Clanton man’s dog wins treeing contest in field trial

Published 5:03 pm Tuesday, May 31, 2016

5-31 dog

Mid-State Coon Hunter’s Association in Lawley just hosted Alabama’s first ever Original Mountain Cur Breeder’s Association squirrel and raccoon dog field trial on May 7.

Mountain curs were the dogs of frontier families of the Appalachian Mountains. These dogs weren’t officially a breed by most standards of today, but mountain people bred dogs according to their abilities to tree and bay game and protect family and livestock.

This unofficial breeding program began to go by the wayside, and concerned individuals got together in May 1957 to form a breed association known as the Mountain Cur Club.

After organizing, 250 dogs were selected by members to officially “start” the mountain cur breed. It was later renamed the Original Mountain Cur Breeder’s Association. The OMCBA is now a well-respected breed association, and other more well-known kennel clubs like the United Kennel Club and National Kennel Club recognize the breed and also register the dogs and sanction hunts and award titles if provided proof of registration with the OMCBA.

Titles issued from various registries are well-earned, but the most prestigious titles for mountain curs are the ones issued by the OMCBA.

There were participants from seven states including Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Mississippi. This hunt created a significant economic impact as travelers poured money into the local economy with purchases of fuel, food and lodging.

There were two squirrel hunts and a coon hunt. The morning squirrel hunt had 24 dogs, and the evening squirrel hunt had 18. There was a treeing contest, and it had eight participants.

The bench show had five female dogs competing. In a field trial “hunt,” no game is taken; it is simply counted. Dogs go out in groups of three called a cast. They hunt for two hours, and the dogs with the most points in their cast win their cast and then cast winners receive placement in the hunt according to who has the most points.

A record of points earned are recorded with various registries, and when a certain criteria is met, the title of squirrel champion or night champion will be awarded.

A treeing contest is a competition where dogs compete for a title based on their ability to bark the most times in a designated time period, usually 30 seconds to one minute. Various registries issue a title known as tree champion for this event.

A bench show is simply a comparison of dogs to meet a particular set of breed standards, and dogs compete for the title of bench show champion.

The winning dog of the morning squirrel hunt was H&T Remi owned by Ronnie Thompson of Mississippi. Afternoon squirrel hunt winner was Nickelson Little Annie, also owned by Ronnie Thompson. Treeing contest winner was Katie owned by Kenny Johnson of Clanton (pictured). Bench show winner was Kentucky Fire Sparkle owned by Gary Salmons of Kentucky. The coon hunt winner was Cade Kennedy of Mississippi. The combination dog winner consisting of the overall best scores of dogs that competed in both the squirrel hunts and coon hunt was Cahaba River Abby owned by Clifton Robinson of Lawley.

Organizers thanked to EZ Skinner and Coosa Valley Hunting Supply.