You gotta love the girls
9/23/2006 9:59:10 PM
Journal entry for September 23, 2006
I like girls. I'm not ashamed to admit that. I've always liked 'em. There's just something about the way they flirt with you and make you chase 'em until they finally catch you. Coonhound girls are just the same. They have a way of catching your heart and if you've ever had a good one you won't forget her.
I'd like to congratulate the girls of the UKC World Championship, two Walkers, a Bluetick and a Redbone. I tried to follow their cast tonight but it appears the folks on Kilgore Road need to spring for a bigger server. I have Road Runner high speed Internet here at the Fielder hacienda but I couldn't get the pages to come up and when I did, there just wasn't much news. Before the night is over, we'll know which of the girls turned out to be the belle of the ball. I wish them all success.
Just this week, I was reminded of how much I like my coonhound girls. I've got a Plott named Macie and a Walker named Kelly and they both have caught me in their spells. I like them both.
On Wednesday night I went over to the Town and Country Vet Clinic in nearby Apex, NC to attend a seminar. I left the group at about 9:30 to join my buddy Monk for a short coon hunt on the vast Jordon Lake game land where we regularly hunt.
We cut Kelly, my female out of Silver Dollar Stone and Millcreek Molly, and Monk's two English males, Chop and Grizzly into the big woods at about 10 o'clock.
It became apparent that coon weren't moving well but these hounds will reach out and touch them, no matter which zip code they are in. Before too long we had a bad track and a tree down on the edge of the lake, a good half-mile hike from the truck. We shined the oak for at least ten minutes with no success. I think they missed but it was a legitimate circle.
Monk asked the question that every coon hunter learns to loathe. "Do you want to cut loose one more time?" Of course I said, "Yeah, I do." That was about 11:30. We heard one or two barks and then "Silent Night" was the only tune that was playing on Jordon Lake for the better part of a half hour or more.
Not hearing the dogs we decided to walk back to the truck and see if Wildlife Materials could get in touch with 'em. The "beep, beep, beep" was "deep, deep, deep" in an area that Monk said was about the farthest they could go in the area we were hunting.
We drove as far was the North Carolina DNR would let us and parked the truck at a locked gate. We knew we were facing a mile or more hike to a spot we thought we should be able to hear the dogs. Wrong!
We hiked the mile and we couldn't hear a peep. We waited and then decided to hike back out. A twenty-minute hike later we were back at the truck where we decided to make a 15-minute drive to the other side of the lake. Monk figured we would hear them from there. We made the drive and he was right.
We parked on a bridge and immediately the sound that warms a hunter's heart came floating across about a mile of open water. Kelly, Chop, and Grizzly were treeing hard, giving that ol' "come and get him" but the fact was, we couldn't come even if we wanted to get him.
By then the led's in the Casio countdown said "2:00" and I had to work on Thursday. Monk was spending the night at the hunting cabin so he offered to come back out in the morning (I should say, later in the morning) and pick them up. I told him, "If you get them or not, call me. If they're still in there, we'll just have to hike in and get them."
I hit the sack at about 3 AM after a bowl of Kellogg's and it seemed my eye lids hadn't gotten acquainted good when the cell went off. "Steve. I drove out there at 6 AM to the bridge and Kelly was still treeing." "I'll get dressed and be out there as soon as I can," I said in my best early morning Kenny Rogers voice.
The night before Monk had lamented the fact that there was a road that went back on a farm that would put us closer but that the farmer was elderly and he didn't want to disturb him that late. By the time we got back out there it was 8 AM and the farmer said, "Go ahead."
Earlier, Monk had asked two different fishermen if they would take him to the other side of the lake in their bass boats but both of them quickly declined. They only had so much time to fish, they said. Sportsmen aren't what they used to be, I guess.
Anyway, after driving to the back of the farm I marked the truck's location on the GPS and we set out. We took the tracker with us and the dogs appeared to be in the same place. We found a four-wheeler trail and hiked the six tenths of a mile to the lake. The signal gave that familiar "thunk" sound when the dog is near and Kelly, followed by Grizz, soon came walking in.
We didn't get to the tree before the dogs quit treeing but we figured they treed somewhere between six and eight hours. That's long enough.
The best part of the story is the welcome I got from Kelly, deep in a Carolina woodland on that beautiful September morning. The bond we've shared for the four quick years of her life makes hunting with her so special to me.
I like her and she likes me and when she shows her colors by staying treed all night, she makes me glad that she's my dog. I've had some male dogs that I really enjoyed but at times like this, you just gotta love the girls.