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!

May Sneak Peek

Gundogs of Yesterday and Today

By Rev. John Parks


Last month we reviewed the list of field champions that Mike Ramsey has finished himself from his Bullocks Creek Kennel. Now this month I want to ‘pick his brain’ further on his methods. So, here we go into the questions I posed.

Mike, tell us about how you manage a stud dog. How often should he be used?

All stud dogs are different, but a good rule of thumb is to breed them no more than three times a week. You can breed them every day for six days, but not for long, or you will start to have misses.

How many hounds do you usually keep, and how many do you have in your kennel now (as of December 2016)?

I keep around forty most of the time: 25 grown dogs (including stud dogs, breeding bitches, and trial dogs) plus 15 pups.

What traits do you look for in a hound? List them in order of their importance.

• I like them to be friendly

• Hunt good

• Be built good, with straight legs, and good bites

• Have big noses

• Have a good mouth, clean and no barking off

• Have brains, BRAINS, BRAINS

• Work a check inside out

• Run nothing but rabbit

• Be real straight on the line

What are the worst faults in a beagle? List them from worst first, then on down. 

• Barking off or around

• Getting out and coming around

• Wanting nothing but the front

• Won’t slot

• Barking in the pen

• Being ill at the food pan

• Barking in the truck

What is the BEST beagle you ever saw run? Describe it.

People are going to think I’m crazy, but the best dog I have seen run was a brace dog back in the 70s. Her name was Fd. Ch. Knit A Line Jewel. She was a bundle of energy but stayed under control all the time. She had a big, big nose, plenty of mouth, ran a good straight line, and stayed on the check.

What hounds owned by others have impressed you over the years?

Fd. Ch. Saluda Little Rebel was a little male that finished in four trials. He was a beautiful hound, tri-colored with a big mouth and great line control. He had a big nose and he didn’t need any help.

Fd. Ch. Greenwood Blue Creek Bear was another dog I liked a lot. He could run a rabbit any time of day. He was a great hound. He was a little easy for some, but he could account for his game.

Fd. Ch. Smith’s Hill Top Patti was a female out of Hoss that a friend raised and she was a front runner just like her sire. She has a fast chop mouth and a big nose. She would run it so hard that dogs would give up and just follow.

Fd. Ch. D and W Miss Chopper was another dog that impressed me. I think I put the first win on her and she went on to finish and win the AKC Nationals.

Fd. Ch. Star R Chrissi may be as good as I have seen. She is never out of place but will make you pay if you are. I have not seen a bitch any better than her in SPO trials. She was a great dog. I think she won the AKC Nationals, UBGF, and Mid-America Brace, plus the AKC Brace Nationals.


Check out the rest of this article starting on page 4 of our May issue!

April Sneak Peek

Gundogs of Yesterday and Today

by Rev. John Parks


Last month we followed along with Mike Ramsey as he relived his journey of developing the family of beagles called Bullocks Creek Hounds. This month I want you to know more about those field champions that have come out of this kennel. So, join me as Mike tells us about them…

Mike, I was fascinated by the step by step story of breeding hounds that have become consistent winners as well as being very good hunting hounds. Tell us more about the individual hounds that you have finished. Describe them for us, telling us how they ran.

So far, I have finished 11 field champions. I’ll list them for you:

Bullocks Creek Smoke was the first one I finished. He was black, tan, and blue-ticked. He was a cobbie-built hound. He ran a smooth line and was quick out of the check. He had a chop and squall mouth that he used plenty. “Stylist” is the word to use in describing the way he ran. He was an outstanding jump dog too. He hunted hard all day. When you got ready to quit, you better put a lead on him or he would jump another rabbit before you got to the truck. I told everybody “When you let Smoke out of the pen, he would run by a bucket of feed, or a hot female, and wait for you at the gate of the running ground ready to go jump a rabbit. “

Wins Entries
*Poplar Branch 48
*Robeson County 53
Cookeville 47

*Ran back to back

Bullocks Creek Nancy was the second hound that I finished. She was out of Fd. Ch. Bullocks Creek Hoss and Bullocks Creek Penny. Nancy was a great hound. She was black, tan, and white and had a chop mouth. She could follow a rabbit in a very controlled manner. You may beat her, but you had to outrun her to do it. I loved this dog. She finished in eight trials.

Nancy finished 3-21-03 before her sire Hoss.

Wins Entries
Foothills 70 (SPO)
Tokeena 84 (SPO)
Tarhill 69 (Brace)

Bullocks Creek Hoss was just like his name implies. He had a big nose, a chop and squall mouth, and could run a rabbit to death. He liked the front and he could handle it. I let Mike Reynolds hunt him one winter, and he said one place he ran there was a rabbit he called ‘ghost rabbit’. Mike said he jumped the ghost rabbit and put Hoss on the line and immediately Hoss was running to catch him. The rabbit hit a dirt road and ran a hundred yards down the road and then cut to the right. Mike said Hoss came out on to the road, turned down the road and the ghost rabbit was no more.

Wins Entries
Tuckasegee 44
Foothills 35
Tokeena 28

Don’t miss the rest of this article. Check it out in our April issue starting on page 4!

November Sneak Peek

Adventures with Ticks

By John Gibble

It’s not unusual during hunting season to find a tick crawling up my pants leg. I’ve picked them off the dogs even in the coldest months. This past July, one of our club members reported picking 92 ticks off of his two beagles a day after a morning run. Undoubtedly ticks are a nasty pest that transmits diseases to man and beast. But there is an interesting story behind that tick you just pulled off your dog’s ear. We read a lot about ticks and the diseases they carry, but I thought I’d take a stab at writing something a little less technical and a bit more understandable concerning ticks.

That tick started off life as one of several thousand eggs laid by its mother. After being piled in a mass, more exuded than laid, it may have taken anywhere from three weeks to several months for these eggs to hatch, depending on temperature and humidity. The larva or hatchlings closely resemble an adult tick except they are much smaller (think three on a head of a pin) and they have six legs rather than the eight legs they will have in their next stages. Upon hatching, the larva immediately begins searching for their first meal, blood. They may live several months without that first meal, but the sooner they find a host, the better their chances of success.

Generally the first host is a rather small mammal, but it could be a bird or even a reptile. Some species of ticks, such as the rabbit tick, are very specific in host selection and are seldom found on other species of hosts; but most tick species are generalists and will take whatever comes along. Field research has proven a direct correlation between the density of white-footed mice and the prevalence of ticks. White-footed mice (and closely related deer mice) are very common across most of the ticks’ range. One study concluded that a bumper crop of acorns one year would result in an increase in the density of mice the next year, which in turn would support a significant increase in ticks the following year.
Picture thousands of tiny, newly-hatched ticks in the space of several square inches on the forest floor. When a foraging mouse ambles by, hundreds may climb aboard. Others may attach to the next potential host, and yet many more may simply perish from failure to find a host or dessication. Because they are so tiny, this larva may be limited in potential hosts. I recall doing field work on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and coming back to my lodgings at night just crawling with tick larva. They were like little red dots, barely visible. They were easily dislodged with a wash rag and washed down the shower drain. We would pack our clothes in black plastic garbage bags and roast the larva to death in a car with rolled up windows, parked in the sun. Larger hosts like humans, dogs, and deer, with thicker skin and deeper blood supplies may be unsuitable for the larval tick.

Don’t miss the rest of this article! Check it out starting on page 14 of our November issue!