NYHCA article for American Cooner, Full Cry, Rabbit Hunter; Hunter's Horn January 2011
(or whichever of them you can still get it into)
New York Houndsmen Conservation Association
Houndsmen Helping Houndsmen
Emily S. Plishner, Zone 4 Representative
P.O Box 63
West Kill, NY 12492
518 989 6454
January 25 is Sportsmen's Outdoor Recreation Awareness Day in Albany again this year. We need to show our strength. Please attend if you can. Last year, over 2,000 people packed the "well" of the legislative office building in support of hunting, trapping, fishing, etc. It was an impressive showing. The animal rights activists do this every year. We need to go to Albany too, to make sure we are heard. The Houndsmen will have a table there. I'll be there. Stop by and visit or help out for awhile, and take some of our literature up to your state senator and assembly person while you are in the building. Let them know you care about hunting with hounds. If you want a good summary of the activities last year, go to the Website for the NY Conservation Council and read their article: http://www.nyscc.com/sportsmenoutdoorrecday.html.
You may recall that dog licensing is now up to local communities, as of January 1, mandated by the Paterson administration as a cost saving measure for the state. Each town must pass a local law setting fees, providing for dog control, the protection of dogs, and the protection of people from problem dogs. In most cases, this means your dog license fee will go up. I just renewed the license for my neutered hound, which cost $2.50. As of January 1, under my town's proposed law, that fee will go up to $6.00, of which one dollar will be a state "surcharge." Who knows where that will disappear to! Since the license for my other dog, who is intact, comes due in January, I paid the $10.50 to renew his license early, saving $3.00. Our town's proposed law, Town of Lexington local law #2 of 2010, does not say anything about purebred kennel licenses. An acquaintance in the town of Marathon tells me that his town also skipped the purebred kennel license, and will be charging $22/hound. Lexington's law also adds pretty stiff penalties for license law violations. If you have repeat infractions within five years, the penalty can be as high as $400 per dog! Please check in with your town clerk and keep on top of this issue. The Houndsmen would like to know about any problems you are having, and help you address them. It would help if we knew about what is happening in as many towns as possible, so call or email and let me know!
To you Treeing Walker people: N.L. Taylor is looking for the owner of a treeing walker female bought at Shaffer's in WV. All he knows is that last summer, she went somewhere in NY. She is out of Boyuh and River Bend Jane, and Mr. Taylor owns the dam. Jane only has 6 pups, and the one in NY is the only female. Go to Coondawgs.com to contact him or get in touch with me.
The other kennel clubs don't schedule events in November because of the vagaries of the weather at this time of year and the demands of bow and rifle season for deer, but here are some PKC results:
Herman Flowers reports that there were a dozen dogs entered at the Gorham event on November 5. Grant Tuttle took home $230 for first, handling Pearl. Ketchum Kennels' Josie took second with Josie for $50. Jason Carroll took 3rd for $50 with Jack. Dakota Weidman reports the following for events in Wyoming: On Friday the twelfth, in the $50 open event, four dogs entered. John Weidman Sr. won with Josie. Dakota says they scored on 5 coon and saw 10. He was real impressed with the dog work. On Saturday the thirteenth, with a $50 entry fee and a $250 added purse, they hunted it off. There were 12 dogs entered. Stewart North Jr. won with Bear. John Weidman Sr. came in second with Tiny. Pearl, owned by Fuhs & Fuhs, came in third, handled by Grant Tuttle.
Kill season for coon is well underway. Jesse Harvey writes that he "ran with my aunt last night. I ran Reba and Miles. She ran Sarge, Curtiss Ridall's Majestic hound. It took a little bit before they hit a track and Mr. Ringtail took them for a run, but they put up a big boar and he came out with some good fight in him. Curtiss says Sarge is "one of the loudest dogs I have ever heard."
Curtiss Ridall's Majestic Hound Sarge treed on November 14, 2010
Jesse Harvey's Miles on the same night
Nonetheless, a lot of people stay out of the woods during deer season, either because they're tired from deer hunting or because they're worried about the safety of their dogs. Not John Weidman, Jr. He says, "I hunt every night right through deer season." Nonetheless, he's been worried about how few coon he is seeing. "The coon have been coming real tough around here the past 3-4 weeks. I have a funny feelin that something has gone wrong with these coon--like getting sick and dying. I sure hope I'm wrong and i really don't want it to get like it is in the eastern part of the state. When your in the woods as much as I am, you should know where the coon are and they aren't there. Although I was shut down the past couple of nights by 8 in. of snow." Yup, its winter in NY. Lots of snow.
Jim Downs didn't stay in during deer season, and right now he's wishing he had, although deer hunting had nothing to do with his woes. Sad to say, his favorite hound, Becca Jean, got onto the NY Thruway and was hit. Here's how he informed me: "Last nights coon chase down to Popple's Farm didn't go too well. Frank ,Tommy and I Took Becca Jean, Lily, and Feather up the South side of the Cowasalon Creek. Becca Jean took a track out onto the Thruway and got killed. I'm not sure how she got through the fence, but she did. Too much dog to put in them little woods, but the last time we were in there two coon swam the creek and we never got them. This time I wore my chest waders and took Becca Jean. I figured I'd kill one of them coon. Instead I killed my favorite hound. Not the smartest move I ever made.
"A number of years back, on a hunt near here, on the eve of Thanksgiving, Frank's dog got killed in a #220 conabear. Bruce and I took it to my place and buried it among my old hounds. This time, with me not feeling too good and there not being much left of Becca Jean, I opted to leave her along the Thruway. Frank went back this morning, found her, carried her home to his place, and buried her amongst his old hounds. Said he couldn't leave a fallen soldier. God bless him for that. I feel better now. She will be sorely missed... Helluva of a dog."
R.I.P. 'PR' Downs' Vinnie II, aka Becca Jean
Old fashion no nonsense coon hound with a bawl mouth that I'll still be hearing in my dreams till the day I die.
Becca Jean's real name was 'PR' Downs' Vinnie II, but he always called her Becca Jean. In his typical wry understatement, Jim said, "She will be missed by the 2 dozen guys and gals that ever hunted with her, I'm sure." Well, Jim (better known to his email correspondents as Grampa Redbone), I beg to differ. Seems to me that at least a half a hundred people get your emails about your hunts, me included. I always took great pleasure from reading about Becca Jean's swimming exploits.
Becca Jean was 8 years old last October 9th. She was getting gray in the face but was still his lead track dog on a hard chase. Her tracking abilities on land or water were hard to match. Jim says, "She swam like a fish--which was a problem on the big rivers and barge canals. Didn't have any quit in her."
Here's and old story typical of Becca Jean from October 29 TH 2008: Becca and I went down to Fish Creek Landing . She opened on an old feeder track about a hundred yards from the truck; she moved it out over an alfalfa field, through a cornfield and into the swamp. I only went into the swamp to the top of my boots but I could hear her bawling and swimming. She took it through to the other side and on dry ground she put the screws to him and he went back in the swamp. He was swimming at me on my left and Becca Jean was about 20 yards behind baying while she was swimming. I backed out of the swamp and waited to see how it would play out, then Becca Treed. Prettiest changeover you ever heard! I made my way into the water right to the top of my boots and Becca had him up on an island in a tree about 20 feet high. I cracked him beside the head with a .22 so there wasn't much fuss when he hit the water. Becca was so mad at him she dragged him half way out of the swamp for me. Tons of fun !! Wicked good dog work."
Here's another, from 11/5/07: "I took Kyle out in the rain with his Walker pup, Buck, and Becca Jean. We covered a lot of ground at Salmon Reservoir, rigged over to Wilson's and walked for miles. The coon didn't seem to be moving in the wind and rain. We dropped them in over by the Annsville youth camp and Becca finally struck. Buck run a little track; Becca took him a long ways and down into the ravine and treed. It was a naked tree but surrounded with beech leaves and hemlock, He wouldn't look. I went around about 3 times, then I took a big rock and got him to move out on a limb. He was in trouble then! Out he come and the fight went all the way to the bottom. Young Buck got a lesson on which end bites, I showed Kyle how to skin it and we made are way out. Started pouring hard on the way home. Tons of fun!"
Call me, write me, or email me with your upcoming events, event results, new titles, upcoming litters and other news and pictures. I especially need to hear from you beagle and foxhound people! No matter what you chase with your hounds, NYHCA has your back in Albany. Every houndsman and houndswoman in NY should be a member. To join, visit our website at http://www.nyhoundsmen.org for more information, or just send a check with your contact info to NYHCA; P.O. Box 72; Walworth, NY; 14568. Dues are $10 for a full year for individuals; $5 for youth 16 or under at the time you join; family $15; hound or hunting club/organization $25. Memberships are available on-the-spot at all NY Houndsmen events.
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