2012 PKC Blue Ribbon Pro Hunt, Dupont, Indiana

My experiences with the Clifty Creek Coonhunters Association in Dupont, Indiana began many years ago as a teenager.  Back in the spring of 1979, a few friends and I traveled to Dupont for a Coonhound event that we had seen advertised in Full Cry magazine.  We had no intention of competing in the hunt, but we were all Hide Hunters and wanted to see what these hunts were all about.
We arrived in the late afternoon and the parking lot was jam-packed; we had to park along the county road.  The treeing contest was in progress with about 75 entries and the winner’s pot and calcutta were worth several hundred dollars.  We sat and watched a bench show with over 50 entries and stayed until the club put nearly 100 dogs in the woods for a three-hour Nite Hunt.
The Dupont club is also where I first got my taste for PKC hunting.  In the late 80’s I was hunting a little female called Salt Creek Ann II.  I entered her in her first PKC $25 hunt at Clifty Creek.  There was a large entry that Saturday night and I was lucky enough to land a spot in the final four.  Unfortunately, for Lee Ballard and Patch, their scorecard was back, but they did not make deadline.  With the remainder of us splitting first, second and third, it turned out to be a great payday.  I won about $158 plus jackpot money and I was hooked!
Many things have changed since those early experiences at Dupont, but one constant remains; this club knows how to put on a quality event.  For about the last fifteen years the Clifty Creek CHA members have been hosting the PKC Labor Day Classic in North Vernon around the last week of August.  It has been a top-notch event that many members look forward to each year.
On August 03, 2012 the PKC Blue Ribbon Pro Hunt tour made a scheduled stop at Dupont.  This hunt was to be no exception to the club’s excellent track record.  Clifty Creek has an exceptionally nice clubhouse with an outstanding kitchen and a very welcoming atmosphere.  Bobby Wilson, Denny Wilson and all the club members went out of their way to ensure a good, quality hunt for everyone involved.  If someone asked for anything, they provided it!
Thanks go out to a great group of judges!  The full-time judges that stayed in the woods for two rounds each night were Clay Young, Jonathan Merritt, Darrell Eads and Dustin Troutman.  Those helping out the club and judging one or two rounds were Rick Shafer, Dudley Jones, James Tirey, Steve Burkholder, Dustin Kern and Kevin Cable.
The Dupont guides did and outstanding job keeping the casts in good hunting.  They are as follows; Allen Maschino, Austin Tungate, Calvin Royce, Chris Braley, Dalton Davis, Jerry Lemaster, Ki Roberts, Kyle Short, Lance Laymon, Larry Wahlman, Shane Stoner, Shawn Seals and Spencer Seals.
Congratulations to the Top Sixteen Semi-Finalists making it to the early round on Saturday.  Cast one consisted of Youth Dakota Stephens hunting Eric Caudill’s Mo, Clyde Osborn hunting Ted Blaker’s Rueger and Dave Lawson hunting his dog Cobb.  Ronnie Smith came out on top with Jerry Frazier’s Pack with 175+.
Cast two held Ladybird owned and handled by Ryan George, Homer owned by Travis/Axford and handled by Jeff Travis, Box owned and handled by Keith Husband.  The eventual winner was Smirnoff Ice owned and handled by Nickey Hale with 450+.
The third semi final cast involved Kirk Reitz hunting Reitz/Axford’s Lady, Scott Allen hunting Allen/Allen’s Rocks, Kris Whitelock hunting Carmack/Bellar’s Purdy.  Besting this field was Tyler Steury hunting Burkholder/Steury’s Bell with 325+.
Rounding out the Top Sixteen, cast four included; Hoss owned by Ronnie House and handled by Sluggo Payton, Barney owned by Ted Blaker and handled by Doug Bice, Jesse owned by Rory Cowles and handled by Jason Reisert.  The leader at the end of two hours was Dandy owned by Charlie Ammerman and handled by Dennis Hensley with 250+.
Now it was time for the Final Cast.  There were four good hounds and four good handlers with lots of nervous anticipation.  Clay Young was the final cast judge with Ki Roberts doing the guiding.  The panel in the woods consisted of Darrell Eads, Jonathan Merritt and Dustin Troutman.  Jeff Travis was reporting from the woods to Tony Secoy doing the Play By Play at home.
The hounds were released at 2:54 AM EDT, Noff struck shortly after for 100 followed by Bell for 75.  Pack went in for 50 before Bell treed for 100.  Dandy is struck for 25 with a line while Noff covered Bell for 25.  Dandy was found at the tree also and his 25 strike was deleted.  It didn’t take long to find Bell’s coon, her and Noff are plussed up!
After the minute was walked, the six was applied to Pack and it got him for 50-.  Bell, Noff and Dandy are released under a new set of strike points.  Strike Pack for 100, Noff for 75 and Bell for 50.  Pack is treed for 100 and Noff behind him for 75.  Bell is treed for a quarter and Dandy is struck for 25 with a line.
Pack and Bell are handled in the ground, circle them up.  Noff’s is found nearby split from Pack and Bell and is handled.  Dandy is also handled at Noff’s tree, his strike is deleted and Noff is circled both ways.
All hounds are loose again and competing for strike points.  Noff is struck for 100, Dandy for 75.  Dandy is treed for 100 and Noff backed him for 75.  Bell is struck for 50 with a line.  Plus up Dandy and Noff Up!
Tree Bell for 100, making her 50 strike points live ones.  Noff is re-struck for 25 with a line and treed behind Bell for 25.  Pack is struck for 25 with a line.  Circle up Bell’s strike and tree, delete Noff’s 25 strike and circle his 25 tree.  Dandy was also handled at this tree, but was not struck in.
After the trio is released, Pack is treed for 100.  Noff and Dandy struck for 25 each with a line.  Pack’s raccoon is quickly spotted, plus him up!
Dandy’s 25 strike is minued just before the hunt expires and Noff’s 25 strike is deleted.  What a great hunt.  Here is how they finished.

First Place 300+
$4,000 Winner
Smirnoff Ice
Nickey Hale-O/H

Second Place 175+
$1,600 Winner
Blue River Miss Bawling Bell
Tyler Steury/Steve Burkholder-O
Tyler Steury-H

Third Place 150+
$800 Winner
Crooked Creek Dandy
Charlie Ammerman-O
Dennis Hensley-H

Fourth Place 75+
$400 Winner
Power Pack
Jerry Frazier-O
Ronnie Smith-H

Thank you to all who participated or helped out in any way to make this a great event!

By Jerry Moll

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