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I've been coonhunting and enjoying hounds for over twenty years.  My first coonhunt was with a couple of my Dad's preacher friends.  They had some walker hounds that loved to run.  Over time Dad and I were bitten by the coonhunting bug and decided to buy a hound of our own.  Our first bonified coonhound was an old walker hound out of River Bend Flag that we called Old Man.  We paid the whopping sum of $250 for this old hound that couldn't load, his mouth was soft, hard headed, couldn't call him off a bad track, white faced walker.  We didn't get papers with him so I'm guessing he was around eight years old at the time.  The good thing was that he could flat out show you coons.

I went off to school, graduated and landed that first good job, got married, and settled into our first house.  I had almost everything I wanted, except a good hound.  I tried out a few hounds and was never very happy with what I was hunting. You all know as well as I do that a finished hound will be priced in the thousands of dollars and I simply didn't have that kind of cash in the cookie jar.  It was at this time that I decided to try to raise my first puppy.  I began to research breeders from all over the country and what they had in their kennels.  This is when I bought Jake from Wayne Campbell at Timber Chopper Kennels in Virginia.

Jake was a heavy Timber Chopper bred redbone and had a pedigree full of solid hounds.  I knew it would be a challenge.  You see, I didn't have an older hound to help him with his training.  What he would become rested strictly on his breeding. I introduced him to scent early on but didn't over do it.  I trapped a couple of coons to check his interest and then I started taking him to the woods at night.  At eleven months old he struck, ran, and treed his first coon.

This experience has heavily influenced my opinions on breeding, raising, and training hounds.  First, I threw away the notion that redbones were slow starters.  I also came to realize that a large part of whether a hound becomes a solid cooner or not is determined in the breeding pen not the training pen.  I am a firm believer in the "breed coonhound to coonhound" philosophy.

As I hunted Jake with different folks, it amazed me at how many people made comments about not ever seeing a redbone tree coons.  I realized that I had something special in Jake and I needed to consider getting a few puppies out of him.  I didn't have thousands of dollars to go out and buy some nice finished females and I had my first success story starting with a well-bred puppy and decided to try it again.  I added Holly who also comes from the Timber Chopper Kennels and is currently my leading lady.  She too was easy to train and is a pleasure to have around.

As the years have passed, I have lost most of my favorite hunting places to housing developments and miscellaneous urban sprawl.  It didn't take a lot of coaxing to talk my wife into moving further out into the country.  We found an old farm and things fell into place. I think it was definitely divine intervention.  The first thing we built was a barn that is barn/kennel.  We have six runs that are large by most people's standards.  I wanted the hounds to have plenty of room to run.

Now, I had room.  I again called on my friend Wayne Campbell to help me find another female to add to the kennel.  He happened to have Haley, a very nice female that was a very capable hound in the woods with an awesome pedigree to boot.

That brings me to present day.  Life often throws you curves and my curves came in December 2005 when I lost both Jake and Haley to aflatoxcin poisoning.  The dog food I was feeding them contained lethal amounts of aflatoxcin, a naturally occurring toxic chemical that comes from a fungus found on corn and other grains.  I must say it was a very difficult time for my wife and me.  We spend so much time with our hounds and can't help but get very attached to each of them.  I am starting slowly to rebuild and hope to put one or two litters on the ground yearly.  I am very lucky to have Holly as the foundation female for the future of our kennel.  My concentration will be on producing a quality redbone that will thrive in any environment and on giving my customers the best service in the country. 

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Last Updated on Sunday, February 23, 2014