Equipment for hunting rabbits is fairly simply but specialized.

Besides having experienced beagles, outer garments should be rugged, waterproof boots should be light and comfortable, and at least one hunter (usually the dogs' owner or owners) should have radio-controlled shock collars fitted to each dog, and he'll need a hand-held remote unit to get their attention and call them back to him when necessary.

"A lot of guys shoot 20-gauges (shotguns), but some like 28-gauges or .410s," Chris Kidd said. "It doesn't take a heavy-loaded gun to kill a rabbit, unless you're in thick stuff. A .410 or 20-gauge is light and supplies all the power you will need, normally."

Some hunters like 12-gauges. because their shotshell pellets will penetrate brush. But they're heavier to carry, so there's a trade-off in having to carry that weapon for long distances.

Hunters also need to be in good walking condition so fatigue doesn't become a factor after a day of tromping through thickets and briar tangles.

Some people don't like the idea of shock collars, but if used properly - they have buzzer settings which dogs quickly learn is the signal to return to their master if they don't want a jolt - they'll bring beagles back.

"Coyotes love to snack on beagles, so you don't want them to spend the night in the woods," Kidd said. "You might come back the next day to look for 'em, but you ain't likely to find 'em."

Brush-buster clothing is a necessity, too, or a hunter will need to break out the mercurochrome and bandages to tend to briar cuts.