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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Cleaning up the running grounds with Charlie Flexer's amazing CAT 297C

Our dogs need exercise and an opportunity to use their noses all year round. To provide this we have an 11 acre running enclosure with a good number of cottontails. The big patches of staghorn sumac between the feed strips had become badly overgrown, so we hired Charlie Flexer and his CAT 297C brush clearing machine to grind up the ten foot growth and shred it down to ground level. Charlie specializes in controlling the brush and young trees in beagle club running grounds, and he was already nearby clearing areas of our local New Scotland Beagle Club.

The shredded sumac in our enclosure will quickly resprout next summer, so we asked Charlie to work over about 2/3 of the area. White pines were dropped for winter shelter. The remainder of the sumac was left standing to provide food and cover for the rabbits this winter.

These videos show what an amazing machine the CAT 297C. Despite it size, it is agile and can do amazingly precise work. And it works fast. Of course this requires a highly skilled operator and Charlie is all of that. He worked one day from dawn to dusk, and accomplished what would have taken me months with hand tools.

Charlie arrived with a big Ford 550 truck and trailer carrying various attachments including a shearing tool capable of cutting 15 inch trees and a giant culti-packer designed to prepare food plots. Also on board were eight of his 20 beagles. Charlie staked these well-behaved hunting beagles out on a 50 foot chain with a drop chain for each hound. They were clean, well conditioned and clearly they loved the boss and their life riding the roads of the Northeast.

Charlie lives in Pennsylvania and can be reached at 570-279-0790.

A day after

1 comment:

Claire said...

This is very interesting. Anything to do with creating and maintaining a rabbit running grounds is hard to find. It must be an oral tradition passed down from beagler to beagler.

Thank you for this!