2012 North Carolina State : Hunters Horn

The 2012 North Carolina State was held on May 9-12 at Richard Evans’ Low Country Fox Preserve.
I left home a little before 10 under cloudy skies. I was delighted to have as a traveling partner my old friend Tony Brewster. Tony and I have judged the state hunt together several times and are always excited about it. I picked Tony up in Pinnacle, NC and we were on our way.
The weather remained cloudy for the whole trip. We pulled into the parking lot at the Baymont Inn around 2:30 and proceeded to unload our gear. While there, we were happy to see fellow judges from Virginia, Eric Weaver, Jeff Neal and Tommy and Larry Clark as they pulled in.
After we left the hotel, we gassed up at Terry’s Exxon in town and headed to the kennels. While on the way, we were closely followed by a menacing thunderstorm.  When we arrived, we hastened to unload my four-wheeler and unhook my trailer. We finished just before the downpour struck.
Next I enjoyed visiting with a big crowd of hunters who were on hand. I enjoyed visiting with our lovely Secret-ary/Treasurer Robin Barefoot and boyfriend David Bailey who were staffing the entry room. They said the entries had been steady up until that point. From there, I enjoyed seeing Ryan Watson and Elbert and Randy Lambert who were overseeing the cooking of the meal that pen owner Richard Evans was providing before the bench show. It was good to see Richard and he was in a jovial mood. It was good to see Mike Carr, National President Lonnie Ward, Dwight Little, Victor Tanner and Andy Morris.
It good to see several of my fellow judges already on hand. Some of them included Jimmy Deans, Ralph Wolfe, Bunny Deal, David Dudley and Mike Carter. It was good to see this year’s Master of Hounds Craig Nobles and his assistant, Pete Warren. This would be the first hunt that Craig had mastered and I had a lot of confidence in his abilities.
Last year, President Matt Segars appointed Craig, Bobby Purvis and myself to serve on the audit committee. Bobby was not here yet so Craig, Robin and I went into the entry room and checked out the books. Everything looked to be in order as Robin had done an excellent job of keeping the receipts and bank statements well organized.
After this it was almost time for dinner. I enjoyed seeing a slew of folks who were down competing. Some of them included Roger and Susan Johnson, Ed and Anita Corker, Jeffrey Johnson, Gene Tetrault, Mike Britt, Howard and Mike Easter, Ronnie Barefoot, Johnny Williams, Benny Bennett, Josh Jacobson, Mike Loyd, James Ray, Tony Gentry, Jack Prescott, Doug Fuqua, Charles and Gary Short, Jason Peters and Bill Moore.
There were some folks that I hadn’t seen in many years also. Milan Ipock, Jerry Martin from Florida, Vernon (Moose) Jowers  and Bobby Edwards were on hand and looking spiffy.
After the delicious meal, it was time for the bench show. President Segars introduced Show Judge Mike Carter and Ringmaster Dwight Little and asked me to serve as emcee. He also introduced Craig and he introduced the judges and gave the hunters instructions for tomorrow morning’s roll call. After this, the show began.
As you can imagine, there were big numbers in all the classes. Mike took his time and gave every hound a thorough examination before picking his top 10. When the smoke had finally cleared, Mike picked the All-Age Male belonging to Bill Moore as Best in Show. Congratulations to Bill.
After the show was over, Mike and I headed back to our room to try and get some shut eye before the 3:30 AM wake up call.
When I woke up after getting very little sleep, I was happy to see that the rain had subsided and the moon was shining brightly. We arrived at the kennel a bit after 4 AM and enjoyed some of the delicious breakfast that Diane Hodge and her fine staff had prepared. After this, I grabbed two roll call cards and prepared to help with the checking of hounds. Officially, we had 489 hounds entered which is up from last year’s entry.
Roll call went well and we only had a couple of things to re-check. Daylight was fast approaching as I boarded my four-wheeler and headed out of the gate into the main body of the pen. For today’s cast, I decided to start out on the Bobby Edwards Road which is on the south side of the kennel area.
The hounds were cast at 6:15 and I soon saw a ton of hounds streaking up the fence line. Several hounds also came by me, but it took several minutes before they struck anything. I suddenly heard what sounded like a race over near the LB Road. I headed up the fence but stopped when I saw a hound cut in off the path. When I stopped, a pack was in a roar and headed straight toward me. They turned toward where I had just left from, so I turned around and headed back. Just as I got to Bobby’s Road, the red fox shot across about 10 yards off the fence line affording me my first crossing at 6:25.
This pack faded out toward the middle of the pen so I headed toward the ditch above the chimneys. I could hear two packs headed my way from the center block. Suddenly, a gray fox crossed just to my left. I headed that way, but it was obvious that the hounds weren’t after the gray. I just missed a big crossing that was headed toward Lambertown Road so I sped that way. I missed the same pack twice more but got two other crossings near the Don and Diane Road.
Now I could hear three different packs roaring in the Lambertown area. I headed toward the Carol Road near the two holding pens. I got two coyote crossings at the Carol Road near the fence at the same time and could still hear another pack in the back corner. As this pack approached, I saw a red fox slip out and got a whale of a crossing two minutes after the two previous crossings.
What happened next is what I dream about when judging a hunt. The red fox started making the same rounds. The rest of the hounds had left and it was just me, the red fox and about 15 hounds. The red stayed about 100 yards ahead of the hounds and he was at home and knew where to run. From 7:30 until 8:02 I got seven crossings on hounds that ran the track the way they were supposed to.
This race ended when the red ran down Lamberttown Road and completely fooled the hounds. Afterwards, these hounds pulled out toward big roars over toward the Tony Eady Road. I also pulled out and spent the middle part of the morning working the east end of the road. Fellow judges Mike Carter and Tommy McLamb were also on Tony’s Road and were having good luck.
As the hunt entered its last hour, most of the hounds were roaring over toward the Pam Road. I also eased over that way and hit a gold mine of Speed and Drive. During the last 35 minutes of the hunt, I got seven crossings on the Bobby Road and down in the Pam Road. There were four or five packs screaming in this area and myself along with fellow judges Carter, Moose Haire, Butch Baggette and Carl McRoy were like kids in a candy store.
When the hunt was called, we had lunch and met to record our scratches and Hunting and Trailing scores. Bobby Jo Burris was serving as our data entry person at this hunt and Moose Jowers was gathering the Speed and Drive scores during the morning. As a result, things ran smoothly and we were soon checking the data entry sheets.
After our judges’ meeting, I headed back to the hotel for a much needed nap. Our directors’ meeting was held at 7 PM at Shoney’s and Mike and I attended that and retired to the room once again for some serious sleep.
Roll call went well on Friday morning and we had 38 less hounds to account for.
Today I tried a different spot on the get go. I went further south and stopped at the ditch just above the chimneys. When the hounds were cast, I heard a lot of barking, but not the kind that I really wanted to hear. I saw a slew of hounds that came up the ditch road but they never got after anything until I heard running break out toward Lamberttown Road. I sped up the Wayne Oxendine Road and got a running along crossing on a coyote at 6:33.
From then until 8:08 it was Katy-Bar-the-Door at the Lamberttown Road area. Mike Carter was over here too but he went into the Gene Jones path and we were communicating on the two-ways. These two-ways are really helpful when used in the right way and we certainly helped each other out today. The hounds were running around and around me and I made some successful trips in the Carol Road again and also had good luck on the south side of the James Ardis Road.
During the middle part of the morning, I had to move as the hounds left my honey hole. The good luck that I was having earlier turned sour as the wind began to pick up and was causing the hounds to have trouble with the tracks, unless they were very close to the game. I managed to get a crossing here and there until the last 30 minutes or so of the hunt when I got in on a good race at the east end of the Tony Eady Road.
When the hunt was called and we finished with our work in the meeting, we determined that Daniels Brothers Kennel was the owner of the Derby winner. Congratulations to these folks.
Friday evening, there was a steak dinner at the clubhouse just before we had our business meeting and Derby awards presentation. During these festivities, I enjoyed chatting with some folks that I hadn’t had a chance to visit with up until this point. Some of them included Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Jones, Billy Farrior, Shane Bonavita, Jay Craven, Mike McShane, Ronnie Norris and Lamar Blaylock.
Saturday morning’s roll call was held under clear, crisp skies with 257 hounds eligible to go.
After roll call, I headed over to the center block and stopped at a crossroad path to see what would develop. The hounds jumped near me but went north toward the deer camp. I hastened that way and followed a pack over to the Bobby Road. By the time I got there, three big packs were roaring in the Pam Road area. I eased up and down until I saw a coyote cross and recorded a massive crossing at 6:27. I got two more crossings in this area in short order before I headed back toward the Tony Eady Road as the packs were headed that way. I helped cover running here as well as on the Lamberttown Road over the next three hours.
As the last couple of hours wound down, I found myself back on the Tony Eady Road as well as on the east end of the Pam Road. The running remained great as the packs were smaller. Some of the game would get in one of the hellacious thickets and run around and around until there were enough hounds to roust him out. My fellow judges moved around a lot more today and we were often converging on the same crossings.
When the hunt was called and we had finished with our judges’ meeting, we determined the winner to belong to LT’s Alvin Road Kennels. Congratulations to Larry and Teresa Hardee on a huge win at the North Carolina State.
So ended a hunt that was a tremendous amount of fun for me. President Matt Segars did an awesome job in preparing for this event and deserves all the pats on the back. Secretary Robin Barefoot was her usual efficient self and deserves a lot of credit for the success of this hunt as well.
Master of Hounds Craig Nobles certainly got his feet wet as far as Mastering hunts is concerned and he did a whale of a job. I look for Craig to get many more opportunities. To say that the rest of the judges hustled would be a massive understatement. The hounds were well covered and these folks deserve all the kudos that they can get. The other judges were: Mike Carter, Pete Warren, David Dudley, Tony Brewster, Larry and Tommy Clark, Tommy McLamb, Kevin Mundy, Gary Otey, Steve Morton, Jeff Neal, Eric Weaver, Carl McRoy, Jimmy Deans, Ralph Wolfe, Butch Baggett, Wayne Oxendine, Moose Haire, Vernon Jowers, Ed Cook, Bunny Deal, yours truly and Bobby Jo Burris on the keyboards.
Robin Barefoot, 1726 Green Path Road, Dunn, NC 28334
After the success of the 2011 North Carolina State FHA 3-day, I was finding it hard to believe that 2012 was going to be any better.  Last year was the first year this prestigious hunt was held inside the wire and I was a little concerned that the “new” had already worn off, so to speak.  I had done what I could last year to ensure that the NC State stood out just a little, and was seen as more than “just another pen hunt.”  I started giving out numbers in April and folks kept asking how many numbers had I given out, how many dogs did I expect and let me tell you, right up until turn out, I didn’t have a clue.  Suffice it to say that 489 hounds turned out the first morning has surely put my mind at ease about folks losing interest in our “little” hunt.   From the time I pulled out of my driveway early Wednesday morning, until we left Manning on Saturday afternoon, it was nothing but wide open fun.  Now that I have taken a few minutes to reflect on the whole week, and after resting up, I can honestly say I enjoyed this year more than last.  I had a whole lot of great help and I can credit a few hard-working individuals for me being able to relax just a bit this year.
First and foremost, without David Bailey’s help in the entry room, I would have pulled my hair out.  He’s a tremendous help with numbers, especially the amount of numbers we were dealing with.  It was funny; he was giving me an hourly report of how many hounds we had entered.  I was kinda stressing there for the first hour or so, but he quickly put my mind at ease.  David also helped me unpack my truck and set up the dining hall just like I wanted.  He furnished the computer and printer we used in the judges’ room and saw to it that there was plenty of paper and printer cartridges.  There are so many little things he took care of, it’s hard to name them all but when President Matt Segars asked my opinion on presenting David with the Gordon Sorrell Sportsmanship award this year, there was no doubt in my mind he was very deserving of this honor. He had also cooked for the 2-day broke dog hunt the NC State had held back in October and he had also helped judge.  In addition to trying to keep me sane this week, David also entered and looked after 16 hounds himself and drove my daddy down to the hunt.  Not that my Pops needs any help with his dogs, it was sure a load off my mind knowing David was close by in case he did.
The girls in the kitchen really outdid themselves this year.  Diane Hodge is a wonderful hostess and she kept my judges and the hunters well fed.  Diane and I kicked around the idea of having a “pre-Mother’s Day” meal on Friday night before the Derby awards.  I was wanting to do a steak, baked potato and salad meal and she brought it all together at a very reasonable price.  She told me she fed 105 steaks that night.  Wow!  I know that meal was a hit and will probably be something we definitely do next year. I told Diane she was a superwoman and she surely is.  She had some good help outside working the grill, Ryan “Hammer” Watson, Mr. Lambert and crew but I have to give the girls inside a real pat on the back.
We had some wonderful vendors this year.  Of course, two of my favorites, Wally Johnson of Johnson’s Dog Supplies and Bobby Allen of Allen’s Hound Supplies were with us this year. These fellas are so great to work with. I like just walking over to their trailers sometimes just to “hide” when I can and catch up on what’s going on at other hunts and maybe where they are going next.  Wally’s wife did something special for us this year; she sells Thirty-One Gifts and she brought some really nice girly bags and totes. I did some shopping with her and dropped some real heavy hints about what I wanted and thanks to Tony Gentry, he went straight to David and told him he had better get over there quick…well, I got me some really cute bags for Mother’s Day. Thanks ya’ll! I hope some of the other fellas took advantage of that opportunity to shop for their wives and mothers.
A new vendor the hunters saw and met this year was Mr. Stan DuRant with Advanced Crafting. Mr. Stan does a whole slew of things off the back of his trailer. He had cornhole boards and license plates, stickers and he even does t-shirts, custom ordered. I also some several hunters leaving with the specially made crates he fabricates. I hope Mr. DuRant joins us next year.  It was so nice to have him there.
Bobbi-Jo Burris of BB Graphics took a major load off of me this year. She made t-shirts for the hunt and sold them as a vendor but she also made our trophies this year and delivered them; that was a huge help, especially to me.  I have had several compliments on the trophies and I told her she did a really fine job on them.  Bobbi-Jo also made the bags I gave the judges for gifts and they were so appreciative. This year, I recognized our mothers at the hunt, where we usually give a little something to the hunters. Bobbi-Jo made some really nice vases that we used this week for table toppers and then they doubled as ladies gifts. All the mothers that received these were very happy and I was jealous. They were nice.
I want to thank the mothers that took part in that recognition and for coming to the hunt on such a special weekend. We recognized the youngest mother, the oldest mother, the mother with the youngest child, the mother with the most children, the mother that had traveled the farthest and the mother taking care of the most hounds that week at the hunt. It was all in fun and the whole group enjoyed several laughs. I even got a marriage proposal, ha, in front of everybody; that was really funny.
Mr. Richard Evans had the pen in excellent shape.  The roads were in good condition, the wire was well kept, the game was as good as you could ask for.  The facilities, grounds, campers, kitchen, judges’ room, it all was just top notch.  Thank you, Mr. Richard – you are my buddy for sure.  Can’t wait till next year.
I can’t say enough about my judges. I had some external stress going on that had nothing to do with the hunt and it was a relief to know these men could take care of themselves and that I didn’t have to worry about them.  Many of them were with us last year but I picked up a few new faces this year.  My good friends Gary Otey and Kevin Mundy from my Top Gun list helped us out this year and these two keep it interesting.  We had also added Tommy McLamb to the list and he is a whiz in the room.  All my “boys” worked really hard.  This year was Craig Nobles first as a Master of Hounds and he did an outstanding job, if I could just get him to relax a little. I picked on Craig all week about looking so tense.  He will learn that as his Secretary, there is no way I am going to let him fail. Of course, he had Pete Warren as assistant and I have as much faith in Pete as I do in anybody in a judges’ room.  Now that Craig has got his “feet wet” so to speak, I am sure he will be called on again to Master not only our hunt but many more in the future.
Last, but not least, I have to thank the hunters for coming and having faith in us for another year.  You boys and girls that hunt and come to the North Carolina State are the reason I do what I do and if only one of you showed up, I would still give it my all. This hunt was prayed over for months and I prayed all of you would have safe travels to and from our little get-together.
If you were with us this year, please come back next year.  I promise you, it will be even better. If you haven’t come to see us yet, what in the world are you waiting for? Here’s your invite. We are going to do this again next year, same time, same place. Ya’ll come see us, ya hear?
All-Age HGA: LT’s Woody (PC Wood Chopper ex Crisco’s Heidi), LT’s Alvin Road Kennels, Grimesland, NC; 2. Sharpe’s Scar (Round Mountain Alvin ex High Tenor Chocolate), Locked Up Kennels, Lucama, NC; 3. Oakdale’s Big Stick R.G. (Oakdale’s Ringo E. ex Oakdale’s Bess E.), Oakdale Kennels, Jetersville, VA; 4. Oakdale’s Midnight E. (Webb’s Deuce R. ex FnF’s Miracle), Oakdale Kenenls; 5. Frog’s Hooo-Weee (Norris’ Streak ex Big Oaks Dixie Chick), Outlaw Kennels, Lake City, SC; 6. Hilton’s Lucky B. (Barefoot’s Shamrock ex Barefoot’s Holly), Barry Hilton, Marshville, NC; 7. Barefoot’s Sarah (USO Ch. Barefoot’s Hannibal ex Barefoot’s Hannah), Ronnie Barefoot, Dunn, NC; 8. Doug’s Polo (Jackson’s Colby ex Doug’s Polly L.), Doug Landingham, Beaufort, NC; 9. Triple Bridge Lit. Fly (Hammerin Down Ace ex Peebles Dollie), Triple Bridge Kennel, Creedmoor, NC; and 10. Smokey’s (Murry’s Rip ex not given), Eric Timmons, Salters, SC.
All-Age Combination: Sharpe’s Scar, Locked Up Kennels.
Derby HGA: 1. Daniel’s RJ (Daniel’s Robin ex Ray’s Snowbird C.), Daniel Brothers Kennels; 2. Belly Up Flavor (Wilson’s Punch ex Pine Valley Dolly), LT’s Alvin Road; 3. TG’s Ninja (Chirso’s Newbern ex Chirso’s Lil Red), Tony Gentry; 4. Bailey’s Elijah (Hoehner’s Stinger H ex M&S Fancy), Bailey and Barefoot Kennels; 5. Top Dawg’s Spice (Top Dawgs and Tookeydoo Coonie ex NB’s Diamond), Top Dawg and Tookeydoo Kennels; 6. LT’s Dottie (Carter’s Rattler ex Carter’s Miami), LT’s Alvin Road; 7. Laurie’s Jake (Firehouse’s Marvelous ex Ch. Big Oaks Ellie Mae), Ronnie Norris; 8. Triple Bridge Lily (D&S Mighty Man ex Sandy’s Cross Lita), Triple Bridge Kennels; 9. Bustin Loose Clyde (JR’s Dash ex Bustin Loose Quervo), Bustin Loose Kennels; and 10. Triple Bridge Vegas (Ch. East Coast Dylan ex East Coast Vegas), Triple Bridge Kennels.
Derby Combination: LT’s Dottie, LT’s Alvin Road.
Best in Show: Moore’s Rooster, Bill Moore.
Best Opposite Sex: LT’s Dottie, LT’s Alvin Road Kennels.
All-Age Male: 1. Moore’s Rooster (D&S Mighty ex Pine Valley Dolly), Bill Moore; 2. Wide Open Basten (Hart’s Mr. Rowdy ex Wide Open Wanda), Wide Open Kennels; 3. Williams’ Chopper (PC’s Woodchopper ex Moxley’s Sadie), SWS Kennel; 4. Moore’s Scout (Graham’s Natural ex Pine Valley Yard), Bill Moore; 5. Martin’s White Man (Jason’s R&G Red ex McGowan’s Velvet), Patrick Jordon; 6. Congaree’s Beethoven (DD’s Hank ex Congaree’s Layla), Davis Hallman and Mark Pittman; 7. LT’s Claude (Cherry Dixon Smiley ex Calloway’s Wild Thang), LT’s Alvin Road Kennels; 8. Bailey’s Chubby (Cabin Creek Blaze ex B&B Sweetheart), Bailey and Barefoot Kennels; 9. Tin Roof Eagle (Tin Roof White Toes ex GB Jill II), Jeffrey Johnson and Charlie Colie; and 10. Ch. Hammer’s Trubador (Ch. Hoehner’s Lotta Loot ex Hammer’s Patches), Hammer Head Kennels.
All-Age Female: 1.  Prescott’s Fancy I (Prescott’s Graft ex Prescott’s Monkey), Jack Prescott; 2. Bailey’s Moon Pie (Bailey’s Juice ex Bailey’s Sam Six), Bailey and Barefoot Kennels; 3. Pee Dee (b) Ch. Brown’s Punches (Ch. Gunstock Milk Man ex East Coast Swirl), Buck Island Kennels; 4. Tobacco Road Pinky (Valentine’s Gus ex Boyd’s Sue Ellen), Tobacco Road Kennels; 5. Ch. Ray’s Dolly (Ch. East Coast Dylan ex Ray’s Susie), James Ray; 6. Lil Mike’s Rogue  (Byrd’s Titan ex Lil Mike’s Cookie Monster), Mike Sims and Teddy Swearington; 7. Ward’s Brenda (Conagree’s Hal ex Todd’s Brandy T), Lamar Blalock; 8. Homegrown’s M&M (Smokin Ace’s Scarecrow ex Smokin Ace’s Kimberly M.), Homegrown Kennels; 9. Sharpe’s Scar (Round Mtn. Alvin ex High Tenor Chocolate), Locked Up Kennels; and 10. End Peace D. (Ch. Cannon’s Ziplock ex W-Ray’s Snowbird), Trash Can Kennels.
Derby Male: 1. Moore’s Peanut (Croatan Redman ex Purvis’ Carman), Bill Moore; 2. Roger’s Jack J. (Lofton’s Jeremiah L ex Roger’s Ellie Mae J), Roger Johnson; 3. Tin Roof Fifty Cent (East Coast Dylan ex Clark’s Flo Jo), Jeffrey Johnson and Charlie Colie; 4. Blalock’s Rusty (Borum’s Crowder ex JW’s Sadie), Lamar Blalock; 5. Homegrown Nature Boy (Taylor’s Tennessee ex Taylor’s Baby Girl), Homegrown Kennels; 6. Tin Roof Biggie Small (East Coast Dylan ex Clark’s Flo Jo), Jeffrey Johnson and Charlie Colie; 7. Trople Bridge Highball (Loftin’s Jeremiah ex Short’s Crazy Lady), Triple Bridge Kennels; 8. Bustin Loose Streak (Ch. Valentine’s Gus ex Ambler Ridge Class), Bustin Loose Kennels; 9. Foxhollow Tom T. (Garmin’s Sam T ex Foxhollow Judy), Gene Tetreault; and 10. CMS Trouble (CMS Warthog ex CMS Frosty), Fred Small.
Derby Female: 1. LT’s Dottie (Carter’s Rattler ex Carter’s Miami), LT’s Alvin Road Kennels; 2. Triple Bridge Repo (East Coast Repo ex Triple Bridge Mollie B.), Triple Bridge Kennels; 3. Tin Roof Lizzie (Tin Roof White Toes ex Tin Roof Judy), Jeffrey Johnson and Charlie Colie; 4. Lil Mike’s Lena (Byrd’s Titan ex Willow Oak Spec), Mike Sims and Teddy Swerington; 5. Webb’s Nicole (West Mount Big Rock ex Adam Hill Cheyemne), Homegrown Kennels; 6. Bustin Loose Lil Crazy (JR’s Dash ex Bustin Loose Quervo), Bustin Loose Kennels; 7. CMS Diamond (CMS Warthog ex CMS Cricket), Fred Small; 8. Homegrown’s Lilly (Mad’s Syler ex Asyce’s Mable), Homegrown Kennels; 9. Bustin Loose Liz (High Cotton Hercules ex TJ’s Liz); and 10. Nite Fire Red Fly (D&S Mighty Man ex Foxcross Lady Puma), Jason Peters.
Natural Carriage: Owned by Sky Scott.
Best Pair and Best Pack: Owned by Bailey and Barefoot Kennels.

By Bill McGee

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