Good looking Beagle. I am curious, have you used yours under a bird yet. I tried last year, but beagles are so nose strong, I had problems using her. When she got on a sent she would not listen to any commands and run off on her own. I just bought me a lab mix. I am going after an active dog that is more on the obedient side. Nice looking dogs though. If you know any one who wants a beagle let me know.
"Life is hard; it's harder if you're stupid." -John Wayne
Storm has for five years. This will be the first year for Smoke. With the heavy cover we have here you need a dog that will get into the blackberry bushes. You could keep your beagle on a leash until you are where you want to hunt and then release him. Yes once he is on scent he is on a mission. I have trained him to stay so if I want to end the hunt or move to a different spot I wait until he comes out and then leash him. He will come out of the blackberry bushes if I call him some but not all of the time. It depends on how worked up he is and how strong the scent trail is. For the greatest success I think a rabbit dog is the way to go. You may want to hang on to your beagle if the lab mix does not consistently produce rabbits for the hawk. If you are firm a beagle can be trained but as you know they are somewhat difficult but they get the job done. The main thing is to make sure he knows you are the leader as they test you to see what they can get away with. You can PM with specific questions and I will try and help you.