New York Houndsmen Conservation Ass’n.

American Cooner March 2012 CoverAMERICAN COONER – As I write this, we continue to have a practically snow-less winter. Whenever the white stuff manages to come down, it seems to melt off within a day or two. Maybe the good travelling weather will hold up for the annual banquet on March 31 at Katie and Karl’s in Camden. Watch for your newsletter for details. The UKC has agreed to send someone — lets hope they follow through this time, and Gordon Batchellor from DEC has agreed to speak. Katie and Karl’s restaurant is at 9501 Route 13 (Harden Boulevard), Camden, NY, 13316. That’s on the south edge of Camden on Route 13 next to the Ford dealer. Coming into town from Route 69, turn south on Route 13. Proceed south. The restaurant is just beyond the Ford dealership on the edge of town.

To reserve in advance (please do — reservations help us estimate how many we will be serving. Call Tim or Peg Cain, 315-986-1321, email caintrpt@verizon.net

If you are not already a member, you can join the Houndsmen organization on the spot at the banquet. I’d love to see most of you guys there. Please bring contributions for the door prizes and raffles. So far, Sacandaga Dog Supplies will be there with hound supplies. To enter the largest coon, coyote and bobcat contests, get your weight slips to Gene Molyneaux at the banquet or call him in advance.

The presence of bobcat in New York’s Southern Tier has increased dramatically over the past decade. What began as occasional sightings along the New York/Pennsylvania border has progressed to large numbers of observations, trail camera photos, and incidental captures and releases by trappers. Over the past five years there have been 332 bobcat observations documented in the harvest expansion area.

I know that all of you have straight dogs that never trash on skunk, but just in case, Rich Taber passed along this notice from the Cornell University Cooperative Extension’s Chenango County office: Chenango County Public Health Advisory Rabies activity has been reported in the Norwich area. Since December 12 upwards of six potentially rabid skunks have been identified and removed from the east side of the city.

To protect yourself, your family, and your pets please take the following precautions:

• Vaccinate your pets for rabies! Pet dogs and cats should be up-to-date on rabies vaccinations and dogs should be wearing current license tags on their collar. For information on rabies vaccination for your pets, please call your local veterinarian or Chenango County Environmental Health at 607-337- 1673.

• If your pet has interaction with any rabies suspect animal DO NOT handle your pet. If you must attend to you pet where [sic] gloves, long sleeves and use extreme caution. You can be exposed to rabies from lingering saliva on a pet’s fur. The pet should be isolated and the saliva allowed to dry, this will kill the virus.

• Keep pets on a leash when outside a fenced yard!

• Enjoy wildlife from a distance! Do not attempt to feed, approach, or touch wild animals. Do NOT kill healthy appearing animals merely due to this warning. If you see a wild mammal acting abnormally in this area, report it to Chenango County Environmental Health at 607-337-1673.

• Do NOT trap and relocate skunks! Doing so spreads rabies to other areas. If you have a nuisance animal contact a professional wildlife control agent.

• If you or a loved-one is bitten by an animal, wash the exposed site immediately with soap and water and seek medical care. Be sure to report the bite to public health officials.

Remember that local authorities have taken over dog licensing from the state. If your dog’s license has expired, you may not have received a notice to renew. Make sure your dogs’ licenses are up-to-date and make sure you have proof that all your dogs have had their rabies shots. Call your town clerk to get a locally-issued dog license.

From DEC big game biologist Jeremy Hurst: “The 2011 hunting season tied 2009 for New York State’s safest year of hunting on record based on the number of hunting-related shooting incidents.

“Hunting is a tradition in New York state that continues to be safely enjoyed by many” said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. “New York has an extremely safety-conscious generation of hunters thanks largely to more than 60 years of dedicated efforts of 3,000 volunteer Sportsman Education Instructors. All first-time hunters are required to attend a comprehensive hunter safety course of a minimum of 10 hours taught by DEC’s highly-trained instructors. Their hard work is paying off.”

“In the 2011 hunting seasons, 26 personal injury huntingrelated shooting incidents were reported and unfortunately included four fatalities. All of the fatalities occurred during the regular deer season, one of which was self-inflicted.”

Thank you to all you hunter education instructors out there.

New York has has a new hound transport business! Walker dog man Ken Haight is making most major competition events with his transport, Nite Striker Kennels and Transport based in Beaver Dams, NY. If you need to move a hound within the state or across the country, call Ken at 607- 542-6149 or email him crittergitter1980@gmail.com. Ken says he will be doing weekly trips and will work with you on fees.

The UKC has announced its tentative RQE schedule for 2012. Five will be in New York. The first will be at my home club in Jeffersonville on April 7. The other four are in Branchport on May 12, Albion on June 9, West Valley on July 14, and Malone on August 18. The only RQE scheduled east of New York is in Lyndonville, VT on August 11, so please tell all your friends in New England that if they want to qualify for the World early. They need to head to New York. Looking forward to seeing you in April, Duke. We know you’ll be packing a coon dog.

There are no UKC Purina events in New York, but UKC would like the Houndsmen, as a statewide organization, to set up a New York State Championship event that would serve as a Purina Points event in future years. It’s too late to get it together this year, but if your club is interested in hosting a UKC/Purina State Championship next year either alone or in conjunction with another nearby club. Please let us know.

The UKC State Youth Hunt is probably going to be in Unadilla in July again this year, but arrangements have not been firmed up yet. This event is a lot of work to organize. The Unadilla club has done a fantastic job for the kids these past couple of years, but it has been a mixed blessing for them. If some other club wants to step up, no one minds moving it around the state a bit. Speak up.

The New York Houndsmen would love to see a New York youth do well at the UKC Youth Nationals, which will be held at the Fulton County Historical Society in Rochester, Indiana, two hours north of Indianapolis on July 20-21. If you know someone who wants to go but needs some help getting there, let me know and I’ll do my best to see that he or she gets whatever they need — transportation, camping equipment, a chaperon, a dog to hunt or whatever else.

Dave Nicholas tells us there will be a PKC Youth Hunt in April: “The National PKC organization has made it mandatory that there is a Youth Championship Hunt for each state on the same weekend of the State Championship Hunt. The  New York State Championship Hunt will be Friday night, April 20 and the Youth Championship is Saturday night, April 21. I have spoken about this matter with Rich Taber and the club that is hosting the New York State Championship Hunt in April 2012 will be accommodating this requirement. The winner of this New York State Championship gets a ticket to the [PKC] Youth National Hunt in the fall.

“This is not to be confused with the Youth Hunt that is at Gorham on July 21 which is their own awesome PKC hunt for the youth with a $500 added purse. In years past, it has worked out that it functioned like a youth championship hunt for New York, the winner would get an invite to the Youth National and that was because it was the only youth hunt in New York State. I believe Gorham will again put on the awesome sequence of events for the youth like they have in the past.

“The rules for the Youth PKC requirements have been rewritten at the last National Meeting and all should read it from PKC’s website as there have been some changes along with changes for clarification on age limits and age eligibility. “You will find this information in the new 2012 Blue Book that is available to be downloaded [http://www.prohound.com/index.php/rulespolicyannouncements/ 114-2012-2015-blue-book]

” In the American Kennel Club, Steve Fielder has left the coonhound program and there are some changes in the rules. Clubs that have 2012 AKC hunts scheduled should get in touch with Caroline Murphy. AKC will no longer hold world qualifier events. See elsewhere in this magazine for details.

There’s not much in the way of sanctioned kennel club hunts in wintertime in our state, but there’s still lots of pleasure hunting. There’s been amazingly little snow cover this year, which hasn’t been much fun for the coyote and hare hunters, but the coon hunters have had more time in the woods than usual and the foxes seem to be out looking for love early. The coyote hunters are doing surprisingly well without tracks to put down on, and up on Tug Hill and in the Adirondacks, the hare population has its snow zones.

Coyote man Jeff Mattison of Ontario, NY isn’t usually much for night hunting but couldn’t stay inside one recent night when his Redbone Haley was jonesing for coon. He bought her for coyote hunting but she has her own ideas and prefers to stick with ringtailed masked bandits. She doesn’t get out much but she did her job for Jeff when he let her!

Dalton Schaubert and Zack Lyon and their hounds got on some foxes in Wine Country on Martin Luther King Day. According to Zack, “We started out Monday morning with our pup jumping a coyote and running it by herself. She eventually lost it after it decided to run down an ice-covered road. We then dropped two dogs in the far end of the block with them opening right away. Three fox came busting out of the thickets, all running in different directions. We had them crossing roads and just heading everywhere. Dalton finally got a shot when Haley ran the fox back to the original block.”

Dalton has a sharp looking dog box setup. He put it together from 45 gallon plastic barrels to fit his small box pickup.

On January 30, Pungy Carroll spent the day in the fields with hounds and friends. “After lunch we freecast in a block we had not hunted all year. It didn’t take long to have one running and all the dogs got in on the race. The ‘yote looped real tight 300 yards four or five times, then Matt Null hit it and it ran to Josh and he finished it. We then went and freecast by the lake and the dogs ran a fox. That made one loop and skyed out. Our road guy, Craig Wyckoff, killed it 1.3 miles down the road with Cain and Sadie on it. Meanwhile, Chase, June, Eve and Reese treed a coon.

Late in the month of January, Bob Thayer set out to secure permission on some new land and brought along a diplomatic friend, Randy, and his son. Not only did they secure permission on several new places, but Randy’s son may have been bitten by the hound bug.

Here’s what I like about Jim Down’s hunting stories: He has fun when anyone else would admit they were miserable and quit! Here’s the story of a hare hunt from January 4:

“Kind of nippy this morning. Zero, maybe a little below. I waited a few hours for it to warm up, then Mr. Tracy and I carried Grace up to the Fish Creek Club. We drove way back in. We hiked a bit but never cut a hare track. Then we drove back towards West Leyden and cut a track. I took Grace in and she fired one up and went out of hearing while Mr. Tracy parked the truck. I went where I could hear her and she pounded it back out toward the truck. The hare made a big circle and went back down in the alders out of hearing. I ate a bunch of chocolate Oreos last night and the chocolate gave me a migraine. The next time the hare came by me the adrenalin hit my head and I could see my heartbeat in the black dots and stars I was seeing in front of my eyes. Those of you that suffer from migraines know what I’m talking about. I radioed Tracy and told him he better shoot it, and if he comes around again I’m going to kill it because my head is pounding. The hare came around again and I killed him. The place had hare runs all over in the Balsam.

“Then I left my gun in the truck when we went over to the transfer station. That place is covered over with hare tracks but I still had to cover a bunch of ground to get one up. I heard Grace cold trailing after about an hour or more of beating the brush and she finally fired him up. We had two hours for Tracy to kill it, but the hare ran pretty big circles, around and around and back and forth. Finally he crossed when we were in the right spot and Tracy’s 28 gauge barked twice. But he was running flat out at around 45 mph and he made the gauntlet! Grace came screaming through but I couldn’t catch her.

“Awhile later I went in and caught her up on a loss. There would have been flames shooting out the end of that 28- gauge on the next circle. My head was pounding. Migraines are bad news. I may be down for a day or two. It was 15 degrees when we left. There were about six inches of snow. I broke through the ice in a spring and went over my boots, getting two wet feet. The bottoms of my coveralls were so frozen they were hanging up in the Balsam brush. I took a picture over to Tracy’s with my new phone but I Haley works nights! Jim Down, friend Kobler, and their successful Beagles with quarry forgot to save it, so I took this one of old Grace when we got home. Tons of fun”

By the way, Jim makes incredibly good hare jerky from those big bunnies. If you’re nice to him, he might let you try some.

Here’s another hare hunt story from Jim. This one is from January 22. I thought I’d include it so the rest of you know that there are some places where there is some snow cover.

There’s even snow shoes in the picture! By the way, Jim makes a mean pair of snowshoes, and any of you looking for a pair, you could do a lot worse than ordering them from him. I use a pair he made.

“Mr. Kobler carried Moon, Ellie and I hunted with his Magic hound today. We tried to hunt Happy Valley but we didn’t see any tracks off the Ball Road, and over on 104 there were sled dogs going in, a coyote caller coming out, and snowmobiles everywhere. So we cut across to Little John. There was quite a few tracks and it wasn’t long until the young hounds jumped one out. He ran pretty crazily, wild and big, and after a couple hours pounding him, he tried every trick in the book. He crossed the pavement, tried hiding under two different trailers (Jay can relate to that) and the girls got pretty fuzzled there. Ellie came back to me as the hare had run up the pavement a quarter mile, crossed through somebody’s lawn, crossed the driveway then into an alder bed. I stood in the road and directed traffic. One quarter mile down, the hare popped out on the pavement and ran another 200 yards up the pavement and back in the alders from where we started. I waited until Ellie crossed then went back in the swamp. The other two hounds chimed in and around they went again. The hare ran up the snowmobile trail and some sleds ran over the track. Steve helped them sort it out and they were driving him. He got by Steve and was coming through the pines doing 40 knots on my right. I swung left to right and gave him the full choke side at 35 yards. He rolled around three times ‘graveyard dead.’ It was one of the best shots I ever made if I do say so myself. Ten years ago I made a shot like that on a cottontail.

“Frank’s Ole Spanky hound was pounding it out of Clockville ravine. The left to right shots on a flat out varmint are tough on a right hander. I got a cramp this time along my right side swinging that way. It took a few minutes to get my wind back. We got our man. The hounds and men earned that one. Excellent hound work. Tons of fun!”

You still have an opportunity to order tree seedlings from the DEC for 2012. The DEC operates the State Tree Nursery in Saratoga Springs which produces tree and shrub seedlings for conservation plantings on public and private lands. Native New York seed sources are used when available. Of course, you can get seedlings from a commercial supplier at any time but these trees are grown in New York and acclimated to our conditions. This is an economical way to buy in bulk. You can go to the DEC website to download an order form and price list of seedling and seedling packages available here: http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/lands_forests_pdf/2012treebrochure.pdf

The full species descriptions can be found here: http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/71275.html

Phone numbers, etc. are on the brochure. Orders for seedlings can be placed from January 3 through mid-May 2012 by calling 518-587-1120, Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 4:30 PM. This is the recommended way to order since the operator will be able to answer questions or direct you to the proper office for information if you need help. An order will be completed over the phone and sent to you in the mail for your approval and signature. For all other inquiries call the nursery office at 518-581- 1439, Monday through Friday 8 AM to 4 PM. All requests are filled after January 3, 2012 in the order received. Some species sell out quickly so order early.

And here’s a repeat of some information from last month: Sportsmen’s Legislative Awareness Day in Albany is scheduled for Tuesday, March 20 this year. This annual event hosted by Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb and sponsored by the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association is a conscious effort to show our strength in contrast to the animal rights lobby and demonstrate our support of second amendment rights. Please plan on attending and reminding your state legislators that a lot of outdoorsmen vote. Wayne LaPierre from the NRA will speak. The New York Houndsmen will have a table in the “well” of the legislative office building, and your help staffing it for part of that time would be welcome. Let Gene Van Deusen or me know if you want to help or just stop by at the table and let one of your fellow houndsmen take a break.

You can download a flyer here: http://www.nysrpa.org/files/2012LegislativeAwarenessDay.pdf

Please print up a few copies and post them wherever sportsmen and women are likely to see them. Call, write or email me with your upcoming events, event results, new titles, upcoming litters and other news and pictures. I especially need to hear from you Beagle and foxhound people! No matter what you chase with your hounds, the New York Houndsmen Conservation Association has your back in Albany. Every houndsman and houndswoman in New York should be a member. To join, visit our website at www.nyhoundsmen.orgfor more information or send a check with your contact information to NYHCA, P.O. Box 72, Walworth, NY 14568. Dues are $10 for a full year for individuals; $5 for youth 16 or under at the time you join; family $15; hound or hunting club/organization $25. Memberships are available on the spot at all New York Houndsmen events.