American Leopard Breeders Association National Section – Full Cry
I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I’m sitting here in my Lazyboy chair with my feet kicked up in front of my fire place with a nice fire burning, reflecting on the past year. The Leopards did a fine job representing themselves in the hunts and shows across the nation. They won on the plywood as well as on the hardwood so congrats goes out to all the winners!!! I’ve talked to several folks over the past year and they all seem to be enjoying their Leopards, and over this past year I got to stop in and visit with several folks who have a lot of years chasing these Leopards and got to learn more about the history of the breed.
This month I got the chance to sit down with Earl Wright and Billy Baird and visit and talk dogs; between them they have over 90 years chasing these hounds. I must say when a person gets the opportunity to sit down and talk to anyone with the kind of knowledge they have you need to take advantage of it. I got to look at some fine Leopards and look back in time at some of Mr. Wright’s Leopards of the past (I know my Leopards have a lot of his blood in them). I learned what Mr. Wright and Billy look for in a hound and what a lot of the crosses were in the beginning to make up what we have today in the Wright’s line of Leopard’s. I would like to thank both of them for their time and Southern hospitality, they sure make a guy feel right at home.
The first hunt we’re going on will be with Allen Sparks over in North Tazewell, VA. I got there around 5 PM on Friday evening and Allen showed me his dogs and we waited for it to get dark and then we loaded up his real nice female Leopard. She hadn’t been hunted for about two months due to her just having a litter of pups, (which are very nice pups) and we also took along a 10 month old male pup that is a littermate to a female I just got. We got to going down the road and I must admit I was a little nervous about where we were going to be hunting due to the height of the hills I was looking up at…lol.
We ended up driving through a gate and driving around on the side of a hill to a flat spot on the side of it and this is going to be our first drop so we get the dogs out. Well, we lead them to the upside of the hill, turn them loose and they get in the dark in a hurry. Needless to say, in my mind, I figure no matter what they do I’m in trouble lol. If they strike and go up it’s going to be bad and if they strike and go down I’m in trouble. Needless to say they didn’t strike and they checked in so we leashed them up to take them around to the other side of the truck and recast them on the downhill side (now I’m thinking down is good)!
But then I ask Allen if they get treed down there are we going to drive around to them and he laughs at me and says no, we are going to walk down to them and then we will walk back up the hill to the truck. Well my luck didn’t hold out cause it didn’t take long and his female strikes a coon and the young dog puts in with her and they work it around the side of the hill and they get treed. We walk down to them and sure enuff they got him so we shoot it out to them. Well, now the fun part starts. We get to walk back up the hill to the truck. After awhile we get back to the truck and load them up and head to our next drop.
Okay, this time we drive around the side of another hill and we stop on a ledge of what looks like a spot I’m thinking a guy needs to be part goat to hunt on. And this is when Allen has me thinking he needs to get his head checked! No way am I wanting to hunt this spot but he tells me not to worry, the ledge we’re on will open up around the bend, yeah right….lol.
After about 15 minutes the dogs open up on a rough track one of those type that you get to thinking hmm … this will be a good one, yeah right! Needless to say after this track I decided I’ve got to get one of those pups to take back to Oklahoma with me cause let me tell you it didn’t take her long to get this track worked out and treed and the young dog looked real good on this track also. We call it a night and head back to his place and I picked out my new pup!
This next hunt I’m going to share with you all will be a couple of drops my son and I went on. We load up Jug and two young females and head down the road. We make our first drop and right off we strike a good track, it doesn’t take long and we’re treed so we start to them and to me there’s nothing better than working a young dog and watching them come on and develop into a coon dog! We get into the tree and they have him so we shoot it out to them. I laid a track for my young females and they work it around and tree it so it’s a win/win for us. We load them up and head back to the house and switch out my young female for my other young female and we’re back down the road going to another spot that I call the swamp and I drop my son off with the dogs and I drive around to the other end where I will pick him up at. This drop ended up taking a little longer to get all the way through and the dogs work a rough ole track and Jug and the Maggie female end up treeing on a den tree. While Randall and the dogs are working through the woods I drive back home and pick up Cain for the next drop.
Once I get back I pick Randall up and we head down the road to another place I call the pecan bottom which is usually a good drop for a quick tree with a coon on the outside. We get the dogs out and sure enuff we turn them loose and they strike right off so the race is on. After about ten minutes they make a lose and I figure the coon put the slip on them. Well, after about another five minutes Cain and Jug drift out and pick it back up and slam it on a big pecan tree and he’s sitting up there looking down on us when we get there, so needless to say out he comes and I work them real well and laid another track for my other young female and she does real well! I’m real proud of my three young females so far and by the end of the season I should have a hard time figuring which two females I’m keeping.
Folks, if you would like to share a hunt with me give me a call or email and send me some pictures and I’ll get them on here next month. Thanks again!
You can call or text me @ 304-694-1788. I do work Monday-Friday 8 AM-4:30PM and will not be taking calls during this time.
Don’t forget it’s time to get your 2013 membership this year the fee is $20 per individual membership and $25 for a family membership you can mail it into Dan Noble, 103 Washington Street, Covington, IN 47932.
By : John Cox