, and the meal was sponsored by the club! It is usually R35 per person, so this was a real treat! The money for the sponsored breakfast was leftover in our kitty from last year. Thank you Trevor and Dilene for your hard work preparing wraps for about 70 people!!



Harry and Oscar’s Grandparents and Great-Uncle from USA came along to support and see the beagles in action (and enjoy the breakfast!)



And Pipo the beagle has emigrated from USA with his parents… welcome guys!


Thank you to ALL the organisers for their hard work towards the day (the whole season in fact!) … it was an enormous group of people and beagles, way bigger than we have EVER had – and the morning ran pretty smoothly. Thank you to Jane for arranging all the admin… if you did NOT get an envelope from Jane for your admin, please make sure to get one next time.

We need:

R200 annual fees per family

A COPY of your beagle/s up to date vaccination certificate

Your details (name, surname, tel & email and your beagle/s name/s and numbers (if applicable)


Our next hunt is on 1 April at 7am at the same venue.

There will be a breakfast afterwards, at R35 per person, PLEASE RSVP if you are coming (either vial email, or on the online rsvp, please make a note in the comments section indicating how many PEOPLE are staying for breakfast)

Bring along:

  • Beagle/s (non-beagles are not permitted at our hunts unfortunately, so please leave them at home while we hunt)
  • Collar and Lead
  • Bibs with your allocated number clearly marked (if you do not have a bib, you may borrow from the club, or once you have a number assigned to you, you may order a bib from me [http://www.beagles.co.za/shop/   ], or make your own)
  • Backpack with waterbowl and water
  • Drinks for humans
  • Wear comfortable walking/hiking shoes and old clothes (we do get quite dirty)
  • A photocopy of your beagle/s UP TO DATE vaccination certificate/s
  • Chairs if you are staying to eat


** PLEASE make sure your beagle is treated against ticks and fleas! **


Until then,

Happy Beagling!







9 Responses to “ JHB Orientation Review ”

  1. Bruce says:

    Wow, this looked like loads of fun. Really sorry we had to miss it. Both Nelson and Aimee are recovering well and hopefully will be OK to run on the 1st.

  2. Hester Pescivolo says:

    It was great fun. Needless to say, Ronnie and Gina only did a short 50m or so each, but they had fun. It’s not about whether your beagle wins or even run a line, it’s the fun an socialising that goes with it. So to all the new folks… I hope we see you back again.

  3. Karen says:

    Looks like it was a wonderful morning! It must have been quite hectic organising so many hounds! Bruce: what is the matter with your two?

  4. Jane says:

    Well it is thanks to all the people who really did listen & follow the rules. This makes it so much more fun for both beagles & humans. Hope we did not stress out too many people on there first outing & we did not even loose any beagles……Snoopy 2’s owner I think may become part of search & rescue as he managed to find his own beagle in all that long grass!!! Nice to see everyone socialising afterwards & of course if the wraps were a taste of what is to come durign the season we are in for a treat. HAPPY BEAGLING.

  5. Francois says:

    Hey Jane
    Would love to volunteer my services as I now know every square meter of the valley from where the last hunt started to the car park. He had his “mother” quite worried. You should have seen that face pop out from the long grass. It was like “hey, this is where I left you, but when I got back from chasing that smell you sometimes put on my food you were gone!” Hopefully next time he will get the message and go all the way to the end.
    Thanks for a great morning. Can not wait to be back in two weeks.

  6. Tim says:

    I think it would be a good idea to post all the rules and guidelines to either beagles.co.za or the facebook page! I was shocked at how many people of the new people yesterday did not listen to the rule about stading up and talking on the line once the dogs have been relesed! There were so many people that on the second line I was pushed and shoved by a woman whos dog was not even in a bib and as the dogs were released she stood up in front of me and in the prosess elbowed my dog Enzo so hard he yelped and did not run the line. If this is how the season is going to be I unfortunatly wont attend any hunts and I think the new people should have the respect to allow the older dogs first priority on the start line. I think the numbers should be limited so it does not become a free for all!

  7. Peter says:

    Hey Tim,

    Sorry that you had such a rough time. This Hunt was an Orientation hunt for new people who might want to participate in future hunts.
    It was the first of its kind so it was a learning curve for all of us. I think some of the new people got over excited which is understandable seeing your dog run off lead for the first time.
    We ran out of bibs that was why some of the dogs did not have bibs, again there was no scoring so it was not necessary to have a bib.
    “If this is how the season is going to be I unfortunatly wont attend any hunts” I think this is a bit harsh Tim, remember you were new once, and this was an orientation hunt. I hope it does not come to that, you will be missed.

  8. Tanya Tanya says:

    Hi Tim,

    thanks for your feedback…

    The rules are posted on the website – first button on the left – http://www.beagles.co.za/rules/ and I have linked to them in just about every post in the last few months – I also post the link and ask everyone to read them in the reminder email and post I send out every Monday morning before the hunt. All the new people received a printed copy of the rules in their “admin pack” on Sunday too.

    We have also discussed limiting the numbers but feel it is unfair as so many people start coming to the hunt, and then fall out through the season, which drops our numbers drastically every year. It wouldn’t be fair to exclude people from the club – BUT we have put a new rule in place this year, and we are going to see how it works for us… if you had read the post online on 23 January with the “minutes” of the meeting, you will see that we have set a cut off date of the end of May – where we will not be accepting any new beagles into the pack. See point 7 on http://www.beagles.co.za/2012/01/23/3298/ .

    The orientation hunt on Sunday was a first of its kind and especially put in place to educate the new people and iron out as many problems as possible before the season starts on 1 April. I will definitely highlight the rules yet again before then and let’s hope that we can all abide by them come 1 April.

    Thanks again for your feedback, we do appreciate it and are trying to keep everyone happy,

  9. Bronwyn says:

    I just want to say a big thank you to the Marshalls. I don’t think that you can do this without them. They gave me some great help and advice.

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