Thursday, December 28, 2006

Just a quick note to say hello. I hope every one is getting a good start on thier rabbit season. I've had the opportunity to go a half dozen or so times this fall. I have indeed heard some great races. All that breeding and raisign of puppies has surely paid off! I was in Middle Ga, earlier this week and I had five Star pups on the ground. Four of them are 07 derbies. I turned thenm out after lunch break and they had been running the rabbit for well over an hour when I decided to start following (since I was way too ansie to stay still enough for a shot.) I could only smile when I started watching. In fact I saw the rabbit twice in 10 minutes by following the dogs. It was obvious he was getting winded and was starting to stay still way too long as the dogs continued to push. He crossed the dirt road and then the dogs split. I pulled them back together but I must have chose the fresher rabbit as they never did catch him. I got to shoot a few in front of these pups and boy did they like it.

My neapolitan mastiffs were born on the 13th. Boy those things are big. They are two weeks old now and they are the size of a six week old beagle. You can see some pictures here.

I also have som Star pups ready for thier new homes. If you want one give me a call. They will make you smile come next fall!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Anna will be three weeks old On Christams day!.
Anna, Ahsly, Amy, and I are all very thankfull for all of the cards and letters we have recieved from you. We wish each of you a very Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

I spent all this time today at the hospital writting a detail descritpion of the last week. Of Course I lost it some how and I ain't doing it over. The jist of is this......

Anna Elizabeth Wilson was born on Monday, Back in hospital Friday, and now thing are looking good and we expect to go home in the morning.

New pups were born on the coldest day of the year so far.

Thanks to my friends jeff Griffith and Ken Murray for helping take care of my dogs while I have been with my family at the hospital.

I have added a picture of my new daughter Anna as well as on of the new litter from Classy and Star.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Well, I finally got my first rabbit hunt under my belt this year. It sure has been a long time coming. In SC, our gun season starts thanksgiving day. In fact, as a small children, my father would always take me and my brother Ray hunting every Thanksgiving morning. Any way, rabbit hunters in other states don't have to wait so long. In fact, Indiana hunters get to start enjoying the hunt on October 1st every year.
This crazy beagle hobby has allowed me to make many friends I would other wise never know. Two such men are Mr. Bob Anderson and Colonel Bill Davis of Indiana. Bob and the Colonel had been down to breed some bitches to Star so I really needed to get up their and see how the pups turned out ;)
The first obstacle I had to get over was simply get out of Town. I got off work and started getting my stuff together, loading dogs, etc.. About 3:00PM. If finally got on the road about 5:15 and rolled into Terre Haute, Indiana about 4:00AM. Bob had been very gracious about inviting me to his house but I didn't want to wake him up. I took a short nap in the truck (thanks Cracker Barrel) got me a cup of coffee and was at Bob's by 6:00AM. Soon after the Colonel arrived and were off to breakfast and rabbit hunting (dang it! Work is calling again!) Please let me know if you want to read all the details of the hunt. Just suffice it to say Bob and Colonel Davis are sure fine gentlemen and are very knowledgeable rabbit hunters. We killed 13 rabbits that day. Here is a picture.

Friday, October 20, 2006

I am having trouble all of a sudden getting pictures uploade dto my blog. You can see most of the pics on my web site at

Well, now that Lady Bear has finished I can devote some attention to few other things in my life. Amy is expecting in December and she already is quite Wadley (if that's a word.) The house we have been remodeling all summer is starting to come together. The cabinets are on order and I finally have the tub/shower in the bathroom (of course I have a giant hole in the side of the house now :)
I plan to start working my derbies more. I do have a few I like a lot. I went out running last night. I really dislike running after dark but between work and the house I just can’t get away any earlier. I took a pair of my brood bitches out last night. One is from Sarge (Cocoa Bear) and the other off Smoke (Cocoa Bear), see a trend here. Classy is the one off Sarge and she is breed to Star now. They looked pretty good for a pair that has not had the proper amount of tracks on them. I have to be up at Friendship Hill next week to judge the big males and I might as well have something to runt he next day. I think these two females will do nicely. I will try to get them a dozen or so hours running this next week.
Let me know what you thing of this picture of Ashlyn and I on our mules? I am on Rudy and Ashlyn is on Small Fry. Small Fry is a pony mule.

I've also got very interested in breeding Neapolitan Mastiffs. What are they you say? The Neo, as they are called for short, is an Italian breed of dog that was discovered by the allies after WWII. The common belief is the Neo is nearly identical to the dogs used in war as late as the time of Alexander the Great. Why would I have a dog like that you wonder. I sure never expected to be interested in a giant dog. Several months ago I had my tools stolen from one of my buildings here at home. When talking this over with friends it was pointed out to me there was a bright side. The tools that were taken are replaceable, at least non of my beagle were taken. This really worried me as I have a few brood bitches that are essential to what I am trying to accomplish. I've never been one much to lock things up as that makes me feel like I'm living in fear. The problem is when we are working the place is quite vulnerable. I remembered as a kid my family always had a large dog around. I started doing my research on property guardian dogs and found the Neapolitan Mastiff. One of the key features to this beastly looking creature is it's desire to protect property and stay home. You see in Italy this was the dogs primary purpose. He has been breed to stay home and protect, just like we have breed the beagle to pursue Mr. bunny. I did a little searching and found a Neapolitan. She was a coming two year old about 25 inches at the withers and weighs in at about 100 lbs. Her name is Josie. Josie took right to us. She especially loves my six year old daughter Ashlyn.
Since I got Josie I have been looking at some of the breeders sites. Their really are some magnificent Neo's out there. My research has shown me that the Neapolitan world goes through fads just like the beagle world! In fact from the photos of the neo's I could find from the 50's -70's in Italy the dog has been changed some by the show fanciers in the US. That's not to say some super looking dogs don't win shows in the US but it appears the "culls" from the top breeders may leave something to be desired in the guard dog end of the business in that they seem to lack a little temperament as well as ferocious looks. Keep in mind I am a complete beginner to the Neapolitan and my experience is limited.
I decided I would try my hand at breeding these beast in an attempt to get a better specimen than Josie. She has some great qualities but I wanted to see if I could do better. I searched all over looking for a stud but could not find what I wanted exactly. Finally I met a lady that had a young male of just 17 months old. His name was Thore and I went to look at him. My first impression of Thore was of wonder. It was obvious this lady was not very experienced with the Neo herself as Thore was some what under weight for his breed but in very good shape as far as most breeds go. He had a huge head that pictures do not do justice. Thor's best asset, his temperament. There is no way I would get out of the car uninvited at that house! I believe Thore would Perform what he Proposes.I took this picture of Thor with Josie (remember Josie is 25" and about 100lbs.) I hope I get good pups. We'll just have to wait and see where this goes. In the mean time I don't have to worry so much about any beagles being stolen.

Monday, October 09, 2006

It is way more difficult to keep up a blog than I had ever imagined. One would think it not that difficult but I must admit I have had a hard go of it. Maybe it is just something I have to get in the habit of.
I find it easier to write this morning as I have something great to write about. FC Tate's Lady Bear!
Lady Bear was bread by JW Orvin of Baxley Ga. JW and his Grandson Tate Carter are co owners of Lady Bear. The first time I saw Lady run a rabbit I knew she was a special hound. I tried for an entire summer to buy Lady Bear. I don't have access to a lot of money and I offered Mr. JW $1500 for this super little Lady. Mr. JW was appreciative of the offer but told me he and Tate would just keep her. I later learned that JW had turned down nearly three time the amount I had offered. Well, I was persistent and finally Mr. J.W., knowing my only real concern was that Lady Bear be exposed to the beagling public so that everyone could see what this bloodline can produce, made me a wonderful offer. He said he would hand Lady Bear over to me for rabbit hunting and Field Trialing. I was to compete with Lady, raise a litter of pups and then return her to him. Needless to say, this was the perfect solution! I picked up Lady bear in August of 2005. She was a bit too heavy and out of shape as the rattle snakes around Baxley makes for treacherous running in the warm months. I brought Lady home and started working her at once. The trial season was coming on quickly and there was not much time. I slowly started taking the weight off Lady Bear by feeding her a steady diet of rabbit tracks and Purina Pro Plan Performance dog food. Lady was ran in the hear of the day. I constantly pushed her to see just how good this girl was. Finally Thanksgiving came around and rabbit hunting season began. Lady was quick to make her self one of the dominant hound in the rabbit hunting pack. She took quickly to producing rabbits from the South Carolina Pine thickets. By the time December rolled around Lady Bear was ready to win. She was taken to Rocky River Beagle club in NC where she came home with her first win. A few more weeks of rabbit hunting and then we were off to Robeson County Beagle club. Once again Lady was able to win the trial. January and February was filled with 2nd and 3rds for Lady Bear. She was super consistent but for one reason or another just kept coming up a little short. I ended the 05-06 trial season with only two of the three wins needed to male Lady Bear a Field Champion. Summer came and summer left. October was here and the 06-07 season was upon us. I took Lady Bear to Mountain Valley Beagle club where she got her final win and was was named AKC field Champion. Lady Bear has is indeed one of the great ones!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Here it is. It's already August. Beagles all over the country will soon be getting out of the kennel to be tuned up. Deer season in most of South Carolina starts August 15th. Although you can't tell by the temperature, deer season normally signals to me fall is near and rabbit season will soon follow. For most of us rabbit season will not actually start until November but the dogs will require some tuning up. I'm going to try and get son short videos of my dogs running as well. I just need to figure out how to get them on here.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Seems I have not been adding to my blog like I had planned. I'll try to do better. I was looking through some old pictures and saw these two you might enjoy. The picture with the two dogs are FC Thomas's tiny Buzz and FC Brown's LA Future of the Past. Buzz was the first FC out of FC Coleman's Controller Kid. Future was one of many out of FC Brown's LA Tiny Bull. This picture was taken right after I had come home from a trip to Pennsylvania and and West Virginia where both dogs got their final wins.

The other picture is FC Flat Creek Joshua. Josha was out of FC Flat Creek Blake. Josh was the sire of a number of FC's. His most well know prodigy was Briskey's Run Em Ove Tank. I was fortunate enough to be able to offer Joshua at stud for several years.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Starting Puppies

One of the most important things you can remember when starting puppies is to get your mind right. Puppies are puppies. Often times, pups have spent most of the last six months in a small pen. They don't know how grass smells, what concrete or gravel is, even how their own track smells as it lays on the ground. All of this to say, can we really expect a pup that has never been out of his pen to know much his first time out?
How you condition, train and socialize young pups is very important for you and the pup. Since we would rather discuss the nuts and bolts of puppy starting; I'll save the 6 weeks to 6 month old training for another article and jump right to starting the pup. You can talk to half a dozen good dog men and you may get six different answers as how to start a beagle pup. One of the most important factors to consider is the size of your operation. If you only need to start a couple pups or maybe a litter you might want to proceed in the method I'll outline today.
Why do I think 6 months is the right age? The main reason is that younger pups, more often than not, just don't have the physical size to push briars and tall weeds aside. Sure, you can get younger pups to start. Often the pup will learn life long habits trying to overcome his lack of size and strength.
First, find a place that will offer few distractions. Some pups tend to loose their focus if there's lots of interesting things going on around them.
For this method you will only need two things; a wire cage, and rabbit. Place the rabbit in the wire cage. Bring the pup into the area where the rabbit is. He should spot it as it hops around in the cage. He may double take at this new creature a time or two. He may even back off as if he is scared. Don't worry this is normal. If the time is right the pup will soon start to sniff the rabbit through the cage. This will be followed by the young hound scratching and biting at the cage in an attempt to get the bunny. As the rabbit is safely in the cage the pups frustration at not being able to get him will quickly lead him to bay at the rabbit. This will likely be the first time you will hear the actual note he will use while he runs a rabbit. Once the pup starts tonguing at the rabbit you will notice his intensity will increase as he works himself into a tizzy trying to get that rabbit. Now the pup is ready to start running. It is important to note, this author has almost never seen a pup start tonguing on a track if that pup would not first give tongue to a rabbit in a cage when given the opportunity. That's not to say a pup can’t start with out the cage exercise, but I have observed through the starting of many pups, the pup that refuses to bay at a caged rabbit will not take track.
I will typically allow the pup to bay at the rabbit for about one minute before I move on. It is ideal that the place you are working has some tall weeds or brush that will allow a rabbit to get out of site of the pup quickly. Now place the pup on a lead and open the rabbit cage. Hopefully you have a good rabbit and he will quickly run towards weeds. You pup should be pulling on the lead and barking now as much as ever. Just as the rabbit goes out of sight "RELEASE THE HOUNDS" ( I always wanted to say that) and the pup will take off after the rabbit. Now we need to be rooting for the rabbit to get away as it is important for the pup to loose site of the rabbit. As the pup cast about looking for the rabbit he will start to realize he can smell the rabbit. It is at this very moment most pups will put there nose to the ground and start tracking the rabbit tonguing aloud as they make progress. If the pup looses interest or looses the scent don't over react. Just encourage him to look for the rabbit. If needed you can walk him in the direction the rabbit went. Hopefully he will smell it before he sees it. Because tame rabbit from a cage can't run for very long the rabbit will still be in the area. Just look around you will find him. On occasion you and the pup will loose the rabbit. If you were doing this exercise in you own yard you will be in luck. The next day or so you will see the rabbit again eating on the lawn. This time go get the pup and take him over to where the rabbit is (was.) He should pick up on the scent and start to bay as before. Your pup is almost started. All you have to do now is take him for a walk where wild rabbits live. Soon enough he will smell one and start to run.
Now let me caution you before you start. Once your pup can see the rabbit in the cage and will bark at it, only let him see the rabbit sparingly or not at all. You do not want the young fellow to think it is his eyes he should be using to find Mr. Bunny.
Remember I said this is not the only way to start a pup. It takes a little time with you and your pup. Time I will add you should find as rewarding as any you have spent. I would also like to mention that I have used this method on several dozen pups my self and have found it to work 100 percent of the time.
I hope you will consider starting your pup your self, instead of using the starting pen. There is nothing quite like the feeling you get when you hear that pup open on the line for the first time. If you have any question or comments feel free to drop me a line.

Monday, July 17, 2006

This weekend has finally brought a long anticipated event for our kennel. Daisy has whelped her puppies. She was breed to FC Bullocks Creek Smoke on Mothers day. 62 1/2 days later…… Whalaaa! If you have kept up with the site you already know Daisy is out of Star. Star is out of Cocoa Bear and a female out of Hokie High. Smoke is also out of Cocoa Bear and a female out of Hokie High. That's enough to make your head spin, but the idea is to intensify the genes that make these dogs what they are. Any way, take a look at Daisy and her new babies. I'll be making updates on the progress of these pups as they grow. With any luck we can chronicle their hunting careers down the road.
I also have another nice young male out of Star and Covington's Dreamer. His name is Palmetto State Cocoa Tom. I named him Tom after Tom Covington. He is the breeder of Star and Dreamer. Dreamer is out of Cocoa Bear and a Buzz Line Director female. Since Tom Covington is the breeder on both parents I thought it was fitting for the dog to be named after him. I hope my eye has not failed me and Cocoa Tom is as good as I think he is. I'll be keeping you posted on his progress as well.
One other thing, I am working on an article about starting puppies. I get lots of emails asking about this so I thought I'd write something up. I hope to get it finished later this week.
Until next time…………….

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

It's a busy time around the kennel right now. It's dead mid summer and I have the itch to run dogs more right now than ever. I can remember 10 years ago it darn near impossible to have a race when it was 90 degrees out. Today's dogs just seem to be able to put on a race no matter what. I'm not sure if I have learned that much more about what qualities really help a rabbit race and which ones hurt the race or it's just a weather pattern allowing scenting to be better the last few summers.
Lady Bear is ended the season in the spring with 2 wins and over 500 points. She's still one win short of gaining the title of Field Champion. Since most of you have never seen Lady Bear run, let me tell you, she is one that truly deserves the title. She rarely has failed to make the winners pack at the field trails she has been entered in. She is almost always in the thick of things. If a dog has 500 points, that's a lot of 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place finishes. These are classes in the south east where the typical class size consists of over 50 dogs. This is not to mention what she is like rabbit hunting. All of that to say this; I keep her in pretty close to competition form as I never know when the bug to travel up north and compete one weekend will bite.
I'm torn to tell the truth. I feel really strong about her chances to win if I were to go N for one the trials. The down side is this: I am scheduled to judge 4 trials in September and October. I judge 15" hounds as I compete in the 13" class. If I go N and she gets that 3rd win I will not have a dog to run at the trials I am already committed to going to. What to do?
If you know me you'll also know I have another really good bitch, Daisy. Daisy is 8 weeks pregnant with pups from FC Bullocks Creek Smoke. She is due the 16th and don't expect her back in trial form until late October or maybe later. The fact is, it may take part of rabbit season to really get her tuned back into shape. No matter though, Daisy is a super bitch. She hunts for a rabbit like she's a crack addict looking for her pipe. Daisy is out of Star and if you know your pedigrees, you already know Smoke is Stars 3/4 brother. These pups should have all the same great qualities of Smoke, Star and Daisy. I'm sure looking forward to them.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Ok, so this is my first post. I'm really just trying to figure out how this works. I am so computer illiterate! I think you can go straight to my web site by clicking on the "my web page" button on the left. Jus in case you can use this link There you will find information on my beagles as well as a few articles I've written on the subject. I do have running dogs and pups available from time to time so stop in and take a look. As always, I welcome your comments.