National Treeing Cur Association
Wow – talk about putting things off until the last minute! Here I am the eve before leaving for Vegas and I am writing this column. It is funny how this day came to fruition so quickly. It is a bit strange to be writing about my wedding to Billy on November 4th again – seems I did this once before in 1994. Anyways, no matter how the path twisted, turned and v’ed off – it still ended up at this spot for us and our children. That is a blessing.
One thing I want to touch upon is the importance of having feed sources for wild game. On our new acreage, we’ve seen the occasional squirrel and coon, but nothing to write home about. While we were at the PKC World Youth hunt, Billy and Clay bought a case of the screw in feeders from Valley Creek. They put them up when we returned that Sunday and by today the tracks in our creek and muddy pond bank our plentiful.
That was uplifting since our pond that was overgrown is now completely cleaned out. We hired a local high lift operator to come and grade out a spot for Billy’s dad’s round pen plus a roping arena. While he was here, we also had him clean out our locust groves and then clean out the sludge in our pond. He fixed our spill way and cleaned it out. It was very overgrown and full of mud mixed mostly with cow poo. Now it is deep, but rough looking until it dries out. I am looking forward to Billy building a dock while we wait for it to refill for future memories.
The thing about memories is that they get built on our actions today. Whether it is working with a young dog or making a cross we think will turn out the best, the foundation laid today will create the moments in life we look back on and smile about. There are circumstances in life beyond our control, but it is up to us to take the best action we can for ourselves and our loved ones in the given moment.
This leads me to my feature of the month – John Wilson. John is taking steps in his life with the dogs to work toward a future goal. When you read his story, you will learn what that is and how what he is doing now he hopes will help him attain it. NTCA Looks at John Wilson Zanesville, Ohio is where John’s story begins and it is where it is being constantly added to today. The now 27 year old electrician is married to his wife Ashley with a 17 month old son named Briar. John’s interest in the dogs began when he was just a young son himself.
“My dad, George, always had dogs. We had and have a lot of hound guys in our country, but we are one of the few who have Curs. Dad had hounds he hunted, but we also had an old Kemmer female on farm. She killed ground hogs, but she never did tree anything. In time, we bred her to a Walker and kept a pup. Our pup didn’t turn out, but everyone else who got one did; that was our first dip into Treeing Curs though we had never heard of them yet.
“When I was about 16 years old, we tried Feists, but didn’t have any luck and got out of dogs. Then about five years ago, we bought two Jammin’ Bo male dogs. They were almost two years old. They were how we met Doyle Sherman. The guy we bought them from said
that they were out of Bo, but he didn’t have any papers so we got in contact with Doyle. Those two dogs are long gone, but now I have a ten
month old female off him and an OMCBA female that I’m running squirrels with.”
John is enjoying getting into the hunting dogs. He has a hound that he just started competition hunting. “He is the first dog I have ever competed with. The competition part of hunting is a new ball park, but it sure is addicting. I’d like to get my Jammin Bo female in shape to take her to take to some competition squirrel hunts.”
Though he is enjoying his hound, his Curs have that something that he really likes. “What I liked about the Curs was just the fact that we could squirrel and coon hunt them both. A big thing between my dad and I is we always wanted to have the underdog that would sneak in behind the other dogs and get treed.”
There is a big difference in what John expects out of dogs now versus when he was young. “When I was a kid, dad had a few good dogs, but they were few and far between. What I thought were good dogs then, now I probably wouldn’t be that happy with.”
Having a higher standard for his dog is part of what John is working on today for his son Briar’s future. “Briar has already been out to the woods with me. He might be little, but he is definitely a busy little guy. I’d like to have a kennel developed so when Briar is older he has good dogs to take out. We are heading in that direction but it is slow. My Bo female treed today. I just really want to get her to where when Briar is older he can follow behind a good squirrel dog.”
Reading his story you can see why John is the perfect example of taking action today to create the best memories for tomorrow. I want to thank him for sharing his story (especially at such last minute notice!) I think it was very fitting that John be the featured member especially since his hometown was on the national news not too long ago when the owner of an exotic animal farm set the animals all free before taking his own life. I asked John if he saw any of them and he said, “No, we didn’t. We only live about a mile and a half from the place, but we didn’t see one animal. We even drove around looking for some.” John had also been in St. Louis for his job the week before our chat. I told him if he gets back this way to come by and visit and hunt.
That is the nice thing about our new place is that I have an office with a day bed. It is nice to lie back on and type on my netbook, but also gives me a spare room for guests. I have always loved having people over and entertaining and now I have the room to do so with quite the flair. In fact, I am in my office right now listening to the sounds coming from below. Clay is downstairs playing pool with his grandpa Bennie as we speak. I’ve heard a lot of groans from my young son and giggling from his grandpa so I am thinking that the old bull showed the young bull some techniques.
Though it has been crazy here, I had hoped to get to Elnora to hunt and visit with many of my friends. I’d say unfortunately, but it wasn’t, I was home breeding Millie, my dog, to my brother’s X Factor. I didn’t think my fellow competitors would be happy to have a dog that hot even near theirs. Art Lee called to see if I wanted to hunt one of his, but I needed to be present to meet with Alex and do the crossing. I love that my brother and his little girl are back into the dogs with such zeal. There have been things over the years that have sucked the wind from my sails, but listening to Alex and his renewed fire has truly helped me. I know that together many things are possible and if nothing else – the love his little girl has for her birthday puppy is worth everything.
The thing about Curs is they truly are part of your family. In fact, that same weekend, we took Jason Fischer’s OMCBA Mountain Cur Tyke and crossed him onto Kiss, the Walker who is mother to Heaven, Red Bull, the late Hanna and Jake. Tyke is up there in age and this way, Jason would have a piece of his family dog and also an outcross for his breeding program down the line. I don’t know if any of these took yet, but we did our part to lay the future for our families just like our feature John Wilson is doing for his. Jason has come over not to just breed dogs, but also to work them. He has brought his son Briar along too. When Briar came, they brought Pickles. I really like her. Sadly, I wasn’t feeling the greatest that night so Billy joined Clay in working dogs with them. It really is nice having the Fischer family so close. Jason’s nephew is the quarterback for the Desoto High School football team. Clay is really considering moving to this local high school next year. That is his choice and I won’t push him, but he seems ready to move forward in this new life and leave bad memories behind. As a whole, we are ready for a fresh start and this town has been wonderful for that.
Speaking of Jason, it is that time when I share with you his monthly column. I hope you enjoy it – especially since I was leaving to get married and had to get it all in early. Jason also had to work late at the last minute (sorry Jason!) because of my upcoming trip to Vegas to get married.
Sacrificially, Not Selfishly By Jason Fischer
As I sit down to work on another devotion for our Treeing Cur column, I have just left our “old” church building. A few men and myself have been working on some furnace and gas piping issues that were so kindly brought to our attention by the local gas company inspector. The five of us started a task that will probably take us into next week as we work around family, life, and work schedules.
As we were finishing up, I began to think about how this labor could be perceived. Many would think that doing this work on the church would be a great place to “earn” a little favor in the eyes of God, the congregation, and the community. After all, we were sacrificing of our own time with our families and other responsibilities to do the “work” of the Lord. It would be an easy place to set a foothold and gain a higher ground perspective on all the lowly people that did nothing to help out in a time of need.
Our perch on top of the mountain of “goodness” would allow us to be seen by all and receive our praise. The real problem with this is there is only one person in all of this that gains and that person is self. If we were to do all of this work in hopes of recognition (I can guarantee it’s not), then it all points back to how great a person we are. It does not give glory to God, but glorifies our own personal actions. In James 3: 16 it states, “For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.”
This verse does not carry qualifiers with it. It simply states that if you work out of jealousy or selfishness – it is not going to go well. Whether it is work at a church, with a great organization organization, or in your backyard kennel God promises us that if we do it while we pursue the wrong goals, then it will never work. I know that I have spent much time on this subject, but it just keeps coming up. Prove me wrong. Take a look back at your own life and see the things that you have done with the wrong motives and see how they end. Do you see friendships destroyed? Relationships lost? Opportunities gone to the wayside?
I would venture to say that those questions will carry the honest answer of “yes.” Now look back at the decisions you made that were “pure in heart.” How do they end? I would gather to say that it’s the total opposite of the previous.
James 3:17-18 says,”But the wisdom from Above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.
And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” May we all venture out to do the things we ought to do with our hearts in the right place making everyone and every situation that we touch with our lives show the Love of Christ in all that we do. Sacrificially, not selfishly.
Thank you, Jason, for taking the time to share these words of wisdom with us. I always find it interesting to see if there is any connection to what you write and what I write when I go to fit them in together. I think your piece of the column goes beautifully with the theme that our actions today will be the basis of our memories tomorrow.
Even though this column is far from what I need to cover, I am officially out of time! I am now set up with an office and pretty well sorted so we will cover more official Treeing Cur news in the next column after my wedding this weekend. By the time this comes out, my favorite holiday will be here – Thanksgiving. I hope you take the time to show gratitude for those who are there for you in your life. Even though there are things in life I wish were different, all of us can learn from bad behaviors and those things we’d like to see changed. Sometimes the best learned lessons come from the hardest moments and things in life. No matter what though – if something causes us to be a better person – then we should be grateful for the growth this gave to us. Have a very blessed and happy Thanksgiving from everyone here in Desoto and the NTCA!
By Amy Kovac-Thomas, 13709 State Road E, DeSoto, Missouri 63020 – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org