I grew up hunting deer and rabbits with dogs down in central Mississippi (the REAL dog-hunting capital of the world). My dad and I raised some of the best rabbit beagles in three counties. The memories I've shared with my dad and granddad chasing rabbits are some that I hold most dear.
Most of the guys in our hunting club raised walkers and black & tans for deer. A few had beagles, but they were in the minority. Overall it was a good club, but sadly it has been almost shut down. Most of the land that they leased is from paper companies (GP, IP, etc) and they have issued new regulations this year prohibiting deer hunting with the aid of dogs. Of the 7,000 or so acres they hunt, the paper companies own roughly 5,500 acres right in the middle of the hunting grounds. Only the locals (and fewer of them than last year) allow dog hunting on their land. Because of that, fewer people have joined this year and it looks like they won't have enough $$$ to pay the leases.
It's sad, I remember the first deer I ever killed was with the club. A big-bodied doe popped out in the middle of an old logging road, looked around for the dogs that had been chasing her and by the time she saw me squatted down in the middle of the road, that .243 bucked and she never took another breath. I remember dad saying "Shoot her buddy, she's got a lot of meat on her." BOOM! "Good shot son, I'm gonna make a hunter out of you yet." We walked on down to her laying in the middle of the road with the dogs all sniffing around at her and he talked to me about how important it was to respect the game I'd just killed and we sat down right there and prayed, thanking the Good Lord for providing us with that meat. He still talks about that day, even though we've hunted together hundreds of times since then. In hindsight I think me harvesting my first deer was more important to him than it was to me.
Sorry for the lengthy trip down memory lane, but I hope the journey helped bring another prospective to hunting with dogs. Not all dog hunters are unethical pieces of crap, the bad ones have ruined it for the rest of us for the most part, just like everything else in this world...
"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them." -Richard Henry Lee, Virginia delegate to the Continental Congress, initiator of the Declaration of Independence, and member of the first Senate, which passed the Bill of Rights.