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Benson featured in ‘Field and Stream’

A few years ago, Tremayne Benson started posting videos to You Tube of his Beagles hunting rabbits.

“I just put my videos on YouTube for documentation of how my dogs performed,” Benson said. “Now, I have 120-plus videos up.”

Some of the videos have had more than 100,000 views.

The body of work gets him calls from all over the world, and landed him in the current edition of Field and Stream.

“I was just here in Andalusia and River Falls doing what I love,” he said. “Because of the videos, they found me.”

Benson, who works in the Social Security office and serves as pastor of New Pilgrim Baptist Church, learned squirrel hunting from his father, Stanford Benson, as a young boy. At about age 12, he began rabbit hunting with his uncle, James Benson.

“What I really like is training the Beagles,” he said. “It’s what I love to do.”

He trains his own Beagles, and he trains dogs for other hunters.

“People call me if they have puppies they want trained, or they have an older dog they want developed to be better,” he said.

“At 6 months old, I have them started. By the time they are 12 months old, they are exceptional dogs,” he said. “That’s pretty fast.”

The secret is the amount of time he puts into training. Before he became a pastor, he hunted or worked with the dogs 5 to 7 days a week. Now, he works with them 3 to 5 days a week.

He learned about training dogs first from his uncle, and later from Robert Clark of Ard Creek Kennel in River Falls.

Representatives of Field and Stream came to Alabama and hunted with Benson in Chelsea, Tuscaloosa, and in Mobile.

Benson said he is able to juggle his work and his passion because he doesn’t waste time doing other things, and his family travels with him when he hunts.

His wife, Batina, is not a hunter, but she does cook rabbit. Both daughter Alana, 11, and Trenton, 8, help with the care of dogs in Benson’s Kennel, from feeding to bathing, and shots.

“It’s a family affair,” he said.

One of his favorite preparations of rabbit is to stuff it with cream cheese and wrap it with bacon. The Sportsman’s Channel recently featured the Bensons’ recipe on its Instagram page.

He also likes the traditional battered-and-friend rabbit with rice and biscuits.

He recently has been invited to appear on a hunting show on the Sportsman’s Channel. Despite the national acclaim, Benson insists, “I’m just doing what I love to do.”

Learn more about his kennels at bensonskennel.com.