Wyoming Federation of Houndsmen

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Wyoming Federation of Houndsmen

Postby BAR BAR 2 » Mon Apr 18, 2016 1:51 am

Due to a lack of activity and communication from the WHA, several houndsmen around the state began discussing the need for a reliable organization to represent our needs and interests before the state legislature and Wyoming Game & Fish Commission. Concerned action following these conversations are how the Wyoming Federation of Houndsmen came into being. In the quest of the antis to eliminate hound hunting, we are a very low hanging fruit and have come to realize the need of joining together as one in the fight of standing up for the rights of those us who enjoy hunting with hounds.

We do not have officers, bylaws or dues. What we do have is a strong concern for the future of hound hunting. We know and understand that without people and action, there is a very good chance those who wish to eliminate hound hunting will succeed. We believe that our success rests upon our own shoulders.

It is our hope that we can help bring Wyoming houndsmen out of the woods long enough to attend public comment and commission meetings. Having favorable regulations passed are always a good thing, but we need to also except responsibility for helping to educate the public on our sport. The antis are doing their dead level best to cast us in a bad light and we need to be out there telling the truth so that non-hunters can see us houndsmen for who we actually are.

We would like to count you among our numbers. All we need is a way to contact the houndsmen of Wyoming, so that we can alert them when their input is needed in support of hound related issues. It is our hope to help the sport grow in this state, but we can't do it alone.

If you have any questions or would like to leave your contact information with the Wyoming Federation of Houndsmen, please feel free to email us - wyohoundsman@yahoo.com



Tex
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Re: Wyoming Federation of Houndsmen

Postby Fireman03 » Mon Apr 18, 2016 2:11 am

I think the email you sent will be a good start and hopefully be enough to get them thinking about the matter.
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Re: Wyoming Federation of Houndsmen

Postby BAR BAR 2 » Mon Apr 18, 2016 2:13 am

For those who are wondering, we are already working on three different proposals to present to the Wyoming Game & Fish Commission in their upcoming meetings. We are also sending out emails, making phone calls and meeting with houndsmen to help ensure they attend their local Public Information Gathering Meetings (PIGM's).

Input and ideas are welcome and participation is desperately needed. The G&F has a certain way they want proposals made and part of that process is making contact with local representatives of the department and letting them know your concerns and ideas. They will then take this input and pass it on up the chain of command. If there are enough similar comments and concerns, these ideas will be presented at the PIGM's where the public can add their comments as well.

If anyone has any questions about navigating the G&F processes, please feel free to let me know or send an email and we will be glad to help.



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Re: Wyoming Federation of Houndsmen

Postby Fireman03 » Sat Apr 30, 2016 2:16 pm

After the first gf meeting help in Sundance it was obvious that we will need to influence the commissioners of our problems Houndsmen are seeing in the ne areas and of our proposals. We were told by one of the biologist that we were to late in getting our proposals turned in but in all actuality there is still a chance with the commission before regs are set for the next three years. We need support and numbers help if you believe in trying to protect our sport.
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Re: Wyoming Federation of Houndsmen

Postby BAR BAR 2 » Tue Sep 13, 2016 7:16 pm

It is a windy, rainy and chilly day, so I am stuck inside and figured I would try to write an update. Some of this stuff has been gone over previously, but I would like to get all pertinent information in one spot, so I may be repeating some a couple of things.

In the past couple couple months we have had two different meetings.
The first meeting was held in Gillette, Wyoming. With a group of 15-20 houndsmen, a vote was taken and it was decided that we would start on getting the Wyoming Federation of Houndsmen officially organized. Once we got that out of the way we opened the floor for the nomination of officers. A vote was taken and new officers were put in place.

Tex Adams - President
Dusty Fenley - Vice President
Rob Peterson - Secretary/Treasurer

The second meeting was held recently in Casper, Wyoming, so that more houndsmen from around the state could participate and take part in the discussions. At this meeting a discussion came up surrounding costs and membership dues. With the members present, a motion was made and voted on to set in place a $40 per year fee. The dues will go to offset costs incurred while traveling to and from the different meetings with the G&F and legislature. Once dues are received, each member will be sent a window decal.

Dues can be mailed to :
Wyoming Federation of Houndsmen
C/O Rob Peterson
36 Benjamin St.
Gillette, Wy 82716

When sending in your dues, please include :
Name
Address
Telephone Number
Email

At both of these meetings, several different issues surrounding the hunting of mountain lions were discussed.
They included, but are not limited to :
Passing a state statute that will recognize hound hunting as part of Wyoming's history and heritage going all the way back to the first settlers who ran the wolves off the range. Also, we would like to see hound hunting recognized as a valuable wildlife resource management tool. (Without houndsmen, this state's mountain lion management would be non-existent)

Hunter congestion and overcrowding
Limited nonresident sub-quotas in specific areas
Possible requirement for everyone actively involved in a lion pursuit to have a valid tag
Pursuit/Training season - When an area quotas out it would remain open for pursuit only by residents only until the scheduled end of season
Pursuit/Training Only License (Non Harvest) - At a lesser cost
Making a full price harvest tag valid for pursuit once the license holder harvests a lion, or an area hits the quota. This would also apply to nonresident license holders until the nonresident sub quota was met in a given area (if applicable)
Possible waiting period between the time a license is purchased and a lion can be harvested.

There are many reasons behind these discussions and the houndsmen of this state are trying to figure out the best ways to help manage Wyoming's wildlife resources while protecting and promoting sporting opportunities for houndsmen. Any constructive comments are welcome.

We have a meeting coming up during the last week of the month where a few of us will be sitting down with representatives from G&F to start discussing the wording of legislation that will hopefully address several of the above issues. The G&F Department is well aware of some of the issues faced by houndsmen in this state, but they are prevented from acting on them due to having a limited authority. Since we are going to have to go through the legislature to address some of the issues we face, we will also be looking to expand protections and hunting opportunities for houndsmen.

If anyone has any questions, or would like to participate in the upcoming discussions, please let me know. We are also looking for houndsmen from different areas of the state who are willing to act as representatives for hound interests.

Thank you,
Tex Adams, President
Wyoming Federation of Houndsmen

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Re: Wyoming Federation of Houndsmen

Postby BAR BAR 2 » Tue Sep 27, 2016 9:46 pm

*** UPDATE ***
As I mentioned previously, we have been planning to meet with reps from the G&F once we had our meeting in Casper and got a few things decided upon. The discussions held in Casper were a success and a general direction was agreed upon for a few different issues with a 'go ahead' given to start the talks with G&F. Myself, VP Dusty Fenley and members, John and Larry Bird, got together and hashed out the specific issues that we intended to go over with G&F, so that we could start navigating the legislative process.

We talked about several different routes we could go with different alternatives if one or another option was not available. The items on this list are in no way set in stone. We listed them merely as a place to begin discussions.

Here are the issues we wanted to discuss with G&F -
Hound hunting recognized as part of Wyoming's history and heritage
Recognized as a valuable wildlife management tool
Limited nonresident sub-quota (area specific)
Hound handler/training permit for everyone actively involved in the hunting of hounds (not just lion hunting)
Age limits on permits ???
Permits half the cost of harvest tags ???
Waiting period between license purchase and harvest
Pursuit/training season : once an area hits quota it shall remain open for pursuit and training purposes only for residents only
Reciprocity with other states ???

I was able to meet with several reps from G&F in Wright, Wyoming, yesterday, and we talked for about three hours on how to make hunting with hounds better in Wyoming.

In attendance at yesterday's meeting was -
Tex Adams, President of the Wyoming Federation of Houndsmen
Kieth Culver, Wyoming G&F Commissioner
Scott Edburg, Deputy Chief Game Warden
Dan Thompson, Head Carnivore Biologist
Justin Clapp, Mountain Lion Biologist
Joe Sandrini, Blackhills Region Biologist
Craig Smith, Game Warden, Sheridan Area (I believe)

I will go through each of the different topics and explain what was discussed.

-Hound hunting recognized as part of Wyoming's history and heritage
Recognized as a valuable wildlife management tool

In several states, hunting opportunities have been lost because of anti hunting groups using emotion and scare tactics to paint hound hunters in a bad light. Their method of attack is to go after the different hound pursuits by saying they don't want to completely shut the hunting down, they just want to eliminate the hunting of a certain species with hounds. With emotion, alot of money and a few bad examples, they have successfully eliminated bear, bobcat and/or mountain lion hunting in several states. Wyoming is one of several states that has constitutional protections in place for Hunting, Fishing and Trapping, but there is nothing specifically mentioning hounds or hunting with dogs. Because of this, the houndsmen of this state feel it is very important to go after some sort of recognition and protection through the legislature.

This item was discussed with G&F, but they are legally prohibited from lobbying for any sort of legislative changes. They can offer background and data when asked, but they cannot actively lobby for a measure such as this. It was suggested though, that I speak with State Rep Tyler Lindhom. Commissioner Culver had already been in contact with him discussing the hunter overcrowding issues and , Rep Lindholm, being a hunter and supporter of houndsmen, said that he was happy to help us work our way through the legislature with on these issues. With that information, I decided I would reach out to him to see what kind of support I could get for some sort of measure that better protected houndsmen and hunting with dogs.

He asked my reasoning behind what we are trying to do and then did a really good job of explaining the differences between resolutions and state statutes. In this particular case, neither of these avenues are entirely appropriate and the best route to take would be a constitutional amendment. Work on this will have to start very soon, so that it can be introduced during the next legislative session with final approval, hopefully, coming during the following regular legislative session in early 2019.

Representative Lindholm was out of town and has a few other items on his immediate schedule, so it was decided to set up a meeting date once he got back home and cleared his plate some. Also, since it was, Ogden Driscoll, who was able to push through the original amendment that protects Hunting, Fishing and Trapping, Rep Lindholm, felt it best if he reach out to the senator and invite him to the table as well. He feels that what we are looking for is very reasonable and should have plenty of support in Cheyenne. Once we get a little further along in these discussions, I will give everyone an update as to where we stand.

Limited nonresident sub-quota (area specific)
As many lion hunters in Wyoming know, hunter congestion and overcrowding has become a serious problem in some Mountain Lion Hunt Areas. More than a few different solutions have been discussed over the past several months, but the setting of a limited nonresident subquota is the solution that everyone keeps coming back to. As I mentioned before though, the Commission does not have the authority to set different quotas or limits for residents and nonresidents in this situation. For that reason, we are now going through the legislature to remedy that. Representative Lindholm has spoke with G&F reps as well as myself and we are to write this legislation out as it needs to be and he will see that it makes it before the legislature.

With the possibility of similar issues in the future coming up, we intend to word things so that this legislation can apply to more than one scenario, hunt area and/or species. The Wyoming Federation of Houndsmen hopes to one day see bear hunting with hounds become legal in this state and we hope that doing things right this time will save us from having to go back to Cheyenne due to something similar arising down the road.

Hound handler/training permit for everyone actively involved in the hunting of hounds (not just lion hunting)
For a couple years now, the houndsmen have been talking about possibly implementing a "hound handler, or training" permit. One would think that offering to funnel more money into the G&F coffers would be a no brainer and would have roaring support. NOT SO. This idea has been met with opposition from the field guys up to the commission. We have brought it to their attention that requiring a permit like other states have, people hunting for free would virtually be eliminated and would insure that everyone who is enjoying the hound pursuits would be paying their fair share to help manage and protect the resource.

The idea is not completely dead or abandoned, but it has been tabled at this time. In order for this idea to become reality, we would have to have a separate bill brought before the legislature granting the commission the licensing authority to set up and sell a new permit/tag. With the other issues we are already going after, we felt it best to limit our efforts to the most important issues. We are still going to pursue this, but it will be at a later date.

Age limits on permits ???
Permits half the cost of harvest tags ???
These two topics both go with the handler permit mentioned above. They were just notes that will need to be discussed when we do eventually start pursing this issue in earnest.

Waiting period between license purchase and harvest
This issue is part of the regs in other states and has been up for consideration among the houndsmen in this state. The premise behind it, is that it will help eliminate people sitting on tracks while they wait for another party to go and buy a tag. At this time, we will not be going anywhere with this issue. It is not a legislative item and can be dealt with at the commission level at some point in the future.

Pursuit/training season : once an area hits quota it shall remain open for pursuit and training purposes only for residents only
Houndsmen have been bringing this item up repeatedly and we have been given every excuse under the sun why it wouldn't work. I believe we are making some positive headway on this issue, but we still have a few people that need convinced this is a good idea. One of the main reasons against, that I have found, is that it would mean more work for the game wardens. Maybe we need some relief for the overworked game wardens, but limiting hunting opportunities is not the solution.

Basically, what we are wanting with a pursuit, or training season, is for an area to remain open for pursuit only, by residents only, until the scheduled end of season. At this time, only a handful of areas would even be affected. Last season, I believe there were only four hunt areas that reached quota and shut down.

We WILL continue working toward this and I believe we will find success in the near future.

Reciprocity with other states ???
Reciprocity surrounding hound hunting issues and nonresidents has been mentioned quite a few times in recent years and came up again at the meeting yesterday. I flat out opposed it for several reasons. Implementing something like this could mean a list of rules and regs so full and confusing, nobody would ever be able to figure it out.

I told the G&F personnel that Wyoming was in a very unique and good position, in that we don't have things so over-regulated yet that people avoid coming here. It is not our intent to limit opportunities for nonresidents, but merely to put the needs and desires of resident hunters first. I told them it is our desire to see Wyoming become a destination for houndsmen from other areas who would like to come out west and hunt large game with their dogs. To do that though, we have to do a better job of managing our resources and make sure that we take the correct steps to insure that hound hunting has a positive impact on the game and in the eyes of the public.

We are having to take small baby steps, because we are just now developing a good working relationship with the Wyoming Game & Fish Department. Progress is being made, but it is slow in coming, it seems. The thing is though, we have to keep at it and we have to be ever mindful of how we are perceived. Our image and how the public views us is playing a big part in the processes we are going through. Keep this in mind when you are in the field and please try and make time to participate in the upcoming meetings with our lawmakers.

This is all being done to help protect hound hunting and promote more hunting opportunities. Your help is needed.

If anyone has any questions, please do not hesitate to get a hold of me.

Tex Adams, President
Wyoming Federation of Houndsmen
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Re: Wyoming Federation of Houndsmen

Postby driftwood blue » Wed Sep 28, 2016 10:20 am

Tex
Keep up the good work. although I am from Kansas, I see a lot of thought has been put into what you are working on.
here in our state, they finally let in out of state hunters and the big money boys from Texas are leasing up much ground for deer hunting --- that is sure putting pressure on the local folks--those big money folks think hound hunting at night messes with their deer hunting..about the only time that happens is when some body hunts hounds that are not broke off trash.and the deer are usually back by morning.
again keep up the good work
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Re: Wyoming Federation of Houndsmen

Postby BAR BAR 2 » Wed Sep 28, 2016 11:29 pm

Driftwood, I appreciate the kind words. We have been working hard on these issues for quite a while now. Our ultimate goal is to help Wyoming become 'THE' place for houndsmen to take their dogs for big game pursuits. Everything takes time though and we are trying pay close attention with each move we make, so that what we do today will help achieve positive results down the road. We are definitely looking at things from a long term perspective.

With all that being said, we do realize there are different opinions and viewpoints and we welcome input from residents and nonresidents alike. It is important to us that we hear from people and get different ideas, so that we can avoid the pitfalls other states may be experiencing, while looking at and trying to implement the good management practices.


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Wyoming Federation of Houndsmen
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Re: Wyoming Federation of Houndsmen

Postby BAR BAR 2 » Sun Dec 25, 2016 6:31 pm

As a houndsman from a state (Wisconsin) where quite a few non-residents come to hunt with hounds I understand the idea of looking out for residents rights. I also am know that out of state hunters bring in a lot of money, even thought the hound dogger is small in numbers compared to some of the other type of hunting( elk ,deer).
I would like to apologize a head of time if I am reading things wrong and I am glad people like you are standing up for our/your rights. I understand the non-resident quota idea and am not against that as I wouldn't mine seeing some of that here. I would like to bring up a couple of things. I seen you where think of a pursuit tag of maybe 50% cost of hunting tag. My wife and I would like to go a lion hunt someday. A lion tag for non-residents is $362 that would mean $181 for me to tag along to watch her hopefully fill her tag. I am not against paying for pursuit tag, I think 50% might be a bit much to be a pack mule. I also know that G&F could probably use the money. The other point I would like to bring up is about the resident only pursuit once the quota is closed, as a non-resident if I travel 20+ hours to get to a spot to hunt and the quota gets filled before I get there or after I get there or if we get lucky and get a cat the first day. I could still enjoy the vacation we would make out of it. 

Thanks for reading and keep up the good fight


Hello and thanks for your comments. There are a few issues related to our proposed legislation that are being misunderstood and I am trying my best to clear up some of the confusion. Unfortunately, at this time, I am not at liberty to make public the actual wording of the bills. This is mainly due to the fact that everything is at the Legislative Services Office and legalities are being checked and re-checked.

Like a few other states, Wyoming, does not require every houndsman to have a license to participate in a mountain lion or bobcat hunt. The only requirement is that atleast one person in the party have a license. This has led to some very large parties of nonresident (NR) hunters flocking in to enjoy our mountain lion season. We have had resident (R) houndsmen encounter parties of 5 and up to 10 vehicles full of hunters who will dump hounds out on a track that is already being ran and then use the size of their party to intimidate people into pulling their dogs off. The fact that this does go on along with the fact that up to 80% of the NR hunters who are out here do not, in fact, have a valid tag, are what has many so upset.

The legislation being proposed will grant the F&G Commission the authority to set a limited NR sub-quota in a specific area, but will NOT be implemented statewide. In fact, there will be several criteria that would need to be met before a NR sub-quota would even be considered for an area. Once a particular area does meet its NR sub-quota, there will be nothing preventing a NR houndsman from going to a neighboring hunt area and continuing on with their hunt. These measures are merely meant to insure that R hunters, who usually travel with just one or two hunters in one vehicle, will have an adequate chance of their own to hunt.

We have some hunt areas that are experiencing a 60% and better harvest rate of lions by NR houndsmen. This is due entirely to the fact that R Houndsmen are being ran out of their home areas. And to add insult to injury, the lion populations in these areas are being decimated by people who feel that the purchase of a license is sufficient reason to harvest lactating females and sub-adult lions (3yrs and younger). If these harvest trends continue, there will be no lions to run, much less harvest. Recently, one popular hunt area hit its seasonal quota with 2/3 of the lions harvested being sub-adults and 1/2 being female. 

As everyone here well knows, raising, training, hunting and maintaining a pack of hounds is probably the most expensive type of hunting, with the possible exception of an African safari. It cost ALOT of money to keep a pack of dogs healthy and well trained. That is why we hope to one day have a training season. And yes, we do intend to pursue a resident only season. Otherwise, we would just be extending the same problems we are already dealing with and nothing would be accomplished. There are already R houndsmen being pushed out and no longer realizing the value of maintaining a pack of hounds and they are selling out. Without houndsmen, and more specifically, resident houndsmen, the state of Wyoming would have no viable management program for mountain lions and they would be forced to do as some of the west coast states are doing, which is hire contract government hunters to manage large predators. It is in this state's best interest to insure we have a devoted population of resident houndsmen to help manage and protect the different interests involved with Wyoming wildlife.

There have been many ideas bandied about and discussed concerning 'handler permits', or a requirement for everyone involved with a hunt to have a valid license. Many have expressed opinions one direction or another, but the general consensus is, most Wyoming R houndsmen would like to see something that requires everyone actively involved with a hunt to have some sort of license or permit. As it stands now, we have too many large hunting parties coming into the state with too many unlicensed hunters being able to exploit our hunting opportunities at the expense of the R hunters and sportsmen. These specific issues though, are not on any current agendas and will not be addressed until some point alot further down the road when several more important issues have been dealt with.

It is the intention of the, Wyoming Federation of Houndsmen, to steer this state toward becoming a hound hunting destination for those interested in pursuing big game with their hounds. We have to first get a handle on some of the problems we are facing. No state's management program should favor NR hunters who are not required to purchase a license over R hunters who do purchase them. We also hope to try and start some different educational programs that will help encourage new, or inexperienced hunters, to leave the less mature lions and lactating females in the tree. We hope to discourage people from shooting that 45lb mountain lion (actually happened this year), because that is NOT a trophy. These animals are classified as trophy game and anything less should be left to grow and mature.

Again, I appreciate your comments. I am more than willing to discuss the different issues we are dealing with at anytime and I encourage people to bring forth their ideas and concerns.

For those who are interested, the Wyoming Federation of Houndsmen, has a new Facebook page. The page is private, so interested people will have to ask for permission before being allowed to participate. Unfortunately, in today's climate, with the anti hunting crowd, this is a simple necessity. 


Thanks,
Tex Adams, President
Wyoming Federation of Houndsmen
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Re: Wyoming Federation of Houndsmen

Postby BAR BAR 2 » Wed Jan 04, 2017 2:23 pm

!!! MEMBERSHIP DRIVE !!!

The Wyoming Federation of Houndsmen is having a membership drive.
Everyone who has paid dues by January 31, 2017 will be entered into a drawing for one of the following prizes.
Randall Knife, donated by Clinton Knives
$100 Gift Certificate, donated by Plum Tree Hound Supply
$50 Double U Gift Certificate

Dues are $40/yr and can be mailed to :
Wyoming Federation of Houndsmen
C/O Rob Peterson
36 Benjamin St.
Gillette, Wy 82716

When sending in your dues, please include :
Name
Address
Telephone Number
Email

We have alot going on this year and it takes the support of houndsmen to help protect our sport.


Thanks
Tex Adams, President
Wyoming Federation of Houndsmen
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Re: Wyoming Federation of Houndsmen

Postby BAR BAR 2 » Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:25 pm

The prize list for the Membership Drive has grown.

Two (2) Garmin TT 15 Collars, donated by Double U Hound Supply https://www.dusupply.com/

One (1) Randall Knife, donated by Clinton Knives http://www.clintonknives.com/

One (1) $100 Gift Certificate, donated by Plum Tree Hound Supply https://plumtreehoundsupply.com/

One (1) $50 Double U Hound Supply Gift Certificate, donated by, Mike Sogge, of the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association

Guys we are getting a good pile of prizes out together and I'm hoping we can add some more to it. Everyone who has paid their membership by January 31, 2017, will be entered into the drawings. We are going to be drawing several names for prizes, so the odds are pretty decent.

We want to extend a big thank you to each of these sponsors. Their help is greatly appreciated and we ask that you help support those companies and organizations that support houndsmen.

Good luck and thank you for supporting our organization.

Tex Adams, President
Wyoming Federation of Houndsmen
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Re: Wyoming Federation of Houndsmen

Postby BAR BAR 2 » Fri Jan 20, 2017 7:20 pm

Great News !!!
Our legislation, HB130, passed through the House TRW Committee with a vote of 8-1
From here it goes to the Senate where it will be brought up before the TRW Committee there. A positive note here is, Senator Fred Emerich, who is the head of the Senate TRW Committee, has signed on as a co-sponsor of this legislation.

The current draft of the legislation can be here - (please note, this is a pdf)
http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2017/Introduced/HB0130.pdf

Of note in regards to this draft is that it is already being amended. The word, LICENSE, will be removed from the wording, as will the specific percentages for resident and non-resident quota numbers. They were initially added so that an economic impact statement could be drawn up. If anyone has any questions, please don't hesitate to call me and I will do my best to address your concerns.


Tex Adams, President
Wyoming Federation of Houndsmen
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Re: Wyoming Federation of Houndsmen

Postby BAR BAR 2 » Fri Jan 20, 2017 7:37 pm

!!! MEMBERSHIP DRIVE !!!

Double U Hound Supply sent a box chock full of merchandise for prizes in our membership drive. As promised, they sent two Garmin TT 15 Collars, but they also sent along a big selection of other stuff.
Hoodies
T-Shirts
Caps
Replacement Collar Antennas
Lanyards
Coozies
Window Decals

All of these items will be awarded to dues paying members in our drawing. And remember, one of the Garmin TT 15 Collars will be awarded to the person who brings in the most new members.

We also have a Randall Knife and two gift certificates to give out as well.

I would like to thank, Double U Hounds Supply, Clinton Knives and Plum Tree Hound Supply for their generosity and support and I ask each of you to extend your appreciation to them as well.


Tex Adams, President
Wyoming Federation of Houndsmen
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