2011 PKC World Championship
The setting for the 2011 PKC World Championship Final Cast was near perfect on Saturday evening October 29, 2011. There is no doubt that Salem, Illinois and their supporting cast of satellite clubs have established themselves as one of the sport’s premier venues for hosting a major event. The entire week had been almost flawless with very few questions coming in to our experienced team of panel members from our qualified non-hunting judges.
A veteran of many final fours, Judge Kevin Roberson would be calling the shots in the woods tonight. Bobby Patton has demonstrated repeatedly he is the guide you want to draw for your final cast. The fall weather was ideal, crisp and clear with a very light breeze. The handlers and dogs were tired from a week of travelling and hunting, but pumped up with anticipation and adrenalin as we took the final cast photo and wished them all well.
We loaded up and pulled out of the Marion County Fairgrounds about 6:15 PM C.D.T. Kevin Roberson, Mike Hensley and I rode with Coy Sullivan. I could see on Coy’s truck thermometer that the temperature was 56 degrees. As we stopped at a gas station for last minute supplies, I noted the clear skies with a bright, smiling crescent moon reminiscent of Lewis Carroll’s Cheshire Cat. We drove out west of Salem and then dropped down south to an area near Centralia. When the convoy stopped, we were in a beautiful hardwood bottom bordering the banks of a major waterway in the region, Crooked Creek.
We had a pretty good crowd getting ready for the woods — handlers Jed Finley, Duke Proulx, Coy Sullivan and Josh Griffin; Judge Kevin Roberson with back up Judge Mike Lennon. The question panel consisted of Chad Winchel, Mike Hensley and Chris Saunders. The guide was Bobby Patton and I would be the reporter, texting the play by play back to Jarvis Umphers who informed the Coon hunting World as the events unfolded in the most significant cast of the 2011 season. Before we get into the specific final cast details, let’s take an in-depth look at the four hounds and handlers as they appeared on the scorecard.
GCH Griffin’s Cross Creek Roller is handled by Josh Griffin, of Cullman, AL. Josh’s handler earnings prior to this cast were $10,456. Roller is a Treeing Walker Male currently owned by Bill Griffin of Cullman, Alabama was bred by Todd Armes and whelped on 11-10-2004.
Roller’s sire was PCH White River Tar Nailor (Pup Earnings: $190,519) and his dam was Tar Scream ’n Casey (Pup Earnings: $155,441). Roller’s lifetime earnings prior to this cast were $12,496.
He was previously owned by Todd Armes, Burchfield /Toombs, Burchfield/Lynn, Burchfield/Strickland, Burchfield/Burchfield and Walter Moore. 4E Tri Color Bone Chiller is handled by Larry “Duke” Proulx of Jewett City, Connecticut. Duke’s handler earnings prior to this cast were $60,217. Chiller is a Treeing Walker Male currently owned by Proulx/Gilbert/Eddins, was bred by Ryan Hays, and whelped on 03-16-2010. Chiller’s sire was PCH Backwater Bone Collector (Pup Earnings: $6,287) and his dam was CH Three Way Sue (Pup Earnings: $110). Chiller’s lifetime earnings prior to this cast were $110. He was previously owned by Ryan Hays and Wesley Gilroy. PCH American Express is handled by Coy Sullivan of Middleton, Tennessee. Coy’s handler earnings prior to this cast were $46,839. Express is a Treeing Walker Male currently owned by Johnson/Sullivan, was bred by Bell/Cochran, and whelped on 09-19-2008. Express’ sire was PCH Wipeout Zeb Again (Pup Earnings: $231,050) and his dam was CH Georgia Cyclone (Pup Earnings: $52,990). Express’ lifetime earnings prior to this cast were $37,138. He was previously owned by Bell/Cochran, Jerry McAfee and Mitchell/Sullivan.
SCH Skuna River Squeaky is handled by Jed Finley of Indianola, Iowa. Jed’s handler earnings prior to this cast were $14,421. Squeaky is a Treeing Walker Female currently owned by Finley/Wegner, was bred by Jimmy Carnathan, and was whelped on 04-21-2006. Squeaky’s sire was CH Skuna River Bark (Pup Earnings: $256,459) and her dam was Carnathan’s Prissey (Pup Earnings: $15,491). Squeaky’s lifetime earnings prior to this cast were $8,240. She was previously owned by Jimmy Carnathan, Rick Bilbo, Mike Baker, Nick Alberson and Paul Wegner. Back to the action. The dogs were unloaded and collared up while everyone locked in the truck location on their GPS units. Judge Roberson gave a few last minute instructions before we bowed our heads and went to Our Lord in thankful prayer. The four hounds were lined up and cast into the darkness at 7:05 PM C.D.T.
It didn’t take long for a retort from the hounds, Express is struck for 100, followed by Chiller for 75, Roller for 50 and Squeaky for 25. In less than a few heartbeats, Express is treed for 100, followed by Squeaky for 75 and Roller for 50. Upon arrival at the tree it is determined that Express is by his lonesome, but Squeaky and Roller are together just to the right of him. Move Squeaky to 100, but Roller stays at the
50 and the three treed dogs are handled.
The evidence is spotted quickly over Express’ head and he is being led his minute to recast, but Duke puts the brakes on that idea by treeing Chiller for 100 thereby leashlocking everyone. Lennon and Duke head to Chiller while the rest of us check the tree Squeaky and Roller are tied to. Within a short period raccoon number two of the evening is scored and we are walking toward Chiller with Express, Roller and Squeaky in tow.
We all work Chiller’s medium size oak pretty hard. There are not many leaves left, but just enough for a circle tree. All four dogs are led one minute and recast with about an hour and a half left in the cast. The score at this point looks like Roller 100+, Chiller 175 circle; Express 200+; and Squeaky 125+.
Within a very short time, Express is struck for 100, followed by Squeaky for 75. The six is working off and on, off and on. The hounds get deeper in the bottom as Roller is struck for 50. Not long after, Express is treed deep for 100, followed by Chiller being struck for 25 and split treed for 100 nearby. Roller is then treed with Express for 25. As the tree time ticks away, Lennon and Duke head toward Chiller while the rest of us ease the direction of Express and Roller.
The hounds we are gaining on start hushing off and on with the two being started and stopped. Both Express and Roller are eventually minused for being off the tree and trailing. The cast’s entourage make an about face and try to catch up with Lennon, Duke and Chiller. After shining Chiller’s tree for a while, Duke announces he is satisfied and Chiller is circled up. We walk him a minute and recast towards the other dogs. It is about halftime now with the scorecard reading as follows: Roller 75+, Chiller 300 circle, Express 100+, and Squeaky 125+. Squeaky has emerged as the new cast leader!
All three struck dogs are now struggling and Judge Roberson is working the six quite frequently. Squeaky convincingly rolls up on a tree and Finley trees her for 100. As time ticks by she weakens a little and the two is applied a few times before it gets her for 100-. Not long after, Duke strikes Chiller back in for a quarter. He works around up in the area where Squeaky was minused, rolls up and Duke trees him for 100, followed by Finley and Squeaky for 50. As we ease their direction, Roller is declared split treed for 100.
Chiller and Squeaky are handled very close to each other, but the trees are ruled as separate, so Squeaky is bumped up to 100 tree points before shining. Chiller is circled again while Lennon and Griffin go on to Roller. Chiller is released and we start to shine Squeaky’s tree. After a short period her tree is determined to be slick and she is minused 175- and recast. Along about this time we looked up to see a couple of four wheelers fast approaching. My heart sank for the sake of the handlers; I sincerely hoped we would not have problems and/or have to call time out. One of the riders stepped off his machine, but then got right back on when he saw we were paying no attention to them. The four wheelers then sped off just as quickly as they came. Whew, what a relief!
Upon arriving at Roller’s tree, Squeaky is struck for a quarter with a line and handled with Roller. After searching for a short time, Roller’s coon is spotted; plus him up! Squeaky’s strike is deleted and the two are recast once again. Express is now treed for 100 and his five is started. With only about thirty minutes left, the scores now look like this: Roller 225+, Chiller 425 circle, Express 100+ and Squeaky 150-.
While walking toward Express, Roller and Squeaky are each struck for a quarter with a line. Express is handled and the eight is started. The tree Express is on does not look so good, but it runs into a good looking den tree. Express is circled up strike and tree, walked a minute and released. Roller is heard getting wooded up and Judge Roberson starts the stationary rule. Stationary is broke, Express struck for a quarter with fifteen minutes remaining in the cast. The stationary is started again on Roller and Chiller is struck and treed for 25 and 100. As we are heading toward Chiller, the stationary is broken again on Roller.
Before reaching Chiller’s tree, Squeaky is split treed for 100 followed by Roller for a quarter. We walked along Crooked Creek for a while and luckily found Chiller treed on “our” side. As we arrived at Chiller’s tree the hunt expired and Express’ strike points are deleted. Upon searching the tree, Chiller is circled up again and we head toward Squeaky and Roller, eventually crossing Crooked Creek anyway. After a good long walk across some soybean fields Squeaky and Roller are found handled together with the meat: plus em’ up! Everyone rushed to Josh Griffin and the other three handlers with spirited congratulations.
It was a very exciting final cast. The lead dog changed a few times and any of the four hounds could have been the cast winner. However, it proved to be the night for PCH Griffin’s Cross Creek Roller to shine brightly and he did just that. Roller’s star will shine intensely until next October when some lucky PKC member that has put their hard work in a good hound will claim the title, 2012 PKC World Champion.
The 2011 PKC World Champion and $26,000 winner is PCH Griffin’s Cross Creek Roller, owned by Bill Griffin of Cullman, Alabama and handled by Josh Griffin, also of Cullman, Alabama. Roller finished the final cast with 275+.
The 2011 PKC Reserve World Champion and $11,500 winner is PCH American Express owned by Johnson/Sullivan of Middleton, Tennessee and handled by Coy Sullivan, also of Middleton, Tennessee. Express finished the final cast with 100+ The third place and $7,500 winner in this year’s PKC World Championship is 4E Tri Color Bone Chiller, owned by Proulx/Gilbert/Eddins of Jewett City, Connecticut and handled by Larry “Duke” Proulx, also of Jewett City, Connecticut. Chiller finished the final cast with 550 circle.
The fourth place and $5,000 winner in this year’s PKC World Championship is SCH Skuna River Squeaky, owned by Finley/Wegner of Indianola, Iowa and handled by Jed Finley, also of Indianola, Iowa. Squeaky finished the final
cast with 25.