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Young Dog Wins UKC Squirrel Dog Title

The UKC Squirrel Dog World Championship was a good event for all of the hunters entered, but it was particularly spectacular for Chris Gilmer of Delight, Ark. Three dogs that he owns or co-owns placed in the top 10 during the two-day event early last month in Tell City, Ind. Two of those dogs took the top two spots: Mountain Cur Sniper’s Raging Thunder earned the title 2013 UKC Squirrel Dog World Champion, handled by John Stuart, and Sniper’s Red Bud, another Mountain Cur, came in second, handled by Chad Murphy.

Sniper’s Raging Thunder, owned by Chris Gilmer of Delight, Ark., and handled by John Stuart, earned the title 2013 UKC Squirrel Dog World Champion last month in Tell City, Ind. Photo © UKC.

Sniper’s Raging Thunder, owned by Chris Gilmer of Delight, Ark., and handled by John Stuart, earned the title 2013 UKC Squirrel Dog World Champion last month in Tell City, Ind. Photo © UKC.

United Kennel Club Program Manager Paul Frederick, who was in Tell City for the event, enjoyed seeing Stuart handle the winner as he’s been a supporter of the UKC Squirrel Dog program since the beginning. “It’s great when one of the good guys in the sport wins something like that,” Frederick says.

The championship win was further distinguished because Sniper’s Raging Thunder is only 14 months old.

Placing second through fourth were, from left, Mountain CurSniper’s Red Bud owned by Chris Gilmer and handled by Chad Murphy, Treeing Cur High Point Johnny Cash owned by Seth Graham of Greenville, Ohio, and Treeing Cur SQCH Jewell’s Tree Top owned by Tim and Jeff Newell of North Vernon, Ind. Photos © UKC.

Placing second through fourth were, from left, Mountain Cur Sniper’s Red Bud owned by Chris Gilmer and handled by Chad Murphy, Treeing Cur High Point Johnny Cash owned by Seth Graham of Greenville, Ohio, and Treeing Cur SQCH Jewell’s Tree Top owned by Tim and Jeff Newell of North Vernon, Ind. Photos © UKC.

Although the UKC Squirrel Dog World Championship is now in its sixth year, this was its first time in Tell City, where it was hosted by the Perry County Coon Club. “The club there is used to putting on big events,” Frederick says, so putting on one for 42 dogs was no problem at all. “They did a great job. I don’t think anybody had to drive more than 20 or 25 miles from the club to go hunting.”

In addition, the squirrel population was cooperative. “I think they’d been scouting them out,” Frederick says, of the club members. “They were trying to put on the best event they could. When a club goes to that much effort, you can really tell.”

Along with good blocks of relatively nearby private land to hunt on, the weather helped contribute to a successful first round of hunting, Frederick says. “It was in the mid-60s during the day and sunny. It had rained earlier in the week, but had dried up quite a bit. Anytime you have good weather, everything likes to get out and run around [including squirrels]. It had kind of been a long winter, and we kind of got a break.”

Placing fifth through seventh were, from left, Mountain Cur Extrememe 20/20 Hummer owned by Gilmer, Mountain Cur SQCH Down & Dirty Dixie owned by Brady Foster of Dalton, Ga., and Treeing CurSQCH Roarks KY True Blue owned by Sonny Roark or Hillsboro, Ken. Photos © UKC.

Placing fifth through seventh were, from left, Mountain Cur Extrememe 20/20 Hummer owned by Gilmer, Mountain Cur SQCH Down & Dirty Dixie owned by Brady Foster of Dalton, Ga., and Treeing Cur SQCH Roarks KY True Blue owned by Sonny Roark or Hillsboro, Ken. Photos © UKC.

The combination of great weather and good scouting allowed all 14 casts, or groups, of three dogs and three hunters that went out on Saturday morning to return after 90 minutes of hunting with plus point cast winners, meaning that at least one squirrel was treed. “That’s amazing,” Frederick says, and that record held up over both days for every one of the 21 casts. “Usually you figure out of 21 casts, two or three wouldn’t tree game.” For UKC events, game is only treed; no animals are actually caught or shot.

Placing eighth through 10th were, from left, Treeing CurNITECH Wall's Little Red Rose owned by Carlos Wall of Edinburgh, Ind., Mountain Cur SQCH Hockenberrys Big Jake owned by Stanley Hockenberry of Tobinsport, Ind., and Treeing CurSQCH Keiths Dot owned by Ted D. Keith of Seymour, Ind. Photos © UKC.

Placing eighth through 10th were, from left, Treeing Cur NITECH Wall’s Little Red Rose owned by Carlos Wall of Edinburgh, Ind., Mountain Cur SQCH Hockenberrys Big Jake owned by Stanley Hockenberry of Tobinsport, Ind., and Treeing Cur SQCH Keiths Dot owned by Ted D. Keith of Seymour, Ind. Photos © UKC.

In addition to the top two dogs, eight others were ranked third through 10th:

  • Treeing Cur High Point Johnny Cash owned by Seth Graham of Greenville, Ohio;
  • Treeing Cur SQCH (squirrel champion) Jewell’s Tree Top owned by Tim and Jeff Newell of North Vernon, Ind.;
  • Mountain Cur Extrememe 20/20 Hummer owned by Gilmer;
  • Mountain Cur SQCH Down & Dirty Dixie owned by Brady Foster of Dalton, Ga.;
  • Treeing Cur SQCH Roarks KY True Blue owned by Sonny Roark of Hillsboro, Ken.;
  • Treeing Cur NITECH (nite champion) Wall’s Little Red Rose owned by Carlos Wall of Edinburgh, Ind.;

The UKC’s five cur and feist breeds are eligible for the championship – Mountain Curs, Treeing Curs, Black Mouth Curs, Stephens’ Curs and Treeing Feists – as well as any other UKC breed that isn’t a Coonhound. The championship was elimination style with all 42 dogs going out for the morning round on Saturday, then 12 plus point cast winners heading out in the afternoon. On Sunday morning, the four cast winners from the previous afternoon went out in just two casts. Finally, Gilmer’s two dogs hunted together to determine the champion.

Frederick says a “few more dogs” were entered this year than last. All dogs had to be pre-entered, but that’s something that might change in 2014, he says, allowing hunters to sign up on the grounds. While only curs and feists entered this year, “hopefully one day that will change,” he says. “People who want a squirrel dog, they’re going to get a cur or feist.” However, there has been some interest from a few Terrier owners, as well as those of the East Siberian Laika, a Northern Breed designed to tree its quarry.

It was “just a great event,” Frederick says. “The hunters loved it.”

To see a video of the highlights of the championship, click here.

Written by

Susan Chaney has been on the editorial side of publishing since 1990, starting her career as a newspaper features writer and editor. A lifelong lover of dogs, Susan has lived with German Shepherds, Labs, Yorkies, an Irish Setter, a Great Dane-Bloodhound mix, a Sheltie and currently a Chihuahua mix of unknown pedigree. She was the editor of Dog Fancy magazine, content editor of DogChannel.com and group editor of Dog World, Dogs USA, Puppies USA, Natural Dog, Cat Fancy, Cats USA and Kittens USA from March 2005 to December 2009 when she left her position to work at home, part-time. Susan lives in Long Beach, Calif., with her artist husband, Tim, that Chi mix and two big cats. As an editor and writer for Best In Show Daily, she is reveling in the amalgam of three loves: writing, editing and dogs.
Comments
  • Mark Sachau: Duxinarow Labs April 13, 2013 at 9:29 AM

    Not a female handler among the winners…and, apparently, baseball caps required!

    • Susan Chaney
      Susan Chaney April 13, 2013 at 7:52 PM

      I noticed that too, Mark, but if you look at my coverage of UKC Coonhound events, you’ll see some women in the photos. And if you ever saw me in one of these photos, I’d be wearing a baseball cap too. I’m really looking forward to attending one of these events in the future!
      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  • Kelsi April 15, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    How awesome to see coverage of something a little different than the usual conformation shows here, sharing the same space. Congratulations to the winners!

    • Susan Chaney
      Susan Chaney April 16, 2013 at 2:37 PM

      Happy to hear you enjoyed the article, Kelsi. There are so many great dogs and great dog people all over our country. I love writing about them.

  • Rebekah April 16, 2013 at 9:07 AM

    As a long time UKC supporter, I really appreciate BISD’s fantastic coverage of our working dog events! Thank you for the wonderful write up!

    • Susan Chaney
      Susan Chaney April 16, 2013 at 2:42 PM

      Thank you for commenting, Rebekah. I’m never really sure how many people are reading — and appreciating — these articles about UKC hunting events. I, myself, always enjoy finding out about the events and looking at the photos of the winners. You’ve inspired me to keep writing about them!

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