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American Field Sports:

Thoughts on BeaglingClayton Bright and his beagles

This video documents the breeding, training and hunting of the beagle, the world's most popular hound, by three passionate beaglers:   Clayton Bright, a sculptor of sporting art from the wealthy Brandywine district of Pennsylvania; Roland Baltimore, an African American contractor from Middleburg, Virginia; and Claude Honeycutt, a devoutly religious gun dog man from the mountains of western North Carolina near Asheville. (32 minutes)

Tom Davenport also directed Thoughts on Foxhunting with Melvin Poe, narrated byAlexander Mckay-Smith and described as "the best hunting movie since Tom Jones."Roland Baltimore


by Richard P. Roth, President, The National Beagle Club

"Thoughts on Beagling is the best beagling video I've seen, not only in its technical excellence, but also in its showing of different styles of beagling, all connected by the love of the hounds.  The "stars" are Clayton Bright, a sculptor from Chester County, Pennsylvania, who has an organized pack, Claude Honeycutt, an ARHA beagler from western North Carolina, and Roland Baltimore, an elderly gun hunter from Virginia.

The way Tom Davenport weaves the story line between the three huntsmen and their hounds is where technical and artistic genius come together.  The scenery, hunting footage and dialogue all combine to produce a film that can be seen over and over.  At the Annual Meeting of the National Beagle Club I recommended that members buy two copies – one for themselves and one for their local library."

by Keith Loudermilk, Beagler, Field Trialer, Rabbit Hunter

"My father was raised in rural North Carolina in the 1940's. As a boy hounds were an important part of the environment on the farm. With eight sisters and one brother to feed, small game was a welcome addition to the dinner table. Even though my Dad moved to town after he and my Mom were married, the outdoor sports remained an important part of his life. And, though hunting was sometimes out of necessity, he still loved to
hear the music of the hounds echoing across the hills and into the valleys. So from the time I was young, Dad, my brothers and me spent many hours together hunting and fishing. We almost always kept beagles. As the years have passed my love for the Beagle has grown almost into an obsession at times. I have traveled over seven states hunting and competing with my hounds in American Kennel club field trial competitions. So as a long time Beagle enthusiast I was excited to be asked to review this thirty-minute film about the little hounds that I have grown to love.

Mr. Davenport intended to target an audience of rabbit hunters and people who love all aspects of Beagling. While he has created a film that can hold the interest of any such person, I believe that he has accomplished more. I think that it is interesting and enlightening for the person who has little or no understanding of the rich tradition of the Beagle as a breed, and the powerful draw of Beagling as a sport.

The film is centered on three people form vastly different social and economic backgrounds, who all share a similar passion for Beagles. Clayton Bright is a sculptor of sporting art from the Brandywine district of Pennsylvania. Claude Honeycutt is a middle class man who hunts and competes in ARHA field trial competitions from western North Carolina near Asheville. And Roland Baltimore, an elderly contractor from Middleburg, Virginia who mostly enjoys harvesting rabbit for the table.

I believe that Mr. Davenport does an exceptional job of blending the thoughts and ideas of each of his characters together. He skillfully compares the love that they each share for the little hounds, as he weaves between their vastly different experiences and backgrounds. He touches on their philosophies about training, breeding and raising pups. But what was most interesting to me was how he was able to tap into the heart of each of these men. He was able to expose the things that transformed a sport into a passion.

While I believe this short film is very enlightening, I would have liked to have seen it expand further on some of the tradition it alludes to. There is one small scene I personally know is taken from a formal pack event at the National Beagle Club in Aldie, Virginia, but there is no reference to it. I would also have liked to learn more about how each of these men developed their interest, and about the background of the beagle as a hunting hound in the United States.

As our population expands and the city blends into the country it is easy for people to misunderstand some of the rich traditions of the country. This film might not only provide entertainment for the Beagle enthusiast but could also play a small part in keeping the tradition alive for our children and grandchildren."