Hunting Dogs

Choosing the Sire

Choosing The Sire

Laura Bell

Staff Writer


As a regular contributing writer to COONHOUND BLOODLINES MAGAZINE I’ve been

fortunate to be able to talk with many people within the coonhound world and hear about countless great dogs from
various bloodlines. I was aware of who was winning, what lines were out there
and I just needed to figure out what I wanted for Tanner. I knew I wanted
something dual purpose, meaning, something that could coon hunt and something
that was built correctly enough in conformation to compete in shows. But most
importantly I needed something to compliment Tanner, make up for her weak
points, and reinforce her strong points. Like –

Tanner likes to run the occasional deer, so I should look at sires that do not have a strong history of running deer. After
all, I want a coon dog not a deer dog!

Tracking ability. Tanner doesn’t lack much
in this department, but finding a sire with a strong track driving ability
wouldn’t hurt.

Treeing ability. Tanner has this dominated.
Once she lets out her locate bark, tree her and start walking to her to find
the coon. Very rarely have I ever questioned whether or not she had the coon,
she’s incredibly accurate. The sire I choose need not be as dominating in this

Temperament and personality. Tanner excels
at this category also. But hey, a charming, easy going male dog would be one of
the best things for this cross.

Conformation. I not only hunt these dogs,
but I show them. I wanted puppies that had splendor and brains. Face it, a dog
that doesn’t know what a coon is would take away from its heritage, and a dog
that wasn’t built to its breed standard would never hold up correctly in the
field. Correct structure and conformation is just as important as hunting
ability and everything else.  

Then there
are pedigrees

Tanner’s pedigree is like so –

Grand Sire) GRNITECH ‘PR’ Rock River Sackett

Sire) CHGRNITECH ‘PR’ Rock River Sackett Jr.

Grand Dam GRNITECH ‘ PR’ Skeans Dolly

GRNITECH ‘PR’ Fletcher’s Stylish Jake

Grand Sire) GRNITECH ‘PR’ Hard Knockin Stylish Hayes

Dam) NITECH ‘PR’ Fletcher’s Stylish Ann

Grand Dam GRNITECH ‘PR’ Schmersal’s Stylish Anna

'PR' Bells NiteTime'n Tanner

Grand Sire) CH GRNITECH ‘PR’ Rock River Sackett Jr.

Sire) GRNITECH ‘PR’ Babes Stylish Banjo

Grand Dam NITECh ‘PR’ Lipper’s Stylish Babe

‘PR’ Scotts Brushy Brench Bell

(Great Grand Sire) ‘PR’ Byron’s Flag’n Yank

Dam) NITECH ‘PR’ Hard Hittin Honey

(Great Grand Dam) ‘PR’ Byron’s Lil Sparky

She carries Rock River Sackett Jr. twice in
her pedigree, which I like. Sackett Jr. sired 1806 pups in his lifetime and of
those, 410 earned UKC Hunting titles. Sackett Jr. was one of the historical top
reproducers of the Treeing Walker breed.

I was tempted to go with a sire that also
had Sackett Jr. in his pedigree, but there was another bloodline that I was
drawn to, the Clover bloodline.

The Clover line of dogs was originated by
Lee Logan, of Pennsylvania. Lee picked Clover out of a litter of pups because
of the perfect clover shaped marking on his side, hence why Lee named him
Clover and he became GRNITECH CH ‘PR’ Logan’s Wild Clover. As a side note, the
Clover line typically produces hounds that are mostly black & white with
small amounts of tan on their faces only. I did an article on Lee and his
“wild” Clover dogs and as a special treat, Lee offered me the chance to hunt
with some of his dogs. I had a blast! He brought four dogs out and those four
dogs looked like a million bucks that night. One in particular was called
GRNITECH ‘PR’ Wessel’s Wild Card. Card reproduced lots of good pups, several
with titles, and is still alive to this day. So, should I breed Tanner to Card?
I thought about it, but while Card had everything I was looking for it seemed
like everyone had a pup out of Wild Card and I wanted something a little

Lee sold Card to Mike Espinosa in
Springfield, Ohio and Mike has been raising a successful line of dogs out of
him. One especially caught my eye. His name was GRNITECH GRCH ‘PR’ Wild Card’s
Buddy and he was a direct son of Card and his mother was another Clover bred
female, making Buddy double bred on Clover. Buddy is young, only 3-4yrs old,
but I liked him and I first saw him in person at the 2011 UKC Autumn Oaks
event. He was starting to win a few hunts and he seemed like a good balanced
hound and even was working towards earning a show title. Dual purpose, that’s
what I was looking for! Buddy earned his hunting titles at an early age and was
starting to sire a few litters. The only thing was, while Buddy himself was
proving to be an excellent dog, it was unknown if his pups would carry the same
characteristics and he had around 30 pups on the ground all around the 1yr old
mark. The few that were old enough to hunt were starting to do a nice job, but
they were still young. Would Buddy commonly produce duds or dandies? Same goes
for Tanner. One never knows, you just hope.

Anyway, Mike had a post going about Buddy
and the rest of his kennel on the UKC Message Forum and I was keeping an eye on
this thread for a while. Tanner was due in heat around December 2012 and shortly
before this I had contacted Mike about the possibility of breeding Tanner to
Buddy. He was a very nice guy to talk with and was willing to work with me on
getting Tanner bred to Buddy. After talking with Mike I was sure that Buddy
would be a nice compliment to Tanner and together they would produce a
well-balanced litter of pups. He lives in Springfield, Ohio, which is just over
a 3hr drive for me.

Tanner finally came into heat in January of
2013. I went to the vet and got a Brucellosis test done (more on this in my
next column) and it came back negative, which is a good thing! She had a rather
short heat cycle and I chose to breed her on January 13th, which was
her ninth day of heat. She was standing for every dog in town, so I crossed my
fingers and headed her down to meet Buddy. Shortly after arriving at Mike’s,
Tanner and Buddy tied. More finger crossing that this would result in pups!
Mike lives in a residential area, which kind of surprised me, and no hounds
barked when we pulled up. Mike has a small back yard where the dogs stay and
wow what discipline they have! If they started barking, and we all know hounds
like to bark and are hard to stop, Mike just had to tell them to hush and they
stopped cold. This line of dogs minds their owner well, another added perk!

While down at Mike’s I got to see a pup out
of Buddy and another female out of Card. Very good looking dogs!! But I
especially liked another dog Mike had, Wild Card! The old boy looked much the
same from when I last hunted with him, only a little greyer and with a few
added pounds. I believe Mike said he was 13yrs old and just taking it easy. I
got to pet him and feed him several dog biscuits, he was a good ol boy and
loved the attention.

We filled out the necessary paperwork, and
then I shook hands with Mike and headed home. I can’t begin to say how excited
I was for this! I would finally have my first litter of pups on the way!
Hopefully! Dogs have a gestation of 63 days (but it varies, give or take a few
days) and according to a whelping calendar found at Tanner’s due
date would be March 16th, 2013.

The pups would have the following
3-generation pedigree

'PR' Rock River Sackett

'PR' Rock River Sackett Jr.

'PR' Skeans Dolly

'PR' Fletcher's Stylish Jake

'PR' Hard Knockin Stylish Hayes

'PR' Fletcher's Stylish Ann

'PR' Schmersal's Stylish Anna

GRCH 'PR' Bells NiteTime'n Tanner

GRNITECH 'PR' Rock River Sackett Jr.

'PR' Babes Stylish Banjo

'PR' Lipper's Stylish Babe

Scotts Brushy Brench Bell

Byron's Flag'n Yank

'PR' Hard Hittin Honey

Byron's Lil Sparky


Logan's Wild Clover

Wessel's Wild Casey

Logan's Wild Jeanie

Wessel's Wild Card

Yadkin River Cruise

Cheat River Big Horn Dutchess

Abbott's Big Horn Daisy

Dorcy Lamp Review

Dorcy Twin Globe Lamp


Kathleen Kalina

President of WomenHunters



The Dorcy Lamp is completely waterproof and runs on batteries. No messing with propane and mantles. This is a great type of lamp for ice fishing, camping or deer camp. The LED 160 lumens is very bright. The twin globe settings and amber night light allows you to have a full light the covers 360 degrees or a small nightlight. The 4D batteries power the single globe for 350 hours or the double globe for 175 hours. 
There is a 600 hour runtime for the amber night light.


Read more: Dorcy Lamp Review

Common Vocabulary 2

Common Vocabulary

Christine Cunningham

Staff Writer- Alaska


            Just as I was about to press the trigger of my 12 gauge over/under shotgun, the image of my English setter bobbed into view. The white tail ptarmigan I’d been holding on, waiting for it to fly, startled from its perch. And, instead of firing, I watched as my one-year-old setter bounded in the air after it as if she were happily chasing a butterfly. Parker’s tongue hung from the side of her mouth as she ran the length of its take off and beneath its white winged glide down the mountain. They had made it past the effective range of my shot by the time they parted ways–the ptarmigan higher in the sky than it would have otherwise gone and Parker, keeping pace with it on the ground. She was so proud of herself. If the point of having a pointer was to watch a dog startle a flock of birds, she was on the job.

Me and Parker 

            She ran back toward me for her congratulations and, since I do not have the sternness required of first-rate dog trainers, I melted under her charms. She was so happy I just didn’t know how to tell her that she really, really screwed up. Instead, I wanted to give her a prize for participation. She was my little effort-all-star. We were having a happy reunion when I looked up to see the still-frozen expressions of shock on my hunting partner and his professional hunting dog’s face. Winchester, a well-trained English setter who approached his bird hunting work with the sophistication of an expert, and my hunting partner, who had experienced countless mornings on the same mountain where everything went right, were staring at the two of us amateurs like we had just crashed a black tie party dressed as zombies.

            The scene that had just played out was actually two scenes–the first, was my little pup bounding blissfully after a bird just the way she should not. The second, was my hunting partner sputtering an assemblage of words resembling those of Yosemite Sam as he skittered to keep his footing on the ice while grasping through an assortment of contraptions around his neck which included a whistle, two dog collar controllers, and a digital camera with a telephoto lens. “She just needs to learn a vocabulary,” I said. Winchester was still frozen in disbelief. My hunting partner’s eyes were bulged. “A vocabulary? A vocabulary?” he said.

            “Yes,” I said. “She just needs to learn the word ‘whoa’ for instance. And maybe ‘come.’”

I was being very practical. Different people and different dogs learn different ways. There’s the learn by doers, the learn by seers, and the learn by bookers. Despite what Winchester and my hunting partner believed, there was not the learn by already knowers. I’d heard the speech about good hunting-dog bloodlines and the argument in Psychology 101 about “nature vs. nurture.” I remained unconvinced that anyone should be judged by their superiors. Only I understood Parker’s Wiley ways. And, that was because I had my own Wiley course to self-discovery. It took me half a decade to go from “Case-a-duck Cunningham” (requiring a case of shells to shoot a single duck) to shooting 25 straight at trap (just once, but still…). In dog years, that was a lifetime.

“Parker will find her way,” I asserted. Her way, I surmised, was like my way. We were process learners–the best kind of learner–because we enjoyed and prolonged every step along the way. Just because others amongst us did not think learning was about steps (“You learn or you don’t!”), we liked the steps, whether they were twelve or a hundred. Each step held a new perspective that could be appreciated and reflected upon. If I timed it just right, I’d be fully learned up just about the time I expired.

As I explained all of this wonderful logic to my hunting partner, he seemed distracted by Winchester pointing another group of birds. I felt as though my words did not carry the weight of my reflection. Parker must have felt the same way because she busted that group, too. Both of the males turned their heads to look at me as if it were my logic that were to blame. We decided to call it a day, and headed back down the mountain. After a mile, the air had cleared, and my partner said, “Well, it’s just as well since that wasn’t a very big covey. This is probably my last time up here for the season.”

“That’s amazing,” I thought. After a day of trying to justify what I thought was poor performance, I realized that my dog was suddenly light years ahead of his dog. Conservation is not something easily taught to a canine, and yet she was trying to tell us not to shoot in the only way her vocabulary allowed.

“What’s amazing?” my partner asked.

“Just that Parker understands that the true point of hunting is to dedicate herself to the preservation of the American hunting traditions through practicing conservation techniques.”


Ameristep blinds

Ameristep Blinds

By Kathy Eckstein

Staff Writer



These days there are a lot of blinds to choose from. Anywhere from a rollup, to a pop-up, to blinds that you put together that are made out of plastic.


Read more: Ameristep blinds

The Usual

The Usual

By Christine Cunningham

A friend once told me that she never wanted to live a life where she couldn’t have a mocha every day. This would limit her in several ways, I thought. She’d either be forced to live in areas populated enough to support an espresso culture or she would have to invest in a professional-grade machine that could exert enough pressure to yield an ounce of liquid in 18-26 seconds. If she wanted to be entirely self-sustaining, she’d have to get a cow.

As she was sipping her mocha from a paper cup, I guessed it was the former of the two options. “I think,” I said, “I could go without a mocha for a few days.”

“How many days?” she asked. The thought of not having a mocha every day at nineteen years old was a bit frightening. Especially since I worked at a coffee shop and required seven shots of espresso to achieve a baseline. I pondered her question. “I guess two days,” I said. “A week at the most.” This answer only applied to professionally crafted mochas by certified baristas. If I had to get a cow so that I could have a mocha, I wanted the opportunity to change my answer.

It was over a decade later that I sat inside a tent on the edge of a river in remote western Alaska. I’d come down a creek that dropped 18 feet per mile out of a canyon and was completely soaked from rain and involuntary submergings. I was still 35 river miles away from the Bering Sea and 100 air miles away from the nearest organic coffee bean. My fishing partner offered me some “cowboy coffee” and I drank it with the realization that I was not a cowboy. True to my post-adolescent foreshadowing, I had never gone more than a week without a mocha.

I downed a couple of Excedrin with a gulp of cowboy coffee–the backwoods equivalent of what Alaska calls a “sludge cup” (drip coffee fortified with a shot of espresso). It was then that I realized that my friend’s question a decade earlier was actually one of those quiz-type, personality-revealing questions. Like when you’re asked who you would choose to be stuck on a deserted desert island with and the answer reveals with whom you’d like to spend the rest of your life. When she asked me how many days I could go without a mocha, she was really asking me how long I would survive in the wilderness. I wanted to be stuck on an island with MacGyver (so he could get me off the island) because I could only survive for two days without a mocha.

The difference between the outdoors and the great outdoors exists somewhere between a weekend trip and a trip that never ends. The difference between the weekend warrior and the true outdoorsman is the set of skills I did not learn in boy scouts nor in my barista certification course work. I’d only experienced the greatness of the outdoors on short visits. Although some of these trips have been over a week, a vehicle was always waiting for me in a parking lot somewhere. Home was always a walk, drive, or short flight away or I had a nice duck shanty or otherwise nicely outfitted camp in the vicinity.

As I suffered my first brush with hypothermia, I thought about my predicament. I could not hit the proverbial escape button. Even if I could call for help using the latest in technology (Sat phones or a SPOT device), the people who might save me were as far away as the people who might make me a mocha. I had never really let go of a connection to the civilized world until that moment. It was as though I had been slave to the most benign of addictions–safety and comfort. And, the symbol of that addiction was an adult version of a hot chocolate.

I’d like to say that when I got back home from the adventure of a lifetime, I realized that I no longer required a mocha–or two–a day. But, the next morning when the barista said, “the usual?” I was helpless to refuse. I had pulled up to the coffee cart, after all. There are those amongst us who go out into the woods and never come back–they have the fortitude to endure an intensity of life that I can only withstand in time that is measured in days and weeks, not seasons. They are the ones who can live off the land, survive the conditions of life, reach nirvana, and stare into the sun.

Someday, I think, I’ll do something like that. And get a cow.