For several years I have been wanting to go have a look at Harland Stonecipher’s 2,000 acre pen at Centrahoma, OK and meet him and Earl Jones face-to-face. I started to go to the Oklahoma State Hunt the first weekend of November empty handed just to see the pen and watch the running but decided to take one of the two plug hounds I own. The younger dog is too wild to be out around strangers so I took the four and a half year old hound to let him be dragged around over the big pen.
When I got to the kennels, I saw right away I wasn’t the only Missouri boy there. I spotted friends Leroy Cain, Adam Cain, Jerry Drew and Howard Bullard. Howard used some of his dye and touched up the numbers on my dog for me. Thanks, Howard, for a job well done.
From what I could see of the pen from the kennels, I could tell that it was a good one; about half open and half timber. Around 140 hounds were cast the first morning into the 2,000 acres full of coyotes and 30 or 40 big new red foxes. I think someone said they came from Wyoming.
The running was hard and steady. I managed to see my hound one time the first morning and he was running lucky – he was the front dog. When the score sheets were put up the first day, I think 13 hounds had been scratched. My old plug was fourth place dog. Thanks to friend Frank Dollins for loading me onto a fourwheeler with him trying to round up his hounds and mine and to get them loaded. We had no luck. I got in my pickup and headed for the south end of the pen where I was getting a beep and got there just at the right time.
Some hunters had gotten a chase broken up and I got my dog and a couple of others loaded. We cast the hounds the last morning in a strong, cold wind but it didn’t hurt the running. It was fast and steady all morning. I never did see my old plug the last morning but I could hear him at times running his heart out and barking his head off.
When they called out the top ten Derby and All-Age, my plug wasn’t called. Earl Jones told me later he missed the top 10 by 10 points. The hunt was run under National Rules scoring a hound once in ten minutes.
After it was all over, one of the field judges told me my hound lost exactly half the points that he scored the last morning. What is fair for one is fair for all. Other hounds lost points as well. Another judge told me my dog was seen about to catch a coyote when it went into a barrel. I am pleased he did as well as he did in rolling hill country. These river hills I live in are so steep you can’t walk up or down them without hanging onto the bushes.
After looking over Harland’s pen, I would say it is no doubt one of the best large pens if not the best pen in the U.S. I would encourage any hound man to see the pen and run in it.
I would like to say after meeting Harland Stonecipher, Earl Jones and the others who work for Harland that these men are all gentlemen – first class. Harland Stonecipher has spent thousands of dollars through the years promoting our sport with the hounds.
Many of these dollars have helped many different people. For that fellows, Harland is to be highly commended. The Oklahoma State Hunt run in his pen was handled in the highest manner. I enjoyed my trip. Everyone was very kind and friendly. Congratulations to the winners and a big thanks to the nice ladies who did a wonderful job of keeping us fed. I take heart medicine morning and night, and if my ticker keeps ticking long enough, I may be back.
When driving around over the Harland Stonecipher pen, I was looking for just one thing I could see wrong with the pen. The only thing I could come up with it is 400 miles from my house instead of 40. Could you move it, Harland?