PKC’s Youth Program – A Column for the Youth Hunters

American Cooner Feb 2012 CoverWelcome back readers and youth hunters! I hope all is going well for all of you in your pleasure and competitive hunting. It is a big time of year with all the major Texas events in January, followed by the Truck Hunts and then Spring Super Stakes. I hope that our youth hunters do well at any of these that they are a part of. Don’t forget to share any successes you have! Now onto this month’s column.

By Amy Thomas, 13709 State Road E, DeSoto, MO 63020 / 636-288-4537 / amazingamy71@yahoo.com

Good Question!

Red Jordan called me over the holidays to inquire if the State Youth Escrow accounts had been established yet. His club was starting the process of planning a big youth event and he was wondering if they would be able to add to it through this fund. I am not quite the PKC employee that people think I am…really I just volunteer my services to help with the youth program. It was sweet of them to give me an official ‘title’, but as for knowing the ins and outs of everything – I, myself, have to go to someone for answers. I sent Red to Jerry Moll for his question.

Jerry Moll also answered Cody’s question by saying, “Cody, there are several ways for youth to earn college scholarships and other awards in PKC’s Youth Programs.

Youth that were under the age of 18 on October 1, 2011 and are full time K-12 students may participate as a “Youth” in the 2012 competition season. See pages 22-23 of the Current Blue Book for full details http://www.prohound.com/images/ PDF/ BlueBook /blue_book12-15.pdf.

When he graduated, Jarrett Combs had quite the bounty to help him out when he graduated so it can be very lucrative to participate in our youth program.

Youth Hunters Looking for Dogs

I know that there are many of you out there who have do and that he could offer references. It is important to know that in trying to help someone out that they are good, honest people that will care for your dog properly.

There is a saying, ‘No good deed goes unpunished’ for a reason. When making dog deals, be sure to spell out all the specifics. If you email back and forth,keep a record of your communications just in case things would have any type of negative impact.

I want to see our youth hunters helped, but I want to make sure that those doing the help are also protected. There are always circumstances that arise that no one predicts, but there are many things that can be addressed so they never become an issue.

Get Well Wishes

World renowned youth hunter or something like that, Chace McCaskill, had to have surgery on his shoulder. In spite of it, he sure didn’t lose any moment’s desire to keep hunting. In fact, he was planning to have his dad Mark help him handle the dogs so he could keep going afterwards. We want to wish him a very speedy recovery (for Mark’s sake if nothing else)!


One of the great steps taken for our youth program was to schedule the Youth State Championship in connection with the regular State Hunt. Youth hunters do not have to have money won in that state, but once they win a State Championship, they will not be able to participate in any others. It increases our youth hunters’ chances for success. I want to thank Alex Huff on winning the 2012 North Carolina State Youth Hunt with Holly.

Alex is from Hickory, North Carolina and is the son of Chris and Tracy Huff. It was his uncle Jimmy Fortenberry who got him into hunting when he was younger. “He taught me everything and lets me hunt his dogs for free.”

The hound he was hunting for the North Carolina State Youth Hunt was a Walker named Holly. “I have been handling Holly for about two years now and I have enjoyed every bit with her. She is very easy to call and can get treed by herself with a coon. Holly is just as good of a dog as any out there.”

The hunt for Alex did not go very easy. “The event did not start out the way I wanted it to, but in the end I knew what I would have to do to win and that was to get on the paper with 100 strike and 100 tree to win. Luckily, that is exactly what happened.”

Alex was also the 2011 North Carolina Youth Leader. With his success, he knows that it takes more than just a willing, knowledgeable handler and good hound.

“I want to thank my family and friends for all their support. I also want to say thanks to my Uncle Jimmy – I couldn’t do it without him.”

Congratulations once again, Alex, on your win and PKC success to this point!

Featured Youth Hunter(s) of the Month:

Trenton and Tyler Ruddy

Now to bring you information on our featured youth hunters for this month…Trenton and Tyler Ruddy. The boys live in Greenleaf, Kansas and are the sons of Mark and Janet Ruddy. They have one sister. Their father, Mark, used to coon hunt before they moved and is now getting back into – much to the boys enjoyment.

Trenton is 13 years old and is an A-B seventh grade student at Hanover Elementary School. In addition to coon hunting, he plays basketball and football. This year was his first year doing competition coon hunting. Trenton got involved in it when he met Tanner Spence.

Trenton had a good start to his 2011 competitive year. He scored 750 plus points at his first youth hunt ever and had a cast win at the Nebraska State Youth Hunt with 225 points. At the time that we talked he had $37.50 won in PKC. Trenton had been hunting Diamond’s Chaotic Waddel. It has been fun for him and Trenton is appreciative to those who have helped these experiences happen in his life. “I want to say thanks to all the clubs who put on all the hunts and also thanks to our parents and all the parents out there that take us to the hunts.”

Tyler Ruddy is 16 years old and a Junior at Hanover High School. He plays baseball, football and enjoys deer hunting also. He worked hard to save up his own money to buy Little River Rocky, a three year old out of Wild Bill’s Boone and Dual Grand Little River Tiger. He started hunting when he was three years old, but has just started in the competition events. Tyler also wanted to share how grateful he was to those who have helped in this pursuit. “I want to thank Les and my dad for taking me to the hunts and to Les for selling me my dog.”

I want to thank the boys for taking the time to talk to me and wish them continued success in this new aspect of coon hunting. I hope that you continue to enjoy it and your hounds!

Column Feedback

I would really like to thank those of you who take time to let me know what you think about this column. This month I heard from Jeremy Armes and Shonda Rainey. Jeremy sent me a text letting me know that he really liked the last column and congratulated me on my recent marriage. Jeremy has really helped support the youth program and it means a lot to me to know he enjoys the things that he is reading.

Our program is only as good as the young hunters who participate in, but also the adult hunters and vendors who support it with donations and buying at the auction.

The next message was from a completely surprising source. At the World Youth Hunt, Coy Sullivan’s mom was there (on pins and needles) with a lovely lady who also had a young son hunting in our youth program. The text came from her, Shonda Rainey. She said she didn’t think I’d remember her, but that she always enjoys my column and wanted to congratulate me on my marriage. She let me know how at home everyone made her feel at that hunt and that she is planning to be at the Pup Truck Hunt. I did remember her very vividly.

I really enjoyed the banter we shared. I have always enjoyed the Sullivan boys and it was nice to meet Coy’s mom. I loved how supportive Shonda was with not only her own son, but Coy also. I look forward to getting to know her better and visiting more. I also sent my best wishes to her son in his PKC youth hunting.


This is it for the month. I look forward to bringing you news of our Youth Handler Shoot-Out the end of February in Mississippi. Soon the weather will be breaking and spring hunts starting. Please let me know how your child does at them. My email is amazingamy71@yahoo.com. I love updates and pictures!