August Sneak Peek

Gundogs of Yesterday and Today

By Rev. John Parks


Last time we got acquainted with Mike Reynolds and his wife Peggy of the Star R Kennels, which are located at 1949 Locke Creek Road, Readyville, TN. Mike shared with us his ‘personalized’ training program which is very thorough and effective. This month I want to peek into his breeding program and how it has developed over the years. As before, I will present what Mike shared with me in ‘interview’ form:

Now Mike, I’d like for you to trace your present bloodline for us from the first hounds that started it up to this writing which is in April 2017.

“I started my kennel with the help of Mack Mitchell of the Double M’s Kennel. I had purchased a couple of started dogs from Mack to rabbit hunt with. When Mack sold me the dogs, he explained that they would not make good field trial dogs, and I was OK with that at the time since I had no ambition to field trial. I just appreciated the honesty. However, Mack invited me to go with him to the Music City licensed trial to see what field trialing was all about. Like most, I looked at it like ‘that looks easy enough’! So after that I started to dabble into field trialing some by going to a few derby trials. Like most, I ventured outside of Mack’s dogs because I thought I could go off somewhere else and get better dogs. Then after buying and selling a few dogs that just didn’t work out, and me being the competitive person that I am, I went back to Mack and told him that I need help. I confessed that I did not understand as much about trialing as I thought I did, and I asked for his support in starting over. Mack made me feel good because he said that most people never learn, or admit that they need any direction. So we came up with a slow but very good plan.

I purchased two 9-week old pups from Mack that were out of Double M’s Southern Hope and Double M’s Little Wendy. I named the female pup Star R Southern City, and the male pup Star R Southern City Slicker. I got these two pups up and running and they were two very solid pups. This was also the same year that Mack had started Double M’s Cocoa Bear and Double M’s Lady Bear. I will never forget the first time I saw Cocoa Bear run! It hit me that THIS was the kind of dog that I had been looking for, and I wanted him so bad that I dreamed about it all the time. I was mesmerized by his quick snappy style. He hunted hard like his sire, and was close but extremely quick with his work. He could run the front, but would also slot, and was as good as his mother at turning on the line right out of the middle of the pack. He worked ahead first and you did not see dogs do that much of the time. Most dogs wanted to check back first. Like his mother, he read the check area from the point, but he had the quickness of his sire. Like his sire and dam he was very focused in the slot. The mating of Fd. Ch. Double M’s Southern Belle to Fd. Ch. Greenwood’s Blue Creek Bear was a cross that made a positive change in gundog beagles.”

Don’t miss the rest of this article. Check out page 4 of our August issue!